With spring finally upon us, it seems that everyone I’ve met during my recent travels for Supergoop! is more than ready for the warm, sunny weather ahead! While talking about safe family suncare at the Nordstrom Spring Trend Show in Dallas last month, I was asked how I get my own children as excited about using sunscreen as they are about playing outside in short sleeves. The answer I gave was that, in my house, we have been having conversations about safe suncare since my kids were old enough to talk.
I admit that, as the creator of Supergoop! I probably talk more about UV protection than the average person—and have put terms like methylparaben and propylene glycol on my list of bad words. However, I always take the time to explain to my son and daughter how important it is to be mindful of taking good care of their skin every day. It is typical for kids to get 50 to 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before the age of 18, so these are critical years.
When putting the basics of sun protection into language that’s meaningful for kids, I find that it’s helpful to share some fun facts:
- Skin is the body’s largest organ, which protects us against germs and keeps us healthy
- The sun produces invisible ultraviolet rays that travel all the way down to the Earth (which sounds like science fiction, to my son’s delight!)
- UV rays can hurt the skin by causing sunburn and creating wrinkles like on Mommy’s face (I explain that when I was little, we just didn’t know how damaging the sun was, so I have sun damage wrinkles that won’t ever go away.
So, with my mini 311 on suncare for kids, I hope you’ll start talking more regularly to your own children about applying—or maybe pretending to paint on— Supergoop! each day. As we all enjoy spending more time outdoors this spring, knowing our kids understand the importance of sun protection makes enjoying the sunshine that much better.