Live your summer to the fullest. We want you to be able to enjoy your time in the summer sun without all the worry of sunburns, bug bites, heat rashes and dehydration. Follow these tips for the best summer experience!
Sunscreen is your best friend. It is recommended by the Canadian Dermatology Association to be using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, look for sunscreens that have a broad spectrum (covering UVA and UVB rays). They recommend looking for a sunscreen with minimal or no fragrance and a low potential for skin irritation. Here are some of our favourites that fall under these guidelines:
Try to limit your time in the sun to a maximum of 3 hours, remember to reapply your sunscreen after 2 hours, or 80 minutes if you’re in the water, and cover up with a hat or umbrella!
Insect repellents come in a variety of strengths, ingredients (natural vs.chemical), protection time, and can be bug specific. Choosing the best option for you can sometimes be more of a pain than the bugs themselves. When looking for a repellent, think about which bugs you want to protect against (i.e. just mosquitoes, mosquitoes and ticks, deer flies or black flies, etc.).
DEET: It’s considered the gold standard in terms of its effectiveness. It’s been used and studied more than any other repellent in human history, though it must be handled carefully because it can damage plastics (think sunglasses, trekking pole grips, etc.). It is a chemical based repellent and can repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies, etc. for up to 12 hours.
Try these products:
Icaridin/Picaridin: Though it’s been around for fewer decades, its efficacy is considered comparable to DEET for mosquitoes and ticks, and it works better on flies. Picaridin also has minimal odor and no damaging effect on plastics and other synthetics. It is a synthesized pepper plant ingredient and can repel mosquitoes, ticks and some flies for up to 14 hours.
Try these products:
Natural: Citronella, lemon, eucalyptus or other plant based options can be good for mainly mosquitoes but can also help repel against some ticks. Generally, they’re considered less effective and they have to be reapplied far more frequently than chemical alternatives. These natural products can be effective between 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Heat rashes are caused by excess sweating and overheating of the body, typically from being outdoors on a hot day. Tips to prevent heat rashes would be to avoid activities that can lead to excess sweating, or if that is not possible, to make sure you keep your body cool and dry by wearing loose fitting clothing and staying hydrated! If a heat rash occurs, try a cold shower/bath or cooling down the body quickly by standing in front of a fan or air conditioner. You can also use a barrier cream to help clear up any rashes that may have formed, as long as they are not oil-based as these can clog up your pores. Try these ones:
Preventing dehydration may sound simple, drink water! Make sure you’re drinking enough fluids, 8 cups per day is the gold standard. Other ways you can increase the fluids going into your body is by eating foods that have a high water content, like fruits and veggies! Snack on some strawberries, watermelon, celery, or carrots!