I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Neutrogena. I received samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
If you are traveling this summer, chances are that sunscreen is high on your family packing list. Whether you are headed to the pool or beach or simply touring around a big city in the summer sun, it is crucial to protect your children and yourself from harmful sun damage.
Several members of my family have had skin cancer, so I know all too well about the dangers. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer, yet only 20% use sunscreen daily. I know my kids are especially at risk with their fair skin. I love my daughter’s red hair, but those same genes that gave her the beautiful color can also be quite harmful when it comes to the sun!
Wherever your travels take you and your family this summer, make sure to follow a few simple sunscreen tips to stay safe:
1. Sunscreen is a travel essential, even if you aren’t traveling to a beach or pool destination.
We all know to apply sunscreen when we plan for a day by the water at the beach or pool. But sunscreen is equally important every other day you spend time outside as well. Frequent travelers should be especially vigilant. If you are headed out for a day of urban sightseeing, for example, you might not realize how much sun exposure you are getting by popping in and out of museums and tourist attractions. Make sure to pack and use your sunscreen no matter where your travels are taking you this summer.
2. Pack a little sunscreen in several bags.
When traveling with kids, I juggle several different bags depending on the situation and destination: a diaper bag, a carry on backpack, a beach bag, checked luggage, etc. I put a little sunscreen in all of them, even if it is just a travel size tube that will work in a pinch. That way, when I’m frantically packing a day pack or a diaper bag for a specific outing, I know that the sunscreen won’t be forgotten. Spreading the sunscreen around in different bags ensures you have it when you need it, even if your preparation time is cut short.
3. Remember that the risk of sun damage may be greater in some destinations.
Back home, I have our family’s sunscreen routine down: apply about 30 minutes before sun exposure (as the experts recommend) and then reapply every two hours. That seems to do the trick to keep the burns away.
On vacation, however, we’ve found that our usual routine isn’t always enough. Different environments present different risk levels. When our family travels to Hawaii, for example, we have to reapply much more often or we all get burned. Remember that the sun’s rays are stronger in tropical destinations and are also stronger when you are around bodies of water due to the reflection. You might also find you need to reapply more often if you are in and out of the water and toweling off frequently (both of which can remove sunscreen). Be prepared to adjust your sun protection practices for new places during your travels.
4. Make sure your sunscreen is TSA-friendly!
Frequent flyers know that liquids and gels can’t be brought in carry on luggage in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces. That means big spray bottles or sunscreen creams are not allowed if you are traveling light with just a carry on bag. My trick? Look for smaller containers of creams. Better yet: bring sunscreen sticks instead. TSA has confirmed that sunscreen sticks are not classified as liquids or gels and can be carried in larger quantities.
5. Try out sunscreen close to home before taking it on your travels.
I find it is always a good idea to take a brand and type of sunscreen you have successfully used at home before on your family’s travels. Why? My kids have sensitive skin and have had reactions and rashes from different types of sunscreen over the years. As parents, we’d all hate to find ourselves on vacation with something new that caused a problem. I always stock up on the brands and types that I know are safe for my kids so we can be sure to have them at our destination.
Neutrogena’s Summer Sunscreen Options for Sensitive Skin
To get ready for my family’s summer travels, Neutrogena recently sent me several of their sunscreen products to try for my family. Our family has regularly used Neutrogena products for many years, but we were excited to sample a few additional products we had not yet tried.
Here’s what we loved about the three Neutrogena products we tried:
1. For the little guy: NEUTROGENA Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 60
The Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Stick has been the go-to sunscreen stick for both of my kids for several years. Not only is the stick TSA-friendly, but I also love it because it is wider than many of the other sunscreen sticks on the market. This makes for much quicker sunscreen application with a squirmy toddler – bonus!
2. For me: NEUTROGENA Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
While the kids are usually content with regular sunscreen no matter where we are, I find that the heavy stuff is a little sticky and gross when I’m wearing something other than a bathing suit. I really like using a daily facial sunscreen designed to be lightweight for use under makeup like Neutrogena’s Pure & Free Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 instead.
3. For the whole family: NEUTROGENA Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
This sunscreen comes in a convenient 3 ounce size so it can be taken with your liquids and gels in a zip-top bag through TSA checkpoints. It applies thickly but isn’t sticky, making it a great choice for faces and everywhere else. Because it is engineered for sensitive skin, I can use it on everyone in my family.
Have little ones with sensitive skin too? I was pleased to discover that five of Neutrogena’s products, including the three we tried, have been awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association (the other two are NEUTROGENA Pure & Free Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45+ and NEUTROGENA Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+). With naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients, these options are perfect for anyone prone to skin sensitivity like my little ones.
This post has been sponsored by Neutrogena. As always, all opinions are my own.