Confession time: we (in the royal sense) just got back from our annual skin check, and somewhere between scanning our feet and our knees, Dr. Margaret said something that really made our *skin* crawl. "You're doing well with your suncare routine," she said, "but you should know that most sun damage happens before you're 18, so there's a fair amount of water under the bridge." To which we responded, "Dr. Margaret, how old do you think we are?!?!" (Spoiler alert—we're way, way, past 18.)
But, that got us thinking—if the majority of skin cancer-causing and aging damage happens when we're children and teenagers, how can we better instill healthy sun care habits in kids?
For tips on teaching healthy sun habits to kids, we chatted with an expert: Terri Bright, mom of two and skin cancer survivor. (For more on Terri's story, take a peek at our interview with her here.) Read on for a few of Terri's tricks on how she's taught her kids to take care of their skin in the sun:
1. Practice makes perfect
"As someone who hates the feel of sunscreen," says Terri, "I knew that I had to start my kids early on getting used to having it on their skin". Medical experts concur: it's best to start earlier rather than later—once kids hit the six month mark, they should be lathered up with SPF 30 or higher (we're partial to our Baby Softstick® for youngsters' delicate skin).
2. Make it fun (Funscreen, that is)
"At 5 and 8, my kids love getting involved in putting sunscreen on themselves—it makes it less of a chore than when I'm trying to apply it for them." Terri swears by our neon Funscreens—they're a hit with all ages—and suggests letting the kids go to town before checking in for sunscreen coverage quality control.
3. Apply, reapply, then reapply again
Just like for adults, correct sunscreen dosage and coverage is critical for kids. For full body coverage, aim for about an ounce (a shotglass or so) to get all the nooks and crannies. For a primer on how to properly apply sunscreen to your—and your kids'—faces, take a look at these tips on our blog.
4. Model sunglasses ... and behaviors
"When it comes to the sun, I know that what I do for myself is just as important as what I do for my kids," says Terri. "I never go outside without sunscreen on, so they've learned from watching me how important it is as a habit." And, don't forget that it's not only about sunscreen—hats, glasses, and UPF clothing are critical in keeping the whole tribe covered.
As we head towards Memorial Day weekend, there's no time like now to start talking to your kids about safe sun habits for the summer months. Stock up on the essentials—like Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreens—to keep your family covered this summer!