By Madeline Del Guerra, Take Control Staff
After a long Montana winter, I eagerly look forward to the glorious summers. But I’m a natural redhead with porcelain skin, so I am extremely susceptible to damaging sunburns. I love hiking with our two Labrador retrievers and enjoying quality time at our cabin on Canyon Ferry Lake. But since being in the sun is pretty dangerous for me, I’ve had to really do my research on sunscreen, and find products that really work.
Whether you’re fair-skinned like me, or have an easier time tanning, when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays for a period of time, it can harm you. Besides sunburn, ultraviolet rays can cause aging, wrinkles, can contribute to skin cancer, and can cause cataracts. To prevent sun burns and damage, it’s important to use sunscreen.
Sunscreen can be purchased almost anywhere, and it’s tempting to grab the products on promotion or near grocery check-out lanes. But out of necessity, I’ve had to do a lot of research about sunscreens. I’ve had to make sure that they not only perform the way they state on the bottle; but also protect my skin. After lots of trial and error (including a few burns), I’ve found three great sunscreens that are both affordable and very effective. All three can be found at local stores such as Walmart or Walgreens.
Blue Lizard sunscreen is a broad-spectrum SPF, mineral-based sunscreen that protects against the sun’s two most damaging rays, UVA and UVB. Additionally, it is water-resistant, so it is a great choice if you’re spending a day on Montana’s rivers and lakes. My favorite feature is that its packaged in a smart bottle that changes color when it is exposed to ultraviolet light to remind you to reapply when its time. Cost: $10 – $15
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist:
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen is a broad-spectrum SPF that contains Helioplex Technology, which essentially shields the skin from the UVB burning rays and the UVA rays that more rapidly age the skin. This sunscreen lasts for up to two hours before having to reapply and it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. I like this sunscreen because it is a non-greasy spray formula that doesn’t contain the sticky residue that most spray sunscreens have. Cost: $8 – $13
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion:
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion is a broad-spectrum SPF that is a great choice for the delicate skin of the face and neck. I like this sunscreen is because it oil-free and non-comedogenic which means that it will not clog your pores. This sunscreen is especially great for people with sensitive skin because it prevents breakouts, and is sweat proof. Cost: $9 – $12
With vacation and summer outdoor activities, you’ll feel confident using these products. Especially if you have children or grandchildren visiting, you’ll want to make sure you have sunscreen on hand.