Works for Me Wednesday: Sunscreen and Sun Safety

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Most advice on when to re-apply sunscreen, including the says that more applications are needed after two hours, swimming or excessive sweating (blech!).

I followed either the two hour rule or when my son’s cheeks started to get pink, whichever came first. I’m crazy anal about putting on sunscreen before we head out, but not always good with the re-application. Then I saw an ad last year in one of my parenting magazines for Sun Signals and became a changed woman.

Sun Signals are small stickers that react to UVB rays. Fresh out of the package, they are light orange with little sunbursts. The more UVB rays they absorb, the darker orange they get, and the sunbursts disappear. The transition from light to dark lets you know it’s time to re-apply the sunscreen, regardless of how much time has gone by.

Today, I put a Sun Signal outside to demonstrate.
The day started out a little overcast, but was starting to clear up. I put a Sun Signal on my patio at 9:51am, before taking DS to school.

I ran a few errands and in just over an hour (11:05), it had gone its darkest shade.

The two on the left are from the package, the one on the right was outside (sorry for the blurriness!)

These have been so helpful because after we started using them, I was really able to grasp the idea that keeping “fresh” sunscreen on is so important. We’ve never made it a full two hours before the Sun Signal changed colors, which means we were going under protected for years! And, I would put on a little sunscreen on an overcast day but rarely, if ever, thought to re-apply.

My son hates putting on sunscreen even though he knows it means he can’t go swimming/to the park/to the zoo etc. without it. With the Sun Signals he can see what the sun would be doing to his skin if he didn’t have it on. He still fusses, but not as much as before I started using them.

People see the sticker on our shirts or hats and ask about them, especially when I pull the old sticker off and put on a new one, so I wanted to pass them along. Have a safe summer!


  1. those are really cute and helpful! I tell everyone imaginable that sunscreen expires. y poor daughter once got a very nasty burn because I didn't know sunscreen was only good for a year or so... thanks for the reminder to apply frequently.

  2. Oooh. Good idea. We're heading to the park right now. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Thanks for the tip.. I haven't seen those stickers before.. :)


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