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Hey there! 🙂
It is getting to the time of year that trips to the swimming pool are a fun necessity to beat the heat. Last year we were able to visit a few times, but as I was newly postpartum (still bleeding) and my son was jaundice, the only thing we did at the pool was sun bath to help his bilirubin go down.
This year, since we were actually going to get to swim, I knew we needed a beach bag full of essentials!
The first thing we did was get swimsuits. Bubba already has some swimming gear (he is spoiled by anyone and everyone), but I didn’t have any. At over a year after giving birth, my body has changed a lot. My old swim dresses didn’t fit, so we went to the store!
I grew up in a very modest community and if you’ve followed me on New Crunchy Mom, you’ve probably seen where I’ve talked about that (Modesty: 7 Things I Want My Son to Know). Because of that, I’m still finding my happy place with what to wear in different situations. I have worn swim dresses for years now, with straps around three fingers thick and skirts that go to mid-thigh. They weren’t the most comfortable thing to swim in, but I survived.
This year, I wanted to have my husband pick out my swimming suit. I figured he would be the best suited for the job and pick out something nice and safe. He picked out three swimsuits in different sizes for me to try on and I headed off to the dressing room. I must be an in-between size because it is nearly impossible to find things that fit!
As I perused my husband’s selections and was a wee bit surprised to find a lack of material (insert cry/laugh emoji here), or at least less than I am used to. Ultimately we chose a neon multicolored (mostly bright yellow) monokini. Quite a jump from a swim dress, but I was excited to try something different and happy to have my husband pick it out. Shopping for myself is a nightmare because I am never satisfied with anything.
So yeah, bright neon colored monokini…I like it, actually. It looks like this! I added some black athletic shorts because I just don’t feel comfortable with my lower half showing, especially with a squirmy baby who likes to grab at material. 😀
Anyways…swimsuit excitement aside, let’s move on to what is in our beach bag!
As you may have noticed, my kiddo is wearing an ADORABLE baby sun hat in this picture! I love this hat because it has a strap to keep it in place. My child, bless his heart, thinks that hats are a form punishment. He cannot pull this hat off by himself if the velcro on the strap is in the proper place, so I don’t have to worry about his little baby face getting sunburned.
He also thinks that sunscreen on his face is punishment. To be safe, I used both. When you are in a pool or at a beach, the concrete, sand or water can reflect up and give you a sunburn in places you thought were safe because they were shaded. So I put cream on his face and put a hat on him to have all my bases covered. The two products I use for skin protection and support are Crunchie Life’s Zinc Cream and Badger Balm SPF 30 Sunscreen. These two products are better for us in terms of ingredients lists simply because they do not have a long list of potentially harmful ingredients. There is a long list of ingredients that we avoid, including titanium dioxide, not because we believe them to be hazardous necessarily, but because if we are going to pay for a product, we don’t intend to pay for a bunch of unnecessary and potentially dangerous ingredients, some of which are solely there to give it a “pretty” white appearance. Why spend your family’s hard-earned money on unnecessary fillers?
I trust all of the ingredients in both Crunchie Life Zinc Cream and Badger Balm Sunscreen. While I like both of these products, I strongly prefer the Zinc Cream due to the fact that almost all Badger Balm creams have broken my skin out in recent uses. I don’t know if they’ve changed their formula or if I’ve developed an allergy to something new. Either way, I also prefer Crunchie Life’s Zinc Cream due to the texture. It is must less greasy and easier to blend in, at least in my opinion. I am not an affiliate of Crunchie Life, but I do have a coupon code from them from my recent giveaway, so if you are interested in trying their products, you can use the code RLemke10 on orders of $9.99 or more and you will receive a 10% discount. It is their gift to our community here. <3
You may have also noticed, but my son is fond of sunglasses…
He wielded three different pairs of sunglasses the last time we went to the pool. His baby sunglasses are UV 400 for sun protection. Like I mentioned before, just because he has a hat on doesn’t mean he can’t get sun exposure from reflective surfaces, so these are a must for us!
It is clear in these pictures that I have none of the same things that my son has on except for sunscreen and/or zinc cream (and even then, I reapplied it to my son when I didn’t for myself). I grew up with really bad habits for skin care in the sun. Sun protection was a once a year thing when we were going to the lake and like every little kid, I fought it.
This trip to the pool, I forgot to put anything on my shoulders. I wore a shirt that went down to my elbows on the way there and then just forgot to apply sunscreen when I took it off. As a result, my neck and shoulder are a little crispy right now. Nothing too painful, but I’m not exactly happy that I did that now.
While these aren’t things I actively carry in my beach bag, they are in my “Rebecca was stupid/sunburn recovery” kit. To support my skin after sun exposure, I use three things.
The first is cold aloe. I keep a container of it in my refrigerator for just such an occasion as this. I get my aloe vera at places like Natural Grocers and Sprouts, so you may be able to find some at your local health food store. You can also get it on amazon here: Aloe Vera. What I like about this specific kind is that it is literally just aloe and a few preservatives. This is the shortest ingredient list in trying to buy aloe that can find, short of buying a plant. 🙂 The cold aloe just helps my skin feel a little bit better after a minor sunburn.
The second thing I use is a baking soda paste. I just mix some baking soda and water together and put it on the reddest spots. For me I’ve noticed that after I wash it off there seems to be less redness, and it definitely beats putting vinegar on (that burns)!
The last things I use to support my skin during the summer is a supplement called Astaxanthin. You may not have heard of it before, but it is a really cool product. Astaxanthin was originally studied to be a topical sunscreen, but scientist found that it was better suited to be taken as a supplement as it protects multiple parts of the body from aging and supports the skin (Source). We buy Hawaiian Astaxanthin because it has the best and shortest ingredient list in light of our allergies.
Obviously it is always better to prevent skin damage from the sun, so don’t be like me! 😉 Put preventative products in your beach bag like protective sun glasses, hats and natural sun screen. Remember to reply the sunscreen and adjust hats as needed. As one of my friends said, “Bake your granola, not your skin.”
Leave me a comment and tell me what is in your beach bag!
Disclaimer: I may receive compensation in the form of products, services or money to review or include a link to a product on this blog. If you would like to know more about this, please see my Disclosure & Policy. I will accept offers and/or promote products that I use and love. All opinions are my own and given honestly regardless of compensation.
*Rebecca Lemke is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.*
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