Summer is nearly officially here, and with summer comes family reunions, get-togethers, celebrations and of course warm summer weather. Most of us at some point in our lives have experienced a sunburn due to either not putting sunscreen on, or not putting enough on. Renowned dermatologist and mother of three, Dr. Julie Karen was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on the secret to planning a fun and entertaining family reunion for everyone, and she also dished on the sunscreen she uses on her family.
Candace Rose: With summer nearly officially upon us, do you have any advice when it comes to scheduling and organizing family events?
Dr. Julie Karen: “Planning ahead is going to be essential to having a successful reunion. You want to make sure that you pick the date far enough in advance that people can try to avoid any major conflicts. Pick the locale, and then start thinking about who is bringing what. Who is bringing the food, the paper goods, who is bringing the sun protection (which is so important for summer reunions)?
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions for keeping everyone entertained?
Dr. Julie Karen: “You have to remember that you’re going to be entertaining people of all different ages. For younger kids, some arts and crafts supplies can be really helpful, some delicious colorful treats can help keep them entertained.
My family, when we get together, we like to encourage people to bring old photographs and stories to share. That storytelling can sort of take place over hours and people will be endlessly entertained.
Check in with local visitor bureaus about local attractions, hiking or biking trails, playgrounds, ice cream shops.”
Candace Rose: How can we stay safe in the sun when participating in outdoor activities?
Dr. Julie Karen: “As a dermatologist and a mother of three young children, I am super passionate about how families can protect themselves in the sun. It’s this reason that I partnered with Banana Boat who has this initiative about counseling families about how they too can enjoy the sun, but in a safe fashion.
The specific measures that everyone should take are using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher. The sunscreen should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before you even leave the house and then reapplied after two hours outdoors or even sooner if you’ve been swimming or excessively perspiring.
The amount that you need is much more than people think. Each application you should be using one full ounce, which is two tablespoons or about the size of a golf ball to coat yourself from head to toe.”
Candace Rose: How often should we reapply sunscreen?
Dr. Julie Karen: “Every two hours; even if it’s overcast, the harmful rays are still penetrating…that’s at a minimum. If you’re swimming or perspiring again, you want to apply even sooner.”
Candace Rose: What other advice do you have for keeping your family’s summer fun running smoothly?
Dr. Julie Karen: “When we talk about having fun safely in the sun, opt for sunscreen products that people aren’t going to mind to use. Banana Boat has SunComfort Clear Ultramist which is a new product that allows sand to brush easily off. For beach get-togethers it’s great because no one is going to complain about the stickiness or tacky feel.
There’s a great website, GreatBigFamilyReunion.com that is a wonderful resource about tips and tools for family to have fun in the sun, but being safe.”