Memorial Day Weekend: Avoid Flares and Enjoy the Sun

By Carie ShermanCarie Sherman

First things first—thank you for the gracious support you provided through Lupus Colorado’s Facebook page. (Have you been there? If not—GO. It’s awesome!) You’ve given me the confidence to keep going with this blog in the hope that together, we can help other Coloradans dealing with issues of the auto immune.

I love this holiday—a chance to remember and a chance to celebrate my favorite season. I’m a summer girl. Bleached hair, tanned skin, dirty feet—that’s who I am. Well, used to be. My days of sun-up to sun-down outdoor antics have become rare. But that’s okay. I’ll address the boo-hoos and emotional mind-messing in a later post.

Since I traveled last weekend and am beyond exhausted, I’ll spend most of the days resting. But I do plan to get outside. So today’s focus is an important practicality: protecting yourself from lupus flares that result from sun exposure.

  1. Sunscreen. I hate putting on sunscreen. Whether I’m sick, rushing to a meeting, or desperate to know why my dog is wet and my toddler is hysterical, I don’t need another “to do.” That’s why I LOVE Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration—a moisturizer and sunscreen in one. It sooths my dry skin and gives me 50 SPF. 50! It has a light coconut smell and a little bit of shimmer, which perks me up even on dark days. You can find it in any drug store.
  2. Hats. I spent much of my teens and twenties hiding behind a grimy ball cap. And while you can often still find me in a navy blue cap with half the visor eaten off (thanks, Farley-dog), some occasions require a refined look. Luckily, hats are back. You can find something that fits your style in nearly any store. I like Target.
  3. Clothing. Your average white tee has an SPF of 4. You should apply sunscreen everywhere, but a little protection from your clothes can’t hurt. Once a specialty store item, SPF clothing is showing up at retailers like REI, Athleta, and Lands End. Can’t afford a new wardrobe? The makers of RIT dye provide a sun guard rinse you can add to your laundry. I haven’t tried it (let me know if you have!).

Steve Martin once said: A day without sunshine is, you know, night. I’m sick of night. Even if it’s for 10 minutes and in the shade, I’ll be outside this summer. I hope you are too.

Do you have any sun protection tips? Share them below.