Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sun & Bug Protection

With the steamy hot temperatures of the Illinois summer upon us, it's important to review sun protection and bug repellent product stashes.

My #1 rule in insect repellent products that I apply to my body is that they should not be toxic. Mostly, because I don't want to get inflamed or hive reactions.

Particularly in my case, where I go walking in unkempt fields (can you say West Nile Virus? *shiver*), bug protection/insect repellents are very, very important.

The product I've used in the past few years (Buzz Away) I originally discovered back in 2003 and was successful during my trip to India in early 2004. It's also come in handy during my walkabouts or BBQ grilling sessions these days. But I have a hard time applying the spray because of its obscenely strong citronella smell. It almost makes my eyes water.

I've recently become aware of and purchased two bug repellent products from brand Badger--famous for their organic balms. I took the plunge and bought their shake and spray product, as well as their twist-up tube product.

Since I'm attending an outdoors-oriented getaway next weekend, I tested the products this weekend on walks and to a trip downtown chicago during a street festival. Both of these products are very easy to use/apply and are very nicely scented.

My goal is to avoid huge mosquito-caused bumps popping up on my legs, feet, under my jeans, or on my forehead (I hate those!) ALL SUMMER. Let's see how that goes.

My #1 rule for SPF is that it should be non-comedogenic and non-greasy.

I always purchase 30 SPF products for the face, even to apply to my body. I suffer from sensitivity to SPF products, so I'm very testy when it comes to making a selection and walking to the cashier with choice in hand. Face products typically work better for me.

Since about 1999 or 2000 I've put my trust in Coppertone Oil-free Faces SPF 30. But I need to reapply it often, and depending on the length of my visit in the sun, I would have to use quite a bit and/or purchase additional bottles.

I've recently become aware of and purchased Neutrogena's Ultra-sheer 100 SPF dry sunblock (waterproof too! w00t).

I will be trying the 100 SPF product out next weekend on my outing, as well as my Clinique City Block SPF 40--instead of my usual SPF 25 product, I've upgraded!

I'm hoping to get positive results during this test drive, so that I can make a decision on what to take on my vacation to Florida in July.

Here's to lots of fun in the sun, and no mosquito bites!
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