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I am tired of seeing leathery old people. They scare me and they should scare you too. Taking care of your skin is NOT hard and neglecting it during the spring and summer months is one of the worst things you could do. I’ll be honest, having lived in Florida for so many years and spending my summers outside, even I used to laugh at sunscreen. I rarely burn, and if I do, it is usually only my nose and shoulders. This all stopped when I started working in the direct sun for several hours a day and one of my friends had to get a mole removed because it was cancerous – at just 20 years old. Let that sink in.

Skin cancer doesn’t play, and it doesn’t discriminate. Taking care of your skin in the sun will not only lower your risk of getting skin cancer, it’ll also make sure you don’t age prematurely and look like Donatella Versace—tan and wrinkly (she is still an icon though). So, here is a list of affordable skincare products that will keep your skin healthy during spring break while not breaking the bank! I’d also like to preface this list with the fact that unfortunately, none of these brands are sponsoring me, I just love them and trust them.

Sunscreen


Meredith Kress-Summer Girl Legs Swimming Pool
Meredith Kress / Her Campus

I told y’all, skin cancer does not play, and you need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin. I do not care if you are blessed with all the melanin in the world or if you are Snow White fair, you need to put it on because you can still get it. Yes, the more melanin you have, the more protected you tend to be – but protection doesn’t equal immunity. You also need to put it on your body and your face and if you have tattoos. I recommend putting a high SPF on them, so they don’t get damaged. When buying sunscreen, always make sure that it protects against UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer while UVA rays cause skin damage and sunburn, so protecting against both is your best bet. Also, make sure you are buying a sunscreen that is SPF 30+. If you want a higher SPF, that’s up to you, but there’s a very small difference in protection and people who wear sunscreen with higher SPFs tend to reapply less!

When it comes to products, I live and die by Sun Bum. While they can be a little more expensive, they’re also hypoallergenic, vegan, reef-safe, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, oil-free, AND they smell good. They also make spray sunscreen for your hair and scalp so that you don’t get sunburnt there either!

Face Cleanser

Spring break normally leads to a lot of time outside and that equals a lot of sweat. Sadly, sweat likes to betray us and cause breakouts which are not fun to deal with. The best way to combat this is to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to get rid of all the makeup, sweat, dirt, etc. that might be on your face. Cetaphil is always a staple, as well as Aveeno. These aren’t going to irritate your face at all, especially if you happened to get sunburnt, and they’ll get all of the grossness off your skin too. I also like to carry around micellar wipes like these from Burt’s Bees or these from Simple, if I know I’m going to be out all day so I can wipe my face off. Just remember to reapply sunscreen if you do this!

Moisturize


Some skin care products arranged next to flowers
Charisse Kenion

Please moisturize your face, I’m begging you. No matter what season it is, you need to moisturize. Do not try to come at me saying you don’t want to moisturize your skin because it is oily, because you’re exactly who I am talking to. However, with it being warmer, you probably don’t want to slather on a thick moisturizer. Thinner products that will still provide a lot of moisture without feeling heavy are your best friend, especially after being sweaty. I love the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel, but it does have a pretty strong scent, so if you don’t want a scented product, Cetaphil and CeraVe have two equally as wonderful moisturizers. I honestly cannot stress moisturizing enough, especially during spring break, because so many things with dry your face out like swimming, drinking, traveling, the heat, etc. I promise your face will thank you.

Drink Water

I’m going to sound like everyone’s mom for a second, so bear with me. DRINK WATER AND LOTS OF IT. Your skin will thank you, if you are of legal drinking age your liver and kidneys will thank you, and so will the rest of your body. Sweating in the hot sun can easily dehydrate you, trust me I’ve been there too many times. Keeping water on hand to drink throughout the day will keep you from a potential trip to the ER. Drinks like Powerade or Gatorade are also great because they help to replace the electrolytes in your body. Water will also help your skin from getting dehydrated as well, since it is your largest organ, in addition to flushing out the toxins from the Fireball you decided to drink.

Lip Balm

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a very close relationship with lip balm. I always have some with me and can be found frequently applying it. I feel as though, because of this, I am a bit of a professional in this realm, much to the dismay of my bank account. Getting a sunburn on your lips is one of the worst feelings ever though, so if you don’t put sunscreen anywhere else, please at least put it on your lips. Chapstick is always reliable if you want something super easy to find that is cheap, but if you can get to somewhere that sells Jack Black products, I recommend their lip balm. One of my friends introduced it to me this past summer and while it is a bit pricey for a lip balm, it smells amazing, has a high SPF, and leaves your lips super moisturized.

Now, I know I have mentioned sunscreen a billion times already but I’m going to say it one more time—put on sunscreen!! Sunscreen is way cheaper than that medical bill you’re going to get hit with if you end up with skin cancer and you are way more likely to look as great as Jennifer Aniston when you’re 51. Plus, vacation is way more fun when you’re not in pain from the sunburn you got day one and can’t find any Aloe Vera!

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Mikayla is a senior at FSU majoring in Political Science with a minor in Communications. She loves chai lattes, reading books, musicals, and waffles. In her free time you can find her curled up in a cozy blanket, napping, or trying to pet an animal (including the ones she shouldn't.)
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