I am a redhead with very, very fair skin. I used to hate the beach -- not because it isn't beautiful or fun, but because invariably I ended up sunburned. Happily times have changed! The world is kinder to those of us who can't or don't want to worship the sun. And I am happy to report that after ten days on the beach and in the water: I did not get sunburned at all! Here's how I did it...
Swim Leggings: $55
These are the best -- especially for snorkeling! I bought mine from Lands End, but they are available elsewhere, too. You don't even have to think about applying and reapplying sunscreen to your legs when you are out in the water except on your ankles and feet. And for those of you who are modest, they are a nice alternative to a typical swimming suit.
I wore them every day. My only complaint: they take a long time to dry out. But that's a minor issue.
Rash Guard: $35
I used to just wear a long-sleeved t-shirt when I went swimming. But surfers have worn rash guards for years. Now I am thinking like a surfer! A rash guard is a shirt made from quick-drying fabric designed to be worn in the water. It is comfortable, practical, and it means no sunburned spots on your back where you missed with sunscreen. I took two: one from Lands End and one from Amazon.com. The Lands End version was much nicer.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Facial Sunscreen Fluid for Sensitive Skin
Not long before our trip, I had my regularly-scheduled dermatologist appointment. When I asked about his favorite daily sunscreen, he immediately recommended La Roche-Posay's Anthelios 60. I love it! I wear it every day under my makeup, and it isn't greasy. In Hawaii, our whole family used it daily on our faces and necks. It lasts a long time, and a little goes a long way.
I admit: it is really expensive for sunscreen. But in my opinion, it is worth it. My current bottle has lasted nearly six months of daily use on my face and neck. I have never liked wearing sunscreen until now. I buy mine at Amazon.com, but it is available other places, too.
Sun Hat: $28
I have searched for years for the perfect sun hat. I have a big head, and many hats don't even fit my head. But I love my hat from Scala Collezione. I found it in the gift shop at the Huntington Library on a particularly sunny and brutal day. It is packable, light weight, and pretty cute. And it ALMOST fits my head. There is a drawstring inside for those of you who are blessed with smaller noggins.