Don’t Get Burned this Spring

Saturday I got up and saw the sun streaming through the house and I couldn’t wait to get outside. Hair up in a pony tail, sunscreen, lip balm, and I was off. After a trip to Costco and Home Depot I had plants, gardening soil, and determination. Four hours later I had a pink back and shoulders.

It’s easy to forget about proper sun care in this weather. With a nice sunny day one day and gray skies the next, sunscreen isn’t always on our minds.

I started the day with a long-sleeved shirt, but halfway through the planting process I took that shirt off and just wore the tank top that had been underneath. Did I go inside and put sunscreen on my shoulders and back? No, I did not. Why not? Because I was unprepared. I was so excited to be outside that I didn’t even think about it. The job took longer than I anticipated and I kept thinking I’d be done soon. Had I had a small bag near me with a spray sunscreen I could have sprayed my back and shoulders. Now I have to resort to after-sun care. (Luckily my face is in good shape thanks to Skinceuticals Sheer Physical Fusion, which I slathered on in the morning, and the baseball cap I wore all day.)

So my gift to you this spring is my hard earned wisdom: stock up and be ready. Get a spray like Coola Organic’s continuous mist and keep it in your bag with you. This will allow you to spray shoulders, legs, and back while on the go. Why Coola and not some drugstore spray? Because Coola is organic and if you are going to breathe in a spray please make sure it doesn’t have harmful chemicals in it. There are a lot of soccer, lacrosse, and baseball games ahead for many of you. You can spray yourself and your athlete after a few hours outside.

Keep Coola’s ER+ Radical Recovery After Sun Lotion on hand.  This lotion will provide instant relief should you accidentally get too much sun and keep your skin from peeling.


Understanding SPF

Understanding SPF is also key. An SPF of 15 might work perfectly well for one person and not work nearly well enough for another. Why? We all have different pigmentation to our skin. I may burn outside in half an hour with no sun protection and another person might take two hours to burn with no protection. So if I use an SPF 15 I will get 15 times my normal burn time, or 450 minutes. However, sunscreen is really only at its peak effectiveness for two hours. That means that I have to reapply that sunscreen in 120 minutes or I may still burn. This is where choosing different types of sunscreens to keep on hand is important. After I put my makeup on I don’t want to slather sunscreen on, so I keep a makeup setting sunscreen spray in my bag.

Lastly, which SPF percentage should you use? SPF 15 filters out 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent, and SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent. Those differences may seem negligible, but to those with light skin or those with a history of skin cancer, the extra percentages will make a difference.

I am packing my sunscreen bag and keeping it near the door. I will be prepared for whatever sunny day calling throws my way.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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