Westie Insider Roundup: a Few of Our Favorite Sun Protection Essentials for the Human.
If you own a Westie, chances are you are both frequently outside enjoying the elements – especially in summer. My Westie loves kicking tennis or small dodge balls at a nearby enclosed tennis court and taking walks through a local college campus. On sunny days, I like to sit on the front porch and read while Sally the Westie is attached to a long lead. It’s essential to protect yourself (the human) while outside under pulsing sun rays.
(We are big fans of sun hats with wide brims. They shield your face during early morning potty runs, and they provide ample protection throughout the day. We wear our big hats going in and out of the store and running errands. I prefer to use my widest brimmed hat for early morning outings. Who wakes up and immediately slathers on sunscreen? Not us.)
This double brimmed, reversible hat provides incredible sun protection. It’s a smaller hat with a detachable, larger brim attached by buttons. The removable brim is what provides ample coverage from the sun. (It’s the mother of all wide brim sun hats.) This hat offers the most shade compared to any styles in our current rotation; it feels like you are wearing an umbrella. This sun hat’s largest brim measures 7.5 inches. Westie Insider was surprised by the thick, sturdy fabric. This hat may be too hot if you intend to sit in the sun all day.
It’s our go-to hat for quick morning bathroom outings when it’s too early to for sunscreen, but the rays are already beating down. (Some of us are not morning people and like to go back to sleep after the Westie has gone outside and eaten breakfast.)
When you don’t need as much sun protection, or would rather not have an umbrella atop your head, detach the button-on brim. Voila! You can now wear the smaller bucket hat. (This sun hat is also reversible.)
Con: There is one con to this protective sun hat – the fabric is a medium-thick canvas. On a 70-degree sunny day, it’s okay. However, it may be too hot and sweaty on a 95-degree afternoon sitting on the beach. Westie Insider loves this hat because of its superior sun protection; however, others may feel it’s too heavy and thick on a super hot day.
This practical style is unisex. The description on Amazon says – Safari Cap for Women – but a hat is a hat. Male and female members of our team all own and wear this style. It’s a Westie Insider favorite. This sun hat is a solid color with no patterns or decorations; its brim is non-detachable and measures 5 inches. The brim is wide enough for excellent sun protection, but it’s not as big and wide as the hat above. In other words, it doesn’t feel as if you are wearing an umbrella on your head.
Of all the sun hats recommended, this is our favorite for outdoor activities because it doesn’t block visibility too muchbut still provides excellent sun protection. It’s great for walks, hiking, gardening, the beach, etc. The list is endless. One small annoyance is the strap – it tends to pull around the neck area when the hat is off, but hanging from the back.
Women’s Packable sunhat is another favorite. Just as the title states, it’s easy to pack for a work trip or vacation. I purchased this style last year, and it’s in regular rotation. I toss this style on when I’ve applied sunscreen and need extra sun protection. If you are going to be outside for over a few minutes, sunscreen itself isn’t adequate UV and UVB protection; you nearly always need some style of hat with a wide brim. I like this style because it’s light in weight and the brim is amply wide without disrupting my line of vision.
Don’t be thrown off by ‘ponytail’ in this sunhat’s title. At first, I thought a fake ponytail was attached to the back. Fake hair attached to a hat sounded undesirable, to say the least – not my thing. It simply means there is a hole in the back to pull your ponytail through. Good to know.
Since this sun hat is so light, it easily blows off if you don’t utilize the cord. It comes with a chin cord – I keep mine unattached as I don’t like the feeling around my neck. So fair warning: if you don’t attach the cord, be prepared to hold onto the hat should a gust of wind arise.
It’s well documented we should wear sunscreen every day, even during winter months. As much as I take care of my skin, I admit I don’t wear it every single day. During the height of summer? Yes, I apply it daily – often even reapplying. Over the past 15 years, I’ve purchased and tested countless sunscreens – especially ones for the face. My two favorites specifically for the face are Bioderma Photo Max 50+ and Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk SPF 50+.
The Bioderma is trickier to purchase since I order it online from Spain and do not speak or read Spanish. Even though Skin Aqua ships from Japan, the ordering process is much easier since it’s available on Amazon.
Skin Aqua arrives in a small bottle, but I use it only on the face. (For neck, arms, and legs, I use a spray sunscreen from CVS that provides ample sun coverage.) If you are familiar with Asian sunscreens, you know this: Many Asian sunscreens contain a little ball inside which helps blend the ingredients upon shaking. Online skincare gurus all have their favorite Asian sunscreen, and I’ve tried nearly all of their recommendations. Skin Aqua is the only one that does not make my eyes water. Of course, I don’t apply sunscreen in my eyes, but I like to get it close to smile lines to prevent dark spots and deter more crows lines.
Skin Aqua is an elegant consistency and texture. In sunscreen-speak, that means it’s a smooth liquid, without being too thick, and applies to skin with no major mishaps. Most importantly, it leaves no visible white cast.
It is worth mentioning you may notice a light, white sheen after applying, but it nearly always dries down without leaving a trace of color. Your mileage may vary depending on skin tone. After application, your face looks dewy with a light sheen; don’t worry, it dries down well. If you notice any sort of white areas as it dries, lightly tap with your finger – don’t rub…tap.
If you wear makeup, apply this on clean skin first thing before base, concealer, powder, etc.
I purchase 2-3 bottles of Skin Aqua at a time and divide them between home, work, and a tote. After using nearly every recommended Asian sunscreen, this particular one receives five stars from Westie Insider. Don’t forget – we use this sunscreen only for the face and spray-on drugstore sunscreens for the rest of the body.
Remember, sunscreen is to be applied every season, not shelved and used only in summer. Technically, we should wear sunscreen every day. I know, I know – who wants to wear sunscreen on a rainy March day? I don’t. I do slap sunscreen on myself when shoveling snow and it’s a crystal clear day full of sunshine.
Sunscreen for Westies
At this time, Westie Insider has no recommendations when it comes to sunscreen for dogs. There are canine sunscreens on the market, but we have not tried them – we probably never will.
When it’s hot, use common sense. Don’t take your Westie for a walk when the sun is beating down and don’t leave them outside for longer than a potty break. We recently had a several day heat advisory, and I was shocked at people walking their dogs in the middle of the day when the heat index was above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The dogs looked stressed and uncomfortable. If you must exercise during the hottest days of the year, rise early or wait until dusk.
During heat advisories, my Westie’s tongue pokes out minutes after exiting for a potty break. Dogs sense heat in a higher capacity than humans. Chill out and relax with your Westie inside. Don’t be that person dragging a hot dog around on steaming blacktop when most humans are not even outside themselves.
There are cute brimmed hats for dogs with many positive reviews. On a whim, I ordered one. I probably should have sized up, but it doesn’t matter since it really doesn’t protect from the sun. While it’s adorable on Sally’s cute Westie head, I’m not sure if it provides sun protection; and would she even keep it on during a walk? The brim itself didn’t extend far enough to keep the sun off of her face. But it is snazzy, so I kept it for taking pictures.
Have fun outside with your Westie – sans heat advisory of course – and stay protected so you can enjoy many years together soaking up nature.