8 Ways Spas Can Help Protect You from Sunburn

by  Melisse Gelula | Aug 2, 2010
Spa / kzenon/iStock

Spas are in the health and wellness business, not just in the pampering business. So I find it super irritating when they overlook something as crucial as sun protection. I’m not talking poolside umbrellas, although those are vital. I’m referring to sunscreen.

The risk of skin cancer is enormous: 1 in 4 Americans will get it, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. So I’m making some recommendations for when and how sunscreen might be better doled out and slathered on at spas.

First one? Make sure to pack plenty of it! A 3.5 ounce bottle is good for about one day by the pool, considering you have to reapply it every 90 minutes. Come prepared.

After a facial treatment: If the sun hasn’t set, your facial should end with a coating of sunscreen. Don’t invite the damage you were just trying to remedy.

After a body scrub: You really don’t want your just-exfoliated skin exposed to the sun. Be sure to slather on a shot glass worth or two.

In my spa locker: How about a free sample in my locker from one the brands you sell in the spa boutique along with my robe and slippers?

In my guest room: Sunscreen with an SPF 30 can be included in the amenities like shampoo and conditioner. P.S.: I’m also still waiting for toothpaste.

In my minibar: Please give me the option to buy sunscreen from you.

Poolside: Some resorts like the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach have pool butlers that circle the chaises and offer to coat you with sunscreen. What about providing it poolside in single-serving-size packets or pump dispensers?

Spa or pool changing rooms: All spas should provide sunscreen in the locker room. I’d forfeit the drugstore-grade hair gel and can of deodorant for something that can actually prevent disease. Fairmont Mayakoba stocks giant pump bottles. Impressed!

Cute little weather reports: Whether slipped under your door, left on the bed at turndown, or handed out at breakfast, it’s worth reminding guests to use sunscreen and reapply every 90 minutes. Americans who work fifty weeks a year indoors shouldn’t have to spend the other two red as a lobster. Many have no idea that they can burn in as little as 15 minutes.

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