Paint it On: Our Sunscreen Hack

Paint it On: Our Sunscreen Hack

It’s summer. It’s HOT. There’s not much else that I can say about summer in New Orleans that hasn’t already been said!

We try to beat the heat in all the usual ways, but whether my kids are swimming at the pool or splashing through water day at camp, the only way to fight the sun is with sunscreen. Now, I don’t know about your kids, but not a single one of mine jumps for joy at the mention of sunscreen.

What makes it even harder for our family is that two of my kids have eczema and very sensitive skin. The aerosol spray kind of sunblock stings their skin, so we don’t use that, but slathering on the liquid stuff is just a messy nightmare. But year after year, we’ve done it that way, unaware of any alternatives.

That is, until I discovered the paintbrush hack.

I’d be lying to you if I said I thought of this idea all by myself. I can’t remember where I saw it first – Facebook? TikTok? — but someone much smarter than I put it on the Internet long before I wrote this blog. I’m only here to confirm its usefulness and affirm what a game changer it was for us. And as someone who can’t stand the term “hack” when it comes to just using everyday objects in new or creative ways … I support this hack!

All I did was buy the biggest, cheapest makeup brush I could find. Now, when it’s time to apply sunblock, I squirt it on the kids, hand over the brush, and let them “paint” themselves all over! When they’re done, I go back in with the brush and make sure there’s full coverage. It makes it fun, gives them buy-in for their own sun protection, keeps them still, and leaves my own hands clean. We’ve been doing this all summer and so far, no complaints! At the end of the day, we clean the brush and are ready to go for the next day.

You may have already seen this hack online, but if you’re looking for someone to vouch for it, here I am! We do prefer to use a roll-on sunscreen stick for their faces, but for everywhere else, the brush is fair game. Instead of fighting me about sunblock, my kids now ask for it because they want to “paint” it on. May your summers be sunny and your skin be protected!

Erica Tran
Erica lives in Kenner with her husband Michael and her three sons, Benjamin, Joshua, and Elijah. After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost toys and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial about just how messy her house is.


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