Sunday, June 11, 2006

Summer in the Sun

Okay, I won't even get into how horrible tanning beds are for your skin.
But it is summer, so I have to say a word or two about getting a tan.
You shouldn't tan. That' what they tell us.
But telling pale American women that they shouldn't get a tan is a bit like telling American teenagers not to have sex. Who's listening?
So, if you're going to tan (and yes, I am, not in a bed, but in the sun, and following these rules) try to do the following.
First, don't burn. We're not talking about looking old here - we're talking about skin cancer. So don't burn.
There are only 2 ways to avoid burning: stay out of the sun or use protection.
We know that you (and I) are not going to stay out of the sun. So use protection.
Get a good sunscreen - or really - get 2 good sunscreens - one for your body and a stronger one for your face. Get a hat or a visor and use it.
I haven't had the sun on my face since I was in my early twenties: you should see the difference between the skin on the back of my hand and that on my face (I'm 55 years old). I swear that the skin on my face looks like it did when I was 30 years old. The skin on the back of my hands makes me wince- I think it looks a good 10 years older than my age (at least).
Just don't tan your face. If you wear make-up, it's the easiest thing in the world to use a powder bronzer (get one that doesn't look orange), make sure to apply your powder blush - and no one will know. There are even some good self-tanners now for your face - Clarins makes a decent one. (I for one though get tired of having an uneven colour because part of it always washes off before some of the other parts - and my skin is way too delicate to exfoliate). But this one by Clarins (unlike many of the others) has a 15 protection rating as well.
About 3 years ago, I spent the summer beside my son's pool in Brazil and got the greatest tan (as safely as one can) except for my face. The bronzer worked fine and took less time to use than my foundation! (By the way, if you are in Brazil or Portugal, I highly recommend the sunscreens put out by O Boticario -a chain of perfume boutiques; they protect from burning, moisturize, and didn't break out my highly sensitive skin.)
Use the hat, but if it's too difficult to keep on, opt for the visor because you can wear it while you're in the water. This does not excuse you from using sunscreen however. You can and will get sunburned on the face (not to mention the unwanted tanning) on your face by the sun's reflection off the sand and water.
Have fun and relax in the sun!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice, what a coincidence! I talk about sun tanning and sun blocks too!! I guess it's summer and we should all enjoy a bit of the 'warmth' out there! Nice blog!