Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sun Safety

With the onset of the summer (and the upcoming landscape project) it's that time again where we all must remember sun safety. Myself about 15 years ago would be scoffing and laughing at this sun safety blog.

You see, I am a recovering tanner. Yes that's right, a recovering tanner! They are very similar to other common recovering addicts, you know recovering smokers, recovering alcoholic, recovering drug addict, you get the picture.

Years ago, at age 14, I started my addiction to the sun. My friend in high school thought it would be great to start tanning to get some "color" during the winter months. I went to high school in South Dakota, so those of you from the Midwest know that we barely see the sun during the winter months. And thus was my first little taste of tanning and it became an addiction.

Every winter I would hit the tanning beds and "get my golden bronze on." In the summer, we would lay out by the lake slathered in baby oil. I felt like I looked better with my tan and without it, I just a pasty white skinny girl with thin hair. This is how most addictions start, right? Something makes you feel better about yourself so you continue it. Well, this continued until about the age of 23 and for some reason (I think I ran out of money) I stopped tanning. I didn't tan for a couple years after that. I actually started to become pretty anti-tanning bed about this time. Living in Dallas, it was very difficult to be my pasty white self, surrounded by tall blonds with their golden bronzed skin. I survived and I kept my white skin and pressed on...until my wedding.

At age 25 I was engaged and decided that this would be my last and final time I would go in a tanning bed. I had survived years of tanning with no great repercussions. No skin fungus picked up from the bed, minimal freckles, no "sun spots", life was good! One more little session of tanning in the beds will be fine. Or so I thought...I now bare the mark of the lovely tanning bed on my forehead forever. Tanning for my wedding will always be remembered by this lovely "sun spot" I bare on my forehead.
Not to mention, my freckles have increased ten fold. I had the spot checked out by a dermatologist and luckily it is not skin cancer. Just darkening of the skin from years of sun exposure. It's a terrible mark that really bothers me, but I like to think of it as a constant reminder to to always practice Sun Safety.

I have a few guidelines now with the onset of summer (and really in the winter too). Here is my list of Sun Safety must haves:

Olay Complete SPF Defense Daily UV Moisturizer

A MUST is a daily SPF lotion that you apply every day. You don't necessarily have to buy the Olay brand, many stores make a generic, but the SPF is a must. If you apply it every morning, you don't even think about it. Plus, if you use powder foundation it applies more evenly if there has been lotion put on your skin.

Coppertone Continuous Spray SPF 30
For as many sunburns I have had on my back, arms and shoulders, this stuff is a lifesaver. I just hate taking time to rub lotion in. With this stuff, I just give myself a quick spray. Easy and Simple!

Baseball Cap
Oh, the baseball cap. I use to wear this big sun hat, but I found the brim was just too big. The baseball cap is perfect. I try to wear the hat at all points that I am outside, gardening, running, walking the Giz...everything.


I just really hate squinting. I don't know how often you can get skin cancer around your eyes, but wrinkles from squinting I am SURE you can get. I wear my sunglasses nonstop!

Well, that's my must haves for proper sun safety. I figure I have probably aged many of years already from my years of tanning. Now and going forward, I am hoping to reverse that process or at least stop it. Every little bit helps right?


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