Is not looking like a leathery lizard-face relevant to your interests? Then quit it with all that sun-worshiping.
At 18, I was immortal. My skin was dewy, and when I had a tan, flawless. All summer I would schedule my daily activities around one essential goal: to lie on the balcony, greased with baby oil at noon sharp, also known as prime tanning time. (In Canada the sun puts in a pretty poor effort, so it’s not as awful as it sounds). I also used to smoke, stay out all night and generally abuse my body. Immortality is just super, isn’t it?
Then one day, to my horror, I spotted a line running perpendicular to my mouth. I briefly considered never smiling again, but when I realised that was impossible, I decided it was time to look my mortality in the face and make sure my single wrinkle remained very lonely.
I started to obsessively slather myself with moisturiser and sun screen, I kicked my sun tanning habit, and since moving to Australia, (good hair be damned) I’ve even started wearing a hat. Over the years I’ve fine-tuned my sun protection regime so that it’s a near-perfect work of mastery, and last summer, my efforts were validated: I escaped the season without getting even the most delicate of sunburns. And now I’ll share all my secrets with you.
Hello. We all know this one. Put it on your face. Put it on your neck. Your hands. Your chest. Your shoulders. The tops of your feet before you put on your sandals. It can all be burned, and it will all get wrinkly if you’re not careful.
My favourite sunscreen for face is Dermaogica’s Super Sensitive Shield in SPF 30. I put it on under my make-up, and over my moisturiser. I usually let it soak in for a couple of minutes before putting on make-up or else the make-up slides off and disappears.
For body, I’ll use any SPF 30+ that’s hanging around the house, but I love Banana Boat Sensitive. It’s pretty water proof, seems to last all day and it doesn’t leave me feeling like I’ve been dipped in old deep-fryer oil. This is an important consideration when it’s 40 degrees out and no matter how slowly you move, sweat pours mercilessly from every inch of your body.
I remember when I worked in banking, a ridiculous doctor told me that I should wear a hat whenever I went outside, even when I was working. I could hardly contain my snorts of laughter as I imagined the nasty glances I would get from my colleagues for being so weird as to wear a hat with a suit. It was a moot point, because I worked such long hours I only saw the sun through tinted windows, but these days I spend quite a lot of time outside at playgrounds, so a hat is important, and happens to go much better with my outfits. Take it from me: quitting a finance job has endless happy outcomes.
People have teased me mercilessly about my giant raffia visor, but we’ll see who’s laughing when we’re all 80 and my face is as smooth as porcelain, and they look like iguana-people.
True story: my friend Colin had just finished making fun of my visor when a cool girl passed us and asked me where I got it. After I laughed at him, I forgave him his ignorance of cool sunhat trends. After all, he does live in London. What does he know about the sun?
I recently lost my treasured Gucci sunglasses in a move. They had transparent dusty rose frames, and were the perfect size for my face. I kept them in wiped down perfection in their hard shell case when I wasn’t wearing them, and now the creep who found them is reaping the benefits of seven years of careful maintenance.
This summer I kept thinking I’d find them, and anyway I couldn’t really afford to spend hundreds on new sunglasses (the only bad thing about quitting a finance job), so I thought I’d go without for a season. Worst idea ever. I found some new lines around my eyes and when I told my husband about them, he coldly informed me that he’s had crow’s feet since he was a teenager. Humph. He doesn’t wear sunglasses, so it serves him right.
I bit the bullet and bought some Marc by Marc Jacobs replacements, but nothing will ever fill the void left by my beautiful lost sunnies.
Sun dresses are so cute, but crispy-burnt, sun-spotted shoulders are not. I have an awesome, soft chambray shirt that I put on over my sun dresses and tie at the waist. I like to think it makes me look wasp-waisted, but mainly I wear it to hide my shoulders from the sun.
Australia has made me so sun paranoid, I probably have a Vitamin D deficiency, but who cares about vitamins when you can look as immortal as you actually were when you were 18?
If you can’t live without a tan, check out this handy post on how to get the look without the skin cancer and wrinkles.
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