There are many words people may use to describe me. “Bronzed,” “tan,” and “sun kissed” are not among them. In other words I’m P.A.L.E. However, coming off a 10 day vacation in South Florida, I may have gotten enough color to be considered “not translucent.” #victory. Honestly though, the greatest victory was that the color I achieved was not red. While I love laying out on the beach with a good book as much as anyone, I couldn’t fathom doing it without a hat on my head and covered from head to toe in SPF 30+.
While in Florida, I read this article from Well + Good which asked whether avoiding a tan is a subversive beauty act. I found that question in itself to be a entirely ridiculous. In my opinion, taking care of one’s skin is one of the most overt beauty acts a person can make. Slathering on some sunscreen is more long-sighted than any mascara or lip stick could dream to be.
My beach day sunscreen ritual (lotion first, spray for touch ups, oil free for face, reapplication every hour and after going in the water) is something I don’t give much thought to. I know what works for me so that I don’t burn but I don’t think I ever thought about how sunscreen works or if my sun could be damaged even if I don’t burn. This video really opened my eyes about how sun damage is not always visible to the naked eye and how sunscreen works to protect against that damage.
I remember in college jokingly telling my tanning-bed addicted friends that they may look good now but I’m going to look great when I’m 50. However, I had it all wrong. By making that statement, I implied that I didn’t currently look good because I wasn’t a sun/”UV light”-worshipper. There is no depreciated standard of beauty for fair skinned people nor any shortage of safe tanning options. My skin looked great then, it looks great now, and when I’m 50 I’ll be 50. I may be fair skinned but I can still glow.