Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here Comes The Sun, And I Say...It's Not Alright

When is someone gonna invent a sunscreen pill? 'Cause clearly the lotion stuff isn't working for me.

I don't get it. As a kid, I burned once every summer, but then tanned. And that was back in the day when my mother slathered herself in Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil with ingredients about as sunblocking as a can of Crisco and didn't even know what sunscreen was. Those were also the days when our moms smoke and drank while they were pregnant and didn't employ or enforce car seats or booster seats or even seat belts for that matter.

How did we survive to adulthood?

Anyway, I'm no stranger to sunburns. I didn't inherit my mom's Cherokee coloring. But it used to be that it didn't keep happening over and over in any giving summer. But right now, after a vacation to the beach and a couple of days a week at the pool, the skin on my arms, toes, and nose is what appears to be a permanent red.

My poor shnoz has "future melanoma removal" written all over it. And my toes...dear Lord, my poor toes. They have been replaced by cherry tomatoes.

I am trying. I started with an SPF 30. I got burned. Even though I had seen on one of those consumer advocacy shows that air on the news that an SPF 30 was really all the protection a normal human needs. I reapply every hour. I tried an SPF 50. But no matter what I do, I burn every time I get in the sun.

I am at a loss.

Is this some random gift of the aging process that wasn't in the brochure?

Short of wrapping myself mummy-like and buying a large, ridiculous hat that makes me look like a dork twice my age instead of just a 30-something dork, what can I do? I love to swim. It's hot. I don't have to go back to work for a couple more weeks. I have a five-year-old. I am not going to give up my two days a week at the pool.

But my skin is going to rebel. No way is it in my genetic code to sustain this kind of cellular damage...I had cancer once. That's how my cells roll.

Help me out here, fellow 30-somethings...is this a normal aging thing? Or is it very personal evidence in support of global climate change? Know any good sunscreens? Got any aloe?

2 comments:

dd said...

Other than dipping yourself into a container of 50+ sunscreen, you could try the swim shirts/shorts.
We went to the lake a couple years ago with someone that was on a medicine that kept her from tanning and she had on a pair of board shorts, a long sleeve sun shirt, and a big floppy hat....it was really kind of "surfy".
That way you would just have to slather up your tootsies! :-)

Robert K. said...

I feel your pain. I don't even have any native american blood to give me an excuse not to burn--it's all English and Irish, both a pale and pasty folk. I seriously use SPF 85, and still try to stay in the shade as much as possible, and I've been lucky so far this summer.