Monday, June 09, 2008

I Don’t Get It

We’ve been experiencing a heat wave here in Rhode Island. I, of course, am reveling in it because I am part reptilian. I’ve been looking forward to summer all year long, and it’s here—with a vengeance. In the winter I am on the constant search for one of those plug in rocks that iguanas rest on, only I want one that is large enough that I could lounge on comfortably and long for days like these.

When the weather heats up, I pile on the sunscreen. I wear a body lotion that has sun protection in it, and I keep a can of spray on sunscreen in the Jeep for the days I ride with the top down. Over the weekend Todd and I worked on the boat and we coated each other with SPF 70 before we started our day working in the heat. I’ve become obsessed with sunscreen, have even studied up on the ingredients that make sunscreen work, and often inspect the back of Todd’s neck for the slightest shade of pink on a sunny day. I have never set my eyes on a tanning booth, let alone laid down in one to get a fake bake, it’s my sincere hope that I never end up with melanoma and that my skin will never look like an old alligator boot from prolonged sun exposure.

Tonight I went to the gym after work and overheard some women talking about their sunburns from the weekend. One woman said “Oh, my face was so swollen from the sunburn. I don’t know how it happened, I was wearing SPF 6. I had to put ice on my face all day long to get the swelling to go down.”

Then another said, “I know, right? I got so sunburned on my Caribbean cruise. I don’t know how it happened, I was wearing 4.”

They went on and on, comparing sunburn stories, until I couldn’t stand it anymore, “You guys do realize that SPF 4 is NOTHING even in Rhode Island, right?”

“Well, that’s why I wear 6,” the first woman replied.

I cannot believe, that with all the information we have available to us and with all the warnings we get year in and year out about sun exposure that there are these people out there who aren’t protecting themselves from the sun? I just wanted to grab this woman by the shoulders and say “You are killing your skin with your measly SPF 6. Your face will look like an old handbag by the time you are 50 from all the sun exposure. How do you not know this? If your face is swollen from a sunburn, do you have any idea how much damage you’ve done?”

Ladies and gentlemen, coat on the sunscreen. Getting a tan is not worth it.

Public service announcement now over.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Taoist Biker said...

Wow. I've gotten burned to the point of blisters before (first time I went to the beach after I buzzed my hair. OUCH.) But I've never heard of your face swelling because of sunburn. Holy frijoles!

I've got a coworker who's a moderately attractive person, but who has skin like cheap leather. And she's barely 40. She says she tans because her doctor told her that she's naturally SO fair that it's better for her to go to a tanning bed regularly than to take the blistering she used to get every year. oooookay.

June 10, 2008 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Beej said...

TB, you need to tell this co-worker to get another doctor. No doctor is going to recommend using a tanning bed. Ever. At all.

The only thing that fair people can do is pile on the spf and sit in the shade. And you know what? I used to work with a 50 y/o woman who looked not even 40. Why? B/c she stays out of the fricken sun!

June 10, 2008 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger *~*Cece*~* said...

I JUST went out at lunch to buy a HUGE tube of sunscreen! We're going to the beach, Downtown Disney and the swapmeet this seekend. Not to mention our week in Mexico coming up in a couple of weeks so we're gonna need it!

June 10, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

SPF 4?1?!? What the heck is the point?!?!?

I wear at least SPF 30 and bought SPF 70 when I went to Vegas. I burn so easily that I do all I can to protect myself. The nephew of a friend of mine died from melanoma and I cannot imagine having my family go through that. Besides, I hate the pain of sunburns!

June 10, 2008 at 8:51 PM  

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