As it is Sun Awareness Week, I thought I'd chart my relationship with the sun throughout the years and what I have come to know through working in the beauty industry.
Not fussed about tanning obviously, I just wanted to play. My Mum putting suncream on me was a hassle and got in the way of play time, though she forced me to stay still for a few minutes in regular intervals. However, I would then head straight back to the pool, probably washing it all off.
One particular incident stands out - on holiday in Florida, wearing suncream on my face meant that my eyes stung when I opened them underwater. So I decided I didn't want suncream on my face. Idiot. I work up the next morning with my face a complete blister which I then had to cover in Aloe Vera and slowly it all started to peel. I basically gave myself a peel, but the amount of damage I did to my skin I don't even want to think about.
LOVED the sun. Couldn't get enough. I'd always wear suncream but I would sit out for hours, desperately trying to get my fair English skin to tan. And it did, eventually. But there were numerous incidents of random bits of burnt skin so sore and lobster red. However, getting a tan was too important. I thought I looked better with a tan and I couldn't be bothered with the 'fuss' of fake tan. During revision, I sat outside from morning until the sun went down so that I got the maximum 'sun hours'. I even had sunbed sessions which I regret a LOT now.
I've come to respect the sun. When you work in beauty and you hear all the time how bad and ageing the sun is for you skin, you will avoid it. I try to wear SPF as much as possible and in the summer will carry it around with me to reapply. I avoid sunbathing in my garden as I just don't see the point in risking sun damage and ageing my skin when fake tans have come a long way since my teenage years, and the latest ones hardly smell, don't streak and look natural. I'm probably vitamin D deficient because I've fallen out of love with the sun.
Don't get me wrong, I still love to feel the sun on me and will sit out with friends but I'll try to keep in the shade or at least have my face out of the sun. If I burn, I get very annoyed with myself. I love summer and sunshine makes me happy but I won't sit out for hours on end trying to get a tan. It's just not worth it and I hope my skin will look less wrinkly in years to come because of it.
Not only is there the ageing and damaging effect of the sun, but of course there is also the possibility of skin cancer. My Grandad had it, thankfully it was removed, but skin cancer is something you can have treated and be cured of if you recognise the signs:
- a mole changing shape, particularly if the outline becomes irregular;
- a mole changing colour – becoming darker, patchy or multi-shaded;
- an existing mole becoming larger than 6mm (the size of the blunt end of a lead pencil) or a new mole growing quickly;
- a mole starting to itch or become painful;
- a mole bleeding or becoming crusty; or
- a mole looking inflamed
(taken from http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/check-your-skin-change-sun-awareness-week)
Has anyone else had the same rollercoaster relationship with the sun?!