Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as a healthy suntan. Sure, you think you look better and if that’s the case, run—don’t walk—to your nearest health and beauty aids store (the place that used to be called the “drugstore”) and get yourself some spray tanner. I am not very adept at anything that requires you to get naked and spray on with a steady hand, so instead, I prefer the ghostly white look usually reserved for Mary, Queen of Scots and the like. From what I understand, spray tanner has come a long way and you can actually achieve the look of the sun-kissed with a little practice and all for under twenty bucks. What could be better?
While you’re at your local health and beauty aid store, pick up two additional items. One is Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer dry-touch sunblock with helioplex and an SPF of 55. This stuff is the best around, and not just for us gals. Men can wear it, too. It goes on dry and protects your face and neck from the sun’s harmful rays fifty-fives times longer than if you weren’t wearing it. It feels like your favorite foundation and has the added benefit of protecting you from sun damage or worse.
The other item you should pick up is a good sunscreen. Around here, we like Ocean’s Potions (recommended by Dr. Anna, oncologist extraordinaire) or Bull Frog, both of which provide such good coverage that even I, seemingly a descendant of Mary, Queen of Scots, can sit out without risking a sunburn.
You know the rest: get a hat, limit your sun exposure, reapply sunscreen if outdoors for a long period of time or after exertion. Make an appointment now to see your dermatologist for a skin check Or, if you’re like me and never want to hear the word “biopsy” again unless it’s on an episode of “House,” invest in some UV-protectant clothing like my sexy swim tights or my mock-turtleneck swim shirt. Oh, you laugh. I can hear you. But I came back from tropical Bermuda last year with nary a red blotch on my fair skin and that’s saying something.
Over 60,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year and that’s not counting just your garden variety skin cancers. You can’t change what you did to yourself in the past, but you can change how you behave going forward. The environment has made it so that we’re getting more of the sun’s rays than ever before, but we are lucky to enjoy the scientific breakthroughs that allow us to enjoy the outdoors without risking harm to ourselves.
Be sun safe, Stiletto faithful!