Thursday, April 25, 2013

A to Z: U and V are for...UV!

Cheating? Maybe. Creative? Oh, I think yes.

Today's post is all about something near and dear to my heart: Sunlight.

I'll be the first to tell you that I spent a good portion of my senior year of college tanning. Yes, me. The pale-skinned, easy-to-sunburn redhead. I would slather on a thin layer of low SPF and lay out in the sun for at least an hour, sometimes more, taking a few chances to jump into the pool to cool off. 

Although my skin got slightly darker, I did start to notice a few side effects. First off, my skin started getting really oily. Whether it was from the sunscreen or the sunlight, I don't know. But it got to the point where I would have to use oil blotting sheets several times a day. Normally, my skin isn't that oily. In fact, it's a little on the dry side.

I also started getting serious heat problems. I would be in my air conditioned apartment and suddenly feel like I was back out in the sun again. Frying. I would have to shower off to deal with it. 

Then came the acne, the hair turning from red to blonde.

Sure, the skin color was nice. I don't like looking like the underside of a trout. But then my dad came home with skin cancer. And that was the day I called it quits. I stopped hanging out poolside unless I was actually hanging out. 

And from then on, I wore nothing less than 30 SPF. I still won't.

I've had a history with bad sunburn. Once, it was so awful, it ruined an entire vacation with my then boyfriend/now husband's family. I spent the rest of that week trapped inside the beach house, miserable. 

Now that I'm a little older and have all of that knowledge to pull from, I'm super careful about sun exposure. I still like sitting out in the sun, soaking up the vitamins, reading, listening to music. But I don't do it purely to tan now. I don't want to be 40 or 50 and look like I'm 80, y'know?

As if reading my mind, Birchbox has been putting out all sorts of videos about sunscreen and SPF lately. And I really like them. I'm slowly wrapping my mind around the fact that it's something I have to do to keep my skin healthy. Limit sun exposure and always wear some form of SPF.

My general routine? My moisturizer has SPF 15. As does my foundation powder. My chapstick, also, is a great protector. And if I know I'm going to be in the sun for a while, I always don my Neutrogena Ultra Sheer that I mentioned earlier. Usually, 30 SPF. 70 if I know I'm going to be out for a while.

Seriously, guys. I know that it's super popular to look tan and glowing and golden. But be safe. There's no reason that something as fleeting as a good tan should ruin your skin later. 

Thanks for reading!

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