Gray Matter


Tanning and Sun Care - How Dark Do You Want to Be?

RT Cunningham | April 2, 2021 (UTC) | Culture, Health

tanning and sun care“Tanning and Sun Care” is one of Google’s AdSense ad categories. I understand the tanning part of it, but I have no idea what “sun care” is all about. Perhaps it refers to taking care of your eyes and your skin, other than tanning. I guess it doesn’t matter because today, I’m writing about tanning, ultraviolet light and sunglasses.

The Tanning Obsession

I don’t know why some people spend so much time trying to tan their skins. Maybe they think it looks healthier than white skin. I’m not ashamed of the fact that most of the areas of my body that stay covered all the time are white right now. I am, after all, a Caucasian male.

Before my parents, siblings and I moved to Hawaii in the early 1970s, one of my sisters tried to get me to lie down with her on a blanket in the backyard of our home every weekend. She wanted company while she worked on her tan. I could never stand to lie there for more than 15 minutes at a time and I didn’t do it very often.

It was around that time that she discovered “Coppertone Sudden Tan”. I can’t remember which of us tested a leg with that foam, but it didn’t look natural. That’s the last I remember of it. If you search for 1970s Coppertone commercials on YouTube, you’ll see what I mean.

While I lived in Hawaii, I spent a lot of time at various beaches. Most of the time it was with family, but not always. By the time we left Hawaii, I was dark in every place that wasn’t covered by swimming shorts. All of that occurred before sun exposure was linked to skin cancer.

I gradually became lighter over time. Some areas always stay tanned, like my arms, because they’re always exposed. I have never actively tried to stay tanned since leaving Hawaii in 1977.

Wearing Sunglasses

I wore eyeglasses before 2004. Consequently, I rarely wore sunglasses. After I had LASIK eye surgery, sunglasses became a necessity. Prescription eyeglasses, even though they were clear, protected my eyes from somewhat from sunlight. Since my bare eyes can’t handle bright sunlight by themselves, I wear sunglasses as often as possible when I’m outdoors these days.

Ultraviolet light penetrates cloud cover, so you can still get a sunburn when outdoors regardless of how much light is actually reaching you. Likewise, the ultraviolet light can also reach your eyes. If you wear regular eyeglasses, use clip-on sunglasses. Your eyes will thank you. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, you should wear sunscreen with the appropriate protection rating, with an SPF rating of up to 100.

I understand the desire to be outdoors. Unless it’s necessary, I think it’s a good idea to stay under some type of cover as much as possible. Portable canopies work well when there aren’t any physical structures with shade nearby. Take care of your skin, or you may suffer the consequences.

Photo Attribution: Silvia from Pixabay

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