Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunsmart's "Love your Body" Blog Carnival

I've been known to say more than once, that I think skin is beautiful in every colour.. except orange. I have never really understood the obsession with tanning that some people have.

I understand that an obsession with paleness can be just as damaging, especially if you don't naturally have pale skin. That said, if they started opening "fake pallor" salons where I could make myself even paler without doing damage? I think I'd be there..

But that's because I am pale already. It's the cards I have been dealt, and I am a big believer in working with what you've got. Whatever your skin tone, light or dark or anywhere in between - learn to live with it. Love it for what it is! You're probably way more gorgeous than you think you are.

It took me a long time to learn to love my pale skin. I don't tan. If I get too much sun (and that can take less than 10 minutes on a high UV day) I go red like a lobster, then (if my sunburn is bad) I peel and itch, and then my skin is pale again, perhaps with a couple of extra freckles. I won't tan, ever, even if I wanted to.

I got told when I was little that one day my freckles would all join up and I would have a perfect tan! I believed that for a while...

Pale I am, though, and pale I will remain. I try to stay out of the sun as much as possible, and I never, ever leave the house without sunscreen.

Regardless of your skin tone - the sun's harmful UV rays cause ageing. Some say that up to 80% of wrinkles are caused by the sun! Unnecessary ageing is probably something we all want to avoid - and that's just the cosmetic reason, there's also the risk of melanoma.

So - best sunscreens? I like to avoid the ones that feel greasy on the skin, I don't like the feeling of dust or sand sticking to me. Luckily for us the greasy sunscreens of our childhoods are only one of the many options available these days!

Sunscreens I use and like:

  • Hamilton Sunscreen 30+ Spray
At around $7 a bottle this stuff is cheap and good. It goes on really quickly and easily in a spray format, it soaks right in and doesn't feel greasy on the skin at all. It's really good for kids because it is so quick and easy to apply. This is my go-to sunscreen if I am headed out for the day. 

  • Invisible Zinc
Not such a cheapie but a great range of products. These feel really good on the skin and there's all sorts of creams, skincare and tinted moisturisers in the range. I find they last a long time, so even though they're not a discount brand I think they offer good value for money. 

In addition to these I always check the SPF rating of my foundation - being able to apply foundation and sun protection in one step is a great way to go, saves me time in the morning and means I am always wearing some sun protection. Just don't forget your neck, chest/bust and hands - any exposed skin!

I also often take a parasol out with me. My favourites are from the Boston Umbrella Company (which I have blogged about before!). In Melbourne having an umbrella is always a smart idea, as the weather can change any time, and one that is pretty enough to act as a parasol is a wise choice. At many outdoor festivals & markets I have been at I could have sold my parasol for a small fortune dozens of times over to envious attendees who were sweltering in the sun! :)

Wherever you are in the beautiful human rainbow of skin colours, remember, that ball of fire in the sky is not entirely your friend! Love your body, and love your skin!

Whatever you're doing this summer, do it smart, and do it in style.. the lobster look or leathery sun-damaged skin is NEVER in fashion. :)

This blog entry is a part of SunSmart's "Love your Body" Blog Carnival.

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