I am obsessed with sun protection. Obsessed. I will write about it until it gets boring. Probably it’s already boring. But it’s so important for both health and beauty that it must be said until it’s boring. Since it’s summer and we’re in the sun, it’s time for hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and even protective clothing. In India one summer, I made friends with someone local who kindly offered to show me around New Delhi. It was over 100 degrees so I came out in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. He looked at me nervously and asked if was going to change. I told it was too hot but he continued to look at me, shaking his head and then insisted that I cover up. I should have known, but I rushed there for work and didn’t read the books ahead of time to know that there are specific ideas of modesty not followed the same as in our culture. He told me I had to cover my arms and legs. When I pointed out that the women in traditional dress had the sides of their stomach showing he looked at me and waited for me to change (why I was questioning him I don't know. Maybe it was the heat).
So out I came in jeans and something over my sleeveless shirt and off we went. What I learned was that my clothing protected me from the sun, and also, that people in India cover up in light cotton for actual reasons beyond modesty. Apparently covering up in cotton clothing keeps sweat from evaporating and the skin cooler.
Since then I now generally cover up with that in mind and while I’m still not sure about it keeping me cooler, I do know it provides some protection (one of the beauties of NYC is that when I walk around the city and get too hot I just duck into a store).
And while I usually write posts to scare everyone about the dangers of the sun, I recently came across an interesting article that talks about the next level – not properly applying sun protection. When I read this I realized for someone so obsessed with sun protection, I fall short in the area of actually using it.
Here are the “10 Most Common Sunscreen Slip-ups” – the article feeds my obsession, but in a good way. I hope it helps you stay properly protected all summer long.