I’ll be very honest here: I never really bothered to use sunscreen—unless I was at the beach or something—until I hit my 30s. I’m not an especially outdoorsy person, though I’m fond of long walks on not-too-hot days. I generally need to fry for a few hours under a tropical sun to burn at all, and I tan quickly. And I quite like the look of my skin when tan: I turn a burnished gold! But I never seek it out, of course.
Tanning easily and burning rarely sounds like a nice combo, doesn’t it? But in my early 30s, I started to notice that the more delicate areas of my skin—neck, chest, shoulders, backs of knees—would develop a rash within a half hour of being in even moderate sun, and even through thicker clothes! No burning and flaking, or even much redness—just an itchy, slightly bumpy reaction which lasts for a couple of days (ugh).
It appears to be a sun allergy, which can develop when you haven’t been exposed much to the sun (um, I live in Toronto, so yeah) and it can improve with more exposure (no, thanks).
This new reaction prompted me to get with the sunscreen program, which really is a good thing, since who wants sun-damaged skin and heightened risk of skin cancer, right?
Now, applying sunscreen to my body is pretty easy, but I’ve long known that sunscreen—at least the kind that’s usually added to foundations—can give me acne. Aaaargh.