Now They Tell Me
Who ever heard of sunscreen years ago? Back when I was a kid, there was no such thing as sunscreen. Or, at least, I'd never heard of it – and neither had my family and friends. Personally, I cannot begin to recount the number of times I've endured heavy duty sunburns after spending endless hours in the sun. Actually, that's precisely what kids of my generation did – we regularly spent all day outside. Of course, having a fair complexion (or 'peaches and cream' as I like to call it) didn't help matters either. Even now, sun exposure for more than a few minutes will literally turn my skin bright red. Not a good look.
And If That Wasn't Enough ...
... we had to accelerate the process. Back when I was in high school, my girlfriends and I would start by lining both sides of a double-album, LP record cover with aluminum foil. Then, after ensuring we were sufficiently slathered in baby oil, we would head outside – album covers in hand – to leisurely lounge in the sunshine. In retrospect, I wish somebody would have told me that what I was doing could be harmful – especially in the long run. Not that I would have listened. I was just a teenager, after all.
So I Guess Most Of The Damage Has Already Been Done?
Apparently. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and its striking poster I encountered recently, 80% of all sun damage occurs before the age of 18. Wait! That means I still have a chance to protect the remaining 20% from damage – plus protect the original 80% from further damage. Well, here's hoping I've inherited good genes that will safeguard me in the future. But, in the meantime ... please pass the SPF 1000!
Now They Tell Me