Post by TM
Despite countless, unavoidable ads warning people of the dangers of smoking, people continue to smoke. Although we are all aware that by eating huge portions of junk food and not exercising we are probably going to get horrendously fat, people still adapt that lifestyle. And while it’s common knowledge that the sun can cause terrible damage to our skin, it seemed like over half the people walking the streets of Dublin this weekend had either all fallen into a massive vat of boiling oil, or didn’t wear enough, or any, sunscreen.
Red, raw, skin is simply never, ever a good look. Not only does it not match with anything, it’s so, so dangerous. Obviously, accidents can happen (and don’t I know it, my boyfriend ended up having to haul my backpack around Thailand for a week when my shoulders and upper back were horribly burnt – the blister kind of burn – after wearing a strapless top on a day-long scooter ride and not enough sunscreen) and for the most part people don’t mean to let the sun scorch them but I’m amazed at the number of people who won’t wear sunscreen when the sun finally makes an appearance because they want a ‘base’ burn that will help them tan. It’s ludicrous and positively idiotic.
The sunshine in Ireland is as strong as sun shine in other countries and just as harmful. Just because it’s cold and rainy and windy and miserable most of the time doesn’t mean there’s some sort of Ireland-only barrier that stops the sun from blasting it’s nocuous rays on us. In fact, we should wear sunscreen EVERY DAY, even in winter. The number of skin cancer cases amongst Irish people has risen dramatically in recent years – experts blame the increase in sun holidays during the Celtic Tiger years, not to mention the rise in sun-bed use – so it should go without saying that we need to wear sunscreen, full stop.
Last week, the government passed a law that forbids anyone under the age of 18 to use sunbeds. This is a welcome move and hopefully one that will change perceptions on ‘beauty’ for the better.
I know that loads of people think that having a natural tan is an essential element of looking good but sacrificing your health just so the colour white flatters you is just not cool. Speaking from vast experience, those who are naturally fair of skin should never chance sun-bathing on the off-chance that their genetic make-up was fooling them all along. Make like Nicola Roberts and embrace the pale (but please take note that she, and other pale skinned beauties like Saoirse Ronan and Nicole Kidman are almost definitely wearing body make-up. So that’s why they don’t look as pasty as you!)
Although people with dark skin don’t have to layer on the factor 50*, they shouldn’t be too lax about their sun-care regime either. Skin diseases caused by sun damage and premature lines and wrinkles afflict people of all skin-colours.
We’ve been told to expect a bit of a heat-wave this week. A humid, sticky, sunless heat-wave. Yes, the sun is taking a break but he is still reminding us that he’s still around by making the place feel like a sauna. Like the way we can’t complain about having a really shitty minimum wage job that we hate because at least we have a job in this miserable economic clime, we can’t complain about the heat because at least it feels like a real summer. But we know it’s not going to be pleasant.
It’s hard to dress for such weather but the girl in the picture above is doing a good job. Long, loose lightweight materials are the best way forward for humidity. A wide-brimmed hat is a lovely touch and it adds a layer of protection for when the sun peeks through.
Long pants work equally as well. Block colours paired with a statement necklace, shades and a simple hairstyle look effortless and chic. Don’t forget to cover any exposed skin (including your face, ears and hands) in sunscreen though!
This is a brilliant beat-the-humidity ensemble. Loose (even the belt is loose!) and black – so that potential moist patches don’t show (eurgh!) – hair up, sunglasses on, it can be worn to work, jaunting about town or for a night-time event. It’s chic but looks so comfortable.
Every woman needs a dress like this one in their wardrobe. It’s great for the humidity – light (the material is chiffon) and short – and the long sleeves give that little bit extra protection from the sun. I also love the print and collar.
*Speaking of sunscreen, don’t let cost prevent you from investing. I’ve heard from multiple sources (including Irish Times Consumer Affairs Correspondent Conor Pope) that Aldi’s Lacuna sunscreen is a real gem and criminally cheap and that the far more expensive brand Piz Buin is terrible.
So, always remember: