SPF Irish American

Poolside Sonoma Mission Inn

I'm a light-skinned Irish American (translation, super white) who shouldn't be in the sun...eva, according to my dermatologist. Every six months, I mosey in for my check up, and each time I get the lovely reminder of the "solar damage" I did to myself as a kid. During the late 70s and 80s, I pretended I was of Mediterranean descent and attempted to get tan. No luck in the tan department. Super successful in the blistered shoulders arena. The smell of Noxema still nauseates me to this day.  Note to self: in next life, stand in "Tannable Skin" line a lot longer. Add to that, the "Good Legs" and "Trustafarian" lines.

These days I'm pretty careful when I venture out. Even in the dark days of winter, I lather up something fierce, re-applying every nanosecond, and finding the nearest shade.

As much as I know the risks of sun exposure, I'm a total pool junky. I love, love, love being in the water - specifically pool water. Years of working for Discovery Channel producing shark content scared me away from the ocean. I like seeing what I'm swimming in and what is under my feet. So I stick to pools.

When I was a kid, I was the last one out of the pool. My Dad had to drag me out, sometimes literally. I'm in the pool a lot, whether it be doing laps or aqua fit (the discipline of jumping around like a loon in the water. It tends to be water aerobics for the older folk and the pregnant gals and me). Swimming is my yoga. But I try to only get in an outdoor pool super early in the morning or during cocktail hour, when the sun is setting. And even when I am, I'm plaster up with the sun-prevention goop.

Take the advice of Mary Schmich, who wrote, but never delivered, what would have been an awesome commencement speech. You can read it here. It's titled, Wear Sunscreen, and you should too, among the other things she suggests.

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