I’m not sure how you’d qualify a “landscaper’s tan”, but if it meant a tan that started at your wrists and ended at your fingertips, then I’d fit the bill.
I’m probably the most pasty-white landscaper you’ll ever meet, and I like it that way.Â Probably like a lot of you, I’ve got light skin and my stubborn dermis just won’t take a tan.Â It takes a burn very nicely; but try toÂ get my torso, arms and legs nicely toasted would mean having to bake constantly, with the occasional baby oil spritzer for good measure.
And the thing is, I’m no spring chicken, so having a great tan isn’t that important to me.Â As the elasticity in my skin is slowly leaving, so is my vanity about having a bronze glow during the landscaping season.Â And as my dermatologist is beginning to notice these little brownish patches (that he takes pleasure in freeze-burning off my face), it seemed that self-preservation was more important than a tan.
So I cover up.
And I mean everything.Â Long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat with a wide brim.Â Every day.Â Even when it’s 100 degrees.
I’d like to encourage you to do some of the same.Â If you work in an office, you may not get much sun, and so you want to make the most of those vitamin D-giving rays the sun offers us - but did you know that you office dwellers are more likely to develop melanoma (the most deadly type of skin cancer) than those of us in the sun all day?Â Researchers hypothesize that it has to do with the skin figuring out a way to develop resistance to those mutations that melanoma causes, just by being in the sun a lot.Â And my father-in-law is a prime example.Â Diagnosed with melanoma around Thanksgiving last year, he had his lymph nodes under one arm removed to stop the metastasization (is that even a word?) of the cancer.Â Because it’s such an aggressive cancer, that he hasn’t had a recurrence since then is a really good sign.Â But melanoma can kill you quick.
So please, be sure to cover up when you’re outside in the yard, gardening or landscaping.Â And when shopping for sunblock, look for the new one from Neutrogena that contains helioplex; this new additive is supposed to help maintain the strength of the sunblock for a longer period of time and also help block UVA rays, something that almost none of the sunblocks on the market do effectively right now.
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