In my youth, I used to bake for hours in the sun at every opportunity. There was no such thing as sunscreen – we used baby oil, cooking oil, Brylcreem etc to baste ourselves – and then we literally cooked in the sun! I grew up by the sea and spent most of my childhood, teens, and twenties with a dark tan. This was horrendous for my skin because I have very very fair skin (my mother was a redhead and my father was olive-skinned), which tans after going red.
am lucky I don’t have more sun damage than I do. Most affected are my hands, as we tend to be very bad at taking good care of them. If I could give my younger self any advice it would have been to stay out of the sun.
Since my mid-twenties I have shunned the sun, only rarely developing any kind of a tan, and then it has always been entirely accidental. Luckily for me, summers in Sweden are often very rainy. Two summers ago it was colder at midsummer than it was at Christmas!
This year though it has been hot and sunny for weeks, hitting 30° quite a few days in mid to late May.
I have been for picnics, walks, walking between lessons, sitting at bus windows – you name it.
I took a new profile photograph for my Facebook account yesterday and noticed that, for the first time in at least 10 years, I have a bit of a tan. I am going to have to get the sunscreen out!
This was the last time I was tanned – 2009!