Once spring segued into summer, it occurred to me that I probably needed to get back on my sunscreen game before I ended up looking like Samsonite luggage. Leathery skin and melanoma concerns aside, I have a condition which causes my face to get brown in patches on my cheeks, forehead and, most unfortunately, my upper lip. This is not the nice even tan you see on the swimsuit models in the fashion magazines. This is the kind of tan that makes you look like a Bernese Mountain Dog, but without the tail and cute doggy disposition.
Sadly, the only way to avoid getting these brown patches is to avoid the sun. However, it is hard to stay out of the sun when you have two kids and a pool. Of course I could wear a hat, but since I have short hair, whenever I wear a hat I look like I am bald which is actually an even less flattering look for me than the Bernese Mountain Dog style. Even worse, the hat flattens my hair so badly when I take it off, it looks like someone drew the hair on my head with a Sharpie.
To top all this off, I am allergic to 90% of the sunscreens out there so I usually end up with puffy eyes and tears streaming down my face whenever I use the stuff.
So just to recap, here is my cool summer look:
-dark brown shadow on my upper lip.
If you guessed Groucho Marx, you’d be right on the money.
Compassionate as my husband is, he did not sign up to be married to either a dog or a Marx Brother, so I thought I owed it to him to find some other way to avoid the sun on my face.
Fortunately I was able to find a truly hypoallergenic sunscreen and started applying it liberally every morning after my moisturizer. My mother always said to use moisturizer and sunscreen every day and I always listen to my mother except when she said not to worry, you forget the pain of childbirth. Unfortunately, my mother did NOT say anything about which order you do this in and I always assumed, moisturizer first, sunscreen second. So imagine my dismay when I was listening to the TV one morning as I got ready and found out I had been doing it WRONG!
“Always apply your sunscreen first!” warned the talking head on the TV show. “Moisturizer first can neutralize the sunscreen and make it ineffective.”
I looked down at the tube of moisturizer in my hands and the remnants of the cream that I had just smeared all over my face seconds before.
“ACK!” I shrieked.
I quickly washed my face but the cream had instantly been sucked into my dry skin and I knew the damage had already been done.
I wondered how much sun had already snuck into my skin this summer while I was screwing up the order of my face creams. I peered into the mirror and thought I could see the beginning of a sun-stache forming on my upper lip.
“I got bad news,” I said to my husband morosely. “I messed up the order of my sunscreen and my moisturizer and now I’m going to have a sun-stache and look like Groucho Marx.”
“Think of the bright side,” he said. “Now you won’t need a costume for Halloween.”