Skin that is burned a bright tomato-red isn’t pretty at all. It hurts, too, and might easily result in the kind of freckles that never fade away.
Here, then, is a little navigation chart on sun-bathing to help you make a glamorous beach debut in the sun-filled days ahead.
If you’re just beginning to soak up the sun, begin with no more than 15 minutes at a time. All of us have a way of forgetting that awful sunburn of last summer; some of us, whether blonde, brunette, or redhead, do burn – particularly in those treacherous morning hours from nine till noon when you dont always notice how strong the sun can be.
So, go slow in these early days, and early hours, even if you’re coated with a suntan lotion.
At the same time, if you have an acne problem on back, chest, and/or face, you can use the summer sun to help dry up and heal the trouble-areas. Scrub them first, then sunbathe them, but again, start with just a few minutes. Burning at the stake is not an acne remedy.
What can you do for sunburn? Well, reddening of the skin is the first sign, but usually it takes several hours before the effects are fully felt. If the burn is severe call a doctor, particularly when the skin has blistered, as this could be troublesome.
If the burn is a mild one, a paste of baking-soda and water or a medicated sunburn cream applied to the affected area is helpful.
Of course, you know that too much sun will parch your skin, but it is perhaps not so generally realised that the sun also has a drying effect on the hair. Sea water, too, tends to dry up the natural oils in the scalp.
So, cover up your topknot when you’re out in the sun for hours, whether it’s playing tennis or picnicking. It may seem fun to bleach your hair in the sunshine . . . actually, you’re making it too porous and susceptible to breaking and splitting.
For the ladies you might well consider toying with a parasol. They’re back in style in a big way, are deliciously feminine and make you look the same way. They protect your face, your hair, and they shed a soft little shadow that is the daytime equivalent of candle-light flattery.
You won’t take it to the pool or beach on a Sunday, but you will take it to an afternoon patio party or barbecue. Best rule: When you’re in shorts, parasols are out; when you’re in dresses, parasols are lovely.
And another thing, watch your shoulder-strap line. That interesting new halter may look fine today, but when it becomes a semi-permanent sun-tanned line it creates a conflict of interest with low T-necked dresses. So do try to suntap evenly.
Finally, never overtan. That deep brown may be a kind of tribute to how many hours you could lie still in the sun, but it does permanent damage to your skin – damage that shows up in later years. It also gives you such a tough hide that one of the best things about the sun, its vitamin D content, can’t get through to you.