Monday, November 14, 2011

Being a Ginger Sucks

On my family tree there is a branch that leads directly back to the First Nations people. My mom and one of my sisters have the colouring...the dark hair, eyes and skin. My sister can have tan lines within 15 minutes of being in the sun. I hate

Me? I inherited the Celtic part of the tree. Blue eyes, freckles and hair that was reddish when I was a kid. These days the red comes from a bottle. I don't have the typical translucent white skin of the Celtic folks, though. Mine has a slight olive tinge, thanks to the aforementioned tree branch. Still, if I'm going to be out in the sun, SPF 60 is my best friend. Going without it is not an option, not just because of skin cancer but because I'll crispy fry. And that really hurts.

I hate wearing sunscreen. There's the whole ritual  involved of making sure no exposed skin is missed. A line down each arm and worked in. For the legs, a big glob on the ends of my fingers, other fingers rubbed over it to flatten the glob and pat, pat, pat all over the legs so that it spreads more easily. Ditto for the chest, neck and face. Don't forget the ears. When my hair was shorter, I even put it into all the ear crevices. I forgot to do that once.

If you don't wash your palms after applying, and then get itchy eyes...hoo boy. Stings like the dickens. It's sticky. Everything, from your clothes to sand to bugs, sticks to you. I'm convinced that the occlusive layer over my skin makes me sweat more. It feels gross, as if I haven't showered in days. Washing it off involves using one of those nylon scrubbers.

I like being in the sun. I just wish it wasn't necessary to don full body armour to do so.


  1. Hi Barb,
    I know what you mean. People at work keep asking my why I come back from Mexico without a tan. I've learned (a bit late) to love sunscreen, hats and shade.

  2. Same here, Debbie. I don't worship the sun like I used to and people ask me the same thing. But I think I'll pass on the skin cancer and thick, leathery skin, thanks. :)

  3. I can't stand sunscreen, and rarely use it. I've been told that you should at least do the ears, because they are probably the most vulnerable and more likely to develop problems later. The woman who cut my hair for many years mentioned it every time I went in for a trim. She finally told me that if I got a skin cancer on my ear they would have to start cutting chunks off. Even that hasn't forced me to start slathering the gross stuff on.

    Maybe I need to think again about sunscreen. There must be brands that are less sticky and greasy that would be more comfortable. Any ideas?

  4. I find there's a better range of sunscreens now, including stick and spray-on types, so you don't have to get it on your hands. I haven't yet found them for sale in Merida, and had to leave my large bottle of nice sunscreen with airport security (forgot about the restrictions on liquids). But I also like the "Nivea" brand that is easy to find in Merida. I'd also be interested in other types that are available in Merida.

  5. Senor B likes the spray on kind but I've never used it. I should give it a try but it makes me nervous to change from something that already works, ya know? We always bring it from Canada so I don't know if it's available here.


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