Tanning is, for many people, the primary objective of summer. Most people think they look better with a bit of sun (some people think they look better with a lot of sun), and when everybody returns to school in September a deep tan serves as evidence that you spent the past three months waterskiing with your equally tanned friends in a beachside paradise rather than shaving precious seconds off of your best times in Mario Kart.
Unfortunately, tanning is also the reason there are college students who look like leathery South Beach retirees. Without going into the other health concerns here, suffice it to say that it isn’t so good for you.
But for many people tanning is haute couture for summer vacation. Giving it up, even for the sake of health, is a tough sacrifice. That’s why we’ve itemized the following stylish ways to avoid sun damage this summer:
Wear sunglasses all the time
As the sun ages your skin it also ages your eyes (i.e., cataracts), so sunglasses are a must have. Fortunately, this is an easy one, since the hippest shades are also over-sized, plastic and cost $5. Unfortunately, Kanyes don’t offer much sun protection, but if you go big enough you can probably skip applying sunscreen to your face.
Carry a parasol
Umbrellas are so 2007, but parasols have been fashionable for millennia. They go with anything, whether you’re wearing a lavish Victorian ball gown or a stylish black tailcoat, and they’re probably only a month away from becoming a major trend among hipsters. Best of all, if enough of us start to carry them it won’t look weird.
Build your own Stillsuit
In Frank Herbert’s futuristic novel Dune, many of the characters wear protective “Stillsuits” to shield their bodies from the sun and reclaim lost moisture (e.g., urine). If our planet keeps getting warmer the first person to patent one of these is going to make a fortune. Yes, this would make you the world’s biggest sci-fi nerd, but no, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Only go outside at night
Vampires have never been paler or hotter. Instead of scratching their heads about the popularity of Twilight, more adults and health professionals should take advantage of the unique opportunity it provides to lecture teens on proper sun safety. "New Moon" could be the big issue movie of 2009.
How are you dealing with the sun?