From what feels like inception we are constantly told to wear sunscreen. There’s even that Baz Luhrmann song. It’s as ubiquitous and ‘meh’ as the perhaps more infuriating ‘drink water’ but somehow worse because implicit in this instruction, and, if we’re being honest, every beauty ‘rule’, is the idea that if you don’t do x, y and z you will become a rusk of a human and people will be able to verify your age by counting your wrinkles the same way they apparently count rings around a tree stump. I say ‘apparently’ because, I mean, I’ve never really interacted with a tree stump, or with nature all that much.
Maybe that’s why sunscreen is doubly scary because it’s kind of saying that the ball of angry Oros in the sky is not only a force of nature trying to kill me – when it’s not doing cute stuff like keeping the planet alive – more pressingly, it’s also trying to make me look old beyond my years.
I started wearing sunscreen when I was about thirteen and I haven’t really stopped. I can’t get a tan so maybe this has helped with my steely commitment to the face paste but it’s also nice that I can’t really remember the last time I got burnt (on my face). I get burnt in life and on my shoulders a lot. I’ve cycled through a lot of brands; and have now settled on La Roche-Posay’s famous Anthelios BB Cream SPF 50. It’s quite a dark shade out the tube but for some reason it blends to a tone that makes me feel like I resemble a glazed doughnut.
Coupled with sunscreen I’m quite partial to a baseball cap. I like the feeling of being someone who wears a baseball cap. Whether I’m someone who can pull off a baseball cap is another thing altogether. But I’ve watched enough 90s and early 2000s romcoms to know that the female protagonist must at some point wear a baseball cap if she is ever to accurately verify that she is both beautiful and cool and thus worthy of the guy who is both spiritually (and probably factually) short but somehow unbearably hot when his face is stretched across a big screen. But the kicker is, he probably has wrinkles. He probably never wears sunscreen let alone moisturizer. Have you seen Dermot Mulroney in My Best Friend’s Wedding? Absolute crinkle-cut chip of a face.