Michigander moves South

Well graduation is a week away, which means I have about three weeks until I am on my way to sunny Florida. This morning I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that gave me pause (in addition to making me feel smarter for actually reading the Wall Street Journal). I have lived in the Great Lake State my entire life and moving to the equator means moving my tender MI skin closer to the sun.

I’ve always been a tanner, unlike both of my sisters who unfortunately got the pale skin and freckles side of the family genes. My skin is more of an olive (this is what I’ve been told) tone instead of super pink. I also got lucky and have lustrous brown hair, while my sisters have fair hair. According to the article in the Journal, these traits are to my advantage when it comes to the sun and skin cancer.

I plan on soaking up as much sun as I can while I’m living in Florida, but after reading the article I like I’m going to be smarter about my sun exposure. Summers in MI have been amazing for tanning (which I guess isn’t so good for me but I don’t smoke and I don’t drink much so I need some sort of vice to keep me sane) but tanning in MI  usually means you are out in the sun from 10am to 4 or 5pm (exactly the hours dermetologists suggest to avoid) because it isn’t warm enough before or after to stay out by the windy lake. In Florida, however, I think I will plan a daily hour of sun exposure between 9 & 10 until my still MI winter pale skin gets used to the intense Floridian sun.

I also want to run out and by my little sister (the most susceptible to the sun’s rays) a Rashguard. She works at a summer camp and has had more second degree sunburns from it than anyone I have ever met. If I find a lifeguarding job outside in FL, I too will don a Rashguard for protection. Rashguard is a type of fabric (a name brand fabric) that protects from the sun with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor- like SPF). The great thing about these types of shirts is they wick moisture away from your skin and dry out quickly. They can go on over your swimsuit or be worn like a normal t-shirt. Typical “surfer” brands like O’Neil print their names on the fabric and drive up the price, but it is worth the price for protection against skin mutation (a really creepy way to say skin cancer, because really that is what cancer is).

Now before this turns into a warning against the sun– just  remember that Vitamin D makes you feel better and that means I’m going to get me some while I can!!  Like everything else, sun-bathe responsibly and you should be alright (unless you look like a vampire, then maybe you should consider a parasol or beach umbrella).


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