This Is Why I Can’t Go Outside

That eventually just turned into a burn across my whole back -- without all the lines.
That eventually just turned into a burn across my whole back — without all the lines.
This is my I am very angry about this bullshit face.
This is my I am very angry about this bullshit face.

Despite all the comments to the contrary (‘ho, ho, looks like someone forgot to wear sunscreen’), this is actually what happens even when I cover myself in sunscreen.

We were in Tahoe this weekend for a wedding, so yesterday I decided to go SUPing. Before I headed to the lake, I used about a third of a bottle of water-proof, sports SPF 30. I covered myself. I let it dry. Then, I spent an hour-and-a-half paddleboarding around Lake Tahoe (well, not really around — I made it like a mile in 45′ and then I was so tired I laid down on the board and let it float). I swam for about 10′ but it was really shitty cold, so I jumped out and went and got some food instead.

And, after I got home and showered, it turned out I had gotten fried despite the sunscreen.

The worst, where I’m actually blistering red, is lower on my back. That’s the only part that hurts. I’m fried nearly everywhere, though. But, what I’m really upset about is seriously, WHAT THE FUCK.

If I had just gotten burned in a couple places that I forgot — tops of my feet and hands — I would figure that yes, that was my fault. But, I got really burned on my shoulders and chest and that’s where I put on the most sunscreen. Everyone kept saying that the sun is hotter at elevation and apparently that’s true, but in the grand scheme of how far the sun is from the Earth, you would think 6,000 feet wouldn’t make that big a difference. So, now, I’m going back to figuring that I’m screwed. I should just never go outside, especially in the middle of the day. From now on, you’ll only see me after 4 p.m.

10 thoughts on “This Is Why I Can’t Go Outside

  1. I totally understand this, Kelly! I have kids who are strawberry blondes and SO SO fair….they burn all the time and I slather them in sunscreen…and they just keep getting fried AND more freckles !!!!

  2. It is my gift to you. Not so much “the sun is hotter” but the atmospheric filters are less. Plus you get the benefits of water magnifying all of those UV rays. The only real protection is a burka.

  3. Not to science geek myself out here… but UV rays will penetrate more at altitude because there’s less of Earth’s atmosphere to go through. I think it’s something like 4-5% increase in UV exposure for every 1000 feet elevation. So 6000 feet is a lot, even though yeah, it’s really not any closer to the sun.

    I burn pretty easily (I’m pretty fair-skinned) but I find that all sunscreens are not created equally. Some work much better for me than others, so maybe try some new ones? The one that works best for me is called Ombrelle, but I think it’s Canadian so you may not be able to find it. I’ll send some down if you want!

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