You wouldn’t guess it, but this beauty editor thing is a 24-hour gig. My mum calls in the middle of Californication to discuss which colour she should do her hair, my friends quiz me about how to use the latest mascara wand over lunch, and I constantly fight the compulsion to tell complete strangers that there’s a new lipstick shade that I think would look amazing on them.
But never has my out-of-hours beauty editor urge been stronger than at the supermarket last night, when I heard two late-teens talking sunscreen in the beauty aisle…
Girl One: “Can you see one that’s a [SPF] four or six? I don’t wear high protection creams. Some sun on your skin is good for you.”
Girl Two: “Me neither. I don’t wear sunscreen on my face – I don’t burn easily. My problem is these brown patches on my face. They’re pretty light, but it looks like I’ve spilled latte on myself.”
Me: Speechless. Just twitching.
But inside I was screeching that it’s a crime to have such dewily plump and smooth skin and not protect it with all the might under the sun. I was dying to point out that not only is SPF30+ probably the best defence Girl Two’s got against most pigmentation problems, it’s a health care essential that she should wear every day!
I itched to drop a fat, high-factor tube of UV Triplegard in her basket as I cruised on by. Just as a hint. And I was desperate to tell her about Dermalogica’s new Daylight Defense System range, which, in addition to SPF, encases crucial antioxidant vitamins in beads that pop open to protect skin upon contact with UV rays.
But I didn’t.
I just couldn’t find words that didn’t sound preachy. Especially since I know I would’ve followed up with a spiel about how the Cancer Council says that, even late on a daylight saving afternoon when the sun has lost some of its sting, you only need “a few minutes” of sun exposure to get the vitamin D that is ‘good for you’. And that if you’re worried about a deficiency, you’re better off talking supplements with your doctor than baking yourself.
I may actually have begun to rant. They may have called store security. And I could have very well been a beauty editor blacklisted from Coles for the rest of her life. How’s that for an occupational hazard?
Told you this gig is tougher than it looks…