16
Aug
07

Sizzling in the Sun

The sun is extremely powerful here in Taiwan. Today the temperature is 34 degrees and it takes a bit of getting used to. Like the Canadian winter the Taiwan summer requires care and caution. Dress appropriately and make practical decisions suiting of the climate.

Palm trees in Phuket

Many of you know that I am very sensitive to the sun. The sun a source of constant ire with me. My white skin is extremely susceptible to sunburn and I have to be very careful not to get burnt. In addition, my father has had skin cancer so I have to really watch it. This is hard when living in a country that is so close to the equator. However, so far I have yet to be burned in Taiwan. My forearms are very tanned though and I really want to see a dermatologist to asses any new moles.

A photo taken by Range while on our honeymoon in Mexico, 2005
Here is some advice and a bit of background on my life as a redhead in the sun:
The worst sunburn that I ever received was on my honeymoon in Mexico in 2005. While I am very careful the Mexican sun was too much for me. Within three hours of arriving I had the worst sunburn of my entire life. As usual, I had covered my body in sunscreen. However, I had thrown caution to the wind and jumped into my new bikini and into the ocean for a beach side swim. Big mistake! The water washed off my ‘waterproof’ sunscreen and I ended up getting severely burnt. Worse, because I was in a bikini I got burnt on strange parts of my body, like the top of my abdomen. At the end of the day my feet were so burnt I could not wear sandals, my shoulders were so red it hurt to lie down, and I spent the rest of my vacation in the shade!

In the shade at the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Which brings me back to one of the best ways to not get a sunburn: simply avoiding the sun. This summer I have not been that fashionable with my long tunics, long skirts, and wide brimmed hats. But bare shoulders and bare arms mean more sun exposure, which can be painful. In addition, I never go anywhere without my umbrella and always make a point of walking on the shady side of the street.


Sunscreen. Clinique City Block is still my favorite. Cheap sunscreen gets cheap results and I only buy the good stuff. However, there is another side of sunscreen that most people don’t really understand. It only works to a certain extent. You can easily wear or sweat it off so it must constantly be re-applied. Often co-workers will see me washing my face and arms and think I am being vain. That is not the case. I am merely reapplying my sunscreen. Most people don’t get this process. However it is necessary. In Taipei I reapply my sunscreen before leaving work and before going back out in the sun.

Wearing one of my tunics in Thailand
Finally, a good dermatologist is necessary. In Montreal I saw a good dermatologist who told me how to take care of my skin and protect my appearance. He would also check my moles to make sure they were ok and even offer suggestions on which foods I should eat to protect my skin. Dermatologists can give the best advice. From what skin products to use to what you can do to make your skin glow. Does anyone know of a good dermatologist in Taipei?

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6 Responses to “Sizzling in the Sun”


  1. August 16, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    People under estimate the power of protecting your skin. I read somewhere that doctors are seeing an increase skin cancer on the left forearm now. The reason, People driving and not thinking.

    I have dark hair but very fair skin. I have always taken care of my skin with sunscreen, long sleeves, and hats. The upside is that no one ever believes me when they ask me my age.

    Maybe you will start a new trend with the tunics.

  2. August 16, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Rachelle got the tunics you sent and she LOVES them. She gets comments everywhere she goes.

    I don’t burn as easily as you do, but I do burn every summer. Look for the guy with the catcher’s mitt for a face later in life. (That’s if it hasn’t been surgically excised already.)

  3. August 17, 2007 at 4:32 am

    OK, you’ve convinced me to get the Super City Block! 😉

  4. 4 globetrotteri
    August 17, 2007 at 6:57 am

    You convinced me too…last summer. It’s great stuff. I love the picture of you in the hat. It’s very chic.

  5. August 17, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I never wear any sunscreen, well rarely except in Mexico. That first day, I got an allergic reaction to the sun and had to get a shot to keep the swelling down. It was a rough first day, but the next day it was nice.

    The sun is very intense in Taipei. It’s intense enough for me to feel cinged by the sun on my legs, arms and feet. Let me just say that I wear jeans, socks and hiking boots every day. Only my forearms are bare on the scooter. The sun gets through all of my clothes and at night, I feel it on my skin. I have to get some UV protected clothing.

  6. 6 Les
    October 19, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Hi did you find a good dermatologist in Taipei yet?


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