Best Sunblock. Ever.
UV rays are bad juju for anyone with lupus, and the most common advice for combating these invisible death rays is a combination of “stay out of the sun” + “wear a wide-brimmed hat” + “wear a long-sleeved shirt” + “apply copious amounts of sunblock.”
These suggestions are all fine and dandy, but sometimes you just want to rip off your sun-proof suit of armor and stand there in all your half-naked glory, basking in the equally glorious sunshine.
In those times, no amount of sunblock is going to protect you, so you eschew common sense at your own risk. This is precisely what I was prepared to do when my sister-in-law invited me to go rafting. I’ve spent half my life in a river town, so I’ve been rafting countless times, and I know what I’m getting into.
Let me clarify something: I’m not talking about Class IV raging rivers where you take your life into your incapable hands just by being on the water. I’m talking about drifting down a lazy, meandering river. I’m not wearing a helmet; I’m towing a secondary raft, for my beer.
I brought my wide-brimmed hat, my long-sleeved shirt, and I was prepared to douse myself in sunblock. But my mother-in-law had a surprise for me: Another bottle of sunblock, but from Europe. It’s pretty much guaranteed that any product only available in Europe is totally awesome. My mother-in-law learned of this product’s existence while on a cruise. She spotted a fair-skinned woman who’d been in the sun all day but remained dazzlingly white. The woman shared her secret: P20.
She ended up asking a coworker to pick some up during her visit to Ireland. It was expensive, so she only bought one bottle, and as I rubbed it onto my skin, I thought: This smells like alcohol. Then I thought, I hope this works.
I lay in the sun for 4 hours. I sweat. I swam. I never reapplied. And I didn’t burn. The next weekend, I saw my mother-in-law again. She asked me if I burned. And then she saw my legs: “You’ve got a…tan!” And sure enough, I had a little color, and it wasn’t red.
A sunburn isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you from being in the sun all afternoon. The sun typically reduces me to a mumbling, tired heap. And I was tired afterwards, but I didn’t experience Total Debilitation. So P20, I love you! I want you in my life. The FDA can’t keep us apart forever! I’ll wait for you for as long as it takes–call me!