Australians are full of pale people. Let's go over a wee bit of history. The Aboriginals ruled the continent/island for thousands of years. Only a few hundred years ago, the Europeans arrived. You know, the same Europeans that come from the north and are pale? While Australia is full of different nationalities today, the majority of Aussies are Caucasians. They came from northern Europe, where it is cold and there is not as much sunlight. Thus, being naturally pale and living in a super sunny environment makes people more prone to burns, freckles and unfortunately skin cancer.
There is a gaping hole in the ozone layer. Alright, that's not true. Australia has an ozone layer. The cold neighbors in the South Pole, however, have a very thin one. This "thinning" can stretch out to the southernmost parts of Australia. Does it also mean that the ozone layer over Australia is thinner than somewhere in North America? I'm not sure, but it could certainly explain some things. I've sunbathed in my backyard in Chicago without sunscreen for at least an hour several times (stupid, I know) and have barely gotten any color. In Adelaide's summer, however, the sun seems to kiss whatever skin of mine is exposed, and I go from pale to pink within minutes. Adelaide may be closer to the equator, but I never burned that easily when I was in, say, Florida or Mexico. All in all, I'm not a scientist. I don't know what's up with the ozone layer here. But it's interesting to think about.
It's fun to be outside. Australia has gorgeous weather most of the year and fantastic beaches. Why would you not want to spend time outside?
Those are just a few ideas. As I said, I am not an expert, and I can't explain everything.
I knew that I would have to be skin-safe while living here, so I've changed some of my behaviors:
- Sunscreen all the time. My daily moisturizer has an SPF of 30. My bronzer has an SPF of 15. I always put sunscreen on my arms, chest, etc when my skin is exposed in warmer weather.
- Sunglasses. I never leave my apartment without them.
- Cool hat. 'Nuff said.
Tomorrow is Friday! I can't wait for sushi.