I grew up in an era where a tan was a sign of good health. As kids, we knocked around outside pretty much all day long, regardless of the weather. Sunscreen? I'm pretty sure that wasn't a thing when I was a kid. I do remember Coppertone Sun Tan Lotion. I'm not absolutely certain what Coppertone was for though. The early slogan was, "Don't be a paleface". Hmmmm Perhaps the intent was to promote tanning? I know that nowadays it's all about preventing it. "Tan don't Burn" is the tagline now. The fragrance will be with me forever. Very distinctive.
Regardless, I do not recall ever having a sunburn as a child except on my nose. A peeling nose was an indication of a great summer way back then. Of course, while I say that we kids were outside all of the time, I have to confess that I spent a lot of time in the library and then reading either in the shade of a tree or on the porch. Still outside but not so much in the sun.
By the time I was a teenager, a perfect tan was a goal. I mean, come on! It looks so good against crisp white clothing! And as a teenaged girl, it was supposed to be all about how we looked. Seriously, by the time I was in highschool in Texas, if looks weren't everything, they were at least 75% of the whole. It's sad, but it's true. Not so much about substance as it was aobut surface. And a tan was a desirable surface. So desirable, in fact, that a lot of the girls I knew would lay out in the sun after coating themselves with baby oil. A perfectly cooked butterball turkey comes to mind.
Now I wasn't part of the "in" crowd. In fact, I was more part of the "out" crowd. And since I already didn't fit in, it didn't really matter if I fulfilled the criteria of what was necessary to be a popular girl. Consequently, I do not recall ever doing that. I do remember being outside sometimes, running, walking, riding my bike (at least until I got my driver's license) so I was outside sometimes but I remember more time spent indoors than out, listening to records, gabbing with friends, reading, reading, reading.......all indoor activities. I may have had a tan when I was in highschool, but I wouldn't bank on that as fact.
I absolutely do not remember about getting a sunburn.
Until a few years later. It was during my first year of college in fact. Yes, the first sunburn I remember ever having was in college. I lived in Connecticut then. A beautiful state with a great variety of weather. A lot of it, non-sunny. And yet, that is where I got my first burn. It was a cloudy day. I spent the entire day out on a boat getting tossed about by frisky waves so I was salt encrusted, soaking wet and having a wonderful time. I didn't realize that I had a sunburn until the next day. I'd like to mention here that the two-piece bathing suit, that I wore that day, had a halter top. Which means exposed shoulders. Burned to a crisp. A bra on the other hand, is not a halter top. And the chafing from the bra straps rubbing against that dark red burn was so painful. Every bit of exposed skin was burned by my shoulders were absolutely the worst. It took forever for that burn to heal. Primarily because the product I was instructed to use to heal up that burn was Noxzema.
Noxzema is still around today in it's beautiful dark blue jar. It's another fragrance I will always remember. That and the feel of that ultrawhite cream as I scooped out two fingers full. The cream.....*tingles*.....as it cleans. Yes it's a facial cleanser! OUCH! Does that make any sense at all? Put a cleanser that tingles as it cleans on burned skin? No. It makes zero sense. But I was a kid and I was stupid and I did what I was told even though it was ridiculous.
It was a miserable few weeks of suffering. And when it finally healed a little bit, I could pull the dead skin away in sheets. Gross! In fact it was so gross that I decided that I did not ever need to be tan again. I would avoid the sun as much as humanly possible.
Turned out during most of the rest of college that was relatively easy. I was either in class, at work, studying, hanging out with friends in the dorm, at the library or sleeping. I did walk to classes of course and I was still running then but running is fast. Sun exposure time is limited.
Then I got married and had kids and while yes, I did spent time outside, working on the farm, playing with the kids, hanging clothes on the line, I was covered. No more sun burns. I think that was around the time that I discovered sunscreen. I used it. I made sure the kids used it. It was a normal thing. If you are going to be outside, put on sunscreen. If A then B. Easypeasy. No more burns for me!
It was many many years later in Colorado, when Tim got the worst burn I have ever seen anyone get from the sun that didn't involve blisters. He was not red, he was maroon. Clearly he was not wearing sunscreen. He was miserable. We tried aloe (which I kept in the fridge for minor burns) with no good effect. I went to the store and bought various unguents and creams and lotions and not one of them did a damned bit of good despite the claims on the label.
Desperate for relief, Tim did some research online and sent to me a local health food store to pick up a product called Emu Oil. I felt foolish asking for it, but they didn't bat an eye. Product purchased, I returned home, Very gently applied the oil and he felt immediate relief. It healed so very quickly we were astonished. What is this miracle product? (photo at the top of the page)
It is made from the rendered fat of Emu's. That's it. The only thing in the bottle is oil of Emu. It is the slipperiest thing I've ever had on my skin. It has essentially no fragrance at all. But it heals amazingly. Ever since that day, we ALWAYS have Emu Oil in the house. For burns absolutely and minor dings and scratches and blisters but honestly, it makes a darned nice moisturizer in a pinch.
The first visit that youngest child and his wife made down here to Florida to visit us, there were a couple of sunburns that happened. Delicate, pale New York skin pinks up pretty quickly here in the southland. We offered Emu Oil, which they used with doubt in their eyes, but they were won over very quickly. Our jar of Emu Oil went home with them and now their home is never without it either.
I am not one, normally, to promote a product, but this one gets no press. I have never seen a shiny magazine ad for it. I've never seen a celebrity wow about it on TV. And yet, it is the most incredible stuff! Why? Why? Why does nobody know about this?
Our first bottle was from the healthfood store, the second one, Tim bought on line through Amazon, but the last time, we found it at good old Walmart! I do feel the need to add here that I just read an online article indicating that there is no medical proof that Emu Oil does anything at all. But I'm fine with that. I have real life proof. I'm good.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.