I have struggled with this assignment. I have taught myself not to be judgemental, or more accurately, not to vocally judge. I do have opinions on things, it is just that in my experience expressing opinions causes upset, whether it is the “right” one or not. I have a cardinal rule that nothing is black and white, there are always shades of grey between any extremes. They all have validity because even emotionally based decisions are based on experience, experiences that I won’t appreciate because I didn’t go through them.

But as I write those words, I cannot help wonder if this framework is a carefully constructed excuse to keep quiet. I think the other issue I have is that “critique” in my mind also means being negative about something, probably because I translate critique to critical, which was my childhood experience of critique. I have to remind myself that critique can mean saying positive things about something, even if I disagree with the sentiments.

So my initial reaction on reading this assignment was to think of things that I am critical over. There are plenty after all. Unlike Boris Johnson, I don’t equate the EU to Nazi Germany, but I do see the divisive rhetoric coming out of Donald Trump about Muslims and Mexicans as similar to how the Nazis justified treating Jews initially. However, I drift off course, back to scouring the newspapers.

Which? research into once a day sun creams

The Guardian on Saturday reported on the findings of the “Which?” research on once a day sun creams. Basically the controversy is around having to apply them more than once to keep up the advertised sun protection factor (SPF) in an eight hour window. Leaving aside the floored method of testing whereby the people wore T-shirts over the sun cream (really), I have a problem with the whole use of sun cream.

Yes I understand that using sun screen can reduce your risk of skin cancer, but there are benefits to getting sun on your skin! This blanket ban on getting any exposure to sun shine can be detrimental to people’s health. I have a friend in Edinburgh who struggled with tiredness and concentration for a long time due to a lack of vitamin D, and only got diagnosed after he convinced his GP to test for it. To this day, he has no eye brows because his hair fell out.

In places like Scotland and with people that work indoors, vitamin D deficiency can be a real issue. Some people are more prone to it than others, those with darker skins need more sunshine because the melamine that darkens their skin effectively reduces their ability to make vitamin D. Due to their heritage my kids are a quarter Asian, and have darker skin tones that the standard peely-whally Scot. At school they were still made to wear hats and use sun cream when it was sunny at play time. Now I fully understand the need to stop people getting sun burn, but people also need vitamin D to lead healthy lives so I disagree with this assumption that everybody must where SPF 30-50 sun creams.

I personally don’t have a problem with a sun cream that goes from SPF30 to SPF8 over eight hours (when you wear a T-shirt). SPF8 still allows you eight hours in the sun before you get the equivalent of one hour of straight sun shine which with my skin colour is fine. Personally I get too hot staying out in sunshine for that length of time. There was no mention of sweating either come to think of it. There was no mention of the strength of the sun which changes due to latitude and season. There was no mention of the environmental impact of sun creams.

I didn’t mention I have psorasis too. Standard treatement for this is a vitamin D analogue  cream. Sun shine works better. As for sun cream, I prefer a hat and a long sleeve T-shirt.