I’m 80 and a half and, as a golfer, one of the good things about getting older is that with every digit you add, the easier it gets to shoot your age. Seeing as I’ve been badly bitten by the golf bug for most of the past 30 years or more, if there’s just one thing you must do in golf, I know exactly what it is.
It has nothing to do with chicken wings or swaying, brush tees or coloured balls. In fact, one of the most important things you can do when you go golfing has nothing to do with golfing and everything to do with taking care of yourself. It’s taking the time to protect your skin from the sun.
At the very start of this trip, I had the fortune to meet the most interesting woman. It was on the plane trip between Calgary and Toronto. Her name is Josanne Bedran – Dr. Josanne Lucia Bedran, to be more precise. She’s a dermatologist who has her own practice in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and we started talking about aging and skin care.
She had just been at a conference in Vancouver and was on her way back home. The conference, the World Congress of Dermatology, was well attended, and had doctors in attendance from all over the world. Of course there were representatives there from the big consumer companies such as Procter and Gamble, L’Oreal, and Johnson and Johnson. Josanne said they were all very convincing that their products are the BEST. Josanne said that sun block is the best defence to aging and I am sure she is right.
Protecting my skin from the sun is something that I’ve been very careful about doing for what seems like ages. I have sensitive skin, and always had, so on a road trip to Disneyland in California in 1970, we stopped at Nordstrom (still an extraordinary department store) and even back then, Nordstrom had customer service that was second to none, and it wasn’t unusual to walk into the store and get a complete makeover. For my sensitive skin, the woman at the cosmetics counter suggested I look at the Clinique line of skin care, and I’ve been using that line ever since.
When Clinique first moved into Canada (they’re US-based), they offered mostly a skin-care routine with a limited collection of lipsticks, foundation and blush. As you probably know, that’s changed over the years – it’s much more robust now, and they also have a sun protection line. I use their Superdefence Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF-20 for especially my face and neck, and apply it in the morning before I leave for the course. This means that when I’m under the harsh sun, my skin is much less likely to be burned or irritated during my round. I happen to use that brand because it’s fragrance-free and allergy tested, and I always wear a hat or sun visor, which does help screen my face.
Josanne was kind enough to send me pictures of herself with the the team from her clinic and friends at the World Congress of Dermatology – which she’s given me the permission to republish. I just wanted to say a couple of things about her and her family. She’s passionate about people’s skin – it is, after all, the largest organ in our body. Her father immigrated from Lebanon to Brazil in 1953 and met her mother at the Catholic church. He owned his own store selling children’s clothing. Josanne and her two sisters all have university degrees. One sister is an environmental engineer and the other is a radiologist. Sounds like a pretty hard working family to me! We had a great chat on our flight, and when it was over, Josanne gave me the biggest hug. I am thankful we had such a great connection.
As for you…
Before getting in the car to drive to the clubhouse or the range, take some time out to think about your skin and put skin protection high on your list of golfing must’s. You may enjoy playing for skins on the golf course, but it’s no place to play with your skin.