As the caged denizens of the Big Brother house enter their fifth week of captivity it looks very much as though all of the interesting housemates are going to be evicted before the series reaches its conclusion. This leaves us, the clinically addicted viewing public with something of a problem, we are compelled to watch their lethargic antics, but without feisty Narinder, loopy Penny and misfit Stuart, what is there to snare our attention? Well there’s always the option of taking a zen-like fascination in their ongoing quest to get a tan that vaguely approaches Josh’s. The housemates constant sun worship anticipates what many of us will be doing in our gardens this summer but who sets the best example to the viewing public of how to tan safely, and who is going to end up looking like Penny prematurely? PharmiWeb kept an eye glued to the webfeed for a week to find out.
DEAN & AMMA
The lighter your skin, the more susceptible it is to burning. Dean and Amma have the darkest skin of those left in the house and can afford to spend more time in the sun without the risk of burning. Even so Dean’s regular attire of long sleeved t-shirts and baggy trousers shows that he understands the dangers of exposure to sunlight when the sun is at its strongest, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Rating: Well done.
Brian’s extensive bedside arsenal of lotions and unguents includes a host of sweet smelling tanning products but try as we might the internet connection here at PharmiWeb Towers isn’t good enough to allow us to read the details. We hope he’s using a lotion that protects against both UVA and UVB, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Certainly Brian is applying liberally, when others aren’t ‘hypnotised’ into doing it for him, but much of the application is done outside. To be fully effective, the cream should be thoroughly rubbed in at least 20 minutes before going outside in order to give it time to work. Brian also falls into the very British and Irish trap of forgetting key areas. Lotion should be applied to all exposed skin, the areas most often forgotten are; feet (soles and tops), ears, lips, eyelids, hairline, back of the neck, hands and under your swimwear, in case it’s ripped off during a water fight. Rating: Could do better.
The triumph of style over content walked into the Big Brother house in a blaze of pectoral muscles promising to spice things up, several weeks later the viewing public is still waiting. However Josh’s revelation that he takes Beta Carotene to improve his skin colour and enhance his tan leads us nicely into the natural ways in which you can improve your own tanning. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and one of the best ways to defend your skin against sunburn. Sunlight saps the amount of Vitamin C in the skin so it’s important to top up from all the usual sources. Vitamin E will help ease your sunburn and can act as a natural sunscreen, as can Selenium. Zinc is effective as both a treatment for burning and as a preventative measure in itself, although you may look like an Australian cricket player if you wear it. Aloe Vera is often found in after-sun products and is very effective in soothing burnt skin, as is Witch Hazel. On the less exotic side, baking soda is an everyday item that can help soothe sunburned skin. Dissolve it in lukewarm water an apply to the affected areas, if there’s no baking soda around, a couple of cloths soaked in a strong pot of tea left to cool and applied to sunburned areas for 30 minutes should sort you out. Rating: Perfect.
The cat in the hat, Bubble’s obsession with millinery has been well documented by the tabloid press and may go some way to explaining his lily white skin. Hats with a three-inch brim are ideal for covering the head and facial skin to prevent sunstroke or painful burning. It’s particularly important for people with shaved or balding heads to keep their pates covered up as the scalp can burn easily when exposed to direct sunlight and no amount of Head & Shoulders can fight a flaking sun burnt scalp. Rating: Hatisfactory.(sic)
PAUL & HELEN
It’s sad to say but the most interesting thing about both Paul and Helen are their choice of sunglasses, and even they aren’t particularly fascinating. However they both of the pair’s pairs do the vital job of protecting their eyes and the more fragile skin around them from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Paul wears Oakley wraparound sunglasses which protect his eyes from sunlight coming from all angles as well as containing good quality lenses to block out the ultraviolet light. Helen’s Jackie O style glasses have huge lenses to block out most of the UV rays and wide arms to protect the sides of her eyes. Rating: Well done.
The sun’s light does most damage to skin between the hours of 10am – 3pm and while this doesn’t make a huge difference in England in the baking Mediterranean sun it’s a different story. If you must go out in direct sunlight during these hours it’s important to cover up as the locals do. Wearing loose fitting, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, and trousers or skirts will prevent the UV rays getting through and your skin from eventually looking like an ill judged satsuma adverts. Elizabeth’s range of flouncy pseudo ethnic gear would be ideal for these conditions, although the pink jumper might be a step too far. Rating: Sensible.
NARINDER, PENNY & STUART
The three people already evicted from the Big Brother house are probably safer from the ravages of the sun than their compatriots left inside, after all when they’ve seen the public humiliation they were subjected to they won’t be going outside for a long, long time. Rating: Medium.
Big Brother can be seen nightly on Channel 4 at 10pm and daily on E4, or check out the website at www.bigbrother.terra.com