The Doctor is in … Mind the Gap
By Dr. Kathy Fields
Young urban hipsters have embraced with affectionate irony some of the most unfortunate trends of the seventies and eighties, and of these the moustache is perhaps the most surprising of all. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Tom Selleck as the moustachioed Magnum PI, but let’s face it, it’s not really the best look for most guys. And certainly not for us gals!
If you’re one of the many, and I mean MANY women who suffer from extra facial hair above the upper lip, you know all too well how unattractive this trend looks on ladies. And you’ve probably tried lots of methods for minimizing or completely clearing your unwanted “stache” with bleaches, waxing or even laser removal.
Even when they work, these approaches can have residual effects like redness, dryness and even cause increased sun sensitivity and, consequently, hyperpigmentation. And whether as a result of irritation or melasma, a darkening of the skin between the upper lip and bottom of the nose is even harder to hide than a hairy moustache.
The solution? Well, as they say in my husband’s home country, England, when referring to the space between the edge of the subway platform and the train, “mind the gap.” In the case of your face, let this phrase act as a reminder that paying special attention to this little area when it comes to sun protection can make a big difference.
It’s a tough area because whether or not you actually apply sunscreen above your lip, chances are you sweat or wipe it off during the day, especially during flu season when runny noses abound. Make sure to pay careful attention to this gap between your nose and lips and take the time to reapply your SPF there throughout the day.
So, next time you apply your balm and facial SPF, I hope you hear my voice in your head saying to you: “Mind the gap.” And as I walk down the streets of San Francisco and pass the plaid-shirted hipster in the oh-so-skinny jeans, I’ll hear my own voice in my head saying “you may have a moustache, but you’re no Tom Selleck!”
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