There is no excuse not to know about skincare in this day and age. Even men (yes, men! The species who traditionally don't even have skin!) know about it, thanks to the tireless efforts of Patrick Dempsey to make as much cash as he can before he gets too craggy looking; and Nivea's spurious quest to link their skincare range to the England football team.
If TV is to be believed we all cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturise as if our lives depend on it, or at least between two and eight times a day. Except nobody I know actually sticks to any such regime for longer than about a month, at which point they forget all about it till they get an enormous spot or a particularly annoying dry bit on their forehead and start the process over again.
The same skin nonchalance applies to sunblock. As soon as you get a nice weekend like the one we have just enjoyed in Edinburgh, all the information we've ever heard about skin cancer or winding up with a face like a pickled walnut exits the brain stage left as we fly outdoors to soak up as much Vitamin D as possible before it's gone for another year.
And I have to confess that although I am an educated sort, I'm no better than I ought to be in terms of protecting myself against the RAYS OF DEATH. I forced Captain Tact to accompany me out into the open today, to read for an hour or two in the comfort of the Botanic Gardens. He was worried he might burn, so I witheringly instructed him to apply sun cream as bought by sensible flatmate before our departure. For myself, I decided I was of altogether more Mediterranean complexion and that it was kind of overcast anyway, so went without.
Naturally I caught the sun, although only really on my right side for reasons unknown. And I fear my predilection for wearing pink doesn't help matters.
Still, at least my career isn't build on having baby smooth skin a la the aforementioned Monsieur Dempsey. And maybe it'll learn me for next year. Or not...