The Well-dressed Gardener
By LMG Calla Victoria
Gardening is an amazing pastime! It is therapeutic,
relaxing, and oh so gratifying. But gardening can have
some negative impacts on our bodies. Being out in the
sun for long periods of time, it is imperative that we
protect our skin at all costs. Yes I am a Master
Gardener but I am also a licensed Aesthetician (skincare
specialist). And I was an Aesthetician long before I became
a gardener, so skin is my business and gardening is
my passion. We need to have a serious conversation about
preserving our skin and whilebeautifying our gardens.
The places that show age on our skin are around the
eyes, the neck, the hands, the legs and feet. So while
enjoying the fruits of your labor in the garden, also make
it a point to cover your body properly to guard against the
sun’s ravishes. Yes the sun is g-o-o-d for our plants and
good for us, but gardeners spend an inordinate amount of
time in the sun and that can have disastrous results in the
future. One of my fellow Master Gardeners has been garden-
ing since she was 8 years old, but now her skin is a
wrinkled mass that looks like parched leather. Usually in hot
climates we feel the need to wear less clothing to stay cool,
sleeveless, in shorts, and barefooted….that is exactly the
I now wear long-sleeves and to my surprise it seems a
little cooler. Always wear gloves because it protects your
hands from insect bites, thorny plants, and from the drying
effect of the sun. It is always a good idea to lotion up before
putting on your gloves and that way you are moisturizing
while working. These are a few tips that will save your skin
while you are raising your garden:
1. Wear long-sleeve shirts-By wearing long-sleeved shirts you will protect your arms from prolonged exposure to the sun which can speed up the look of aging by breaking down the collagen and elastin network of the skin and causing that bye-bye arm gangling.
2. Protect your knees-When planting bulbs and other gardening activities a lot of kneeling is involved. So if you don’t want raggedy looking knees when you wear your nice dresses, save those knees! Some people prefer those kneeling pads but I find them cumbersome as you have to stop and move them when you move to another location. I
love knee pads, they move when you move. I also love thrift store shopping and happen to find a pair of hockey knee pads in mint condition. I just strap them on and I am off to the races. They have HEAVY cushioning and when I am kneeling on concrete it feels like I am kneeling on a cloud.
3. Wear long pants-They protect your legs from sun
exposure as well as protecting you from insect bites,
possible nicks from thorny plants, and from sharp
4. Wear hats with large brims-They will protect your face from the sun, and depending on what you are doing in the garden googles might be a good idea as well.
5. Wear hats with UV protective veils for nose, mouth,
neck, and back-These innovative hats, like the one pictured
above, protect the delicate neck area as well as your back.
If youare out gardening in sleeveless tanks you know the
sun beams down on your back a lot. And many times while
gardening an insect has flown up my nose or in my mouth,
not a good experience so these hats do quadruple
duty. Click here
6. Wear gardening boots-I prefer the tall ones to the low
ones just in case one steps into an ant hill, those ants have
a lot of climbing to do before they get to you.
7. Protect the delicate skin on your neck and décolleté-
Wear buttoned up shirts because we really do need to
protect that delicate skin on the neck and décolleté.
Turkeys are for Thanksgiving and not for necks!
8. Wear gloves at all times-You can generally tell
someone’s age by their hands because the skin on the
hands is already so thin, so don’t let gardening fib on
your age. Also if you happen to get stung on the hand
by a bee, when you remove the glove it will usually pull
the stinger out of your skin.
9. Wear Sunscreen-At least SPF (sun protection factor) 50.
10. Wear arm protectors-If you do wear short sleeves at
least wear arm protectors. I love the ones by Armed
Gardener. They are one size fits all, lightweight and
comfortable, breathable fabric, and the sleeves protects you
against branch scratches, stickers, thorns, ticks, bug bites,
and sunlight. My son says I look like an NBA player when I
Happy Gardening and dress for youthful skin!
Remember, never get too busy to stop and enjoy the beautiful flowers!