During lockdown, like a lot of us, Ulrika Jonsson took solace in the fact that at least the weather was great, and she spent a lot of time in her garden soaking up the rays.
The self-confessed sun worshipper was slammed after sharing a selfie showing off her ‘mahogany’ tan – in which she has described herself as ‘spectacularly ungroomed’ – and followers insisted her skin was damaged from the sun, begging her to use UV protection.
But Ulrika, 53, has insisted that she refuses to apologise for her love of tanning – admitting that being out in the sun makes her happy.
Writing in a column for the Daily Mail, she explained, ‘My tan is a testament to the uncomplicated joy I get from mowing in the blazing sun. It also reflects the pleasure I get from some of the simpler things that life offers me: tending my vegetable patch, walking my dog, picking flowers that I grew from seeds, eating a meal al fresco with my kids while enjoying the warmth of the sun against my skin.’
Ulrika added, ‘Oh, and don’t forget the sunbathing — lying prostrate in a bikini enjoying a lazy half hour in the garden with my eyes closed.’
One comment on Ulrika’s post read, ‘The dangers of sun damage. I will defo wear factor 50 every day.’ To which she defiantly responded, ‘I won’t.’
Although she insists that she ‘doesn’t give two hoots about what people have to say’ about her love of the sun, Ulrika confessed she’s well aware of the dangers.
She added, ‘There’s no denying the cancer risk that goes hand-in-hand with excessive sun exposure, which is why I do use sunscreen: if I go out in the sun I always use SPF 30 suncream around my eyes and SPF 50 on my lips, then a 15 on my body; higher if I’m abroad. But I don’t obsess over it, re-applying constantly — once a day, unless the sun’s really beating down, tends to be enough.’
Ulrika is also open to the possibility that she’d ‘look 10 years younger’ if it wasn’t for all the hours she’s clocked up tanning – but it does mean she spends more when it comes to skincare.
‘My face cream — Crème de la Mer — is expensive because I have dry skin and need a decent one,’ she said. ‘But I don’t go for facials, and wear make-up so infrequently I don’t need a strict cleansing regime.’
Writing in another column for The Sun, Ulrika said, ‘I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of lines on my face and I know full well that if I hadn’t exposed my skin so emphatically, I would doubtless look five to 10 years younger.’
But Ulrika believes that we shouldn’t lecture each other on our ‘bad habits’ and let everyone get on with their own choices.
She finished, ‘I don’t nag smokers nor drinkers for their habits.
‘My drug of choice is the sun and as I’ve lived by the sword, I shall, no doubt, die by it — as long as it’s in the sun.’