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Mark Zuckerberg may have become the butt of endless jokes this summer over his sunscreen usage, but the Facebook CEO appears to be unfazed.
Back in July, paparazzi photos of Zuckerberg surfing in Hawaii surfaced online. The fair-skinned CEO, on vacation with his family, was slathered in sunscreen or zinc oxide while riding a wave aboard a Lift efoil, an electric surfboard that can cost upwards of $12,000. Zuckerberg's attention to skin protection drew comparisons to a mime, the Joker, and even Mrs. Doubtfire.Tweet Embed:
Mark Zuckerberg surfboards in Hawaii with way too much sunscreen https://t.co/TYcdDmBbZG pic.twitter.com/INyGVPvNY6
Zuckerberg addressed the photo during a company-wide Q&A in July, according to leaked audio obtained by The Verge's Casey Newton, published Wednesday. Despite seemingly endless memes at his expense, Zuckerberg didn't appear too upset when discussing them with employees.
"I'm not a person who's under the illusion that I look particularly cool at any point with what I'm doing," Zuckerberg said. "But when you're efoiling down the coast of Kauai, and it's beautiful, and it feels like it's awesome ... you come back online and you see that's the photo, that's what you look like ... it's like, oof, OK. Alright. That's maybe quite a bit more sunscreen than I thought I was wearing."
Zuckerberg was probably not wearing your typical sunscreen during his vacation — it appeared that he opted for zinc oxide, a mineral sunscreen that sits atop the skin to block UV rays. These types of sunscreens work great for sensitive skin, and serve as another option for those looking to avoid the more common chemical sunscreens that some experts worry could have negative health effects long-term.
Zuckerberg appears well aware of the benefits of spreading on the sunblock, and didn't back down from his pro-sunscreen stance during the Q&A.
"But look, gotta stay safe," Zuckerberg said, according to The Verge. "I'm not going to apologize for wearing too much sunscreen. I think sunscreen is good and I stand behind that."
Beyond a penchant for sunscreen, Zuckerberg appears to be quite familiar with skincare, which employees have noticed in the past — The Verge reports that Zuckerberg has received "a lot of questions" about his skincare routine since Facebook employees began working remotely in March and the Q&As went virtual.
During a call earlier in July, prior to the surfing photos going viral, Zuckerberg reportedly addressed his skin — which, for anyone who's seen Zuckerberg on video in the past six months can attest, usually appears clear, hydrated, and nearly pore-less. He recommended good lighting for video calls, lots of exercise and sleep, vacation — and, of course, sunscreen.
Then again, whether Zuckerberg's clear, glowing skin is the result of genetics or a devotion to his skincare routine, he already has a leg up by nature of his job at Facebook: as both Racked's Jaya Saxena and The Atlantic's Amanda Mull have pointed out, having "good" skin is directly tied to being wealthy. As the fourth-richest person in the world with a net worth of $96.6 billion, Zuckerberg can afford it.
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