Summer is coming! Are you as excited as I am? The one thing I hate about the summer though, is being self conscious about my pale skin. I never like being the whitest girl at the party, or the only one at the beach who has to lather in 100 SPF sunblock every 30 min! Wanting this summer to be different (I don't care what color I am, I just want to have color), I decided to get the scoop on tanning.
What I have gathered, and you all have probably already heard, is that a "healthy tan" is almost impossible. Discouraging...but I kept searching.
Almost every doctor would tell you that excessive sun exposure increases your risk for skin cancer. Burns and tans are also the second leading cause (behind smoking) of premature aging. And this is just for natural sun. If you really want to be scared, look up the risks of indoor tanning. I know a lot of people do it, but if you can avoid it at least now while you're young, I would try to.
So whether its a tan from the sun or from bulbs, the bottom line is that the bronze beach babes we all envy might not be as lucky as we think!
Protection is easy though. Most experts recommend that if you are going to spend more than a few minutes in the sun, you should generously apply sunscreen. I have heard different opinions about what SPF you should use, but most agree that you shouldn't wear anything below a 15. To reduce exposure you can wear a large brimmed hat, sunglasses, and clothing that is not see through.
So if all these smart people keep saying that we should avoid the sun and hide under rocks (well maybe they're not quite that overboard), how do we get the sun kissed tan that we all want?
A couple suggestions?
I know that when I say artificial tanning, the first word that pops into your mind is ORANGE! And that is very true sometimes! I do not know much about spray tans, but I've never heard them recommend very highly, so what I would suggest is a gradual tanner. Just do some research. Whether it's a bronzer or an instant tan lotion, find something works for you. Make sure the product has good reviews, even though what works for someone might make you look like an oompa loompa! So when you decide to use a product, it might be a good idea to try a discreet part of your body (like your inner thigh) to see how it looks.
Actually, besides artificial tans, there are not many other healthy ways to gain that glow. For those of you who are already dark complected or tan after going outside for 10 minutes....consider yourself blessed. :)
So after some research and trial and error, here is my game plan to become...well...less white.
- Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer. A lot of people sing this lotion's praises. I love it! You don't have to use it very long to notice a difference in your skin. I can't promise that it will make a huge difference, but to me it is enough to make it worth it. The change is gradual, so it looks natural and no one will have to know :) Not to mention it is a great moisturizer! My legs are always super soft after using Jergens.
- Just a little bit of sun bathing. Some Vitamin D can't kill me, so when I get a chance I will probably lay out in my back yard for small periods of time. I will use sunscreen though, because without it, I will just turn red! I found a this tanning lotion at walmart. Mine has an SPF of 15 though.
this article by Dr. Oz is really good. He gives a lot of the same information I talked about.
And with all of this said, keep in mind that our outer beauty is temporary. A tan will fade, and 20 years from now, trends might be totally different!
I hope these tips have helped. How are you trying to get tan? Do you have a favorite lotion or bronzer? Let us know!