Summer Skin

April 7, 2011 at 7:29 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 9 Comments
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this should be me

It’s that time of year to start working on your summer tans! Nobody wants to walk on to the beach looking like a ghost.  What may be even worse are those who don’t tan correctly and show up looking like a farmer (that’s never happened to me, though I did once go tanning wearing flower print shear undies, and ended up with a garden butt for like a week — hey, I was an amateur!)  You want to have a good tan, so you don’t want to be sloppy, or wait until the last minute either.  A good tan takes time.

And since it’s not quite warm enough to lay out in the sun, it’s time to resort to some form of indoor tanning.  I can hear the naysayers scolding me now — “Tanning beds give you cancer, it makes you look old,” on and on and on.  Well guess what? Just about everything gives you cancer.  It’s all about moderation and being aware of your body (and knowing when to stop).  You can’t live your life avoiding everything that may lead to cancer.  Of course tanning and being tan isn’t for everyone, either.

I do remember a time when the only way I got color was from playing in the sun.  As kids, we didn’t really care, but we did see stuff on TV that we would mimic to be cool — laying out in the sun was cool! Using Sun-In to make your hair blond was cool!  As I got into high school, I was very concerned with my looks, like any teenager.  I would go tanning once or twice a week.  By the time I was a senior, I was at my best — tan, skinny, and full of promise.

As I refocus on getting back my high school body (don’t laugh) I’ve started tanning once a week.  It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to wake up my skin for the pending summer sun.  I know I won’t do it forever and I’ll never be a Jersey Shore kid, but for now it works for me.  I have yet to explore the spray tan phenomenon but know that at some point my fear of getting wrinkles from the booth will take over.

And at some point I won’t care at all.  My attention will be focused on a billion other things.  It’s so easy to stop tending to your beauty needs as you get older, so I want to try to look my best for as long as I can.  So if that means tanning occasionally, then tanning it is.  And I’ll keep the lotion on hand, and the aloe near by.  I’m not stupid.

What are you doing to prepare for the summer?


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  1. I want to try to look my best for as long as I can. So if that means tanning occasionally, then tanning it is

    These two statements are totally contradictory. If you want leathery, wrinkled looking skin, and the possibility of scars from having cancers removed, then go ahead and tan. I used to thnk like you until I had a 2 inch chunk cut out of my chest because of skin cancer. Now any time I wear anything low cut, this large scar shows.

    If you really want to look your best for as long as you can, then take care of your skin and DON’T TAN. Really. Please. I’m not trying to be nasty or bitchy. Just honest. You really don’t want to deal with the results in 10 or 15 years.

    • I totally see your perspective. Like I said, this is not a long term habit. How often did you tan when you were young? I appreciate the perspective from the other side of 30 😉

      • Well I grew up overseas and spent every weekend on the beach or the water when I was a kid. Then when we moved back to the states in the 70s, it was the height of the tanning culture, so every weekend was spent on a towel in the backyard or by the pool, slicked up with the lowest SPF Coppertone we could buy. 🙂

        I’m 43 now. The skin on my face is rougher than I’d like it to be and I’ve been told directly by my dermatologist that it’s sun damage. I have age spots next to my right eye, also caused by sun damage. I have bad squint wrinkles, although I pass them off as laugh lines. 😉 The skin on my chest is mottled and blotchy – again, told that it is absolutely sun damaged. And as I said a few years ago I found a small scaly spot right between my boobs that never seemed to go away. I finally went to the derm about it and they did an immediate biopsy. It turned out to be cancerous (not even pre-cancerous, but the real deal) and within 2 days I was lying on a table with my whole chest numbed while they cut a huge plug of flesh out of me. Because it was so close to my breasts, I had to have mammograms every 3 months for a year and a half.

        Now I laugh with people at the office about my shiny white, glow-in-the-dark legs when I wear skirts in the summer. I do use a self tanning cream, but only very lightly to take the worst of the pasty-ness out.

        Seriously I would give anything to go back and do it right again. I see women with this lovely creamy pale skin who take really good care of it and slather on the sunscreen and wear hats and scarves (my SIL is one of them) and I hate that I was stupid enough to do what I did. The sad thing is I see people (kinda like you 🙂 ) who say “oh I’m only going to do it a little” or whatever – and I used to say the same thing. I know that nothing I say will ever really make a difference to someone who is determined to tan, but I so wish it would.

      • I’ve certainly heard stories like this before. I definitely don’t get out to the beach every weekend! I’m lucky if I get there 3 times! Oh yea, and SPF 15, every time.

        Don’t worry — your story does make a difference. 🙂

  2. I sort of agree with Frugal Forties. Like you said, anything in moderation, but coming from your alabaster bff, tanning = no bueno. I am checking out spray tanning next week, and I’ll give you my feedback 🙂 PS: AWWW SUN-IN!!!!! I remember. Smelling like lemons and peroxide.

    • yea, you have totally been talking tanning lately lady. You seem to be on the fence. Definitely let me know about the spray tan stuff. I’ve heard good things, but I find it weird standing around half naked while someone sprays you…

      • i think i’m too scare of the beds/stand up tanning. I can’t have that embarrassing story happen every time I go. Point is, I haven’t gone. But spray tanning sounds awesome. And it’s done in a BOOTH not by a person. I have no problem being nakie.

  3. i am the same as you, i love the sun but i always wear a high sunscreen. im fair and i love fake bake, it gives a really natural looking tan, but lets you sit in the shade. no one will know!

  4. I like the spray tan… But that’s probably just the Irish in me as bright red is the only color I turn otherwise.

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