Given that it's a gloriously warm and sunny weekend day at the peak of summer, it's the perfect time to talk about tans, tanning, and just "being tan."
A deep, dark, St. Tropez tan is style that will stick. Entertainment and media have tried to shift the idea by glamorizing fair-skinned beauties like Nicole Kidman, Rose McGowan, and Liv Tyler. Even with every outlet -- whether it's media, internet sources, your friends, family, and even your doctor -- hurling warnings of early aging, risk factors, health and medical statistics, and case studies of people who have died of one of various forms of skin cancer, "tan is beautiful" will never go away.
Part of this, of course, is conceptual -- it's all the fantasy that we associate with tanning like luxury, vacation, escape, exotic destinations. The other part is that tanning really does help camouflage some of our physical flaws. I know that I think I look skinnier when I'm tan. When I'm pale, a lot of the dark spots and blemishes on my face seem to stand out so much more.
What are we to do about this? We know that tanning is absolutely horrible, and yet we can't let go of it as a quality of beauty. I'm sure I don't have to tell you: always, always,always, ALWAYS go with a safe tan, my friends. There are so many ways to achieve a deep dark tan without the risk of actual sun exposure. Wear products with SPF like they're going out of style. Take care of your skin so you have less reason to feel the need to cover up with a tan. Exfoliate, use a store-bought self-tanner, or go with a salon spray-on. Yes, salon spray-tanning is a bit more expensive than a natural "free" tan from sitting in the sun, but I'm pretty sure that a $40 charge for a single spray tan is a lot cheaper than medical bills for treating skin cancer, or full on plastic surgery later on in life!
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