There are more tanning salons in the US than there are McDonalds Restaurants! I couldn’t believe this startling fact that I heard yesterday on public radio from an advocacy group that is seeking to raise the age where girls are legally allowed to bake themselves. My first question is, why would girls subject themselves to those awful beds when they can self-tan every inch of their body with a perfectly decent cream?
That being said, I must admit that coming from the hideously cloudy UK, I wasn’t the smartest teen: I used to try to tan in every which way I possibly could. We used horrible orange fake tanning creams, took carrot pills which made us look like Oompa Loompa’s, and I even purchased a scary “tanning machine” from Boots Pharmacy. This machine looked like a portable grill that opened up so you could set it on a table. It was supposed to be a facial tanning machine, but we used to stand it on a box, a chair and then a table in order to tan all over. Moreover, we’d we’d bake until we were lobster red, far exceeding the recommend amount of “tanning” time. No wonder I have sun damage!
I’ll never forget the first time that my face got shoved into one of those photo facial machines by a dermatologist. The blueish light shows up all your sun damage, thus encouraging you to go ahead with a startlingly expensive photo facial.
Needless to say, we all know that tanning is really bad/aging for our skin. We risk getting skin cancer and that is pretty much that. It’s also understood that a little sun is good for us because of the vitamin D factor. 15-20 minutes of sun on un-sun-screened skin daily, is what I believe to be a healthy dose. In the winter, I take a vitamin D supplement instead.
So, onto fake-tanners or self-tanners. There are now so many on the market that it’s hard to tell which ones will not only give you a natural-looking tan, but also formulate without the use of the many toxic chemicals that we want to avoid. Here are my top picks:
The Organic Pharmacy: This one is expensive, but worth it if you’re splashing out. I love all Organic Pharmacy products and this light, but beautiful self-tanner is no exception.
True Natural Cosmetics: This gives a deep, golden tan. It’s creamier than the others, so no extra moisturizer is needed. The one downside is that it takes a few minutes to absorb, so you can’t get dressed straight away.
Oy! Soft Glow Natural Tan: This is fantastic if you want a gradual and very soft tan. It doesn’t smell at all, and you can apply it everyday for a week in order to achieve a gorgeous sunny glow by the weekend.