It’s almost summer. Time to capture that deep, golden tan. What’s the best way to do it? Fake-bake or lying in the sun?
When I was a teen, half of my summer vacation would be spent with my girlfriends laying on a blowup floating “bed” in our pool, using Ban du Soleil suntan lotion, baby oil and foil to reflect on our faces for the deepest tan possible.
We started at 10 am, and did not get off that rubber raft until 2 pm. Yes, we eventually emerged from the pool with deep, golden tans after the initial third degree burns healed from the first few weeks of sun exposure.
And once a year several of us girls would go to Hawaii to begin or finish with that beautiful deep tan that the climate delivered to our fellow sun worshipers. There’s nothing like a tan from Hawaii!
I have no idea how I escaped that era, now at age 50-something with decent skin and no real wrinkles. Now, I rarely go in the sun, and keep a strict skin care regime to keep age spots, wrinkles, and saggy skin at bay.
So what’s the best way to achieve that Hawaiian tan without going to Hawaii, prematurely aging your skin or being at risk for deadly melanoma or other skin cancers?
I set out last weekend to discover the best options. First, I tried a spray-on tan. Just on one arm. It was uneven, and looked kind of brownish orange. It also made me breakout and itch. Next!
I tried a liquid bronzer. It looked a little better, but a lot of it rubbed off onto my clothes. And, if you don’t pay attention to detail, it’s noticeable. I’ve found that bronzing powders are good for the face. And stick bronzers are good for the legs. They go on smoothly with little or no streaks.
I looked into tanning booths, but they are more lethal than the sun itself. How they manage to stay in business I don’t know.
Several friends go to a popular tanning salon in Santa Monica, specializing in customized airbrush tanning. They guarantee a natural, golden-brown tan, with no streaks. The process takes about 20 minutes, and then the tan continues to develop for several hours.
Here’s the catch – the tan lasts about a week, and costs $49. To keep it up, you have to spend $200 a month for a full time tan. But for special occasions, I can deal with the price. My friend and I just scheduled an appointment at this particular salon. They had a two for one special. We’ll let you know how it goes!
Oh, and stay out of the sun. It could kill you!
Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 seeking insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor.
Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email [email protected]