So, I know I have been preaching endlessly about staying out of the sun. But I have to admit, a golden tan looks so much better than white, pasty-looking skin in a sleeveless dress, top, or shorts.
And forget about going to the beach without a tan! If you’re wearing a bathing suit, or even a tank top and shorts, you’ll stand out like you’re fresh off the tourist bus from Iowa!
Determined to find a tanning solution that would not prematurely age my skin, give me skin cancer, make me break out in hives, or turn my skin a fake orange color, I began my research.
Over-the-counter tanners have some weird chemical in them that makes my skin break out in an itchy rash the minute I put it on and left a strange smell on my skin. That option is out.
I found out from a oncologist friend of mine that tanning beds are just as bad as laying out in the sun (or worse, he said) and can cause cancer. Cancer aside, I would freak out if I had to lay down in one of those things; I have claustrophobia. Next.
I finally got the courage to ask my BFF Nancy about her beautiful golden tan. (I wasn’t sure if she would reveal her tanning secrets to me.) I figured since she lived on the Marina Peninsula right smack dab on the sand that she just naturally had a tan from living there so long and taking walks on the beach every day. Not!
She admitted to me that she gets an airbrushed tan in a tanning salon. But the color was so natural, I would have never thought that she did. She urged me to check it out. So off I went to get an airbrushed tan. Me. Soon to be tan! The last time I had a significant tan, I was 25 years old (that was 30 years ago) and just getting back from a trip to Hawaii.
I walked into the cute little tanning bungalow and looked around. No tanning beds here! Just a nice gal at the counter. She explained to me that all of the products that are used are organic and made from sugar and beets. I am not allergic to sugar or beets, so I was encouraged. She assured me I would not breakout from their solution.
She asked me how dark I wanted to be. Medium dark, I said. (I could work up to a deeper tan later, I thought.) Prior to my visit, she asked me to exfoliate my skin so the tan would be an even color. Freshly showered and exfoliated, I was ready.
She led me to a room in the back of the small cottage. The airbrush room! She asked me to take off all of my clothes and said she’d be right back. Okay, now I was buck naked in the back room of a bungalow, waiting for a strange woman I just met.
Good times. I put my silk pashmina around me like a sarong until she came back.
She came back into the room. I dropped the scarf. She started to spray my body with a tanning solution. The whole process took about 30 minutes. And voila! I WAS TAN. It was a beautiful golden tan. Like the kind you get when you go to a tropical island.
No weird smell, no rashes, and no orange color. It was awesome! She told me the tan would last two weeks. I gladly paid the $90 that it cost and walked out feeling much sexier than I did when I walked in. I will be back when my tan fades for a refresher.
The added value you get with a tan is that you look thinner and healthier. One of my girlfriends always said that cellulite looks so much better with a tan. (Uh, I wouldn’t know about that).
P.S.: Email me if you want to know my secret place to get the same tan…
Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Santa Monica has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart, and savvy.
Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email [email protected]