Return of the Orange

Sunny days are here again. Yay! Unfortunately, it's not yet warm enough to bask, scantily clad in my garden to banish the winter pale. So, the question arises: how do I not look like a pasty bit of fish? I could do the tanning booths. Or, I could indulge in some self-tanning until it really is warm enough to stretch out on my blanket.

The thing is my skin can cope with a lot of sun. I can spend all summer in my garden and only look mildly brown. I spent all summer in Trinidad and I still had white legs when I came back in September. I used to go to tanning booths, have about 5 or 6 sessions a season, just to ease up on the white look, but then about 5 years ago, I developed pigmentation issues on my cheeks (of my face). Tanning booths deliver too high a blast of UV to make me want to risk further issues, especially given my brother had a dodgy mole removed a couple of years ago.

When I do sun bathe, it's with SPF 50 on my face and SPF 40 everywhere else. I lay out in the sun, cover my face with a towel until I get too hot and then I come in again. I only do it once a day. This is probably why I stay pasty. I also find it incredibly boring just lying there. The light reflecting off the pages of a book makes reading uncomfortable. Though I suppose I could always fire up my shiny toy to while away the hours.

My training with the Cosmetic's House has been very useful as far as taking care in the sun is concerned. Sun damage and skin cancer are not conducive to looking and feeling fabulous. Neither is the pinched, sun-dried tomato look.

The thing is, I don't particularly want to spend a huge amount of money on a self-tanning products. The St Tropez tanning thang, just does not appeal, plus it's hideously expensive, considering a self-tan only lasts a couple of weeks (if you're lucky). There are self-tanning products that run from £3.00 (for single use wipes) up to £30.

The secret with any self-tan product is two-fold. 1) exfoliate before application. Shave those woolly legs and have a bloody good scrub. 2) a tanning mitt. Helps to apply the lotion evenly and avoids the orange palms. 3) moisturize ankles, knees and elbows before applying lotion. Again helps keep the colour even.

Self-tanning technology is much better than it used to be. Less orange, far more natural. Though if you get it wrong it still looks horrible. Streaks are a bit of a nightmare. There are rescues to have on hand if it all goes horribly wrong. Facial toners quickly remove excess colour. When I do my hands, I apply a small bit of lotion and 'wash' my hands thoroughly, paying attention to between my fingers. I then get a cotton pad, soaked in toner and wipe my palms and fingers several times.

Hope that beauty lesson was useful to you. Failing that, come back soon and I'll be thinking of something else to write about.


  1. I noticed I've already got a watch mark, just from working in the garden, and sitting a bit in my arbour reading (If you tip the book up at the right angle, it creates its own shade, and you don't get the glare).

    Mind you, I do tan quite easily.

  2. We love you exactly the shade you are!

  3. When I was in 9th grade there was this girl who went to the tanning booths quite often. Her legs looked leathery then. I don't want to know what she looks like now.

    I don't tan well. I either get pink and then go back to pale again or don't even get the pink. Because of this I've come to embrace the whiteness. In the old days being tanned was for the farmers and so I cherish my paleness knowing I am upper class. Obviously those who are born tanned (any lovely colour) are SO LUCKY and gorgeous and I am so jealous.

    I still love being ghostly and find it comforting that my risk of getting skin cancer is very low.

  4. dave ~ you've got a Kindle. Anti-glare technology.

    xl ~'re so sweet.

    cyberpete ~ au contraire, your kind of skin has to be protected, babied even. If you've got two colours, white and pink, you're doing exactly the right thing: staying out of the sun.

    mago ~ lol. I don't go that far. Promise.

  5. Hi Roses,
    You don't want to end up looking like this

    Smothering kids in sun screening lotions (Almost as they leave the womb) has almost become a mandatory thing. In fact in most primary schools primary schools, sunscreen and wearing of a hat in the playground is mandatory.

    Studies after all these years are showing there is a huge number of kids with vitamin D deficiency!

    I wonder how that happened?

  6. They're not backtracking on the sunblock advice and saying that some sunshine is a good thing, I've noticed.

    I can be in the sun, but I can't lie in it, even with sun cream on. I like dappled shade but even then I have to move every time the sun gets on to me again.

  7. *now* backtracking. Not 'not'.


  8. princess ~ the day I look like Will Ferrell, I'm expecting one of you to put me out of my misery!

    And you're right, some sunshine is a very good thing indeed. I've already decided come the winter, I'll be trying some of Ms Boxer's happy pills (vit D).

    z ~ Are they? I know some alternative health therapists are saying that standing in the sun 15 mins a day without glasses/contact lenses is good for you.

  9. Dude, really, sorry this is five days late, I'm so effing behind.

    Me, I'm the palest person on Earth. I am translucent. Every year I have this problem after a five month, minus 40 degree hell winter. I can burn lobster red in cool temps for God's sake. Fake tanners make me orange or yellow. I hear spray tans can be good if you get a good one but who knows the difference really?

    Me, I love that sunscreen gel you can get. Hella expensive but it lasts all day, you don't burn at all or have to reapply and you somehow tan through it without burning. I've never used anything like it. I can't remember who makes it. Riemann I think... I used it one hot summer and had the best tan ever with no burning. Best tan for me anyway. Which is you know...normal colour for anyone else.

  10. veggie ~ going for the pale, interesting look? Go goth and then you won't ever have to worry about tanning.

    And no worries honey, it's just good to see you, whenever you do rock up.


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