Is Tanning an Addiction? How to Embrace a Pleasantly Pale Pallor.

I came across an article on the Guardian’s site a few months ago and found it interesting. The article begs the question about whether or not tanning is rooted in addiction. I’d never really contemplated this before- but it does seem to make sense. I’m sure that eventually, people start to identify themselves as tanned and they may feel abnormal without a tan or miss the ritual and feeling that goes along with getting a tan.

As the sun is peaking out, I’m contemplating wearing skirts and dresses that will inevitably expose my lily-white legs to the world. (I hope you’re all wearing sunglasses! Ha ha ha…) I’ve never been one to tan- partly because my skin does not tan easily and I will tend to burn before I tan if at all, and partly because I usually get bored of lying in the sun before either a tan or a burn can happen. I also can’t bare the idea of the smell or the time involved with self tanners- so I’ve learned to embrace my paleness.

However, I think I may be in the minority. Many people are sporting tans year round, and in Vancouver from October to March- that isn’t coming from the atmosphere. It seems that looking bronzed and acquiring the mood lifting affects from the simulated sunlight makes tanning an alluring vice- despite the threat of melanoma.

I’m not one for advocating walking around with sunglasses, a visor, a parasol and gloves (I’ve seen this, and the person was walking backwards- I’m not sure if they were avoiding the sun or communicating with extraterrestrials), but I am advocating accepting a new definition of beauty- the glow of vibrant healthy skin which no tan can improve on. In this Elle Canada article by Joan Harting, Dermatologist Patricia Wexler cites that ultra violet light inhibits your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor- which helps to maintain the balance of your skin’s hydration levels. So protecting your skin with sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, proper nutrition and an effective skin care routine are your best aids to being pleasantly pale.

Some of my favorite products for sporting my pale skin are:

  • Dermalogica’s Chromawhite Pure Light SPF 30: My new favorite moisturizer features hyaluronic acid- as must have ingredient for hydration, peptides and minerals to treat and prevent uneven skin tone as well as chemical-free full-spectrum sun protection. The best part is how this medium-weight cream gives my skin a lit from the inside glow.
  • GliSODin Skin Nutrient’s Skin Brightening Formula: This nutricosmetic provides a  therapeutic dose of coenzyme Q10 and carotenoids that are photo-protective and anti-inflammatory to help protect the skin and reduce inflammation caused by exposure to u.v. rays. Citrus bioflavinoids promote an even skin tone by inhibiting the enzymatic process that leads to hyperpigmentation, while superoxide dismutase acts as a powerful anti-oxdiant, significantly reducing the aging effects of oxidative stress. In plain english- your skin looks great and you have more energy.
  • Sea Flora Wild Organic Sea Weed Skin Care’s Laminaria Body Lotion: Containing healing and nutrient rich gels from West Coast sea weeds along with  olive, sunflower and avocado oils, this organic and locally produced moiturizer enriches and softens your skin like no other. I find it especially good for eczema and psoriasis, as it instantly soothes irritation.

So these are just a few of the gems that help me maintain my pale pallor. Fingers crossed you will join me in my pale crusade! ( is not helping by the way- a synonym for pale is cadaverous- shocking!)

How do you feel about tanning? Do you feel like you need to have a tan in order to bare your skin? Share your thoughts here.

Plan ahead and save 7% PST by purchasing a series of photorejuvenation packages before July 1st, 2010 to reverse sun damage in the fall and winter months.

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