The Tanning Conundrum

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When I was young I was not a bathing beauty. Just writing that makes me laugh. When I was little I rarely saw a beach. Except for the odd times we rented my aunt and uncle’s camp at Grand Lake. And even then I was constantly sick with a cold and a runny nose so Mum kept me well wrapped up. Bonnet, included. And when I was allowed to shed some clothes, I always burned in the sun. Always. My dark-haired sister Connie and my brother Terry were tanned to perfection. Not me.

Me at three years old on the beach at Grand Lake, New Brunswick.
Me well-wrapped at the beach, age three. At least my sister Connie is in a swimsuit.

When I was a teenager, I was never comfortable on a beach in a bathing suit. All those tanned female bodies, the girls who filled a bathing suit properly and whose mothers didn’t have to take in the bust of their suit to make it fit, made me nervous. Bathing suit shopping back then was my worst nightmare. Skinny, flat-chested, with skin that burned easily and hair that frizzed when stirred by the wind, I felt freakishly out of place on the beach. I know that’s an overreaction. But that’s what teenagers do, isn’t it? They overreact.

All this is to say that I am and never have been a beach person, although I adore the ocean. Consequently the idea of tanning, since it usually involved wearing a bathing suit at the beach, always left me cold. And even though I’ve been much more comfortable with my body in a bathing suit for years, I now think that lying on a beach, or in the sun poolside, is just plain boring.

Of course one doesn’t have to be at the beach or at a pool to get a tan. Even so, I never participated in the activity of “laying out” which is what my sisters did as teenagers. Slathered in baby oil, they lay on blankets tanning in the backyard. To me with my redhead’s freckled, easily burned skin, they always looked marvellous with their tans. I’m sure I must have tanned a little as a child what with all the playing outdoors we did in the summer. I just don’t remember.

But yet, pale skin and body dysmorphia aside, I somehow still like the idea of being tanned. At least a little. As an untanned young teen, being tanned symbolized good-looks, and confidence, and popularity. And even when I grew out of that misconception, I thought that being tanned made white tee shirts and summer dresses look so much better.

When I was in my thirties and early forties I went through a period when I was more tanned then ever before. Not because I partook of tanning, but because I was simply outdoors more. I ran several days a week, Hubby and I cycled and golfed, and we went canoe camping at least once a summer. I always wore sunscreen. But those were the days when we thought SPF 15 was good enough. I should add that I frequently had farmer’s tan. With colour that stopped in odd places, and white feet because when I was in the sun I always wore sneakers.

Based on this wedding photo, next to me, Hubby looks as if he's been tanning. But it's only garden work.
July 8, 1989. See how much more tanned Hubby is than me?

The summer in the nineties that we rented a cottage on P.E.I. and my friend Janet and her partner came to stay, I was the most tanned I’ve ever been before or since. That’s Janet and me below. Janet is a true redhead, and consequently the only person I know who tanned less than I did.

The summer I had a tan. PEI in the nineties.
August holiday in P.E.I. sometime in the nineties.

Now, even though Hubby and I still bike and walk, and camp and fish, I don’t get a tan like I did back in those halcyon days. Ha. Good thing too. I’m not risking skin cancer and even more wrinkles than I already have by being silly about sun exposure. There’s a reason they call it “tanning.” Laugh lines and furrowed brows are one thing, but I don’t want my face to look like an old leather boot by the time I’m seventy. These days I slather myself in SPF 50 and wear a hat. And when I put my makeup on, I brush bronzer on my face and a little dab of cream blush across the bridge of my nose so my face looks a little sun-kissed.

Which brings me to my main point. Since Hubby and I have been cycling and I’ve been walking this summer, I am, despite the SPF 50, getting a teensy bit of tan. A paler version of my nineties farmer tan. With white feet and very pale lower legs. Cycling is bad for that. I actually don’t mind being pale, but pale in places and not in others looks odd. Especially in sandals.

So I’m going to try self-tanners again. With some trepidation, I should add. I tried self-tanners back in the nineties. Smelly and streaky is what I remember most. But I’ve been doing my research. And I’ve identified two self-tanners that I’m going to try this summer to solve my farmer’s tan problem.

One product was mentioned by a reader in a comment a while back. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Mosituriser. This was recommended in one of the articles I read as the best of the “drug store” brands. You use it instead of a daily body moisturiser, and the “tan” develops gradually over time. Not sure how long this takes. The moisturizing bit sounded good to me. Plus since self-tanners only change the melatonin level of the surface skin cells which slough off regularly, one always has to reapply quite often anyway.

I may try the Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil, which was also recommended in the same article. I’ve used Josie Maran argan oil products before and liked them. This product was recommended for mature skin. Which I have. Still, I want to visit Sephora and try before I buy. Mostly to feel the texture and experience the fragrance. I cannot abide creams or oils whose smell I don’t like.

Now, please don’t think that I will be going whole hog with the tanning. I think we all should be happy with our natural skin colour no matter what it is. Getting outside in the sunshine is important for most of us, if only for the vitamin D it provides. But we should be careful of over-exposure, and wear sunscreen and hats and protective clothing as much as we can. It’s a balancing act, isn’t it? We need some sun, but not too much. Besides, that old tanning thing just doesn’t wash anymore. Our health is way more important than a tan that fades by September.

I’d kind of assumed that the tanning craze had disappeared with our changing climate and all the available information about the dangers of UV. That is until I saw a couple of extremely tanned women on Instagram on the weekend. And when I was reading about tanning yesterday, I read some alarming articles about women and men who have gone to drastic measures to look, and remain looking, tanned. According to an article in Scientific American, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital say that people who tan a lot can get addicted to the sun. Scientists now think that tanning can increase our beta-endorphins, and make us feel good. And “frequent tanners have been found to have withdrawal symptoms” when they stop.

Wow. The tanning conundrum just gets more and more complicated.

How about you, my friends? Did you tan as a youngster? Or were you pale and envious like me? What’s your relationship with the sun these days? I’m serious, I read some disturbing articles about people (women mostly) who would risk anything to get a tan. And then there’s some famous tans on famous politicians. But let’s not go there, okay?

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64 thoughts on “The Tanning Conundrum”

  1. Wendy in York

    Your tanning life is my tanning life . Not surprising as I think we have the same pale skin . I did try to sunbathe as a teenager when others had their lovely tans but I just hated it . So hot & sticky & boring . Plus it was really hard to read my books in the glare . I only once had an (almost) all over tan but that was a mistake. We were on a huge Corfu beach where we lost the keys of our hire car & waited over twelve hours for help . I just kept slapping on the cream as there was no shade . I must admit I enjoyed the compliments when we got home but not enough to do it again . People know I need the shady seat when we socialise . I am out a lot in the garden but well covered so usually end up looking like I’m wearing brown gloves ! It’s ok till I wear a dress & have these white legs poking out . So I’ll be watching your experiment with interest . Oh & I love that bonnet .

    1. After twelve hours on the beach you must have been a sticky mess of multiple layers of sunscreen. Hopefully you were able to get in the water while you waited as well to cool off. Stu lives in fear of losing car keys when we travel. I’m trying to visualize you in a dress with brown gloves. Ha.
      P.S. Really interesting article you sent me on the non-green aspects of renting clothes. Not the panacea it’s cracked up to be.

  2. I always tanned well, usually going very red first but then settling down to a deep brown. Like you (but for the opposite reasons) I found the whole swimsuit conundrum painful, something I no longer give a monkey’s about, but I enjoy sitting on a beach or by a pool, just staring at other people and listening to all the sounds of water. If someone brings me a beer, even better. Not this year, by the looks of it, though I did enjoy a lovely lunch in the sunshine at the weekend. Self-tanners – like doing one’s hair, a complete mystery to me and my one attempt was my last. Thank you for reminding me to chuck it out of the bathroom cabinet….

  3. My gorgeous neighbors, maybe 5 or 8 years older, laid out religiously, and impressionable me copied everything they did. I would eventually tan but had many very bad sunburns, not usually from laying out but from some activity in the sun, done before SPF was a thing. For some years I have just as religiously avoided the sun. The Mediterranean is half an hour away but I don’t swim and don’t appreciate the sand, but end up going once or twice per summer. I have a pop-up tent shade (doesn’t blow away like parasols) and I wear a long-sleeved, high-necked rash guard with swim shorts, both black, for a Ninja look. I like L’Oréal self tanner best. Nuxe is nice–smells good–but I prefer L’Oréal. The key is to apply very little, but almost daily, after a good exfoliation on the knees and ankles.

  4. This sounds just my teen swimsuit life! Try the Jergen’s. It’s inexpensive and non-offensive odor wise. Buy the lightest formulation and use less over the knees and elbows.

  5. Hi, I’m quite pale too. Lots of redheads in my family 🙂 For years I’ve been using the Vichy self-tanner, especially on my legs. After I shave my legs I mix a big dollop of the Vichy with my regular body lotion (about half of each) and carefully massage all over the legs. Let dry about 20 minutes. I think it creates a nice golden glow, not orange. It covers up the little spider veins and makes me feel summery. https://www.vichy.ca/en/ideal-soleil-self-tanner–3337871310714.html

  6. I was so lucky,to get tan easy(with fair blond hair,blue eyes and fair skin). I never enjoyed lying in the sun,getting it-but I love,love to swim and dive and whatever else, in the sea,so,it came naturally (with spf 10 or 15,years ago,as you said,it was the highest spf we knew)
    Nowdays,I’m in the sun for how long it takes to walk to the beach,with spf 50. But,I swim one hour in the early morning,same in the sunset- get tan and white spots from my eyeglasses (to protect my eyes),tanned face,hands and shoulders and white legs. I would be happy if my legs were tanned,but I wasn’t good with fake tan,gradually or not,so, it is like it is
    The bonnet is so sweet
    Dottoressa

    1. Reading your comment makes me recall our stay near Trogir in 2019. Our small family-run hotel was right on the Adriatic, with it’s own small private part of the beach. No one around except the German family who stayed all day on the beach and were always quite jolly by the time we arrived to swim. The water was lovely and so warm. And after our swim we just sat and breathed. Sigh. It was wonderful.

  7. Self-tanners are much better now, I have used Jergens Glow for years on my legs, getting a nice golden color. (I put a little moisturizer on my knees and ankles before applying it.)
    But for my face, neck and arms I use Alba Botanica gentle sunscreen and LOVE their sunless tanner. Smells like orange sherbert!
    A little trick I use is that I mix it with a small amount of moisturizer the first time, then go full strength next time – no streaks.

  8. My dermatologist had a big poster in his office that said, “If you keep tanning your hide, it will look like leather”. I grew up in the baby oil and iodine generation. I never really knew what the iodine part was for, but it got mixed up in the baby oil bottle anyway. We had a pool, so I spent all summer getting the darkest tan I could get, always burning the first day, and then just getting deeper tan. I didn’t see the light until I was about 55. I am now 73 and have spent the years between 55 and 73 trying to undo all the sun damage with Tretinoin, vitamin c, and religious use of spf 46 or higher EVERY day. I don’t use self tanners. I feel it just promotes the message that you need to look tan to look good.

  9. Your posts always resonate with me!
    Tan Towels are my go to. They are convenient in their little
    pouches – and give me a natural looking tan that isn’t orange
    and doesn’t smell!

  10. Growing up on a farm meant that we were helping in the fields from a young age with no sunscreen, so there were some nasty burns. This is why I have never been one to lay in the sun, it just feels like torture to absorb all that heat. I laughed when I read the line from Wendy about being the one in the group to always be in the shade. I have my hat, and if there is no shade, I will not stay long. When working outside at home, after the sunscreen and bug spray applied and hat on with long sleeve linen shirt, I really don’t wish for company. As for the fake tan, I have tried a few, but the smell as you say has to be pleasant or I just won’t use it. I can remember in my teens trying it for the first time and ended up with streaks and orange ankles. It was many many years before I tried that again. There is a product, Biotherm BB milk that I like that just gives a tinted glow and then washes off in the shower, This is great to add a bit of colour to the tops of my arms and bottom of legs when going out and there is no waiting time. Not sure if they still have it since mine has lasted during this staying at home time. There are times I think it would be nice to have a bit of tan, but then I think of an aunt of mine who did look like old leather and am happy to be pale.

    1. I think there is nothing hotter than sitting on a tractor in a hay field in the July sun. Unless it’s actually doing the heavy lifting. But usually I drove. My step-father always gave me the easier jobs. Still, there was always Mum’s strawberry pie for dinner to look forward to, so it wasn’t all bad. 🙂

  11. I was one who spent hours on a lawn chair very summer slathered in baby oil to get a dark tan. I’m very fair, and my skin at 64 is showing the results of that abuse. I have lots of age spots and freckles and have had three skin cancers removed (so far). I share my complexion with my dad, who has had many, many skin cancers cut or burned off. Luckily, since my face never tanned well, I was much more likely to apply sunscreen there, so my face isn’t showing the ill effects as badly.

    I do get a bit of a golfer’s tan despite my religious use of sunscreen, and the Jergen’s self tanner in “fair to medium” helps to even me out. It’s easy to use, doesn’t streak, and has a somewhat pleasant scent that quickly dissipates. I’ve used the Jergen’s for years.

    I have a close friend who I suspect has a sun addiction. She spends several weeks sun bathing at the beach yearly and uses a tanning bed when at home. She says it makes her feel better. She does tan beautifully and hopefully won’t pay the price in years to come.

  12. I was so sucked into the “tan will look thinner” philosophy, I went to tanning beds for years! I shudder to think of the damage I did….I’ve tried many self-tanners, and the Jergens is the best as it’s not expensive, gradual, doesn’t smell as bad as most, and gives me a really natural looking color – not orange. I really like the way my legs look when I use it and feel much more confident in shorts and skirts/dresses. I see color after 2 applications, and use it every other day, but only when I’ve got at least a half hour before dressing or going to bed – needs to soak in or my clothes rub it off, although I never see it on clothing, sheets or towels. My biggest problem is after wearing work boots and socks for farm work on the weekends when it’s hot and I’ve sweated a lot, it rubs off completely under those and I look like I’m wearing white socks! I obviously need to do less work, eh?

  13. Good post and discussion. I am like you (took after Dad) pale skin and burn easily. My Mom and sister always tanned beautiful – thanks Dad. I got some horrible sun burns as a young teen going to the beach with my friends. When I reached my twenties I realized I hated sun bathing, as you said boring (and very hard to read in the blazing sun).

    So, I stayed away from the sun as much as possible. I will be seventy in less than a week and have very few wrinkles (that also may be due to oily skin – again, thanks Dad). I am always pale and hate that, but too lazy to do anything about it. I have also had two skin cancers, a type of melanoma (less dangerous) and a basal cell (on my face – scar from that). So I am proof one needs to be careful of the sun – it was those long ago sunburns.

    Eager to see how you make out with the self tanning! 😊😎

  14. I loved the photo of you as a child – even then, you were stylish! As to a tan, my brother-in-law used to say, “Brown fat looks better than white fat.” I did tan with baby oil as a teenager, as did many folks in my generation. We didn’t know any better. I now protect my face, hands, neck, and decollete, and get some sun everywhere else. If I am at the beach, I will use sunscreen all over. Fortunately, I am part Native American, so I don’t burn easily. I am religious about wearing good sunglasses when I am outdoors. I believe we can enjoy the sun in moderation if we want to; but I am still interested in hearing your report on self tanners!

    1. Good point about the sunglasses. Hubby’s very early cataracts were probably because he won’t wear sunglasses when he fishes. It’s too hard to see the water properly he says. Then I bought him good Ray Bans and now he’s converted.

  15. Thank you for this post. I always enjoy reading what you write. However, I was disappointed in this post as it is addressed to white women. I think you missed an opportunity to be more inclusive. Please take this as a constructive suggestion.

  16. I recently read about Clarins Radiance. You add a few drops to your moisturizer and slather it on. Has anyone tried this product? I usually like Clarins but I was wondering if this product has an odor to it. I really don’t like the smell of self tanning lotions. Thanks.

    Janet

  17. Mary of Pittsburgh

    Like you, I was a redhead who looked longingly on the suntanned kids, thinking that if I could somehow roast myself to that color, I’d be popular too. Kids, right? Now, regretting all those hours in the sun at the pool, I visit the dermatologist twice a year, wear at least SPF 50 sunscreen, and hope for the best. I also now like my fair skin — there’s something pleasingly Victorian about it!

  18. I was like you as a teenager…skinny, flat-chested, and burned easily. I spent some weeks in summer with neighbors kids at their lake house and invariably ended up with a nasty sunburn, which peeled off. I use the Jergen’s tanner every few days on my legs, as I’m most self conscious of those, and rarely on the rest of my body. I’m careful of amount I use on knees and ankles. It has a scent, but nothing like the early self-tanners.

  19. A little off the tanning topic- but… You’ve mentioned bike riding a few different times. May I ask you about that? I’ve been thinking about buying myself a bike. My biggest concern is my back, and I think you’ve mentioned some difficulties with your back. Does the biking exacerbate that? How long do you go ? What kind of bike do you ride? Do you have trails nearby or do you put them in the car and go somewhere? Thanks for any ideas in that department. If I read correctly- you have a wedding anniversary tomorrow! Happy Anniversary!

    1. I have a Miele (kind of a hybrid) bike that I bought quite a few years ago when I was about to abandon biking altogether. Before that I had a regular ten-speed road bike. But the low handlebars made riding more than a half hour excruciating for my upper back. Although I have lower back problems as well, my upper back is chronic from too many years of bending over my marking. When I shopped I went to a store which let me test drive the bikes. I tried several, but the Miele was the best. Mostly because the stem which holds the handle bars is adjustable and they moved it to the most upright position. Plus the handle bars are the old-fashioned kind which bend back closer to the rider, if you can visualize that. It’s not exactly a totally upright position for me, but upright enough that my upper back can stay relaxed. My seat also has good springs. The new bike revolutionized riding for me. I felt like a kid again, jumping on my bike. We normally ride for one to two hours. Now that we have a paved shoulder on our road we can safely ride from home to the nearby trails. But we still sometimes throw the bikes in the truck and drive to trails. I will say that there are many new kinds of bikes out there. And I would talk to someone at a specialty store about what would work best for you. In Ottawa we went to Fresh Air Experience, and they were lovely and patient with me.
      P.S. Yes. Today is our anniversary. 32 years! But we’re celebrating on Saturday when it will NOT be rainy and 16° because restaurants here do not have indoor dining yet. 🙂

  20. My sister was pale and envious :-), I tan instantly without ever lying in the sun. As a result I’m sporting right now the usual assortment of tan lines, despite the consistently vile weather we are enjoying. I once fell asleep on a bench after a very long hike and woke up striped, almost from head to toe. It’s a look 🙂

  21. I’m another of the “pale and interesting” brigade. Having good Celtic blood, I tend towards the reddish hair, fair skin and freckles. I was always out and about as a child so had my fair share of sunburns and am now paying for it. I have had loads of bits frozen and quite a few BCCs cut out, including several on my face. So now sunblock is the first thing I apply after a shower. When I go outside it is with a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses. I have had no luck with fake tans always ending up with orange stripes and a weird smell which seems to last for days! Age brings acceptance I guess.

  22. Fortuitous timing on this post, as today was my annual “naked full body check” with my dermatologist. I’m always prepared for the worst, having had Mohs surgery on my face many years back and a squamous cell cancer removed from my arm a year ago. I spent my formative years in Arizona, when Copper Tone SPF 2 was considered more than sufficient, and I had cousins who did the baby oil and iodine routine religiously while mocking my freckled pallor. Surprise! Today I got a gold star for general lack of sun damage.

    Jergens is a decent product, but I no longer bother with it. Once upon a time, if you had a tan it was because you had to labor outdoors and were considered “less than” for it. Now it symbolizes exactly something else. Either way, just more cultural hoo-hah.

  23. It sounds like my skin is much like yours. While not a true redhead, my hair has always had a reddish tint to it, and in my younger and more foolish days, I had a few nasty sunburns. With the use of a 50 or 60 SPF sunscreen, I tan slightly and slowly. Hubby, on the other hand, practically walks out the door on the first sunny day of summer and comes back in with a gorgeous tan!

    I try to avoid a “farmer’s tan” by wearing sleeveless tops a lot in the summer, but my feet do tend to be whiter than my legs as a result wearing my golf shoes. I remember once when I was still teaching that a very little boy stopped me in the hallway and with a very puzzled look on his face, asked me, “Why do you have different colour feet? I was obviously wearing sandals that day!

    The only time I’ve used a self-tanner was several years ago when I needed to look well tanned for a role in a play. I believe that it was a Jergens product and it worked well for me.

  24. My DD has a SiL that the family call Aunt Leather. And she is only in her 40s. The trick is to remember to use her real name when she is around. But it isn’t easy…pure Naugahyde. And, yes, I know it isn’t nice. But if you saw her…
    As for me, I tanned easily back in the day, but not from laying on the beach. I was always in the water–ocean, sea, pool, sprinkler. Friends would get burnt to a crisp, but I managed to avoid bad burns, especially after I sat up several nights in a row one beach vacation putting cool compresses on a friend who developed a 6″x10″ blister on her back from her bikini top to the base of her spine. Awful.
    The only suntan creme I used back then was Coppertone–don’t even think it had an SFP (it was the 60s). But once I hit my 20s, I stayed out of the sun as much as possible; covered and wearing sunscreen. These days, I am a lighter shade of pale, but at least my skin is pretty decent for my age–especially considering it has always been dryer than the Sahara Desert.

    1. I had a friend who, when we were teenagers, burned her face so badly with a sun lamp that her eyes swelled almost shut. Sunburns are awful at the time and have even greater consequences later.

  25. Pale and envious here, which didn’t stop me from trying to get a tan as a teenager. But I gave that up long ago. I have tried the Jergens and other self-tanners on my legs so that I could wear skirts to work without being embarrassed by my pasty blue and white legs. But please I didn’t like having to wait several days to see the results, which all too often were either uneven or the wrong color. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is far preferable — it’s basically leg makeup that doesn’t rub off on your clothes or shoes. I would buy the palest shade and mix it with some moisturizer so that I could easily get the right level of coverage.

  26. I use a self tanner so that my legs look like they belong to the rest of my body. My skin (except for my legs) just gradually tans even with 50 SPF sunscreen…..the sunscreen just keeps the tan at a slight golden glow. I golf, garden, walk, canoe, etc. so I am outside.
    My legs just don’t tan so they look like they belong to someone else. I have tried a number of self tanners…..many stink, many give an orange colour, many rub off on clothes, bedsheets, or leave a goopy film on my skin, etc.
    The one I am currently using is St Tropez Self Tan Express….teal blue can. It is a foam product that you apply with their mitt (mitt makes it spread evenly so worth buying). It does not smell and the colour is quite good (not orange). It goes on differently than may products….you spread it on then wait as long as you want to get the depth of colour that you prefer. I just want a touch of colour so my legs match the rest of me so I only wait one hour and then go have my shower…..it is designed to be done this way where you wash it off after you get the amount of colour you want….tan stays but the product washes off so you don’t need to worry about getting it on your clothes. 1 hour is lightest, 2 hours is darker and three hours gives the darkest tan. It needs to be done once a week because the tan fades but that is not really a problem since I only do this for the 8 weeks of Summer that we get in Canada. That is it….works for me and maybe will work for someone else.

  27. I’m a true redhead and despite the sound advice of “stay out of the sun” I constantly went to the beach with girlfriends. I live in Southern California and in my teen years (1963-’69) the thing to do was sunbathe. As a result, my skin isn’t free of wrinkles and I have only myself to blame. I’m diligent about wearing sunscreen and wear a hat most days, but the damage is done so I just accept where I’m at age-wise, I work at looking my best and I don’t have any interest in tanning. I’ve used the Jergens product and thought it worked pretty well, especially on legs and arms.
    xo,
    Karen

  28. Having Snow White pale skin covered with moles didn’t stop me from trying to ‘tan’ in my younger years. I never did get a decent tan only sunburns, some very severe. A few years ago I noticed a strange mole on my hip ( not an area that I had ever exposed to the sun.)My doctor did a ‘punch biopsy’ and it was diagnosed as melanoma. Surgery moved on to what’s known as a wide excision. I now have an attractive six inch incision on my hip…the invisible stitches became infected rendering the final work VERY attractive. All this to say that melanoma can pop up where ‘the sun don’t shine’ as often as it can in areas where the skin is openly abused. I have friends that have had melanomas on their faces, backs and legs but also on the sole of a foot.
    I avoid the sun and wear heavy duty SPF on my face, neck, arms legs etc. Elta MD is a good sunscreen and sunglasses. My dermatologist likes the ‘barrier’ sunscreens because she feels they are more effective. After five years of follow up I am cancer free but that darned scar can still get madly itchy. Stay out of the sun, avoid tanning salons and cover up as much as possible. Our skin thins as we age and this can lead to further damage.
    ps people of colour are not immune to the ravages of the sun, an important message dermatologists would like passed on. Which is why my DIL slathers herself and our grandchildren in sunscreen. With the thinning of the zone that protects the earth from the sun’s rays( thank you global warming) we ALL need our sunscreen.

  29. I grew up with the beach my backyard. With brothers and sisters and cousins all over the place. We were outside all day, every day, all summer, no sunscreen. It was the ’50’s; no one even sold sunscreen. Along with some extra wrinkles I have wonderful memories of playing in the sand and the ocean. So now, in my 70s, I get checked every year for skin cancer, wear sunscreen, and a hat, and enjoy the ocean early in the morning or late afternoon.

  30. My childhood and teen years echo yours… always wanting to tan but burning so easily … in minutes sometimes! 😫
    I cringe at the thought of my red legs and shoulders!
    I look at what I once thought of as freckles on my arms and just see glaring sun damage.
    My face isn’t too bad and I’ve used Le Roche Posay factor 50 for years now. Happy to sit in the shade and cover up when I’m walking. Like you I get bored sitting for too long.
    I prefer a stroll along a breezy beach to baking on a hot one!
    A couple of years ago I came across Tan Luxe, The Face, tanning drops … I add 2 drops to Vichy 89 serum maybe twice a week and end up with more of a sun kissed glow … that looks really natural.
    I also like Chanel Les Beiges Bronzing Cream … again just a touch and natural. (Although it’s a solid cream texture, you apply it with a brush )
    I’d definitely recommend both.
    I hope you have a good week Sue.
    Rosie xxx

    1. Thanks Rosie. I may try the one with the brush. I bought one already that is applied like a moisturiser, but as hard as I try I can never tell how much I am applying or if it is evenly applied. Not until the next day anyway. (:

  31. Bonnets are cute or were in the day. Have a pic of me in sundress and matching bonnet. As a Florida girl, I enjoyed
    all the tanning comments above. However it is not all it’s cracked up to be. Tanned as child,but it got harder over the years. Some self tanners work, some less so My last battle was maybe 10 years ago. Stood on the oldest towel I had and sprayed. Most of it got where it was supposed to be,but the floor,my hands,knees,etc looked great!However, I have retired from all that fuss. It is not worth it. Maybe if necessary, getting a professional makeup person to do this for me would be good. but how often can one do that. I do live in the real world1So I stay pale, besides winter will be here soon and who cares!Some things are just not worth the fuss! Besides Sue,you have that beautiful pink and white comoplection the rest of the world envies!

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