Endless Summer Glow
How to Keep a radiant summer Glow All Year
by Janet Driver,
MAD Market Health and Beauty Director
A pretty sobering photo on Pinterest caught my eye recently - it was the word MELANOMA used as an acronym for the names of the loving women in our lives: M was for Mom, and the others were actual names of people in the photographer’s life.
Unfortunately, there are some rather unhealthy ways our culture has gone about getting beautified in winter. A tan is foundational to looking good, so it makes sense we would want to mimic summer sun in cold months. Right?
Let’s examine some benign ways to achieve that as we expose some of the more dangerous methods.
"Lethal melanoma is now the second leading cause of cancer death in adults under the age of 30"
First, let me say that I have never been to a tanning salon, and I have never endorsed them to my clients over the years. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t have some sunburn sins to confess. Like when I was 14 and my best friend and I slathered ourselves with baby oil mixed with iodine and burned ourselves to a crisp under the sizzling Newport Beach sun. Lots of blisters, (and who knows what else?)
As you look for safe sunless tanning options, I'd caution against turning to tanning beds; they may be the cause of a huge spike in melanoma cases among young women in North America. Lethal melanoma is now the second leading cause of cancer death in adults under the age of 30. And many health care professionals are seeing the link between tanning salons and the rise in this extremely dangerous cancer.
The danger of too much direct sun exposure isn't isolated to summer months. Skiers, snowboarders, hikers - anyone who's spent time outdoors with the snow reflecting the bright sun back onto their face knows that some of the most painful sunburns can come from cold weather activities. Even in winter, I caution you to not overexpose your skin to the sun in search of a golden glow.
So if not tanning salons, then what are the healthy ways to look… healthy? Self-tanners emerged in the 1980s and have endured the test of time. But I'd caution against picking just any self-tanning product. Ingredients like parabens and fragrance may not cause melanoma, but they can lead to allergic reactions, hormone disruption, and potentially more dangerous health issues. Products like Alba Organics and Kiss My Face actually make quality self-tanners with clean ingredients (at a price comparable to other drugstore brands).
For years, I used self-tanning as a facial enhancer during winter months. It allowed me to get away with no make-up on most days and much less make-up on days when I was in the public eye. It covers the appearance of skin blemishes and evens out skin tones, much like foundation does. It can even be used to create the look achieved by blushers and bronzers - contouring the cheekbones to create a more chiseled look.
To contour with self-tanner:
Apply self-tanner as you would blush, under the edge of the cheekbone. Apply a small amount, so you don’t get a streaked effect.
Gently blend it in, so it is even looking the next day. I recommend using a light to a medium tanner, as opposed to a dark one. It is better to have too little and build on a self-tan than to regret having dark spots that are difficult (or impossible) to remove.
Another option is a quality, ethically manufactured bronzing product. I prefer matte finish verses iridescent, although both are readily available.
To bronze with a powder or cream makeup product, use the same technique:
Brush lightly under the cheekbones and land centrally under the eye, about the height of where your nose ends.
Dust some on your forehead, and along the jawline, especially if winter brings a few extra pounds- defining the jaw gives a lean look to your face.
Brush a small amount on the neck and decolletage to prevent the ‘white neck syndrome’.
Having a variety of brush sizes and shapes will help you get the right look. Go easy and blend.
Be sure to always check your makeup in sunlight before giving it your final stamp of approval.
If you have more mature skin, keep in mind that lines and wrinkles are illuminated with anything that sparkles, so you may want to avoid highlighted or shimmery bronzer. Matte is best for mature skin, but a shimmer is beautiful on younger skin.
For highlighting bronzers:
Place strategically above the cheekbone, not under.
Brush them along the top of the lid and over the eyebrows.
Dust the neck slightly and on special occasions, play up the collarbone.
As winter is well underway, I hope you’re enjoying cold weather activities and keeping your skin safe as you look for the right balance of a summer glow in the winter months.
A link to see more details of tanning salon damage: