Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sun-Kissed and Beautiful: Who could ask for anything more!

In an effort to avoid skin cancer, but still not be that girl at the beach who is blinding everyone with their skin, I'm embarking on a little tanning experiment this season. Faux tanning that is. Yes, that's right, I'm going to use self-tanners of all forms. I swear that they are better than they used to be, and rather than streaky orange, you actually look tan (so I hear). Get your cringes out now, because here's where it gets exciting.

I happen to be allergic to self tanners. I'm not talking slight irritation. I'm talking, last time I did a full-body self tan, I broke out in full-body hives to match accompanied by burning itchy eyes that only susided with a healthy dose of benadryl. And, no, it wasn't the self-tanner I used. A friend had used it, and things turned out just fine.

To add to that, I have been graced with Polish ancestry, and the lily white skin to match. This gives me a high risk for skin cancer when exposing myself to UV rays. Until I discovered tanning beds in high school, I don't think I had every been tan. I have two skin colors, white and red, pale and burnt. Granted, by the end of each summer, I have managed to get a slight golden tint, but I have never been by any means nearing brown or bronzed. Even with tanning booths, I barely got to what most people call normal. Yet, tanning beds changed my skin. They allowed me to change to slightly tan after a burn instead of going back to white. However, they also gave me the starts of pre-mature wrinkles, and a 75% increased chance of someday having melanoma.

That said, now that I've wised up to the risks of tanning beds, I swore them off. I'd rather brave a few hives than cancer. I figure the only way to find out which self tanning products my body can handle is to try em out. I'm a reformed tanner, but I will not be caught in a bikini with no color anytime soon. The first on my list is the one pictured above, Nivea Sun-Kissed Beautiful legs. It promises a decreased need to shave (not really sure how it plans to accomplish that), along with a gradual natural looking color. I figured it was best to start out with a low dose of tanning agent and hopefully avoid the hives. All I have to say is so far, so good. Though it does have an unsavory tanning cream odor, if you put it on before bed it's not so bad. My legs are looking tanner without a sign of streaking. I'm on day 2 of application, and there's not a hive in sight.
Now, what to do about the rest of my body....

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