Fashion and beauty insiders agree: this summer is all about glowing, healthy skin. Tanning as a life priority is over. And survey results show that the appeal of tanned skin may finally be waning --63 percent say they are not more attracted to someone who is tan and 53 percent of people surveyed believe they don't look better with a tan.*
"The skin color you were born with is always going to be the right one for you. Be yourself. For a pale girl to acquire a deep tan is bizarre," says Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys and the author of Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You. "Whatever color your skin, you should emphasize your God-given gorgeousness; don't try to deny it."
"Beauty begins with healthy, glowing skin," says Bobbi Brown. "No matter what your age, protect yourself daily from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, which not only wrinkle and dull the skin, but increase your risk for skin cancer. It's the best beauty advice I have for keeping your skin looking smooth, luminous and radiant."
To communicate that tanning is finally out the style, The Skin Cancer Foundation launched a public awareness campaign entitled Go With Your Own Glow. Developed to encourage women to love - and protect - their skin, whatever its natural hue, the campaign is relying not just on health and safety information, but also on fashion - promoting healthy, luminous skin as the new beauty ideal. To learn more, visit http://www.skincancer.org/Go-With-Your-Own-Glow.html.
How to Go With Your Own Glow
1. First, determine your natural skin tone/shade by looking at skin that hasn't been exposed to the sun, such as underneath the breasts, on the inside of your arm, or your buttocks.
2. Once your natural skin tone is determined, the goal is to choose a color somewhere in between your sun-exposed and non-exposed skin. Let your skin fade over time to your natural color, using the non-exposed skin as a baseline to determine your skin color goal. You want to have an even, natural skin tone. You can do this by seeking the shade between 10 AM - 4 PM, applying sunscreen on a daily basis. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and avoiding tanning salons.
3. Take care of sunspots - products that contain a combination of hydroquinone, Retin-A and a mild steroid cream can be very useful for stubborn brown spots and blotchy brown discoloration. There are also excellent treatments your dermatologist can perform to help erase the discoloration and help create a smooth, even skin tone.
4. Makeup - To add some color to the face, apply blushes, highlighters or bronzers to the apples of the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose and chin. The idea is to have definition, not to look like you're wearing a lot of makeup.
"Glowing skin is about natural beauty, says Doris Day, MD, educational spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation "Not only does healthy, protected skin help prevent premature aging, but it also greatly reduces the risk of skin cancer."
Daily Routine for Glowing Skin
Proper cleansing, morning and night, is a must for glowing skin. Your cleanser doesn't have to lather or foam to work: Many cleansing cloths, for instance, don't lather, but these products take all the effort out of washing your face.
In the morning, if you use a vitamin C serum, put it on after cleansing your skin. Then apply a sunscreen with a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, followed by makeup.
If you exfoliate, do it after cleansing in the evening. Then, if your skin can tolerate it, apply a prescription or over-the-counter retinol (topical vitamin A, used to treat signs of aging) with your moisturizer or night cream. Because retinol and other vitamin A skin treatments are sensitive to the sun, use these products only at night. They also make your skin more sensitive so consider a higher SPF sunscreen during the day and stop using them a few days prior to a face treatment such as laser, facial or waxing.
Remember, a little bit goes a long way for both serums and retinol, so you don't have to apply a lot. Also, many products containing beneficial topical antioxidants are available in a broad price range, so going with your own glow doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Self tanners, makeup, proper cleansing and exfoliation, and various topical lotions, creams, serums, and gels all provide easy and effective ways to enhance your natural glow and protect your skin.
If the health benefits aren't enough to convince you, consider the aesthetic value. "Tanned skin is very 80's porno star," comments Doonan. "The connotations are all negative. It's unhealthy and kind of sleazy. Very Rock of Love!"
About The Skin Cancer Foundation:
The first organization in the U.S. committed to educating the public and medical professionals about sun safety, The Skin Cancer Foundation is still the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information, visit www.skincancer.org.
* Survey by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media and conducted for iVillage in partnership with The Skin Cancer Foundation. To learn more, visit http://www.skincancer.org/Table/For-the-Media/.