Thursday, July 24, 2014

Greetings from the Other Side of 45

I have 2 points I want to make this week because I couldn’t decide which one to focus on so let’s talk about age and genetics.  Don’t fight it, it can’t be controlled.


Yes, I turned 46 this week. I am another year older, wiser, and healthier. I started thinking about how I am often told that I do not look old enough to have kids in their mid-twenties. When I tell people my age they are very surprised and many say things like, “I would have thought you were much younger/ You look so young/ I thought you were early thirties.”

 I don’t mean to brag, but I do look younger than I am.  I had many comments on pictures I post on facebook that my skin looks so nice, and I do not look my age. Some have asked me what my secrets are. It got me thinking about how often I see comments and beauty articles talking about how wrinkled and old tanning makes you. They use it as a warning, “Protect yourself from the damaging sun” and “If you tan, your skin becomes leathery and it ages you” I don’t believe that is completely true. I do believe excessive UV exposure will do that. But how many people really go that far? Sure, there are people who take things to the extreme, but, as with everything, they should not be viewed as the typical tanner. They do not represent the majority of us.  I have been tanning for over 2 years, I know people my age who have tanned for many years, I know people my age who have never tanned. The tanners do not look disproportionately older and the non-tanners don’t look smooth and younger. Generally speaking, we all look a little older than we did a few years back, but nothing unusual about the aging between the 3 categories.


I was approached by someone recently who has a fairer skin tone than me. This person wanted to know about my tanning experience because she was thinking about giving it a try. She is tired of being so pale and she burns when she is in the sun. This person is a skin type 1 and shouldn’t tan and I told her so. She was very disappointed with my answer and once I asked why she was thinking about tanning, she said she wants to have darker skin. I recommended she look into spray tanning since her goal is color, and she would only burn in a sunbed. As a skin type 1, she doesn’t have other options; her genetic make-up just won’t allow it.

I understand her frustration, even though I do tan, I am still very fair, my tan is barely noticeable.

I am posting a picture I took just a week or two ago. (I am on the edge of 46 here, do I look it?) Not a great pic of me, but I chose this one because you can see my “tan line” You can see that I am not freakishly dark, I have a bit more color on my neck, face and arms, the square neckline of where my tank top normally covers shows that my non tanned skin is just that, not tan. That is my fair skin color. You can see there is not a drastic difference between the two. I am posting it to show that my tan skin is not ever going to be as dark as someone who is a skin type 3 or 4, but I do get color, unlike a skin type 1. We have to take what we are given from nature when it comes to our skin type. This is the sort of thing that the staff at a professional salon is trained to know and they can help each skin type without burning them.

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