My family lives on the lake so I spent my summers in the water swimming, tanning, on the boat, or on the beach collecting glass, interesting rocks, and even the occasional fossil. Sometimes a friend and I would lay out on the dock or even put the trampoline in the lake and sunbathe from there.
Summertime meant my skin was always dark tan and my (normally dark brown) hair always streaked with natural highlights that came from the hours spent in the sun.
The beginning of sophomore year in high school my skin was dark from lifeguarding all summer. I distinctly remember one day during Honor Pass while some friends and I sat at a table in the common area, an elderly looking woman lurked nearby. She worked in the school and had apparently been considering what to say to us for a few moments before she quietly approached our table and timidly told us that we shouldn’t tan so much or else we would end up looking like her. She said she had a nice tan all her life because she thought it looked good, but said, “this is the result” (as she touched her wrinkled skin). She asked us to guess her age and when none of us bit, she informed us she wasn’t even 50 yet. I may have thought the lady was weird for butting in on our conversation like that, but I was shocked by what she said.
The next summer I didn’t go back to working at the pool, partly because I didn’t want to end up like that lady at school.
My mom always warned me about wrinkles from the sun too, but I always thought that was just a thing moms say to suck the fun out of life. Lol
Many of us now personally know of the (other) dark side of sunbathing. The worries of melanoma personally infiltrated my life when my grandpa was diagnosed a few years back. He is doing well, but still fighting.
Then this year I had a mole removed because the doctor found a concerning mole and I also had to have the skin around it removed after they tested the skin around the mole and found abnormal cells. The unsightly scar I now sport on my stomach is a small price to pay compared to other potential consequences of sun exposure.
A year after the wrinkled woman told my friends and I to stop tanning, I listened. I did at home spray tans to keep a little color in my life, but eventually stopped that too because the chemicals smelled so harsh.
When Swell Skin reached out to me and asked me to try and review their sunless tanner I hesitated until I saw their promise that it is organic and natural! They also have hair and skin vitamins that I totally want to try when I’m done breastfeeding!
Besides being organic and natural, the Swell Skin sunless tanner (A Shore Thing) gives a great olive colored tan that is a far cry from the orangey colored spray tans that were so popular a few years back. It looks, smells, and feels natural and is a great harmless alternative to your run of the mill sunless tanner!
At first it’s a slime monster green color and smells a tiny bit like alge, but I really didn’t mind it. It reminded me of an all-natural spa treatment.
You can order yours here: Swell Life Beauty and see what you think!
If you or someone you know still goes crazy tanning in the summer I urge you to consider the cosmetic and health issues associated with suntanning. Please talk to girls, especially younger girls, who likely don’t understand the risks they’re taking by getting that dark tan each summer. And hey, what’s the worst that could happen if you say something? Worst case scenario they think you’re crazy and old. But you could actually have a positive impact on someone later like the lady at school who warned me.
So do your future self a favor and keep sporting those pasty legs, unless of course you grab A Shore Thing!