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During the early 70’s my Dad and I used to have a competition every summer. We would see who could develop the deepest tan, by whatever means possible! I don’t mean in using sun beds and the like, but purely by frying ourselves in the suns rays at every available opportunity.
We would as a family, buy the lowest protection sun oil, and Yes it had to be oil, no ‘namby pamby’ creams for us hardy lot…Mind you there wasn’t the selection of protection factors available then, 8 was the highest if I remember correctly and I never saw anything higher than 4 in Mums beach bag.
One year we even discovered that coconut oil did the job at a fraction of the cost of the top branded oil, so we bulk bought the biggest jars that we could. Each day the oil would come out of the fridge where it had been stored overnight in order for it to return to its solid state having been out in the garden, or on the beach all day with us and had turned into a very warm liquid!
It would be rubbed liberally all over our bodies and that was it. We would lie in our creaky sun loungers, you remember the ones that used to have minds of their own and would fold you up inside them given half a chance! There we would lie all day, yes even throughout the most hottest part of the day, and that was where we would stay, moving only to turn over or apply more oil.
I have resounding memories of getting into the bath each night at the end of one of these days and marvelling at what a wonderful tan I had achieved by comparing it with my strap marks, managing blithely to ignore the stinging pain of the water on the bits that I had managed to burn. But ignore it I did because all I cared about was getting browner than my Dad.
Fast forward to the 80’s.
Images of pale and interesting people began to appear in the hope of discouraging people from constant sun bathing in order to reduce the risks of skin cancers. Huge posters went up in doctor’s surgeries throughout the land and some information began to filter through to some people. One such person was me.
For the next 10 years or so I am proud to say that I became less and less vain about having tanned skin and began to preach to the unconverted about how it was far more appealing to be ‘anaemic’, and how prevalent skin cancers were becoming especially to those with fair skins and those who persisted in baking themselves into an unsightly ‘George Hamilton’ tan!
Oh how I turned a couple of summers ago. I decided that I was unhealthy looking while all around were boasting healthy looking ‘glows’ so I decided it was time to reveal the ‘milk bottle’ legs to the hot planet and strive for my own glow. What a bloody waste of time that was.
Despite being very careful and applying sun block to them I suffered considerable burning to my shins and then to add insult to injury, when the very lovely..not, peeling had stopped I found that the eczema that had lain dormant for over 10 years in my body suddenly raised its ugly head again and returned with a vengeance!
Last year I did not bother to sit out in the sun at all, I did get a little less insipid as I went about my daily business, tight-less. And my right arm developed a very nice glow, thank you very much due to a lot of driving! This summer I decided to fake it!! Hurray I have finally got to the op in question!
My chosen fake tan was Ambre Solaire Duo tan, partly because I read a very good review on it here!! And also because the above brand was the chosen one of my ‘browned’ childhood! So into Boots I trailed one evening after work with my DooYoo vouchers clutched in my sweaty palms and made a bee-line for the tanning products counter.
A night or two later was T day (tanning day!!) and I followed all the pre-procedure instructions in washing and exfoliating well and the proceeded to ‘spray and go’.I have to say that this product is very easy to use, you literally do just spray it where you want to tan, massage it well in, and then sit back and wait. An hour or so later my legs weren’t quite so white but nowhere near as bronzed as I had expected them to be.
I did both my legs and my arms, and promptly washed my palms! Not quite well enough though, highly embarrassing receiving my change from the garage the following day with one ‘orange’ palm! I repeated the performance a day or two later as I wanted to be more than ‘glowing’. Sanity had escaped me for a moment or two and I was reliving heady days of my childhood tanning sessions, I wanted to be VERY brown again.
How short lived that was. Three or four days after my initial application I began to feel a bit itchy. At first I thought that I had been bitten by an evil mozzie but then I discovered that my bloody eczema had returned!! Nooo! What had I done to deserve this again? I was a tad peed off as you can well imagine. I had taken all the proper precautions, and was being sensible as far as I was concerned, and I was back to square one again.
It wasn’t cheap either, it cost me £6.99, not the most expensive on the shelf admittedly, but I had wasted £7 of DooYoo earnings that I had worked damn hard to acquire! On top of that I then had to go and spend a further £4 on some hydrocortisone cream to calm my itching down!
I guess I should have known better, I do have sensitive skin but I have been lulled into a false sense of security over the last year or so as I have gotten away with using many new products on my skin that years ago I would not have been able to get within a mile of without breaking out in a rash.
I am not going to go back to my old habits, sanity hath returned! I am not going to turn into a sun worshipper again; I am going to continue to use sun block on my arms and legs, which seems to agree with me. I will also ensure that my son takes care of his skin too. I will not use a fake tan again!
I have decided that faking it isn’t the best way to go about it! If you can’t accomplish it the real way..don’t bother!! The tanning I mean…the tanning!!! Thanks again. Kazzie!!
Like you, I have found that I react less favorably to the sun at 38 than I did at 16. I never could tan extremely well, but at least I didn't get the bad burns. I've found that Clarins makes the best sunless tanning cream. It's a little expensive, and I've said "To Hell With It!" this year. However, if you really need to have some color, this is a great product and well worth the money spent. Take care.............Ellen
Dizz 02.08.2001 10:52
I'm actually conducting my own personal experiment and trying out different self tanning creams at the moment. I have found Vichy and Clarins to be pretty good (although a bit costly) - my next one is Piz Buin (a bit cheaper) which I haven't tried yet, but I have heard god things written about it on here!
babsbaby 01.08.2001 01:51
My legs broke out just reading that! Thanks Kazzie, my scabby legs will avoid this cream. Barbara