Growing up in the Netherlands, sunshine was considered a rare luxury. The moment the sun would come out we were all forced to go outside and soak it all in. This because we never knew how long the rays would last or when the sun would ever come back out after it disappeared. To this day this leaves me incredibly antsy once the sun appears, I just have to go outside, no matter what day of which month, regardless of temperatures.
My family considers a tan a “healthy” look. As a child sunscreen was non-existent, as a teen ager I baked in baby oil, as I am older (and wiser) I now richly apply sun screen. But my skin damage is probably irreversible, UV rays contribute to 80% of your skin’s aging. UV rays (like sugar Food ) can break down the two proteins that keep your skin firm and smooth. Although there may be some solutions out there; I have read that Beta-carotene may be able to reduce sun-related wrinkles. Bring on the carrots! Retinoid might be a savior too, as well as chemical peels. I am currently trying the latter, although the enclosed instruction can be a bit intimidating. My choice for a peel is No.7 Advanced Anti-Aging Glycolic Peel Kit. Ironically it is advised to stay out of the sun while you are using this product.
The healthy part of catching some rays would be your vitamin D level. Vitamin D is found in few foods but can be produced by ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D is good for your bones. A non-superficial part of the body we have to cherish as we age. Who cares about some wrinkles…take care of your bones! But once again; all in moderation and with loads of sun screen…
Sunglasses are a must! Squinting and smiling are both equally bad for the crow feet around your eyes. I never spend more than 10 bucks on them, I am not worthy of a pair of Ray Bans, although I know they would be a lot better for my eyes than my dollar store finds. My specs go through hell lost in my giant hand bag, will be left behind at any given moment or dropped and stepped on in the worst case. Hence my cheap yet stylish buys!
Getting back to the healthy glow; there are a few amazing self tanners out there:
- James Read Tan Coconut Melting Tanning. It is the Rolls Royce of self tanners but so worth it. A little bit goes a long way.
- L’oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Lotion. I used this on a daily basis during another sunless summer in Holland and was continuously asked if I had been on vacation.
- Jergens Natural Glow. Great for a firmer belly with a slight tan.
Lather yourself up in these babies at night, splash on the sunscreen in the morning (love Sun Neutrogena SPF 55 ultra sheer) and please do get out there whenever the sun is out and enjoy!