Tag Archives: should you get a tan

Truth and Tips about Tan Lines

I’m a very white chick. Just so you know. You haven’t seen my face, but I’ve shown my feet before and they’re a giveaway.

my feet

Not that far off the color of that white sheet!

I’m a little jealous of those with bronzed or dark skin. From what I can tell, they don’t blind people when they wear shorts; they don’t burn to a crisp when they forget the sunscreen for an hour or so; and their blue veins don’t show through their skin. I don’t know what that feels like.

But if you’re looking to secure a tan this summer — to look better for yourself, the beach, or your husband — here’s some truth and a few tips about tanlines:

Woman sunbathing and wearing hat

Some men love ’em, some don’t. While looking up tan lines, I was fascinated to discover that some men find tan lines a huge turn-on. When a woman wears a swimsuit again and again in the summer, the lighter areas are obviously parts she doesn’t show to others. So when she shows them to hubby, it’s a reminder that he’s getting a look-see at something private, exclusive, intimate. Some husbands love that visual.

Other hubbies like a uniform color of skin, whether white, brown, black, etc. They may find tan lines distracting and prefer a smoother look so they can focus instead on the areas that capture their interest.

So take into consideration what your husband prefers. You don’t have to kowtow to his preferences, but give them some weight. It may be easy enough to alter your plan a bit and appeal to his visual interest.

Tanning doesn’t necessarily mean skin cancer. Of course, it can. When I was growing up, we thought nothing of slathering Hawaiian Tropic oil on our bodies and laying out in the sun for hours in hopes of turning a deep shade of brown. Which was like sending a personalized invitation to Mrs. Skin Cancer to attack us in later years. Bad. Idea. What were we thinking?!!

But there are other options now for getting a tanned look without putting your skin at risk. Wear sunscreen while you’re out in the sun, but grab some bronzer to apply in your own home, use a self-tanning lotion, mousse, or gel, or get an airbrush tan at a local salon. Let a beauty consultant in the store or salon assist you with choosing the right product and color for your particular skin and test your skin out first before application.

Be smart about getting a tan. You’re going for a sun-kissed look — without the sun-smacked skin cancer, thank you very much.

Be the color you are. Years ago I made peace that I will never, ever looking like the Coppertone model. God made a variety of skin color, driven by our level of pigmentation, and that makes the world a far more interesting place. A tan shouldn’t change who God made you to be, merely add a little oomph to your hue.

You’ve all seen the people who go too far when it comes to altering their appearance (whether hair color, plastic surgery, make-up, etc.), and the same issues can arise with tanning. If you choose to get a tan of some kind, keep the look within the realm of natural possibility given your skin tone and coloring. You’ll achieve a less fake, more enhancing appearance.

Take care of your skin. If you’ve experienced sun damage from prior tanning, see a dermatologist. I’m headed to one soon myself to check on an “age spot” that doesn’t look quite right. A good dermatologist can check any skin markings, moles, etc. by doing a thorough mapping of your body.

You can also perform regular self-examination with a body map. You’re looking for changes of your skin spots in size, color, texture, and more. If you discover problems, get treated. Surface skin cancer spots should be tested and can often be removed without further issues.

Love the skin you’re in. I find it fascinating to look at the array of skin colors out there. There’s something so gorgeous about everything from fair porcelain to golden tan to rich mocha skin. Whether you choose to add some tan or not, be confident with who you are.

Sometimes we gals overthink things even as basic as our skin tone. Even the lovely wife in Song of Songs had an issue:

“Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
they made me keeper of the vineyards,
but my own vineyard I have not kept!”

Song of Songs 1:6

Yet one verse earlier, she also said: “I am very dark, but lovely.” And a couple of verses later her husband calls her “O most beautiful among women.”

She looked fine. Lovely and beautiful, in fact! I suspect you do too. Whether you’re paper white like me or super-dark or somewhere in between. God makes good stuff, and our skin tone is among our assets.

As for me, I’ll be adding a touch of tan here and there. Fake tan. And I’ll be heading outdoors at times to enjoy God’s beautiful creation, while slapping on a healthy dose of sunscreen to protect the skin God gave me.

What are your own observations or tips about tan lines?