Tis the season of brown legs and bronze faces, and pale folks everywhere are feeling the pressure.
OK, so I’m one of those pale folks. My grandparents are Scandinavian, and unfortunately, they did not bless me with natural, sun-kissed, olive skin. Amongst all the St. George tan broads, I’m left searching for options to shed my winter-whiteness. Surprisingly enough, achieving a gorgeous, healthy tan isn’t as easy as I thought.
Let’s get one thing straight: Tanning beds are out of the question. I was a tanning bed fanatic in high school, and after a skin cancer scare, I’ve sworn off tanning beds. I hate to admit that tanning beds are the fastest, easiest and most realistic way to get dark. However, artificial tanning is harmful and leaves people looking like a cancer-ridden leather coat. According to the FDA’s website, tanning beds can cause cancer, premature aging, eye damage and immune suppression.
Scary stuff. Let’s move on.
Now, I would love to have enough hours in the day to be able to lather up in sunscreen, lay out and get a natural glow. But really? Who has time for that? I don’t. Plus, even natural sunlight can cause skin damage. So I tried the next best thing: spray tanning.
I was a huge spray tan skeptic. I’ve heard horror stories about a person going into a spray tan salon as a normal human and coming out an Oompa Loompa. But my fears didn’t stop me from testing the spray tan waters. Hey, I’m a pale, desperate woman.
I went to Hollywood Tans, located on 446 N. Mall Drive, Thursday since spray tans are half-priced on Thursdays: Take note. The salon uses Mystic tan, which is an instant tan that mists the body with bronzers and moisturizes for a smooth tan in seconds, according to Hollywoodtans.com.
I stepped into a tiny, metal room that had a robotic voice giving me step-by-step instructions. As the robot voice guided me, I put on a shower cap, placed my feet in the strategic positions located on the floor and waited for the countdown.
Three, two, one, and the chilly mist sprayed me from my feet to my head. The entire misting process took less than five minutes, and once it was over, I put on my clothes and went on with my life as a tan person.
Some interesting things occur after a spray tan. First, the tan gets darker the longer you go without showering. So I advise to wash your feet, hands and face an hour or two after the tan. It’s also important to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize because the more you do, the longer your glow will stay intact. I’m fond of thick moisturizers like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion.
There are a few reasons why I liked my spray tan experience. First, the process was noninvasive. Some spray tans require a person to spray you, which means they see all your goodies. The Mystic tan is super private, and no one has to see you nude. Hallelujah. The second reason is because it was fast. I went from whitey-mic-white to a bronzed beauty in less than five minutes. And finally, I didn’t come out looking like an Oompa Loompa. I actually liked the way the tan turned out.
The one downside to spray tanning is the amount of time it lasts. My tan lasted a week and a half, and I wished it could have lasted longer. However, I think even with the shorter tan life, spray tans are a better option than the other methods that can harm the skin.
So as the shorts and bikinis come out, make sure they don’t result in a Casper look-alike. You know what they say: Everyone looks better with a glow — even Casper.