We’re inundated with photographs of gorgeous celebrities frolicking on exotic beaches, their skin tanned to a rich gold. It’s almost enough to drive us to the nearest tanning bed to attempt a pale imitation (so to speak).
But not everyone is jumping on the melanoma-flirting bandwagon. A host of stars are breaking away from the sun fixation and standing up for whiteness.
Celebrities who don’t mind covering up
Gisele Bundchen may have famously said that sunblock was “poison,” but many celebrities understand the dangers of sun exposure and are opting to avoid a tan. Stars like Keira Knightley, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, and Gwyneth Paltrow are well-known for their pale skin.
Nicole Kidman has always shunned the sun, and bombshells such as Dita Von Teese, Scarlett Johannson, and Madonna show no modesty when they put their alabaster curves on display.
It isn’t just that pale is “in,” though stars are certainly embracing their natural skin and even ditching the bronzer at red carpet events. But the trend is more focused on health and preventing premature aging than it is about achieving a certain look.
That tan isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
If you could choose not to get cancer, wouldn’t you? According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, with an estimated 76,000 diagnosed cases of deadly melanoma each year. Yet it’s also one of the most preventable cancers.
Awareness is key. The sun is at its most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During these hours you should avoid going out as much as possible, even on cloudy days.
When you do go out, wear proper sun protection. Broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF factor of 30 is recommended. A higher SPF protection is available but hardy offers any more benefit than the 30. What matters is that it blocks both ultraviolet A and B rays.
Covering up is important, too. When you’re in the sun, wear a hat to protect your head, neck, and ears. Long sleeves, skirts, and pants provide a physical barrier to the sun.
Check the material of the clothing first, though. If you can see plenty of sunlight through the fabric, it won’t provide protection from UV rays. Choose clothing made of tightly woven material, or fabric that has been specially formulated with a protective barrier to keep sun rays out. Wear sunglasses with UV protection, because it can also harm your eyes.
Get your pale back
Even if you’ve spent years suntanning, it isn’t too late to go back to pale. According to the Flawless Beauty and Skin blog, there are a variety of creams on the market that not only protect your skin from the sun but whiten your skin as well.
They do this by removing the old, damaged outer layer of skin and reducing the amount of melanin your skin produces. Look for products that contain melanin inhibitors such as arbutin and hydroquinone. Whitening creams usually have a bleaching agent; look for ones that are harmless to the skin, such as lemon juice extract.
This summer, leave the beach-baking to those who haven’t wised up, and embrace healthy, natural, well-protected skin.