By Joely Walker
Before you think that Im glamorising sun abuse please hear me out. I merely want to confess something, so this blog is my TA, Tanners Anonymous.
I have an early memory of watching my sister sunbathe with her friends on holiday. I couldnt fathom what would possess them to lie down all day long, it looked so boring? My sister told me wait a few years and she was right. My late teens were a series of tanning competitions, factor 4, sun beds, and a feeling of glee when my skin had been frazzled pink.
I thought I was invincible. I had started on a downwards spiral. I felt and looked better when I was tanned. So, sun cream was dismissed as I decided that oil was the way forward and that red would always turn to brown. Im not proud of it but much like an ex-cigarette smoker wears patches I would continue to use sun beds to wean myself off. It had become quite addictive.
But on holiday last year I fell asleep in the midday sun with nothing but carrot oil on(yes, carrot oil!). Of course I burnt, I was expecting this, but what i wasnt expecting was the droplet shaped blisters all over my back. They burst, I peeled and finally I started to see sense. What am I doing to myself? Is damaging my skin and my health, painful blisters and peeling really worth it for a tan that lasts only a few weeks? No!
I recounted this tale to the Beauty Team and watched their faces recoil in horror. How could you do that to yourself? they asked. Was it Vanity? Naivety? A childish disregard? Im not sure what it was but I do know that from now on its factor 30, a sunhat and a good book.
Ill still never give up my faithful (and safe) St Tropez though.