Thursday, 14 August 2014

Tanning Tips According to My Mother

It will seem incongruous to some to give out tanning tips in the age of SPF 50 and repeated campaigns of Slip Slop Slap.  
In some circles, tanning tips might seem akin to tips on how to smoke like a 1940's movie star.  
But alas, sun worshipers like smokers still exist.

But I find it always amusing to see people's acquired holiday suntans particularly while living in the UK.

The "serves you right for wearing your cap on backwards after the age of 15" tan.

 The Neapolitan ice cream tan.


I have been guilty of the "why did I keep my watch on holiday when all I had to do was flip over and eat" tan.


  Three pics above via  

There is an art to sun tanning and 
I don't mean the simplistic avoidance of the sunburn and/or increasing melanin in your skin.


One summer during my late teens while lounging around the pool, 
I remember reading a book under the trees.   
My already bronzed mother who was meticulously positioned 
to tan her body but not her face nor hands insisted 
I get some sun.

For those who may not be familiar,
 Asians normally don't tan and and try to stay fair but my mother has her own quirky ways. 

I put my sunscreen on (we wanted to be brown not wrinkled) and laid out but mother was still not done nagging guiding me. 

She told me laying on my side or at an angle to shade my figure was the optimum position while sunbathing.  Another option was the Brazilian way of tanning which is standing up which is not as relaxing.

Otherwise if you just tanned front and back,
 she called it the ice cream sandwich tan which 
she thought was a bit vulgar and very amateurish. 


 
My mother having artistic tendencies said we must aim for chiaroscuro which means the use of light and dark and shadows in overall composition in most art forms. 

Via
But alas make up artists who work on swim suit shoots always put a dark foundation patch on the sides of the body.

Even dresses such as the body con dress by Stella McCartney  that shave off an inch on either side of the silhouette are highly flattering.

But all idiosyncrasies aside,
I know the risks of skin issues as I have lived in Australia.  
In Asia I was surrounded with the exception of my mother 
by women who were obsessed with acquiring a neon white complexion.  The "Facekini" might seem a little excessive for some but I know a lot of Asians who will look at this picture and think - fair enough.

Via

But I have reached my own personal method for bronzing.  
I rarely stay in the sun if I don't aim to have a proper suntan.  Any direct sun is purely for Vitamin D replenishment or a premeditated holiday pursuit.
  I freckle due to my father's side so even when I do suntan 
I keep a hat on and stay under an umbrella.  It takes longer to develop a color but it also stays for longer. I also apply for purely cosmetic reasons extra sunblock on my face and my hands and decolletage. 

Via 
I also put on solid pancake foundation as a physical barrier as 
I find that I still develop loads of freckles even when I apply high SPF factors.

And don't forget there is always spray tan!

42 comments:

  1. The "facekini"....words cannot describe my amusement! On a tram trying not to actually LOL or I might look a little crazy since it's about 8am peak hour!

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    1. Well I must say these women would come up with a nuclear defence system if their freckles depended on it!!

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  2. Hilarious! I love your commentary on the "tans". I simply burn and peel, so avoid the sun like a vampire!
    xo ~J

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    1. I used to peel too but I did "train" my skin in my twenties. I love a tan still but hate when the color goes but the freckles remain...x

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  3. I have awful sunspots from poor habits as a teen. I slather my poor children in the highest spf around. They would hide those facekini pictures from me, lest I get ideas!

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    1. I was great as a kid in terms of defence and I must say my freckles have also given me a warning when it gets too much.

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  4. All we have to do is look at an older woman or man who spent far too many days in direct sunlight to know how bad it is for our skin. Our summers are so short here that even with my best intentions I get lazy and stay in the sun too long un creamed or not covered up enough. When will I ever learn??

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    1. One thing about the Brits is that they have good skin purely from lack of sun. But the sun is addictive and tans even more so Mary! It was proven recently that there is a medical high to tanning!

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  5. This is hilarious! I know exactly what u mean. Have u seen those full face visors? Funny post!! Robyn

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    1. Yes those full face visors - at first when I was in Seoul I thought there was a bee keeper convention but alas no - all these women hiking with that on. They are so militant it's crazy!!

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  6. That facekini - was it invented instead wearing of a burka at the beach? That's pretty funny your mum loves to tan - as you say it's not something normally associated with Asians (who while complimenting me on my pale skin when in Thailand will often say something like "lovely hips and thighs" too… thus making me feel like a pale whale beside them). No tanning for me! I have the sun damage to prove I am Australian, and as I get older I just see my freckles popping out and pigmentation develop, rather than a nice deep tan.

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    1. Actually Asian women wore a rendition of that while hiking and playing golf. And then of course it just went to teh beach - Even Nigella wore that burka like swimming cossie last year! Mind you she loves to be porcelain too. Hence her great skin. I hardly ever tanned in Australia bc the sun really was stronger down there to the point where it would sting! I am getting lasered very soon to get rid of some freckles and am very excited!! x

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    2. I agree Heidi I can always tell who is Australians when O/S , it's the skin for sure. I use to lie in the sumer sun smothered with baby oil

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  7. I wish that I had taken notice of my aunts who always wore gloves when driving to avoid sunspots on their hands from the sunlight coming through the windscreen. I saw a program where some research showed that most drivers have sun damage on their body to a greater extent on the driver’s window side. Must say I love a light natural looking spray tan now and then. Those photos are hilarious but I can almost feel the pain! Tonkath

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    1. I wear gloves when I drive Tonkath! The sun is so strong in Adelaide, so I decided to protect my hands. Got mine from the Cancer Council, and they are breathable so fine in summer.

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    2. Really? I had no idea they sold them. Will have to look them up. I drive 35 mins twice daily to work and back. Adds up. Thanks for the heads up. Tonkath

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    3. Great idea driving gloves bc my mothers left hand has sunspots whereas her right hand doesn't! They did studies with faces and its the same when you view faces under UV light.

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    4. I have these Tonkath http://www.cancervic.org.au/store/shop-accessories/accessories-open-palm-sun-gloves

      Naomi - I have tinted windows for that reason. You could say I'm a little paranoid…!

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    5. Thanks for the link Heidi. I have ordered them! Yes Naomi, I saw that documentary too and I think about all the time. Tonkath

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  8. What we ingest is more important to this than what we superficially rub on.

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    1. Very true and often forgotten - apparently one or two tablespoons of tomato paste helps with preventing sunburn and it was a really interesting study because the study was done in Scotland with people with very fair skin and the results were very good.

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  9. I still have nightmares over an awful sunburn I got on my shoulders while fishing shirtless as a little boy. Blisters and much pain followed and freckles remained for many years but are now gone. I think freckles are charming on a woman and saw a pic of Gwynnie a few days ago sans make-up and she looked great freckle-faced.
    So you are of Asian-European extraction?

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    1. It's funny about freckles - it's like tattoos great on other people but not on myself! Yes I am Eurasian or as Americans refer to as Amerasian - Dad caucasian Aussie and mother Korean.

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  10. LOL, the top two pics are hilarious!

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    1. Crazy thing is didn't that guy take off his hat once for days??

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  11. Hilarious photos. I've never thought about a tanning strategy, but you do get tan here without trying. In fact, we try not to get so much. It makes sense that darker sides would look better. Mostly I try to avoid a tennis tan with white feet. Looks really dumb. xx

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    1. I had tennis tan in my teens when I used to play - but actually now the best thing I love about a tan is tanned feet :) x

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  12. So many great uses for a gimp mask!
    Do they do lucha libre too?

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    1. Asian women are always in fighting mode! hehe

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  13. I am huge on the fake tan and i rarely go to the pool these days as am writing at my computer - maybe next year! I cannot believe someone that age turns his hat to the back - that will learn 'em. The body con dress on the sides looks good but I think that high neckline can make women's shoulders look massive sometimes

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    1. I like spray tan applied by a pro - i have never done it well myself! I will take massive shoulders in exchange for a streamlined silhouette!

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  14. I am giggling at the idea of sun tanning at the moment. However, nearing the end of winter and I am feeling very Vit D deprived. The driving gloves sound marvellous; brilliant idea.

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  15. Even when I put 50 plus on, I still tan.
    My dermatologist says I must have spanish ancestry...none that I know of !

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  16. I've never been able to tan and after some horrid fake tan experiences (including several professional tans) have accepted my fate- time to move the family to an asian country, especially since my boys have inherited my pale skin.

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  17. This is such a fun post Naomi! I had no idea there were even these 'flavors' of tanning. Fantastic illustrations so now I understand the whole process. Thanks for sharing your favorites. I definitely trust your judgement. Please stop by Stylemindchic and weigh in on the Euro Chic that I observed in Spain. Please dish!
    xx

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  18. It chills me to the bone to think that people still lie in the sun to get a tan….the horror…..

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  19. @silkannthreades down under I think the gloves are a must!

    @cilosophy hoep those genes also give you a level of protection too right?

    @HIH - I burned as well but I just learned to be patient and tan under an umbrella and I no longer burn nor peel but having said that the European sun is no where near as strong as down under

    @Heather - Loved your european chic post! x

    @GD - when you are vitamin D deprived unlike in Australia it is a medical procedure to tan :)

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  20. Amazing photos! So funny - but horrific that people still have no idea of the damage the sun can do. So do be careful Naomi, though probably in the UK it's less dangerous because you don't have as much UV radiation.
    Was badly burned when I was about 11, not from attempting to tan, had just spent an entire day at the beach swimming and running around when our parents went to visit friends. Nowadays of course parents would be shot for leaving young children at the beach unsupervised but we were good swimmers and there were other people around we knew so I guess they figured it was all right. But when they returned and found a red raw and blistered little girl they never did it again. When the blisters finally healed my shoulders were white scar tissue for years.
    So have never dared to try sunbathing. Always huddled up under a beach umbrella draped in towels and wore a shirt over my swimsuit. Those facekinis and other cover-ups would have been great for me. Having strawberry blonde (later red hair) and freckles means I never can really tan anyway. Only just burn and freckle if skin is sun exposed. Some years ago asked a skin specialist when was the best time for me to sit on the beach, his reply: night time! Must get another pair of driving gloves. My old ones lasted for years but have worn out - so back of hands now look frightful from driving! Pammie xx

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  21. Darling, Darling Naomi
    Mother always knows best. That is an established fact. For me, I just dig the farmer tans. That is what we call them down here. Like most of us in this world, I am of the best intentions but not of the best efforts when it comes to sun protection. Yeah, yeah, I get it, but who wants sunblock stinging the eyes while changing a hydraulic hose as the sun beats down in the middle of the day? This is an important decision in life. Sure, may be not as important a decision as marriage, or whether to keep your money in the stock market, but still bloody important.

    Oh, by the way, freckles are cute; freckles rock; freckles ball; freckles are boss…

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  22. @Pammie - sorry for the late reply - been a bit hectic as I am getting ready to go away very soon. We get such little sun here that most of the population is Vitamin D deprived so it is a constant balance of getting sun and protecting skin. I also freckle so it does make me more wary otherwise I would have thrown caution to the wind! xx

    @GF I think farmer tans look good on farmers. Authenticity suits everyone no?? I have a feeling you probably dont have freckles!!

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    1. N-
      I have shoulder freckles, does that count?

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  23. Excellent... and so ridiculous ... in the West (US and EU) is cool to be tanned (like I spend long time on the beach) In the East, majority of the cosmetic is for "whitening", they dont want to have tan (like the peasants)!

    Fake tan/tan spray at least will scare mosquitos away :)

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