To Tan Or Not To Tan?

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To tan or not to tan? That is the question or, possibly, merely a question. Still, it's one that occupies the thoughts of a large number of women, and indeed men, as they draw up the pros and cons of a glorious, warm golden tan versus maintaining their natural skintone all year around.

Pros

Some, of course, like the fact that a tan can immediately be slimming, can disguise many lumps and bruises that otherwise might be more visible. Others simply enjoy having an appearance that suggests they can afford to take care of themselves, to spend time in the sun, and that they are freshly back from the mediterranean.

Cons

There are those who, conversely, will argue that maintaining natural skin tone, covering up and liberally applying suncream is the best thing in the long run and that there is nothing 'healthy' about a tan at all.

And perhaps they are correct, with the UV rays from the sun causing all manner of nasty skin cancers, not to mention heat strokes and sun strokes. Sure, you don't want an appearance that suggests you've been hiding yourself away like Miss Havisham, but you also don't want to reach the age of 50 and realise you look a great deal older than you are because your skin has toughened and withered like a rubbery old leather boot. Suddenly, those days in the sun don't look so appealing.

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Personal choice

There's also another element at play when considering the dilemma of whether to tan or not to tan, and that is whether it will actually suit you or not. Sure, to a certain extent, a tan suits anyone, but many people, from Anne Hathaway to Lily Collins and Saoirse Ronan have resolutely kept their skin naturally pale, perhaps freckled and, in doing so, maintained a sense of looking natural, and having a skin that compliments their usual hair colours and makeup choices. Not having to alter all your makeup to adapt for a near permanent tan is only a small mercy.

Fake tan?

Finally, a tan doesn't have to come from the sun, from the beach or even a sunbed at all... naturally, of course. Many will choose to go down the route of giving themselves an artificially warm glow. Then it becomes a question of which means of tanning is preferred. Spray tan? A bottle and a mitten to have a go at home? Going to the salon and letting them paint, and even sculpt, you? Certainly, there are no shortage of choices, and below we have gathered some of our favourite, at-home tanning products.

We hope this helps.

And of course, if you've come down on the side of, "I like my skin just the way it is", that's cool too and all power to you and your natural skin tone.