Blogs » Beyond Beauty » A darker shade of pale



I don't tan. Let me repeat that -- I don't tan.

I stopped tanning in my teenage years when I realized the process of tanning for someone with pale and freckled skin is, well, expensive and painful.

I have two tragic memories of visiting a tanning bed, lathering myself up with the tanning-bed specific lotion, and laying in the mild temperature bed for about seven minutes.

I burned. I burned all over. And I paid money for it. My burn then faded to a lovely shade of brown, which peeled and flaked for the duration of my "tan."

At some point, I started investing in spray-on tans, however, which I now use before many important functions. If you see my skin a darker shade these days, you may assume it's sprayed or painted on.

As I age, I've let go of any hostility attached to my tanning difficulties. I know the more I stay out of the sun, the healthier my skin will be and the less I have to worry about pre-mature wrinkles and skin cancer.

I may be pale and freckled, but perhaps I'll age slower and more gracefully. That's my hope, anyway.

But during the summer, I, like most American women, prefer my skin to darken a few shades (as if I recently returned from a long weekend in Mexico).

And this weekend I accomplished that with Kate Somerville's tanning towelettes.

I used one lemon-fresh towelette on Saturday as an experiment to see how it would tan my skin. The directions said to use circular motions as you rub the solution on the towel into your skin.

The results the first day were sketchy. As the color developed over the course of the day, it left noticeable and embarrassing streaking down my arms, which were up to three shades darker than my original skin tone.

On Sunday I used another towel to cover the areas that I'd missed the day before, and I was satisfied with how the colors blended nicely across my face, neck, chest and arms.

I will say this product, used over two days, is fabulous. Just leave yourself enough time to cover any patches should you end up streaking your body like I did.

I don't think these are meant to work as a full body spray tan, so if you're looking for full body coverage, I would go to the salon, or use a lotion product meant for that.

Otherwise, if you're looking for a great way to darken your face and chest and arms, try these towelettes. They're probably one of the best tanning products I've used ever.