September 14, 2011 6:46 PM Subscribe
How to get a really good looking tan? Is there an aesthetic difference between "side-effect" tans and "lie-down" tans? And, should one tan their face?
posted by polymodus to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(I know it's the end of summer for one hemisphere, but I've been wondering about this for a while.)
First subquestion: a person can tan as a side effect of being outside, such as while walking around, or playing sports. Or, they can tan by lying down outside for half an hour, in a yard/park/beach. Over regular repetition, both these activities will result in a deep, sexy tan. But which gives a truly more aesthetically pleasing tan? Two factors might be: a) While up and about, sunlight impinges from random directions, v.s. while lying down, your body is lit from 2 directions ("front" and "back"). This could affect the uniformity of the tan. b) Similarly, standing vertically v.s. lying down casts a different set of shadows on your face/torso/limbs. Again this could affect the kind of gradations/gradients that appear on your skin.
For example, there's a phrase—the notion of having a "sun-kissed" complexion. Is that just a generic figure of speech used in travel literature, or does it refer more concretely to a certain quality or aspect of a tan?
Second subquestion: I've read advice that one should not tan their face, because it will cause premature wrinkles and/or a tanned face is considered unattractive by some standards. Is that for real? Or, maybe a light facial tan would be a compromise?
There's still couple weeks of solid afternoon sunshine left where I live. I may just go ahead and get a tan, after reading your answers and advice, of course!
Personal info if it matters: I'm male, fairly physically active, and am indoors more often than I'd like. (Not prone to sunburning, but to be safe I do apply sunscreen during the peak of summer.)