Temple Friendly Tanning

by Gwendolyn Anderson

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 

I Cor. 6:19

The end of winter is approaching and that means one thing for sure, your skin is as light as gets. During winter in the United States, with just a few exceptions, the sun doesn’t shine with enough  force to tan us. And for most of us, it’s just too cold to spend enough time outside to get or maintain a nice tan. And yet that sun-kissed look is what most Caucasian young women are going for – year round! It’s a futile pursuit, but I do it too! 

So whereas I can’t really justify it or explain it to my mother, or some other more sensible young woman who wants to know why I care about a tan, I can fully relate to young women who have among their priorities “Work on my tan.”

And yet, I draw the line at spending big bucks to submit myself to a cancer- and wrinkle-inducing tanning bed to get that look. Laying out is more financially sound, but even with sunscreen slathered on all my parts, it’s still cancer- and wrinkle-inducing. 

There is a solution for a year-round tan for not too much money and no risk of cancer or wrinkles: tan-in-a-can! Tanning products got a bad rap when they hit the shelves years ago because people didn’t know how to use them – they didn’t respect the directions’ warnings and they weren’t careful. A lot of embarrassed orange people quickly turned the rest of us off on these products. 

Fact is, they can still turn you orange, but people are more careful now to follow the directions and self-tanning products have come a long way since they hit the market. These improvements and because of just how much sense they make (while simultaneously being complete nonsense!), more and more people have started to use them and the stigma of tan-in-a-can has faded. There are lotions, sprays and even toilettes now, and formulas for lighter skin and darker skin. To find one that’s right for you, visit Consumer Research’s Web site at http://www.consumerresearch.com/sunless-tanning for a review of almost a dozen different products.

Another cancer-free, wrinkle-free tanning option is professional spray tans. These are about as affordable as tanning beds, and after an awkward day of transition in which you’re too dark and can’t take a shower, a decent looking tan lasts about 10 days if you care for it properly. Some people have reported that as it fades, it starts to look splotchy. Sounds a little too high maintenance for me, not to mention it’s still a huge drain on a single girl’s budget.

Speaking of budgets, let’s say you really would like a cancer- and wrinkle-free tan, but your budget is so tight you can’t even afford a $10 self-tanning product. Could you afford a cup of coffee? Or how about a bag of carrots? I haven’t tried these myself, but some reports suggest, that a cooled cup of black coffee, dabbed on the skin with a cotton pad (not a cotton ball) will stain your skin a nice natural brown. Want darker skin, apply more coffee. Supposedly this won’t wash off, but will fade in a few days. For double-duty, maybe you could use a flavored coffee like French Vanilla and have an awesome smelling tan!

Lastly, and certainly the most healthy way to get some color into your skin: eat a lot of carrots. Try this, eat half a pound of carrots every day for 10 days. You should notice a more colorful look to your skin. Some additional benefits might be improved eye sight over a long term and weight loss. Carrots are hard to digest and you may need to work up to that half a pound a day, starting with one carrot, and adding a carrot every day or two until you can comfortably eat half a pound a day.

Think I’ve gone off the deep end by suggesting staining yourself with coffee or eating all those carrots? Maybe we should try analyzing how crazy it is to lay out in the sun or pay to lay in a tanning bed, subjecting our bodies to damaging ultraviolet rays that have a good chance of producing cancer and most certainly will accelerate the wrinkling process. And for what? To look a little darker? Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Laying out and tanning in beds is an investment of time and money in your early demise and premature aging – just like smoking, but not as intense. God wants us to look our best, but not if it requires tearing down our temple to do it. When we bring our Christian beliefs to bear on the subject of tanning…the carrots start to look pretty good.

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