Here they come again. The ghostly looking creatures are back strutting their stuff up and down the sidewalks. Scarves and mitts have replaced low cut sleeveless tops and dresses. Tiny slits substitute the ‘windows to our souls’ as we cover up our faces and try to see through the endless snowfall. The summer has been gone now for several months and with its disappearance, the tanned, ‘healthy looking’ faces are gone as well.

Do the winter months with their short dark days and long cold nights have to affect the way we look? Should our drive to the airport, through freezing rain and slippery roads make us rejoice at the thought of picking up our friends and loved ones? You know, those ‘friends’ arriving from their warm, sunny vacation, looking all tanned. Ok, maybe we don’t have to rejoice, but can we at least look happy to see them? After all, we are not thinking of their fun vacation when we see them, all we see is a beautiful tan. So, what’s the big deal? With a few minutes to spare and some change in our pockets, we too can enjoy a golden glow.

The winter months can bring out the best looking and healthiest tans. All we have to do is follow the lead of residents of Florida and California. With more bronzed bodies than I have ever seen, most of whom are residents, never sit in the sun and as a bonus, don’t worry about the sun damaging rays. Remember, not all that’s browned was baked in the sun. Believe it or not, most residents there rely on the ‘fake tan’ to make them look ‘real tanned’

The Southern Solutions for a healthy tan – Pay for it.

Airbrush Tanning Salons have sprung up like weeds. They are everywhere. The concept is quite simple. A self-tanning solution with pressurized air. Think of airbrushing your house with paint.  Seems simplistic? It is! And it works!

Another solution is tanning beds. The drawback – no one seems to agree as to their safety. And if the safety issue is not enough, I witnessed one of my children come home striped like a zebra after the use of a tanning bed because there were no instructions specifying that one must move while tanning to avoid the striped tan.

Self-tanning lotions, sprays, foams and disposable towelettes are an excellent solution and much cheaper. The ingredients used in today’s products are far superior to those used years ago. For best results I suggest: Exfoliate your skin with a loofa, scrub brush or exfoliating gel; Wear surgical gloves while applying the product to prevent browned palms; For the backs of your hands use a makeup sponge: Apply spray tanners with light circular motions, preferably while standing in an empty bathtub, with closed drapes; Apply all products sparingly to creases, knees, feet, elbows and neck. Following tanning application with a moisturizer will help preserve the color.

Remember – less is more with self tanners, it is much easier to add than to take away from the fake tan. So, go ahead, get yourself that healthy, golden tan no matter what season it is, SAFELY!