ALEXANDRA SHULMAN: After a glorious week in Greece – and having seen Jennifer Lopez, Sienna Miller and Leonardo DiCaprio’s MANY summer companions – I’m convinced sun tans are back in vogue
The usual tired, somewhat pallid reflection I am used to seeing in the mirror has gone and been replaced by something glowing.
This is nothing to do with the piles of illuminating skin care on my dressing table and everything to do with the sun-tan I have brought back from a week’s holiday in Greece.
Now I’m not naive or careless or ignorant, and I’m fully aware of the increasing incidence of skin cancer that can be caused by sun exposure, but the fact is that a sun-tan – even a soupcon of one – makes us not only look but feel better.
And I’m not alone – a bevy of holidaying celebrities clearly feel the same, if Jennifer Lopez on a yacht in Amalfi, Sienna Miller holidaying in St-Tropez or any number of Leo DiCaprio’s summer companions are anything to go by.
The lure of the tan is clearly back, after a few years dwindling in the doldrums.
NO HOLDEN BACK: Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda soaks up the rays last month
FEELING THE HEAT: Holly Willoughby in Portugal
BEACH VIBES: Kylie Jenner soaking up the sun while celebrating her 26th Birthday
Sporting a deep-bronzed skin reached its peak in the early 2000s during the ballerina flat and oversized sunglass-wearing heyday of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
The most sought after fashion models were the perma-tanned Brazilians like Gisele Bundchen. But such was the ubiquity of the look, the overuse of fake tans and the mounting evidence of bad health implications that tanning began to lose its stylish allure.
Not that it stopped most of us spending as many hours on a sun lounger as we could cram into our 20 days annual leave. That was stopped by the pandemic, which gave those of us trapped in the low pressure of the Northern hemisphere an enforced pallor.
But even Hollywood’s finest with the benefit of the Californian climate were choosing to go pale. Suddenly a Snow White complexion was the leading accessory on the red carpet.
But now it’s all change and the tan has made a comeback. Aided by the raft of heavy-duty SPF products available and myriad flimsy beach cover-ups that can shelter us from the midday rays, we can worship at the sun’s altar more safely than ever.
We are educated and alert. No longer would anyone do as I did dousing my body for hour upon hour in oily Ambre Solaire and Hawaiian Tropic which hadn’t even heard of SPF.
Now I’m not naive or careless or ignorant, and I’m fully aware of the increasing incidence of skin cancer that can be caused by sun exposure, but the fact is that a sun-tan – even a soupcon of one – makes us not only look but feel better
BASKING LARK: Liz Hurley enjoys a spot of sunbathing in her bikini last week
GOAL-DEN TIME: Jamie Redknapp with wife Frida in Barbados
BRONZE SPICE: Victoria Beckham shows off her tan waterskiing in Canada
Back in the 1970s sun-tan lotions were there for one reason – to make you an ever darker brown, not to prevent you from getting sun damage or cancer.
There is little to compare to the lovely sense of coming in from a day in the sun and seeing that slight deepening of tan lines.
Or returning from holiday feeling sun-brushed, whether that be the ruddy colouring gained from a British coastal sun, the olive of the Mediterranean or the chestnut of the Caribbean.
If tans were about appearance than fake tans would tick the box. But they aren’t. Real sunshine with its Vitamin D boost has an irreplaceable feel-good benefit.
On the recent holiday we were accompanied by a toddler dressed by her mother like an Edwardian bathing lady, every inch of flesh covered up. In contrast the adults were sprawled in bikinis and shorts lapping up the rays.
I wondered, in 20 years – when the little girl is old enough to make her own sun-wear choices – which mode of behaviour will be fashionable then
This post first appeared on Daily mail