Pale Skin: It's More Than A Trend

Not that long ago, I heard someone talking about pale skin and I'm not sure how I feel about what was said. I'm a huge advocate for staying pale. Dodging the tanning bullet and protecting my skin has become my new norm since a melanoma diagnosis in 2007. Three basal cell surgeries later, I'm all about encouraging others to follow suit and use sunscreen like it's going out of style.

Is pale skin really a trend?

Speaking of style...let's get back to that comment that disturbed me. I heard someone say that “being pale is in now.” Well, let's take a look at that, shall we? This particular person made reference to her skin during a discussion of clothing trends and fashion dos and don'ts. (You see where I'm going with this, right?)

Skin is more than a fashion accessory

Our skin is so very much more than an accessory, and taking care of it should not be regarded as trendy. It's not a scarf, a pair of skinny jeans, or a lesson in contouring makeup for a flawless look. Our skin is our largest organ. The sun and tanning beds, whether we choose to believe it or not, do a real number on our skin. Tanning, by any means, is one trend that should never have gained steam.

If it is in fact “in” to be pale, hey, that's great! That means fewer people will see occurrences of melanoma and other skin cancer related to UV ray exposure. Reducing the risk of skin cancer with pale skin--that's excellent. It is, indeed, the direction we would all like to see skin care move.

What happens when the trend fades?

Where we have a problem is when the fashion pendulum swings the other way once more. How many people will continue to faithfully use sunscreen? How many fashion-forward folks will maintain that healthy shade of pale when surrounded by tan arms and legs again? Can you think of anyone who may be swept away to the tanning salon again as soon as it appears that sun-kissed skin is in?

Being healthy is always "in"

Enter the advocate. That's you. It's also me. The ultimate health of our skin depends on our ability and willingness to make a decision based on research, common sense, and a desire to live our best lives for as long as we are able. Though all skin cancers aren't caused by exposure to UV rays, the likelihood of developing skin cancers following sunburns and excessive tanning increases as long as those habits continue. Speak up. Spread the word. Share your thoughts, and tell your story. Tell someone that being healthy has and will always be the “in” thing.

Make healthy skin a classic

I'm not sure tanning has really made its way out, so to speak. I still see tan bodies everywhere. One thing we all have to understand is that we need to value our skin and our health as more important than that pair of Uggs sitting in the closet that we only wore twice because we got caught up in the hype. We will have endless opportunities to change styles, hair color, makeup techniques, and fits of blue jeans. That electric blue mascara from the 80s? It will be back. Those bell bottoms that have already rolled around a few times? We will see them again. Our skin? That pale skin some are coveting now as fashionable? We've got one shot at that. Let's make it count. Stay pale, especially after skin cancer.

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