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Pale Skin: It’s More Than A Trend

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.

Pale skin is in?

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. 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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Darlene moderator
    11 months ago

    I posted a pic yesterday of an old ad from Coppertone yesterday where their motto was “ Don’t be a pale face “ , use Coppertone and tan, don’t burn.

    You know it was that mentality that l followed growing up. Wear sunblock, tan don’t burn. Don’t I look beautiful with my healthy glow?

    Hah, If only I had realized that was just a myth. And the damage that I was doing to my skin by sun bathing hours on end on the beach.

    Having gone through multiple surgeries and lymph node removal I can only look forward.

    I’m living for today and my new favorite skin color is the one I was born with, a natural one.

    I’ll be a pale face and proud of it because this girl wants to remain cancer free.

    No more melanoma for me!

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    11 months ago

    You hit the nail on the head! We were and, to some extent, still are subject to images and ideas about the color our skin should be. You keep rocking that pale and HEALTHY skin! Best wishes for continued cancer-free skin! April,, Moderator

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