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Darker or Lighter?

Posted on 16 May, 2011

Skin colour can be a contentious subject these days. There are many people out there (myself included!) trying to alter their skin colour. Some are trying to look darker and some are trying to lighten their natural skin colour in the quest for beauty and acceptance. This really exemplifies - we are never happy with what we have! Whilst this is primarily a cosmetic issue there are also important physical health risks associated with those pursuing the perfect complexion shade not to mention the psychological issues around trying to change a very fundamental part of who we are.  

Skin Lightening

Even and safe skin lightening is very difficult to achieve even despite the advances in technology. As always be very skeptical about the images you see in magazines and on TV. Whilst the models actresses and singers are beautiful just remember the camera can lie with the help of the best applied makeup and the genius of airbrushing, all imperfections simply disappear.! There are many different products and skin treatments the market but if you're serious about skin lightening then see a consultant dermatologist with a good recommendation. Anything less and you might opening yourself up for some disappointing results or simply just throwing away your hard earned cash.  

Skin Darkening

For those aiming for the sun kissed look the allure of sun worshipping or regular trips to the electric beach are still tempting many people despite the widely known health risks. There are so many fake tan products on the market , some are better than others and it can take a bit of practice to avoid the streaky look but practice makes perfect!

Alternatively do it Essex style and have a spray tan in a reputable salon, again if its your first time remember less is more unless you really want to be in with the wannabe wags! Evidence is emerging that it is not only UV light which can increase the risk of skin cancer but also visible light, for those with darker skin, your skin has  high levels of  melanin which help to block that out , for the fairer skins it also appears that there are chemicals present in fake tan that help to block out visible light. Whether you have dark or light skin or anywhere in between there is so much you can do to enhance  your skin to its best potential: Eat a well balanced diet, cut right back on processed food and drink Stop smoking Take regular exercise Reduce alcohol intake Exfoliate regularly (& consider using a fruit acid product for extra help) Moisturise daily, paying special attention to those typical dry areas ... and whether looking to tan or not SPF is essential for everyone!