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Tanning Out, Pale Skin In?

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In contrast to the consistent litter of bronzed women that are basically everywhere stateside, it seems as though a new trend is emerging within the fashion elite: winter-white, porcelain pale skin. That’s right: pale skin is officially in. After years of tan domination from the Harper’s tier to Penny’s catalog models, slivers of Irish white flesh are beginning to show up among the fashion’s uppermost crust. Even the sparkle of self-tanners and spray tans seem to be fading, as pale women embrace their naturally fair skin tone. The cultivation of the pale skin trend is probably motivated by a number of factors, among them an increased public awareness of sun damage and maybe even a little bit of beauty diversification.

Sunscreen As a Beauty Necessity

Like so many fashion trends, the initial embrace of pale skin can be traced back to a tiny population of haute couture fashionistas, beauty gurus, and their respective devotees. This group of people sits at the cutting edge of fashion, feeding into the latest developments before they become of interest to any mass market. The topic of sun protection is no exception. Over the last decade or so, sunscreen has evolved from something only slathered on at the beach to an integral part of many beauty editors’ morning routines. An increasing majority of both high and low end foundations include SPF, making the integration of beauty and sun protection a natural one. And don’t forget the neck—the décolletage is one of the first places to show sun damage.

The countless daily reminders of the risk of sun exposure were bound to catch up with at least some people: there’s the huge posters in tanning salons reminding users of their dangers, SPF showing up in nearly every foundation, Mystic tan advertising, celebrities offering their best anti-aging tips, and the constant drone of fashion magazines telling its readers the importance of staying out of the sun.

Of course, much of the pale skin trend’s true roots lie in scientific research. Dermatologists have been warning patients about the risk of sun exposure for decades. With dermatological technology more advanced than ever, it’s evident that the link between aging, sun spots, skin cancer, and the sun is absolute. Those sunscreen and foundation combos were created thanks to medical necessity.

Pale is Beautiful

As if the hazard of illness or death has ever been enough to stop a fashion trend, the popularity of pale skin can also be attributed to its recognition as a beautiful feature. Celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Amy Adams exude elegance. Evan Rachel Wood, Dita Von Teese, and Rose McGowan are more than just Marilyn Manson’s ex-girlfriends—they’re also proof that snow-white skin is widely accepted as desirable.

The West is more diverse than ever, and beauty ideals are inarguably following suit. While designers are favoring ebony-skinned models like Alec Wek for their exotic good looks, the same can be said about designers choosing women with noticeably pale skin. In such cases, pale skin is more than just a happenstance. It’s also a fashion statement.

It’d be foolish to say that pale is in the process of taking over the popularity of tanned skin. The tanning business, and the idea that tan is beautiful, will certainly reign supreme (or at least majority) for many years ahead. But the simple fact that pale is in to a tiny amount of people with a lot of power is indicative of a growing tide in a sunkissed ocean.

Reversing Sun Damage

The sun protection industry has created a new appreciation for fair-skinned beauty. Unfortunately, preventative measures like sunscreen don’t reverse damage that has already occurred. If you’ve experienced premature aging due to sun damage, contact our representatives today to schedule a consultation with a skincare expert in your area . There are a number of surgical and non-surgical procedures that can dramatically improve the condition of your skin and reverse the harmful effects from the sun. During your consultation, you can discuss treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, IPL Photofacials, and many more.

--Marisa Amorasak

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