I’ll never use self-tanner again • Embracing my fair, pale skin ✨🪞





I’ve spent the better party of 39 years slathering myself with self-tanner so I can appear the way that I felt society wanted me to look.

I’m done.

I just wish I came to this level of self-acceptance years ago. It would have saved me a lot of money, countless stained sheets, time, self-loathing, and my skin, of course, would have been a lot happier without all the weird chemicals on it.

I love this person I’m evolving into. She’s fearlessly learning to own it.

#becomingmybestself #acceptance #fairskin

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Lauren is the beauty editor of Cosmopolitan Middle East magazine. Check out her articles, features, and interviews here: https://www.cosmopolitanme.com/author/lauren-oconnell

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© Lauren O’Connell, All Rights Reserved 2022

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16 replies
  1. Cup of Tea
    Cup of Tea says:

    I’m 38 and my whole life also I used to do fake tanning lotion I never used to sit in the sun because my skin tone and complexion is what you would call super porcelain white and your video your fair I’m like 10 shades wider and I do have light Tannish freckling on my arms and some a little bit of a crossed my cheekbones so that’s why I never sent the sun because I don’t want cancer and also honestly I don’t want to be like crispy so recently I also gave up using tanner‘s I wouldn’t make myself dark but I would just give myself like a mild glow but I stop doing that also because I’m like I don’t want all those chemicals soaking in my skin and also I don’t like the DHA smell that’s in sunless tanners and I don’t like the stickiness also and then when it comes off it’s blotchy and looks nasty and I have embraced my porcelain skin and I’m like you know what actually this is so beautiful And for make up I stick with soft light colors and it looks amazing I will say peach colors look best on me

  2. Tara Rose
    Tara Rose says:

    I struggle with accepting my pale skin. I can tan naturally pretty dark! But I don’t want the damage. So I self tan.
    I was bullied as a child for being pale, called names… I was abused by an alcoholic who would get abusive in the winter , and I hated school and was a nerdy outcast. I associated tan with happiness, summer, freedom.
    Plus my personal beauty ideals, I think dark skin is more beautiful. I adore how my girlfriends of color look. I know as a privileged white woman how silly it sounds to complain- or that white women tanning dark, looks like we are trying to cherry pick attributes of people of color…it’s so insensitive. Yet pale women are made to feel quite ugly in American society. And downright bullied. It’s nowhere near the oppression and stigma our beautiful sisters of color have had to face. And I never self tan darker than my genetic capabilities.
    But I so want to embrace natural beauty. I love it so much when others do that, and when my African or black gfs wear their hair natural for instance, it’s the most beautiful look in the world to me. When I think women of color look so much more beautiful to me- how do I look in the mirror and feel “pretty”? Why does my skin look like raw chicken to me, and why do I feel naked, sickly looking, not like myself when I am pale? Plus pale was in vogue during times when society was even more racist than it is now, and European colonialism was in its blazing hot prime. So I don’t even like the cultural associations of being super pale.
    As a child, they called me ghost and vampire. Not really what I want to be associated with, and I’m not gothic.
    Well, I guess I’m beginning my journey of self acceptance so wish me luck! You are all beautiful, don’t forget.

  3. Angeline Biswas
    Angeline Biswas says:

    Omg I’ve totally stopped self tanning as well! I feel like it just made my face and body look much older as well. Dr Sheerin Idris did a great video on some studies of DHA that’s used in self tanner and it sounds like it actually does age the skin. I’m so with you on this issue of caring what people think of you my family also always pointed out how pale I was as well as school mates and it really messed with me. I started tanning beds at 13 and tanned til I was 36 😱 as well as self tanner now I’m paying for it with skin procedures and skincare.

  4. Leia Rey39
    Leia Rey39 says:

    Thank you for this!! I’m a fair skinned ginger! I dated a guy when I was younger who hated my pale skin so much he kept a black light on when I was there. That destroyed me. Kids were really mean to me. I grew up in the Saved by the Bell era as well. I wanted to be tan and it just wasn’t attainable for me. I became perfect at applying self tanners. I spent loads of money and time self tanning and got so desperate I went to the tanning bed and ended up with second degree burns. I’m 39 and still struggling with my pale skin. Now I have spider Veins and I hate them so it’s hard to not want to cover all that up. I don’t feel like pale skin is accepted in our society. It’s sad. Years ago women went out of the way to stay out of the sun. Now it’s like pale is scary and offensive. My daughter is experiencing this rejection as well now at her age. I have watched it deflate her self esteem and it breaks my heart .. thank you for sharing your story!!

  5. Kitkat 🌸
    Kitkat 🌸 says:

    People should honestly stop being so mean about pale skin, especially since we are so much more susceptible to skin cancer if we try to tan. I’m 21 and have decided to finally embrace it and always use spf 50, I think there is something very beautiful about looking unique, all my friends just use fake tan but I can’t stand the stickiness of it and also the cost of maintaining it… 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

  6. makayla dill
    makayla dill says:

    Hey Lauren! I’ve recently ditched the fake tanner and spray tans too. Like you said, I felt like I was betraying myself! I saw this article by Cosmopolitan U.S that stated that when people point out your paleness, it’s because they are uncomfortable with what isn’t considered to be the social norm. When I realized this is a “you” problem and not a “me” problem, I stopped caring! This week was my first week going to work with no self tanner on! I’m also embracing the red tint in my brown hair and am going in for a hair appointment to add more auburn highlights this weekend! Your video really resonated with me. Thank you for being so uplifting to your audience!

  7. Truthful22
    Truthful22 says:

    Oh my gosh I’m on your boat! I used to use self tanners and was able to get away with it. Now that I am 34 and did it again, I realize it’s just not flattering and I can’t get away with it like I used to when I was younger. I grew to love my pale skin now so much that when I go in the sun and make sure I don’t get color. I think as you get older you grow more confident & realize god created you perfect and no need for any changes. I used to change my hair color a lot as well and now I realize the color I was born with is the best one on me.

  8. Jan12
    Jan12 says:

    You have a beautiful complexion! You should look into color analysis to find the best colors for you. I think you might be a true summer but you should look into it.

  9. THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT
    THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT says:

    I stopped the fake tan too. Something happened when I hit mid 30s. I love myself a lot more. I occasionally use the Sally Hansen air brushed legs as needed which is basically leg make up that washes off immediately in the shower. I only use it when I have bruises on my legs from my toddlers bouncing on them. 🤣 I'm really looking forward to 40 now. Your confidence is showing so much since your return. 💜

    I've mostly done away with make up but for the last week I've tried your 3 product make up look and I love how simple it is.

  10. Adriana May
    Adriana May says:

    I can relate with you. All my family can tan very easily, but my brother and I are very pale and burn, instead of tanning. I remember being a kid around 9-10 years old and hating my pale skin, so my mom would bringing me to the beach every week so I could “gradually” tan. I got a terrible second degree sun burn on my legs, and after that day I never ever tried to become something I’m not. Being pale is very cool with me, even with all my family making fun of my ghostly complexion. 😅

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