Cover Up! Why Sun Tanning Isn’t A Thing We Do Anymore

Another day, another lifestyle trend? In the ever-evolving landscape of beauty and wellness, it can sometimes feel like we are on a merry-go-round as trends move at a faster pace than ever – from the Blue Zones diet to clean beauty our heads are spinning.

However, there’s one movement we are happily leaning into: embracing the skin we are in and taking the best possible care of it.

Number one on the list of good things you can do for your skin? Steer clear of sun tanning. Thankfully, the allure of sun-kissed skin is losing its grip on celebrities, the fashion set and beauty girlies, and instead celebrating our natural complexion is having its day.

In 2024, it’s not cool to look suntanned, instead, when it comes to a ‘healthy glow’ we’re all about taking care of our health and our skin, so we look radiant and are glowing from within.

Celebrity (sk)influence

Emma Stone
Emma Stone embraces her own skin tone at the Critics Choice Awards in January 2024.

As our awareness of the risks of sun tanning deepens, influencers, celebrities and trendsetters are moving away from the once-revered practice of chasing the perfect tan – whether that’s from a bottle or the beach.

The red carpet, once dominated by suntanned goddesses, is now graced by luminous celebrities like Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone, Sophie Turner and Alicia Keys, confidently showcasing their natural complexions.

And the realisation that these influential stars can shine in their natural skin (sometimes even sans makeup) on the red carpet is prompting a collective reconsideration of the need for a sun-induced glow.

Even influencers are on board. In this era of prioritising health and wellbeing, the retro image of lounging on a sunbed with a cocktail in hand is giving way to a more contemporary aesthetic. Influencers are increasingly filling their Instagram feeds with images of invigorating hikes, stylish wide-brim hats, and emotional support water bottles, signalling a shift away from sun-soaked scenes.

Did You Know?

  • Just 15 minutes in the sun can damage your skin.
  • A suntan degrades your skin’s elastin, leading to leathery skin, sunspots and mole growth.
  • Most of us spend time and money on skin care routines to have healthy-looking skin, but sun tanning undermines this.
  • Rather than a ‘healthy’ look, a suntan leads to premature ageing. 
  • Sun tanning doesn’t protect the skin from sun damage, sun tanning is skin damage. 
  • Sun protection is easy to add to your daily routine
  • You can feel confident and healthy in the skin you’re in without a suntan.

Sun-Safe Fashion

Anne Hathaway wears a chic cover-up, hat and sunglasses at the beach.

This cultural shift is not only redefining beauty ideals but also reshaping holiday wardrobes. As suntans fall out of favour, long cover-ups are elegantly taking the place of shorts and bandeau tops on beaches. The new fashion mantra is less about revealing skin and more about embracing a chic and sophisticated aesthetic.

Embracing a cover-up is not just a fashion choice; it’s a reflection of a broader shift in mindset. As the sun’s allure wanes, the fashion set is rewriting the rules, proving that true style transcends the need for a deep suntan.

marie claire Australia editor Georgie Abay agrees: “Sun protection doesn’t just mean sunscreen. Rock a hat and stylish sunglasses, as well as stand out fashion choices that cover your body, whilst saving your skin. Lightweight kaftans, natural fibres like linen, hemp and cotton in loose fitting breezy styles are my go-to summer style.”  

Skin Confidence

Confidently embracing our natural skin tone is a declaration that resonates with self-care and conscientiousness about our skin – it’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Achieving a radiant look without altering our natural skin tones communicates a message that goes beyond trends, and it shows that you prioritise the wellbeing of yourself and your skin. The glowing outcome is a testament to this mindful approach.

It’s clear that sun tanning is fading from our culture and embracing our natural skin as a beautiful and distinctive feature is a trend that’s here to stay. And we couldn’t be happier about it.  

Brought to you by Cancer Council and The Australian Government.

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