I was dishing dirt with one of my favorite photographer friends the other day and she begged me to counsel my clients to not go overboard on the tanning bed and/or spray tans. I try, God knows I do.
Let me try to first dispel a few myths:
-tanning will clear up my acne-prone skin.
While it can be true that a tan might make read marks less prominent, this is a short term fix at best. It is proven that tanning can cause overproduction of sebum, exacerbating the condition. Spray tanning can sit in larger pores, giving the appearance of blackheads.
-tanning will give me a "base" so I won't burn on my honeymoon
Many people believe that having a few sessions of indoor tanning will protect them when they get to a sunny climate, but there is little evidence this is true. tanning under the sun or a tanning bed gives protection that is equivalent to a spf of 4 or less, which translates into a little extra time in the sun before you start to burn. But the larger issue is that any change in skin color is a sign of damage from UV radiation. repeated exposure can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer.
-tanning will make me look less "pasty" in my white gown
The effect of an overly tanned bride can be just the opposite; she can look orangey, or muddy-the oppsite of the fresh faced glow you are surely trying to achieve.
I have had brides as porcelain as Scarlett Johansen or Dita Von Teese and they looked anything but washed out. Streaks from poorly applied spray tans can be very difficult to camouflage, and sun damage can cause your photographer hours of retouching.
So resist that urge to "get some color" before your wedding. It is easy to lose sight of what you actually look like and end up overdoing it. Rely on bronzers, contouring, and illuminators for a truly healthy glow!