My friend Amelia from Voxate and Suddenly a Mom does some freelance work for a company called NuTan, and when they were looking for some folks to try out their new tanning patches I’m quite sure she told them that she knows a girl who, despite living in sunny South Africa, is whiter than the Irish. And then surely they went “well if we can make the snow lady turn brown then we are the greatest company ever”. And so it came to be that I found myself gifted with a box of tanning patches.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Nadine? With a tan? Haha! And there you go just laughing and stuff. Honestly that just makes you a mean ol’ meanie… You should stop that… I’m just kidding.
I’m aware that “tanning products” are not really my speed (I suck at even those spray fake tanning products that are supposed to be fool proof – I mean really does everyone get those things as wrong as I do?) but I have been doing the whole Learning to Girl thing so I accepted the gift with some significant excitement at the idea of potentially being milky-tea coloured instead of just milk-coloured. You know?
Anyway, I completely screwed up using this product! Basically, NuTan has these little patches that you can use to get yourself one of those brown-as-a-berry tans naturally. Of course I’ve never been brown as a berry (nor do I know of many berries that are actually brown so seriously our South African slang needs some work) but I’m keen to try on the look.
How many more times can I say “anyway”?
Anyway! You’re supposed to either wear the little patch for two hours (on your skin) or you can sleep with it overnight, before you’re ready to go out into the sun. Then you need to go and actually lie in the sun for fifteen minutes on each side, or spend 10 minutes in a tanning bed. Well, obviously, I’m me, so I don’t know where to find a tanning bed. But I’m all for the sun.
Now you’re supposed to do this every two or three days while your tan gradually builds up. I was so keen! I had ten days before a weekend away in Port Alfred with my family and I was determined to have my tan by then. After using the patches just once I could already see that this gradually improving tan idea was completely possible! But then, of course, out came those glorious clouds that we’ve all been thanking God for (seriously, they killed my tanning mojo but I’m definitely not complaining) and I only managed to get one more patch in before leaving. And then I did use one while I was in Port Alfred, but I ended up volunteering to spend the only sunny day while we were there with my grandmother because I was certainly not going to listen to her when she insisted that her 92 year old ass was “just fine” staying home alone. No, Gran. No. The result was I didn’t end up in the sun much after that.
Aside from that the last few days (weeks?) or so have been kind of windy and unpleasant around here.
Here’s the thing though. I got a tan anyway. For now it’s kind of hard to “prove” because I don’t have any tan lines, but I’ve got a lovely glow to my shoulders and my legs have lost their milk-with-a-tinge-of-blue vibe. That alone is miraculous. I totally had on a white dress and you could see where the dress ended and my legs began.
And here is the very best part: I did not burn.
The directions tell you to go into the sun for half an hour sans sunscreen. Well, let me tell you half an hour in the sun with SPF30 on is enough to turn my milky skin into pink steri-stumpi. I’m not even kidding. So going into the sun without sunblock? Well, NuTan, you’d better not be playing with me!
But I didn’t burn at all. Instead I got a good dose of Vitamin D, something that I have been struggling with because in real life I’m a vampire and I never go outside in the daytime. Or the nighttime. I digress…
And this is the part that excites me the most. That I could actually spend a decent amount of time outdoors without doing any damage to my impossibly sensitive skin was such a welcome bonus. Because it is a big deal. Even my head manages to burn through all this hair if I’m outdoors for too long. And by too long I mean if I go outside… Have you ever tried to put sunscreen on a head with hair?! (and no – I can’t swim in a hat so that’s not the perfect solution)
So thanks, Nutan! I’ll be using your product “properly” soon. But for now I’m definitely just a smug and happy camper!