Why Does Tanned Skin Look Better?

woman with tanned skin in a swimsuit tanning in the sun

Why does tanned skin look better? It is hard to ignore the fact that the celebrities most praised for their beauty also have an enviable tan. C’mon: have you seen Jessica Alba lately? Eva Longoria? Any of the Kardashians?

Let’s face it: most folk love a good tan on themselves, but that doesn’t answer the question of why do we—as a society—find tanned skin so attractive. 

After all, a tan is so desirable that if it isn’t au naturel, then we definitely fake it ‘til we make it. So, we’re going to go over all of the benefits of tanning and why most people find tanned skin more attractive. Let’s dive into this!

Why Does Tanned Skin Look Good?

There are a lot of benefits that we associate with being tanned. For the most part, tanned skin looks healthier and plumper. A tan can also draw attention to attractive features such as muscle tone and smooth skin, thus suggesting that the tanned individual is in a good state of health.

Moreover, a tan can help give the appearance of an even complexion. When you have a tan, it may help to even out any discoloration or blemishes that you may have on your skin. This can help boost your confidence, and also make you look more attractive to others.

Both sun-tanned and product-tanned skin can give you a healthy glow and give others the impression that you spend a lot of time outdoors, being fit, and leading an active lifestyle. Those who tan their skin regularly also report feeling happier, more confident, and having a better sense of well-being in general.

There are so many benefits associated with tanned skin that more and more people are getting into the habit of visiting their local tanning salon on a regular basis. Tanned skin is linked with beauty, while pale skin is sometimes associated with sickness and just overall poor health.

Why Does Being Tanned Make You Look Thinner?

Tanned skin typically makes people look thinner. The old adage “dark clothing makes you look slim” actually has some truth to it—tanned skin has the same effect. Tanned skin tends to accentuate and define the areas of our body that are the most flattering, such as muscles and bone definition.

Comparatively, pale skin can sometimes highlight areas of our body that we would rather not draw attention to; therefore, having a tan can help to hide these problem areas. In all, not only does having a tan make you look slimmer, but it makes you look healthier too.

Regardless of your natural weight, having a tan can make you feel thinner and really boost self-esteem, while also hiding any blemishes, scars, or stretch marks that you may be insecure about. This is yet another major reason why celebrities and high fashion models tend to go for a more tanned look. 

Does Having A Tan Make You Look Younger? 

Yes, a tan can make you look younger. It’s no secret that aging is most apparent on our skin, where early signs of aging first appear. Having pale skin can highlight any wrinkles, creasing, and discoloration. On the other hand, having tanned skin can mask these imperfections and make you look much younger.

Tanned skin always looks healthier than pale skin, and it can really help to brighten up your complexion. However, keep in mind that continued exposure to UV rays can damage your skin, so be sure to protect yourself. Always remember to use sunscreen when tanning. 

Is It Better To Be Tanned Or Pale? 

Whether or not it is better to be tanned or pale is a personal preference. In the eyes of most people, tanned skin is more attractive for the simple fact that it looks plump, healthy, radiant, and smooth, even if the skin isn’t actually that way up close.

Pale skin is associated with a sedimentary lifestyle, poor health, and overall, it just isn’t as desired as much as a golden tan. Technically, there are pros and cons to having both tanned and pale skin. Tanned skin can of course hide imperfections, but it can also put you at risk for skin cancer.

Pale skin may make some imperfections more visible, but staying pale can help you avoid skin cancer. So, before you head to the tanning salon or lay out in the sun, consider the pros and cons of getting a tan. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

If your focus is strictly on appearance and not necessarily health, then being tanned might be the right option for you. Tanned skin can make you look slimmer, younger, and healthier. However, it’s important to remember that pale skin can be considered beautiful as well.

How Did Tanned Skin Become Popular? 

The history of tans is a bit complicated. For centuries, a pale complexion was seen as the height of beauty. Pale skin was a symbol of wealth and status, until the 20th century. Nowadays, lots of people go out of their way to get tanned skin.

So, when did tanned skin become popular? Well, the trend mostly started with Hollywood. Actors like the inimitable Cary Grant wanted to look tanned on screen because it added natural depth to their faces. “A tan is the best thing in the world because you don’t have to wear makeup,” said Cary Grant.

Over the years, tanned skin came to be associated with wealth and class. In popular culture, people like Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith became icons because of their timeless beauty, which was often enhanced by a healthy bronze.

Tanning started with just being performed outdoors. But people soon realized that this led to a lot of sunburns. This is when tanning oils came into the picture. People began experimenting with different ways to achieve a golden tan without having to sit in the sun all day.

Now, we see many different tanning methods from self-tanner, tanning oils, and spray tans. These have all been improved and perfected over the years. The best way to find the perfect tanning method for you is to ask around, look online, and experiment with what you find.

Are Tanned People Happier? 

Tanned people might actually be happier, but it’s not for the reasons you’d expect. Firstly, the bronze glow from a tan boosts happiness for the following reasons: an increase in self-confidence, looking healthier, and feeling more relaxed.

Tanned people tend to feel better about themselves and this can result in said person seeming much happier than when they were pale. The main reason that tanned people seem happier is that exposure to UV light releases endorphins.

Endorphins are “feel-good” hormones that can make someone feel happier. If someone is tanning in the sun every day or very often, they are being exposed to a lot of UV light and this will help to keep a constant flow of endorphins going.

In all, any exposure to UV light encourages the release of endorphins, making you feel much better. This is why it’s always best to get out and about during winter, to expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible. Please note that having pale skin does not mean you cannot be happy, nor do you need tanned skin to be happy.

Final Thoughts: Why Does Tanned Skin Look Better?

To review, tanned skin is associated with beauty and it is thought to make people look slimmer and younger. This is especially true for celebrities, who often go out of their way to stay tanned. Both tanned and pale skin can be beautiful, and there are benefits to having both skin tones.

Tanned skin can make you feel more confident and it has its roots in Old Hollywood, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that having pale skin is bad or doesn’t look good. Again, all skin tones and complexions are beautiful, and whether you want to be tanned or pale is a personal decision.

On that note, remember that getting any amount of sun can cause the release of endorphins to make you feel happier. So, even if it isn’t for a long time, going outside on a sunny day is a good idea (just remember your sunscreen).

Tanned skin may be preferred now, but times change. At one point pale skin was known to represent wealth and health; now that beauty standard has been flipped on its head, who knows what will be the hot new look in the coming years. 

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Categorized as Skin

By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.