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I know I can’t be the only one who experiences the dilemma. We all know that the sun is bad for our skin in the long run… and try as some might to avoid getting a tan, there is always a ray or two that makes it’s way through and gives at least a hint of a sun-kissed look. The long-term effects of sun exposure are undeniable, but many would argue that so too are the short-term.

With the summer sun and a hint of a tan comes a clearer complexion, a slimming effect, natural highlights in your locks, and an increase in fresh air, food and Vitamin D.  All the effects of what tan-in-a-can and salon highlights can’t beat. As much as I know that I shouldn’t relish in these short term ‘benefits”, I admittedly do. Even worse, when my bad habit begins to retire for the winter I become stressed and sullen (inside and out!).

The changing of the seasons between fall and summer is the worst point of the year in terms of beauty for me. My tan fades and my skin gets outta whack. Even my in between make-up doesn’t match my complexion, “combination skin” is an understatement, and the blotchiness is humbling. That aside, my lips become incomprehensibly dry, my hair uncontrollable, my need to laze about rather than face the cooler temperatures becomes debilitating and my appetite for less than healthy fare… violent.

What is it about this time of year that does this to a woman? The natural side-effects of the skin trying to readjust to a different climate I can understand. But the side effects of the appetite and laziness that apparently comes hand-in-hand is a mystery to me.

After promising myself year after year that “this fall I will not let it happen to me again”, only to be utterly disappointed when it eventually does, I have finally come upon the solution. Relish in it! Unwind after a summer of family visits, full social calendars and body image stresses! Relax, get some sleep and let your skin recover. Stay cozy and comfortable with some girlfriends and snacks and have a night where you lay low and just enjoy each other’s company. And if your body wants to pack on a few pounds to keep you warmer during the summer months… Let it! The sun will come again in spring, and so too will the healthy fresh foods and bearable  temperatures for more outdoor activities to lose the pounds and get into shape once more.

Of course I don’t encourage an unhealthy lifestyle on either side of the spectrum, but more a relinquishing of the inner turmoil we create for ourselves which eventually will drive us mad!

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