Glowing vs. Tanning: Simon Doonan Talks Tough

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Simon Doonan

Over the years, the bronzed look has gone in and out of style. To find out if the appeal of tanned skin has finally fallen out of fashion for good, The Skin Cancer Foundation went right to the source. Read on for an exclusive interview with Simon Doonan, creative director for Barneys New York and author of Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You.

SCF: Is tanned skin still in style?
SD: Definitely not. Tanned skin is very 80s porno star. The connotations are all negative. It's unhealthy and kind of sleazy. Very Rock of Love!

SCF: What three celebs do you associate with having great, healthy, natural glowing skin?
SD: Tilda Swinton is pale and interesting. Michelle Obama is luscious and well-moisturized. Lucy Liu is a flawless porcelain doll.

SCF: How can we convince young women that having untanned skin - skin that has not been damaged from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays - is the new beauty ideal?
SD: Burning and blistering your skin is like smoking packs of cigarettes or excessive boozing. It's negative and gnarly and self-destructive. You must love yourself, which includes loving your epidermis.

SCF: How can women adapt their style to fit their natural skin tone? So many women think they need to be tan to look good in certain things.
SD: The skin color you were born with is always going to be the right one for you. Be yourself. For a pale girl to acquire a deep tan is bizarre. Whatever color your skin, you should emphasize your God-given gorgeousness; don't try to deny it.

SCF: What is your advice for the young girls who visit the tanning salon as an after-school activity?
SD: Young people are always going to do crazy reckless stuff. I know I did. The most important thing they need to know is that lying on tanning beds is self-destructive and potentially lethal.

SCF: Any final words?
SD: Love your skin, don't barbecue it!

Published on June 24, 2009