Photo illustration: Cut. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
This column first appeared in Valerie Monroe’s newsletter. How not to mess up your faceYou can subscribe by substack.
Turning to the road to hell department paved with good intentions, a question from a reader who faces another shady predicament after growing her natural gray hair.
Q: I am a fair-skinned ex-brunette who spent most of my adulthood warming my face with self-tanners. I grew gray hair two years before hers and found that I needed to warm up my face more than ever due to the loss of pigment. The problem is that when the self-tanner comes in contact with gray hair, it leaves a stain that doesn’t lift, despite my stylist’s valiant attempts.
You can opt for an everyday bronzer to avoid staining. Especially given the hot flashes I deal with on a regular basis (I’m 56 and post-menopausal). do you
A: Congrats on going natural! (At least with your hair.) I have an idea of what you can do to solve your dilemma, but I wanted to ask cosmetic chemist Perry Rowanowski first. beauty brain Podcast, if he knows why you’re in trouble and has any advice.
“This is what’s going on,” he says, quickly pounding the weeds. “The self-tanning ingredient DHA (dihydroxyacetone) chemically reacts with amino acids in skin proteins, turning the skin brown (actually orange-ish). Also It is made up of proteins that contain amino acids. That’s why her DHA, a self-tanner, works just as well in her hair as it does on her face. If your hair is colored (either natural or dyed), you probably won’t see any staining.
As you, dear reader, have meticulously pointed out. “Now about how to stop it,” Perry continues. “I don’t know how, other than to keep the DHA from coming into contact with your hair. Try doing some self-tanning by pulling your hair up at night. The DHA is used up in her hour, so after that your hair will be dry.” It won’t hurt to touch your face.”
But you may have already tried this. Also, have you ever tried slathering petroleum jelly around your hairline to create a barrier between your self-tanner and your hair? Therefore, I would like to propose an alternative.
You say you’ve been using self-tanners all your life as an adult. There’s probably no health reason to stop doing it. Do not know. But now that you’ve allowed yourself to surrender to the natural glory of your gray hair, why not consider surrendering to the natural glory of your complexion as well.
“But I’m washed up!” you say. A few strategically placed highlights and lowlights around the hairline, silver or white, can take your complexion from dull to vibrant with just a tinted moisturizer and a pop of blush. A tinted moisturizer, IMHO, is the best invention since high-waisted jeans. Finding a suitable and natural shade is easy. Many contain sunscreen. You won’t sweat.
Maybe throw in the towel on your fake tan for now.
first published January 3, 2023.
Valerie Monroe served as beauty director Oh Oprah Magazine, There she wrote the monthly “Ask Val” column for almost 16 years.now she writes a weekly newsletter How not to mess up your faceHer goal is to shift our way of thinking in the beauty field from self-criticism to self-compassion, learning how to be a loving witness to ourselves and each other as we age.