We know how it is when you find yourself getting super interested in something… you want to share it with everyone you know, especially your closest friends! And when that thing that you’re super interested in also happens to impact your health and wellness, the temptation to shout it from the rooftops is that much stronger. If you’ve recently committed to better protecting your skin from the sun, you probably want all of your pals to do the same. And why wouldn’t you? Sun protection is really important!
With that in mind, we know how hard it can be to approach these kinds of conversations with your peers, and we want to help you do it in a way that doesn’t feel patronizing or weird. These nine tips will help you break the ice with your friends about healthy sun care!
1. Bring it up in the right setting. As with any serious conversation, the success of having a chat with your friends about the importance of safe sun habits relies on setting the right tone. Yes, you want to convey to your pals the seriousness of the topic at hand, but you also don’t want them to feel like they’re being called to the principal’s office for a stern talking-to! If you notice that one of your BFFs is spending a lot of time in the sun without the proper protection for the sake of getting a tan, let them know casually next time you grab a drink or have dinner that you’ve been trying to take your own sun protection more seriously recently. Let them know that you’re trying to educate yourself first, then give them the opportunity to ask any questions that they might have!
2. Don’t be a know-it-all. It’s great that you’re taking the time to learn more about protecting your skin from the sun’s rays, but you know as well as we do that people tend to be less receptive to advice when it comes from someone who acts like they know absolutely everything about a subject. Share a few tidbits from your research that you’re most excited about, but don’t offer a full book report. Keep it light — you’re not presenting to the board here! — so your friend feels comfortable asking questions about what might work best for them.
3. Walk the talk. If you’re going to start offering up advice to BFFs about how to get a healthy glow on, you better be following that advice yourself! Protect yourself from the sun with some serious SPF or get your bronze from us here at Organic Bronze Bar instead of risking it with the real deal. If you’re walking your talk, your friends will be that much more likely to follow your advice.
4. Show that you care. When you’re talking to your friend about the importance of sun protection, it’s key that they understand that you’re coming from a place of concern — not self-righteousness. If you’ve noticed a pattern of unhealthy sun practices for your pal, it’s okay to express that you just want what’s best for them. There’s no need to act as if you’re their parent or doctor, but coming from a place of love and care is probably your best approach.
5. Offer alternatives. Your bestie is bound to be more receptive to your concerns if you suggest some specific alternatives to what they’re already doing. Give them the names of the products you’ve been using and loving lately (we happen to think that the ones we have in our store are pretty good) or refer them to a spray tan studio like ours where they can get the color they’re looking for without the risk.
6. Sharing is caring. Take our last tip a step further by inviting your friend to join you for a spray tan appointment! Make it a date and treat them to their first appointment so they can see just what they’re missing out on. If you’re genuinely concerned about your friend’s health, this will be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.
7. Take people from where they are. Your friend may not be ready to hear your advice or to change their habits just yet, and while that may not shake out so well for their health down the road, there may not be anything you can do about it. For the time being, at least, you might just have to let this one go. We love how much you care about your loved ones, but ultimately, everyone needs to be responsible for cultivating their own healthy habits. Your friend just may not be ready… and that’s okay.
8. Keep it fun! Don’t lose sight of the fact that you and your friend are still, well, friends! If it feels like the conversation is drifting into unfriendly territory, it’s time to walk it back and rethink your tone and approach.
9. Get outside together. You’ve said what you have to say, and regardless of the outcome, it’s time for you and your friend to get out there and enjoy yourselves. Go for a walk! Hit the beach! Take a dip in the pool!
We also have this Medium article to provide more information about the dangers of UV tanning.