A friend of mine went to a wedding recently and as I was admiring pictures of her dress afterwards, I commented on how amazing the deep wine colour of the fabric looked with her pale skin. Sheepishly, she admitted that she had gone without fake tan as she had run out at the last minute.

The dress looked incredible – in the end the lack of a tan was definitely a blessing in disguise – but I’d wager a bet that she was in the minority of guests without at least a spray of Sally Hansen on her legs or a quick blitz on the sunbed. Although Irish women are famed the world over for our uber-pale skin, we’re more focused on looking like we’ve just spent two weeks on a yacht in the South of France.

I’m not trying to suggest that I don’t like a healthy glow myself. The joys of fake tan were passed down to me like a family heirloom from my own mum. We’re both more on the pasty side of pale, and have spent many an evening slapping on tanning gel or mousse in preparation for a weekend wedding or night out. Recently though, I’ve been trying to steer away from fake tan when I can – sometimes it’s just not necessary.

Irish ladies like Angela Scanlon and Michelle Doherty are always pale and proud – unafraid to show off their legs without so much as a hint of a tan.

So why is it that the majority of Irish women still prefer to imitate Katie Price’s skin tone, overusing sunbeds and buying the pharmacy out of St Tropez? According to the amount of fake tan purchased per capita, Irish women are the world’s biggest fans. And a quarter of us confess that we won’t go on holidays without bronzing first.

I admit it’s difficult to wear shorts or a dress if you’re self-conscious about your skin looking dull and dry – so instead of putting effort into applying fake bake, why not use that time to give your skin some TLC by exfoliating and moisturising? It’s a sure way to achieve even, glowing skin without the streaky legs and patchy elbows.

Tanned skin can be gorgeous if it’s all natural but for most Irish women it’s only achievable from a bottle – so why not ditch the “Deep Glow” and show off the skin you were born with? It might take a bit of time to get used to your newfound pale glory, but you’ll never look back!