Boston Beach Club: Summer in the City

Shop Talk by Kitty Kaufman

You can't see the ocean or hear gulls. There's no boardwalk, no sand and no fried clams. Best of all, you don't have to leave home at dawn to get a good parking spot. What you can do at the Boston Beach Club regardless of the weather is shop and get a tan.

BBC carries a great selection of hard-to-find Body Glove beachwear for men and women: tee shirts, bathing suits and wet suits. "The great thing Body Glove does is sell their swimsuits as separates," says Gail D'Ovidio, owner of BBC. "What this means is if you're one size on top and another on the bottom, you can find a stylish suit that really fits." For the fit, try one of Body Glove's neon-bright bikinis. Cover your sins with an oversized matching tee.

D'Ovidio knows about beachwear. Her retail shop and tanning salon has been at the Porter Exchange on Mass Avenue in Cambridge since 1990. As long-time members of the Suntanning Association for Education and the Trade Association for Responsible Indoor Tanning, D'Ovidio and staff follow tan guidelines set out by these groups.

All clients fill out a questionnaire and agree to follow precautions for safe tanning. Jennifer Gada, staff associate, monitors your sun time according to your skin type, eye color and hair color. "We want to know if you tan easily or have a tendency to burn, and whether you're taking medication that might cause sensitivity," she said.

One frequently asked question is whether indoor tanning might cause skin cancer. D'Ovidio recommends, "UV exposure, inside or out, should be taken responsibly and in moderation." BBC's introductory program of 11 sessions "is the best way to build a base tan."

© April 23, 2003 for The City Shopper
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