All my life I've been plagued by my pale skin. When I was at school my friends would come back from their holidays with a beautiful healthy glow (some of them even admit to doing the risky baby oil tan!), but every time I stuck my skin out in the sun it would go lobster-red, peel and flake disgustingly, then go back to its previous deathly pale look. I was beginning to despair that I would ever have tanned skin. Fake tan fades pretty quickly, and I didn't like the idea of using a sun bed as I've heard about the risks.

 Will I look like a carrot?

When I first heard of beta carotene pills and learned that their main ingredient comes from the pigment that turns carrots orange, I thought I'd stay away. No one wants to look like a carrot. However, after I'd found out more about them I thought I should give them a try, and I've been pleased with the results. The tablets don't make you go bright carrot orange, thankfully – instead they've helped my skin become a natural-looking tan colour, without the danger of exposing it to the sun's harmful rays. In fact, some studies have shown that beta carotene may actually help to protect your skin from the sun, although I wouldn't like to have these pills as my only protection. Beta carotene gets converted by the body into Vitamin A, otherwise known as retinol, which is often found in anti-ageing creams. High doses of Vitamin A can add really add colour to pale skin although doctors warn that pregnant women should avoid it, as it can harm the baby.

 Natural glow

At first, I took too many pills and I definitely went too far towards looking orange. But now I think I've got the balance right, and my skin has a healthy glow which looks completely natural. Now my friends keep asking me if I've just come back from holiday.