The biggest mystery in Washington—second only to how the Mueller probe will end—is how President Donald Trump manages to maintain his bright fluorescent orange glow regardless of the season. Thankfully, the New York Times dug in on this pressing question, interviewing current and former White House staffers in an attempt to get to the bottom of this important story.
Officially, the White House line is that Trump gets his glow from “good genes,” but like many other explanations from this administration, that seems patently false.
Other theories have been floated to explain Trump’s skin color, including tanning beds, spray tan, and make-up. Tanning beds were immediately ruled out, as sources told the Times there isn’t one in the White House: “according to three people who have spent time in the White House residence, no such bed or spray-tan booth exists in a hidden nook of the residence, a cranny of the East Wing or a closet on Air Force One. Two senior White House officials insisted that no such apparatus exists.”
A tanning bed also would not explain why Trump’s face is a completely different color from the paler skin on his hands. And the only make-up Trump uses is a translucent powder which he applies himself before television appearance. Which brings us to our next theory: self-tanner.
“He looks more orangy than he does tan,” D.C. dermatologist Dr. Tina Alster told the Times, saying that is a classic sign of using self-tanner creams or sprays.
The president is apparently self-conscious of his burnt sienna skin. He has voiced complaints to aides that he appeared too orange on television, which has led to staff dimming the lighting of many White House events. Trump also likes to use natural light, which reduces the orange glow, and has chosen to host press conferences in the sunny Rose Garden, even in weather as cold as 40 degrees. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Trump, appearances are more important to him than substance.