featured photo by kristen kilpatrick
Full disclosure: I loooooove being tan. I know, I know, it’s not exactly the most chic admission in these days of full-body sun protection, but there’s something about a golden glow that makes me feel healthy and happy – especially in these summer months. What I don’t love, however, is skin damage, and in my thirties I’ve finally wised up to the fact that real sun exposure does not make for pretty skin. After my second pregnancy, an icky patch of melasma popped up on my forehead, and my derm told me that it’s basically the hardest thing to treat. Guess what makes it flare up? Even the tiniest bit of sun exposure, so I’ve finally come around to completely protecting my face whenever I’m outside. Still though, I’m one of those people who gets the “you’re always so tan!!!” comments on the regular, and it’s not exactly totally natural (LOL.) As a longtime beauty junkie, you can bet that I’ve got quite the bathroom arsenal of sunless tanner and sunscreen products to get me through any situation, and these are the 8 items I swear by for a naturally glowing tan without the sun damage. Scroll on, and soak up that sun safely!
Y’all, in my opinion this is the most underrated drugstore product out there. I’ve used just about every popular sunless tanner on the market, from the pricey (St. Tropez) to the weird (foams, sprays, and wipes), and this light watery serum is the best. It goes on clear, doesn’t come off on clothes, and is extremely forgiving — I’m not even that careful when I put it on, and I never get streaks. Also, it lasts up to two weeks!
A couple years ago, I noticed the pores around my nose and chin were getting really clogged, and after some experimentation I traced the cause to my body self tanner that I was slathering all over my face, too. No bueno. This genius product was the answer to my problem and I now use it all year around for a subtle glow that I can amp up or down depending on the season. A few drops of this serum into any facial moisturizer or foundation instantly turns it into a sunless tanner that’s right in line with your own skincare, without adding an extra step. Dontcha just love innovation?
Since the Loreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum (slide 1) adds a pretty dramatic tan, this product is my go-to for a mid-winter glow, and it’s also perfect for all you fair complexion sisters out there. Slather it on while your body is still wet at the end of a shower, dry off like normal, and say hello to moisturized, subtly glowing skin that builds more color over time. I’ve never gotten a single streak from this product.
Lips often get neglected in the sun protection department, but if you want full pillowy and soft lips to complement tan, it’s essential! This is THE best lip sun protection hands down, and the soft color looks like your natural lips, but sexier. Perfect for poolside looks.
For my fellow ladies that like to wear a touch of makeup even at the beach, the whole reapplying sunscreen thing has always been a challenge. Not so anymore, since Supergoop’s Invincible Setting Powder is the perfect way to touch up your makeup (it has a matte imperfection-blurring finish) and provide mineral broad-spectrum UV protection without clogging pores.
Okay, this may sound like it serves a similar purpose as the Supergoop Powder from the previous slide, but they’re both essentials in my makeup bag. I like to use this one as “bonus” coverage on top of any makeup or when I’m barefaced. It’s super light and also has the most refreshing, invigorating scent that instantly makes me feel like I’m at a tropical beach resort.
This is my most recent obsession that I’ve been using all summer – it’s perfect for those body parts that you don’t mind getting a little actual sun tan (for me, legs and stomach) since the spf is on the lighter side. The consistency is lightweight and non-greasy, and it’s just protective enough to prevent any burn.