Most doctors will agree that the safest tan is a fake tan. Gone are the days of risking skin cancer by voluntarily lying in the sun for hours with no SPF protection. Because I live in Florida, I make sure to slather both my skin and my family’s with a good sunscreen year round. And when the time comes to peel off layers of clothes, I don’t hesitate to use the help of cosmetics and skin care products that will help me acquire a golden healthy glow without the health risks. Here are some of my favorites:
When I was a teenager, self tanners smelled funny and looked even worse. If you weren’t extremely careful, you would end up with suspicious-looking nasty streaks and a giveaway orangey hue. Fortunately we’ve come a long way since then and self-tanners are almost foolproof. Many offer additional benefits as SPF, extra hydration, and a pleasant scent.
Jergens Natural Glow & Protect ($8.49) provides broad spectrum UVB/UVA protection (SPF 20) and comes in two shades—one for fair to medium skin tones and another for medium to tan. The tan builds gradually, it has a great scent and the price is right.
Ocean Potion Suncare EverGlow ($5.99) is an affordable way to keep your skin glowing year round. It’s been my go-to self tanner for a few years now. The pump dispenser is convenient and the prize for the size (20.5 fl oz) couldn’t be better. The scent is reminiscent of summers at the beach. Doesn’t streak at all and while it may not render a deep tan, it makes your skin look moisturized and glowing while yes, enhancing its color.
Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion ($12.59) comes in two tones: Light and Medium. It is paraben-free and is formulated with natural ingredients such as shea butter, vitamin E and almond oil. Very moisturizing and the scent is also agreeable and best: natural. May be used year round, although you will need SPF when heading out.
Tips for Using Self-Tanners • Exfoliate on a regular basis and use light products such as the ones above. Build your tan gradually, by applying the self tanner as you would a regular moisturizer. Go easy on skin folds, elbows and knees and wash your hands thoroughly after applying.
Read Related: Skip Foundation With a Glowing Complexion
Thankfully the days when bronzers made you look muddied or ruddy are also behind us. It’s not about trying to look like burned charcoal, but simply highlighting the spots that the sun would naturally kiss, to acquire a healthy look. The trick is not to go overboard with them. Some of my faves:
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer ($28.50) This is a sheer, oil-free bronzer that looks and feels luxurious. The way I use it is after washing, exfoliating, moisturizing and applying a BB or CC cream. Instead of slathering it all over my face, I either mix it with my foundation or cream before I apply, or I dot it on forehead, cheeks and nose for a natural glow. One tone fits all.
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder ($38) is available in three shades. Perfect for those who prefer a matte look, it is formulated with reddish and brown tones, as would occur in a natural tan. After moisturizing and applying foundation, BB or CC cream, with a good bronzing brush, apply sparingly on the areas where you would normally tan.
It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Pores Anti-Aging Bronzer ($24) is a perfect fit for those who enjoy anti-aging properties in makeup. Because it is a loose powder, a little goes a long way. You can apply it with one of It Cosmetics Brushes for an airbrushed look.
Tips for Using Bronzers: Perhaps the most common mistake is to use too much of it, so it ends up looking not only fake also but too dark. The idea is to look sun-kissed, not sunburnt. So go light on it and remember you can always deepen the color later.