How to Get a Healthy Glow Without Laying Out In the Sun

Close - up of Sexy asian woman are Spray Sunscreen , lotion or sunblock to body for prevent UV rays from sunlight Before the sun bathing in the summer or Vacation with sea and bluesky bckground

July 12, 2018:

Laying out by the pool or on a beach on a hot summer’s day sounds like an ideal day, and don’t get us wrong, it is. But while the glow you achieve might be great temporarily, your skin is low-key hating you for it, and that’s a fact. You’ve heard it all before, so we won’t get into the nitty-gritty UVA and UVB talk (but do your research if you’re not familiar with the details.) Instead, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite sunless methods to achieve a flawless tan that will leave you looking like you’ve been laying out all day, without actually doing so. 


This one might seem like an obvious one. If you will, in fact, be laying outside (and let’s be real, most of us will be at some point this summer), use a high spectrum SPF. Aim for SPF 50+ for delicate areas that burn and tan easily, like your face, knees, shoulders, and chest. In addition to SPF, make zinc your best friend. Areas that are prone to melasma (patchy brown areas caused by hormones that are intensified by sun exposure) or hyperpigmentation are the mustache, nose, cheek, and mouth area. Add zinc oxide into your sun-protection routine. Zinc oxide is a form of mineral screen that prevents any and all rays from penetrating the surface of your skin. Zinc oxide is different than SPF in that not only is it natural but it also ensures that no touch of sun gets to that part of your skin as it’s a blocker. It’s a great skin barrier for any areas that you don’t want seeing the sun at all. The only downside is that it most often comes in a formulation that’s opaque and white (so you might not want to have it on your mustache at a pool party), but it’s great for those days you’re in the mood for laying out and don’t care who sees. Supergoop does a large size, oil-free version.

Self Tan

Self-tanners have come a long way. Gone are the days that every bottle of self-tan smells horrible and leaves sheets orange, and end up streaky. Depending on your skin tone, either go for a more green/olive-based self-tanner like St.Moritz or a more red-based formula like Xen Tan. Both formulas leave the skin smooth, soft, and streak-free. But the application is just as important as the formula. Always use a tanning mitt (St. Tropez does a durable one that you can wash and reuse) to ensure that the product is going on evenly, even on hard-to-reach areas like elbows and backs of knees. If you’re more into a natural and subtle glow that builds up over time, Bondi Sands Tanning Milk is a 2-in-1 that hydrates and gives you buildable, gradual color (and it smells of coconuts!)

Fake It Temporarily

This is especially useful if you have an event to get to but didn’t prep in advance. Look for products that are non-sticky and non-greasy, so you can apply and leave without the mess. Sol de Janeiro’s recently released body oil in 2 shades (that has the same tropical scent as their Bum Bum cream), which gives subtle shine and is perfect for legs, arms, and chest. If you want something to use on your body with a little more coverage, Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs has a cult following and comes in several shades. It’s essentially make up for your body, and the spray bottle makes the application a breeze. Pro tip: after applying the spray, blend with a buffing brush to ensure that the product goes on smoothly. Top off anybody makeup or glow product with a cream or liquid highlighter of your choice (we love Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid) for that extra-glisten on any high points like collar-bones, which will ensure your skin pops an all photos as well.

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