Updated: Aug 22
Remember as a kid when you refused to wear sunscreen, or maybe you tanned in a tanning bed in high school? Hey, no judgment here, I used to go every other day when I turned 16! These bad habits I deeply regret when it comes to my skin’s health. Here’s my story.
At 17, the dermatologist diagnosed me with skin cancer on my leg. The doctor explained to me that this was probably due to my daily tanning habits and not wearing sunscreen...like ever. Skin cancer is scary, and I do not wish anyone, especially a child, to have to go through what I did at that age. It was more than just physical pain, but the diagnosis took a toll on my mental health. I was so disappointed in myself as to why I did this to myself, and I wish someone would have told me the dangers of not only tanning beds but also how dangerous the plain old sun was. So here is my letter to you (whoever you may be), don’t tan. Any tan, whether from the sun or from a bed, is not safe. There is no such thing as a healthy tan. I get it, you want to feel tan, bronzed, and glowy, I do too! Here are a few of my favorite products to help you get that artificial tan without looking orange while also protecting your skin!
Please note that this post is not sponsored and all of the opinions expressed below are my own. The post does contain affiliate links marked with a (*), and if you decide to purchase through the link, I will make a small commission.
The Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield in the Glow formula is my absolute favorite sunscreen I have ever tried. I use this as my foundation every day, even though the formula does not have a “tint” to it. This sunscreen gives me a glow-from-within look while protecting me from the sun with SPF. If I ever feel like I’m a little too glowy, I just put some powder on top to help mattify my forehead, chin, and under eyes. They also have an original formula that does not contain any pearlescent pigments in the sunscreen.
I carry this with me everywhere I go, and I promise you I am not exaggerating, you can even ask my fiance. What I love about this product is that I can bring it with me wherever I go, the beach, hiking, the pool, anywhere, and it is so easy to re-apply after my initial morning application. All you have to do is shake the container and brush the sunscreen onto your face, no fuss, and no mess! The brush-on sunscreen is perfect for people that hate that greasy feeling that traditional facial sunscreen sometimes leaves. And yes, this can be applied over makeup without ruining your highlighter or blush!
This one does come in different shades, but I genuinely haven’t noticed a tint when I apply it to my face.
This product is truly a game-changer. Not only does it have SPF 35 in the formula, but it’s also packed with nutrient-rich ingredients that corrects dark circles as well as smooths fine lines and wrinkles. The applicator on Total Eye 3-in-1 is what makes this product my favorite. The unique shape helps reduce puffiness through lymphatic drainage and feels terrific because it has a cooling effect. If you have puffier under eyes, try putting yours in the fridge overnight! The applicator will feel AMAZING. I know the price is a little steep, but a little goes a long way with this one. I double this my using it as my concealer most days. I usually have to reorder every 3-4 months.
I’m not going to lie; this sunscreen is THICCCC. Yes, with that many c’s at the end. You might need some help applying this sunscreen because it can look streaky if not rubbed in all the way, I would not recommend this for very light-skinned people as they did not joke when they put bronze on the bottle. One thing I do love about this sunscreen is that the formula does give you an instant tan, but just make sure you use a towel you hate because it can come off on it.
Did you know that the lips are one of the most common places people don’t think about applying sunscreen to? The skin on your lips is so delicate and is prone to sunburns, especially if you live in a hot and sunny place like me. I currently own this in the colors rose and clear. Rose is my favorite and almost matches the natural color of my lips. I wouldn’t say that clear* is truly transparent so that one is a backup for me. These do have a slight minty scent to the gloss, but the smell is not overbearing. Colorescience’s lip shine also has hyaluronic acid and vitamin E in the formula to hydrate your lips as well as protecting them from sun damage!
Self Tanner Faves
Now that I went over my favorite sunscreen to protect you from sun damage and early signs of aging, you may be thinking, “But I like being tan”. Well, so do I, but I hate skin cancer and wrinkles even more (sorry, not sorry). Here are my go-to self-tanning products that will give you that sunkissed glow without turning orange. Don't forget your mitt*!
Tanning drops are perfect for anyone that does not trust their self putting body self-tanner directly on their face. I don’t blame you; I don’t trust myself either. A little of the drops go a longggg way. After my nightly skincare routine, I mix two drops with my moisturizer in the palm of my hand. Make sure you thoroughly mix the drops into your moisturizer before applying to your face. If not, your tan may come out blotchy. I also bring the moisturizer down my neck, so I don’t have a distinct line from my face to my neck.
My mom introduced me to this tanner, and I fell in love with it! I used the dark shade, but that’s because that is the only one my mom had on hand. She is a lot tanner than me if you couldn’t tell. I’ll be honest; I was scared when my mom helped me put the tanner on. The product does go on pretty dark, but that’s because the formula has an instant bronze tint. This is both a pro and a con. Pro because it helps you see where you already put the tanner on and con because I was afraid I would be orange. So the bottle said 2-hour tan, but I left it on overnight. I was not disappointed at all. Even though I looked dark when I woke up, a good majority of the product came off when I showered. This left behind a natural glow that even my dad said didn’t look fake! Trust me, my did is always 100% honest with me when I ask his opinion on something.
This tanning water was the very first self-tanner I tried. I loved the way my tan turned out, but the application process was difficult for a beginner. Since the water is transparent, I had a hard time remembering where I already put the tanner. Despite this, my tan turned out surprisingly well. The tanning water also did not smell bad at all. The only parts that were a little bit uneven were the undersides of my arms, feet, and hands. If you know how to properly tan your feet and hands, leave me a comment down below. I need all the help I can get.
Now that you’ve read through my long f*cking blog post about why you shouldn’t tan and what you can use to get a bomb ass fake tan, I want to thank you for even considering not spending hours in the sun. One thing I love about Colorescience’s formula is that it is mineral-based 100% cruelty-free and made without any animal ingredients. Their products are also reef-safe, which is a super important factor that I look for in my sunscreens. If you use or thinking about trying any products that I mentioned in this post, let me know in the comments below.