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How to Achieve a Summer Glow— Without the Sun!

Get glowing- without all the UV ray damage!

Summer is in full swing, and with high temperatures (plus high humidity depending on where you are) means it’s most definitely shorts, tank, and swimsuit season. If you’re anything like me, which is incredibly fair-skinned, summer can truly be an awkward season.

The concept of “laying out” in the sun is simply beyond anything I would ever imagine, as I’d be severely burned and would consequently be in pain for days to follow (and will definitely see the damage in years to come). Skin cancer is a concern to begin with, and it’s actually prevalent in my family as well, making it double the threat.

So what do I do to feel confident and achieve that summer glow without getting the sun? I’ve got some sunless glow tips below. 

First thing’s first, sun protection is an absolute must. Even if it seems counterintuitive to you, just trust. The more you protect your skin from the sun and its dangers ahead of time, the more your skin will thank you and will appear calmer naturally.

Many facial SPFs contain added hydrators, and options most similar to these will yield the best results in terms of healthy looking skin. I personally love Silk Hydration from Hawaiian Tropic for this! Neogen’s new Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen contains over 20 kinds of plant extract, including aloe and avocado, for non-pore clogging protection and hydration!

Exfoliating is also a key step when it comes to making your skin appear more healthy, and as such, more glowy.

Though physical exfoliators can often irritate sensitive facial skin, scrubs and textured mitts are far safer to use on your larger body, like arms, legs, and torso. Masks, such as the Skinfood Black Sugar Wash-Off Face Mask, are great for both face and body and will leave you with renewed, rejuvenated skin in one use. 

Of course, extreme exfoliation would mean nothing if we weren’t giving back to our skin what we’re taking away!

Always follow up exfoliation with deep hydrating and calming ingredients. Butters like the one from Hanahana Beauty, or even the classic Palmer’s Shea Butter, will leave your skin supple, repaired, and incredibly hydrated.

Sometimes I like to take it a step further and seal my hydration in with a body oil. Right now, I’m indulging in Solved Skincare’s 100% Organic Golden Jojoba Oil which can be used on your skin, hair and nails!

And I get it, we don’t always have time for multi-step body care routines. In a pinch, Flamingo’s body lotion line is fantastic, because it contains exfoliating properties such as papaya enzyme, while simultaneously delivering ingredients like hyaluronic acid. It also comes in a thick buttery lotion or a spray, so you can hydrate on the go.

Last but not least, at-home self-tanner has been a godsend when it comes to perfecting and finalizing the glowy look. But let me make one thing clear: not all self-tanner is made the same! I’ve had many trials and tribulations with drugstore tanning remedies and high-end ones alike, and nothing worked for me, from the popular Jergens to St. Tropez. 

As such a pale gal with incredibly cool undertones, standard self-tanners naturally appeared far too orange on me with little ability to correct itself. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Isle of Paradise’s “Light” line that I finally found my match.

One application helps me to achieve the summer-long tan I got as a kid that I simply can’t anymore. It also contains hydrators like aloe and avocado oil to name a few, which further enhance your skin’s natural texture while nourishing deep within the dermis.

And how exactly do I make all of this work? 

I used to think I was a low maintenance gal, but I’ll be the first to admit this takes some upkeep. Once you’re in the flow, though, it’s incredibly easy. 

Firstly, incorporate SPF as much as possible into your mornings, simply to maintain your skin’s overall health and to promote a healthy glow from within. 

24 hours ahead of when you want to tan, be sure to exfoliate like it’s nobody’s business. I typically shower at night, so I’ll go in with a scrubbing mitt and a rice based exfoliant paste across my whole body. That night, hydration is of course important, so Hanahana’s Shea Butter comes next, followed by a finisher of the Solved Skincare’s 100% Organic Golden Jojoba Oil.

In the morning to keep the hydration up, I re-up with my body oil and lightly dry brush any areas that appear flakey throughout the day while reapplying a thicker lotion or butter. 

The evening of using the tan, I shower as per usual but without any of the harsh exfoliants like I mentioned above. Keep it simple in the shower and out, following up with your go-to lotion (again, mine being the Shea Butter). Do your best to let your lotion dry down, and then apply the tanner overtop. I truly do suggest purchasing a mit, as it’s kept me streak free, and to rub in more than you’d anticipate. The more you rub, the more natural the tan will look. Again, do your best to let this dry down before getting clothed as it will result in the most even tan possible.

In the AM, you will wake up with exfoliated, hydrated, and tanned skin, without sun exposure. 

Maintain hydration morning and night for the best results, and repeat the tanning process one to two times a week, depending on your results. 

Happy summer!

How do you achieve your sunless glow in the summer time? Let us know in the comments!

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