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How to maintain a natural-looking faux glow no matter the weather

Thumbnail for How to maintain a natural-looking faux glow no matter the weather
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Photo: Stocksy/Guille Faingold

There’s something about a sun-kissed glow that, no matter the time of year, brings to mind bare feet, sandy shores, and sparkling waters. In summer, you might call this just another day at the beach, but in the dead-of-winter, it’s #goals, notes beauty expert Sarah Burdge.

Tan in Ten
Photo: Sarah Burdge

The 36-year-old founder of Houston-based organic salon Tan In Ten, who’s permanently relocated to New York City with the market’s safest tanner in hand, knows a thing or two about how to achieve a faux sun-dappled look (regardless of how long it’s been since you’ve actually seen the sun). And she’s all about “making spray tans as safe as possible so that clients can achieve summer skin year-round without sacrificing their health in the process.”

Burdge’s business shuns mainstream tanning solutions known to contain synthetic dyes, petroleum-based compounds, and loads of fragrance in favor of a paraben-free and vegan product (some self-tanners are still tested on animals). It also contains hydrating aloe leaf extract, skin-soothing walnut extract, and skin-loving vitamins C and E, she adds. 

A quick-and-easy (ten-minute!) spray with this clean solution is a major part of Burdge’s year-round beauty regimen, so try to schedule a session with her if you can. If you’re unable to make it to Texas or NYC, however, here, I’ve pulled together an assortment of products (including one of Burdge’s favorites) that will have you looking like a bronzed goddess long before the first summer Friday hits.

Keep scrolling to shop all the glowy skin essentials.

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Photo: BeautyCounter

BeautyCounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, $55

While matte skin might be all the rage in the cooler months, a serious gleam never goes out of style. “This is a lightweight tinted moisturizer that leaves skin feeling soft with a slight glow,” she tells me. It’s a three-in-one formula that functions as your hydrator to nix the winter flakiness, an SPF 20 (it’s fine for day-to-day, but if you’re actually going to be the sun, you’ll need something with a higher protection factor, but more on that later), and it provides a hint of coverage to work like a foundation.

Photo: Baby Bum

Baby Bum Mineral Lotion SPF 50, $14

While chasing the faux glow, make sure that you actually guard yourself against the sun’s rays. A mineral-based sunscreen  (or a baby formula, such as this one) is good for people with sensitive skin types. “Ride the gentle SPF wave by using your baby’s SPF,” says Danbury, CT dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. “These formulations are usually more gently and chemical free, just made of the naturally occurring minerals zinc and titanium.”

Photo: Bareminerals

BareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer, $28

Skip the sun completely and still bring the glow with this finely-milled bronze powder. Dust it on your face or lightly all over the body—either way, the result is a shimmery (yet never glittery) glow.

Photo: RMS Beauty

RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer, $28

If you prefer a cream rather than a powder, this coconut-oil-based one adds an ever-so-slight sun-kissed glow to the apples of cheeks and the bridge of the nose.

Bronzing oil
Photo: French Girl Organics

French Girl Organics Lumiere Body Oil – Bronzing, $40

This nut oil-based body oil provides an all-over shimmer to the body. Slather it on post moisturizing for a beachy glow that requires no actual time in the sun.

If you’re surprised to hear that parabens—beauty’s most problematic ingredients—might be lurking in your tanning solution, you’ll be shocked to find out where else they might be hiding.  

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