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8 Products To Get You Just the Right Level of Bronze, Based on Your Summer Glow Goals

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Well+Good EditorsJune 23, 2020

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There’s something about feeling glowy and having an all-natural-looking tan that turns the knob on your confidence meter all the way up—but that’s hard to come by when you’re stuck behind a laptop all day (not to mention—we know, we know—chasing it with the sun is not the healthiest route).

Seriously on that last part: “Ultraviolet radiation from the sun, both UVA and UVB rays, can be damaging to our skin—they typically leave their mark [with] either a tan, or burn,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD and board certified dermatologist.

Newsflash: Yes, both burning and tanning can be detrimental to your skin’s health. “It’s a sign that the skin is receiving ultraviolet radiation with mutating potential, which increases your risk of developing skin cancer and accelerates skin aging—this means more wrinkles, more sun spots, and loss of collagen (equaling sagging skin), along with an increased risk of melanoma,” Dr. Nazarian says. Yikes.

So if you’re stuck underneath an umbrella (and a heavy coat of SPF) when you do kick back poolside, what’s a glow lover to do? “I recommend spray tans, gradual self tanners, and moisturizers and mousses that subtly increase color in the skin to mimic a tan,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Anything you can do to prevent yourself from getting a real tan […] means you’ll have more beautiful and healthy skin for longer.”

Listen to the doctor here—and start shopping Ulta Beauty for these self-tanning products and beauty glow boosters that’ll help you bring your summertime radiance to life.

Keep scrolling to find out which of these 8 self-tanning products best suit your desired level of glow.

Okay, you’re not looking for a tan, just a subtle flush that can take you from feeling “meh” to becoming the lead character in your own one-woman show. Enter Austrian Glow Facial Bronzing Mist, which leaves you with a light, golden bronze right after spritzing. Plus, it contains jojoba seed oil and rose water to hydrate.

Looking for a natural-looking shimmer to show off? With four different shades ranging from light to deep, Too Faced Born This Way Turn Up The Light Highlighting Palette is a silky pressed powder formula that adds dimension and luminosity to your everyday look. Plus, it’s buildable so you have all the control.

Zooming out to self-tanning products for the rest of your body, Tarte’s Shape Tape Waterproof Body Makeup evens out your skin tone and creates a clean bronze without the dreaded streaks (if you know, you know).


Okay, so you’re looking for that fresh, all-over bronzed look. And who better to get you there than Kim K herself? KKW BEAUTY Loose Shimmer Powder for Face & Body contains vitamin E to help nourish your skin with antioxidants, and it blends effortlessly into your skin to give off a subtle shimmer.

“Many of these powders have additional ingredients that will absorb excess oil and allow you to maintain a matte look,” Dr. Nazarian says. “They are also often lighter weight than other versions of self tanners, and less likely to occlude your pores and cause acne, which is a major problem with oily prone skin.” If that’s you, we just found your new BFF.

To hone in on your face more, Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer (now in a jumbo size to last you all summer) is a matte powder bronzer with a built-in mirror and oversized brush so you can easily sass up your complexion, no matter where you are.

self-tanning products

So, your goal is to look like you’ve been spending your days sitting seaside, huh? Well, you’re in luck. The St. Tropez Self-Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse tailors to your specific skin tone and provides a long-lasting tan in only one application—and you’ll look like you just came back from a month-long vacay.

“Mousse tanning products often offer the greatest amount of additional hydrators and moisturizers in their formulations,” Dr. Nazarian explains. “They go on a little bit thicker than a mist or serum, and are very easy to apply.” To make the application process even simpler, try the Ulta Beauty Collection Limited Edition Double-Sided Velvet Tanning Mitt that lets you cover your whole body with an even, streak-free glow—and reduces the risk of smudges on your hands.

Want something that can easily be integrated into your already-established routine? Simply add a few drops of The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops into your normal body oil or lotion, and you’ll develop a seamless tan from head to toe. Plus, they contain raspberry seed oil and vitamin E to help soothe and firm your skin. Summer’s basically here—so get glowing.

Sponsored by Ulta Beauty

Photos: Ulta Beauty x Well+Good Creative

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