Confession time: I’m fully aware of the harmful effects the sun, or rather its UV rays, can have on the skin. But what can I say? I just can’t stay away (I wear SPF, I promise!). There are a lot of reasons why I love basking in the sunlight, including the mood-boosting effects I get simply from that warmth on my skin. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that a large part of it also has to do with the color it leaves on my face: you know, the sun-kissed, freckle-laden cheeks that speak to a summer well spent (otherwise known as a summer spent not indoors).
Given the current circumstances of the world, I’ve been itching to get outside more than ever: not only for the dose of Vitamin D and fresh air but also for that touch of a tan I’ve come to love over the years. But despite my best efforts to spend every free moment in the sun, my beauty editor side always wins. I’m constantly reminding myself of my desire to protect my skin with UVA/UVB-blocking products and hats.
This shift in prioritizing the long-term health of my skin over short-term appearance has not been without its wins. While I may not be quite as eager to bronze my skin with the power of the sun, I still seek that summer glow, and that desire has led me to some of the best bronzers on the market. If you, like me, want a healthy glow for the summer — one that’s actually good for you — scroll down to see my favorites.
Sometimes you just want an added layer of drama. When that’s the case, reach for ILIA’s NightLite Bronzing Powder: a silky-smooth powder that’s easy to blend into your overall look. You can build this up to create a contoured glow or take a lighter approach for an effortless finish.
NOTO Botanics’ Gold Glow Stick isn’t technically a bronzer, but that’s what makes it so good. Like King Midas, this shimmery product leaves a gold shine on everything it touches. Swipe it across your cheeks for a dewy glow, or use it as a highlighter on your eyes. This multipurpose product has no bounds.
If you want a glow that packs a punch without overpowering the rest of your look, Kosas’ newly launched bronzer is for you. A little goes a long way with this bronzer, which comes in three shades: Light, Medium, and Deep. And to ensure it doesn’t leave a dry, cakey finish, the pressed powder includes moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and meadowfoam oil.
Those of you with darker skin tones will love this pigment-packed bronzer. The bronzing highlighter was designed with you in mind, with a soft, creamy powder formula that’ll melt seamlessly the moment it hits your skin. Brush it all over for a glow that’ll turn heads. If you want to kick it up a notch, spread it out to your collar bone.
You may have already noticed, but I have a thing for cream products — and RMS beauty does them so well. I feel in love with the brand’s best-selling highlighter, the Luminizer, when I first began to explore clean beauty, and it was no different when I looked into the brand’s Buriti Bronzer. This ultra-sheer bronzer, which leaves out the orange, pink or gray tints typically found in bronzers, is so easy to build. And since the formula is rich with Vitamin A and beta-carotene, it’ll also leave you with skin that looks tighter and feels healthier.
When I’m running out of the house for a quick errand or a (socially-distanced!) catch-up date with a friend, this is my hero product. Tower28 launched its latest product, Bronzino at the end of April, and it’s already become the makeup product I can’t live without. Like their other creamy balms, this product is easy to apply and blend. Plus, it leaves a beautiful reflective glow wherever it goes.