I get that itch every April for a suntan and a poolside cocktail. As if that's the only combination that could make me less a shell of myself come Winter's end. If you live in the North East, or a region with a similar climate, you know what I'm talking about. So, I booked a flight and spent four days living my best life in the sunshine. Or so I thought. I returned nauseous (I had sun poisoning) and a color that indicated, "I do not know how to behave myself at the beach."
Naturally, I wanted to make sure this health hazard never happened again. I wanted the best of both worlds: to hang out in a chic caftan under an umbrella and get that vacay glow sans direct sunlight. And - because why swap out one health risk to replace it with another - an alternative free of toxic ingredients.
So, here it is: a totally safe + healthy 3-step routine for achieving an I-spent-a-week-on-the-Côte d'Azur glow. Rosé-Aperol Spritz optional, but highly recommended.
no. 1: Exfoliate
I've shared my affinity for scrubbing before, but here it is again. You may think it's another step in the too-long routine and there isn't any time, but you'd be wrong. My favorite time to scrub is in-shower every Monday, specifically because it saves time. A good natural sugar or salt scrub with hydrating ingredients like butters and oils will 1) slough off the dead top layer, 2) moisturize, and 3) act as a shave gel (due to the hydrating elements). All at once. Scrubs, FTW.
My new go to, and possibly my all-time favorite, is the Coffee and Lemon Body Scrub by Palermo. This scrub is handmade in Brooklyn from organic fair trade coffee, raw sugar, shea butter, and coconut oil and has the most intoxicating scent of - surprise - lemon zest and fresh grounds. The caffeine helps to firm and tighten skin elasticity. It's pretty much perfect.
This scrub is from Puck and Abby, an e-shop that supports artisan and makers throughout the U.S. They're offering 25% off your next order with code THEMASSMINIMALIST.
no. 2: tan
I'm not typically one for self tanners. The idea of wearing a glove seemed too complicated and I never wanted to be stuck with an unnatural look. They also tend to smell pretty weird.
This one by Suntegrity completely changed my mind. The non-toxic formula looks like a typical moisturizer (no intimidating color) but gives your entire body a subtle golden glow. The color develops in eight hours, lasts for ten days, and you can easily apply with your hands - no glove necessary. It never streaks and also looks great on the face.
I now know the reason many conventional self tanners don't smell great is because they contain parabens and other formaldehyde creating ingredients (read: things you really don't want being absorbed into your bloodstream). This one uses eco-certified sourced DHA from sugar beets.
Tip: Apply at least one day before the occasion so the color has time to develop.
no. 3: Oil
I love a good body oil. This bronzing oil from French Girl is so beautiful - and looks beautiful on your vanity. It's made from organically grown botanical ingredients, fragranced naturally with jasmine and neroli, and tinted using mineral oxides and pigments.
Shake it up and rub in a few drops along your shoulders, décolleté, and legs right after getting out of the shower. The oil will absorb much quicker on damp skin and hydrate with coconut oil, rosehip seed oil, and vitamin E.
What are your favorite products for achieving a golden glow? Let me know in the comments below!