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How to tan safely this 4th of July

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Go for the (faux) glow

While there’s no doctor-approved “safe” way to tan, there are lots of ways to sport a gorgeous glow for the 4th of July.
Patriotic tan woman

If you’re ready to go from pale to perfectly bronzed, we’ve got you covered! Check out our get-glowing guide for a natural looking 4th of July tan.

4th of July glow: For the face

A sun-kissed glow is a great way to get a beauty boost and ensure your complexion looks flawless without having to wear much (if any) makeup. But before you hit the tanning bed or bake on the beach for hours, know there are much safer ways to get your 4th of July glow on.

Application: First things first; not just any self-tanner will do, especially for your face. Follow our simple steps for getting your face looking fabulously tan just in time for the 4th.

  • Choose a shade right for your skin tone. Fair? Don’t go too dark. Medium? You can go a little deeper.
  • Wash and gently exfoliate your face. Let dry completely before applying any tanner.
  • Using latex gloves or a makeup sponge, apply your sunless tanner of choice. Less is more when it comes to tanning, so start with a small amount on your T-zone, where the sun would naturally hit your face.
  • Next, use what's left on your hands or sponge (add more only if needed) for your cheeks and remember to massage into your skin, past your jaw line and blend, blend, blend.
  • Enhance your glow with a light dusting of bronzer.

Product picks: Check out some of our favorite self-tanners for the face.

Clinique Self Sun Face Tinted Lotion

Clinique Self Sun Face Tinted Lotion ($20) is tinted making application much easier. It goes on smooth and the color is natural.

Origins Faux Glow

Origins Faux Glow ($20) is also tinted and contains skin-soothing ingredients like orange and rosemary.

Philosophy here comes the sun

Philosophy here comes the sun ($26) develops gradually for a natural looking sun-kissed glow.

4th of July glow: For the body

Being tan head-to-toe is the quintessential summer look and we love sporting a full-body glow, but faux is the only way to go. Just in time for all those 4th of July pool parties, backyard BBQs and outdoor extravaganzas, we have some top tips and product picks for getting the ultimate tan.

Application: Streaks? No thanks. To avoid ending up an orange, streaky mess, we put together some of our best tanning tips for a natural looking full-body glow.

  • Exfoliate all over with your favorite body scrub so your skin is smooth for application. Pay close attention to particularly dry areas like knees, elbows and ankles.
  • Dry off completely before you start.
  • Think about what you want -- instant results, gradual glow or bronze babe.
  • If you're ultra-pale, a gradual glow is a great choice. These formulas still create a tan, but the process is slower so you never end up too dark. A bronzing oil will give you an instant sun-kissed glow, but it'll wash off in the shower. A traditional sunless tanner will provide an all-over bronze glow. We suggest a mousse or lighter-textured product for easier application.
  • Using a glove (to avoid icky orange hands), use broad strokes to apply your sunless tanner. Dilute your tanner with a small amount of moisturizer for knees and elbows (dryer areas tend to absorb more color).
  • Let your color dry and wait for the tan to develop.

Product picks: Check out our top picks for self-tanners for the body.

Josie Maran Bronzing Argan oil

For instant results, try Josie Maran Bronzing Argan oil ($52).

Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream

For all-over bronze, try Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream ($42).

Quick tip

Since you are likely to spend a good portion of the long weekend outdoors, remember to load up on sunscreen. Wear an SPF of at least 30 and choose a broad spectrum product. Reapply regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.

Watch: How to wear your hair at the pool or beach

Love going to the beach or pool but don't know what to do with your hair? Here are a few quick hairstyle ideas for beach days and pool parties.

More summer beauty

Sunscreen for all skin types
Best summer skin savers to stock up on
How to use gel nail polish

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