We're all about looking and feeling good on the beach, but when it comes to your health, it's got to be safety first.
Even if you feel better when you're bronzed, limited exposure to the sun without proper protection causes wrinkles and puts you at risk for skin cancer.
Don't fall victim to tanning beds, either. They that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer, too. In fact, just one tanning bed visit increases your risk of developing melanoma by up to 20 percent! Instead, give these harmless methods a try and we promise you'll look good, feel good and won't jeopardize your health!
Read on to learn how to get a naturally gorgeous glow.
It's all about the self-tanner
If you absolutely MUST have that perfect tan, why not go gradual with a product that you love and trust? We recommend Jergens Natural Glow, because it comes in two different shades for different skin tones (fair/medium, medium/tan) and can be applied over time for a natural looking tan.
When using any of these products, do a skin test before applying the lotion all over your body. To do this, rub a little lotion on your forearm as a litmus test for color and to be sure you aren't allergic to any of the ingredients. You'll be thankful later if that spot turns out bright orange in the morning. But if you like the color and don't see any negative side effects, start applying a small amount all over your body before you go to sleep or when you wake up in the morning, and in a short period of time you'll have that beach-ready glow you've been wanting!
The key here is to find the product that YOU love. So if the first lotion you try doesn't fit your fancy – keep searching until you find one that does. We promise you, anything beats the tanning bed!
Add a little bronzer to your blush!
We know, we know, you don't want to end up looking like Snooki. But bronzer REALLY can help make you more confident on the beach.
We like Physicians Formula Organic Wear 2-In-1 Bronzer & Blush, which can be found at most local pharmacies. The color combination is good for most skin tones and you can feel good knowing you're not applying any extra chemicals to my skin.
Products like this add color and draw out the naturally sun-kissed shades in your skin – including those with fairer skin tones. The trick is to go light with these products to avoid looking overly made up.
Buy a new suit
When bathing suit season is approaching, it's always a good idea to buy a new suit that you feel fits well and makes you feel confident in the sun.
While you're at it – go for colors and shapes that best suit your body. For a fairer skin tone, avoid any neon colors and look for any variation on peach/coral shades. These colors will brighten up paler skin tones and make you look better in the light.
For olive and darker skin tones, try brighter colors, gold accents and shades of purple.
It might sound lame but accessorizing in the sun can sometimes be the key to feeling confident. If you're feeling a little paler this year than last, get yourself a colorful sarong. Worried you'll look like an idiot sitting under the umbrella as your friends are playing beach volleyball? Get an oversize sun hat and look like a celeb while protecting your face from the sun's powerful rays.
People will be too busy checking out your eye-catching accessories to notice you're not sporting a dark tan. Just don't forget to add sunblock to the rest of your body. Just because your face is covered doesn't mean your shoulders can't get burned!
This one might be a bit of a no-brainer, but part of looking good and feeling confident is knowing that you work for the body you're rockin'. We're not advocating adding an extra hour on the treadmill or increasing your weights by 10 pounds -- we're just suggesting you keep up with your normal routine.
Sticking to your exercise routine can help you feel confident about your defined triceps (and less concerned about your pale skin). And, there's a bonus effect: If you go to the beach on Saturday and have a few beers, don't sweat it! Just get back to the grind on Monday and remember why you looked and felt so great in the first place.