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The Body Sunscreen That'll Bronze You So You Don't Need A Tan After All

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Dear Brennan,

I read your desperate cry for the best body sunscreen a few weeks ago and realized that, as the resident Floridian in the office, I have an obligation to share my wisdom on the subject. Apologies for the delay.

The thing about body sunscreen is that you’re likely wearing a bathing suit while using it. And the thing about bathing suits is that they tend to show off just how much of a base tan you lack—whether that’s because it’s your first time in a swimsuit in months, or because you have freckly, sunburn-friendly Irish skin like mine. Of course, there’s no shame in being pale at the pool, it’s just not my personal preference. If you are in a similar boat, may I recommend the drugstore (and Amazon!) staple, Australian Gold? I discovered it at Publix when I was in middle school and now refuse to go in a bikini without it. They make your run-of-the-mill white cast sunscreen, but the pro move is definitely the spray gel version with instant bronzer.

It’s non-aerosol, so after some artful rubbing—like with any body bronzer—you look like Em Rata on the beach in the Greek Islands. It’s nothing streaky or obvious, just a nice glow that’ll make people believe you go on holiday a lot and look vacation-perfect in swimwear when you really have a library tan and computer face. All the while, you’re protecting yourself from harmful UVA/UVB rays (the SPF range starts at 4, but goes up to 50 thankfully) and treating your skin to a nice, coconut-and-vanilla-smelling aloe vera, olive oil, and tea tree oil concoction.

Bonus points—it’s paraben-, alcohol-, and gluten-free, plus water-resistant. And, God forbid, you forget to reapply every two hours or after water activities (or profuse sweating), they also make a fantastic non-sticky aloe with lidocaine to get you painlessly through the sunburnt night.

Hope that helps? Here’s wishing you a very body sunscreened summer,

Kate

Photo via ITG.

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