12 Common Sunscreen Myths Debunked

You’ve heard it from your mother, your dermatologist, your first-grade teacher, and even Baz Luhrmann: Wear sunscreen. With the wealth of knowledge we now have on sunscreen’s ability to reduce our risk of skin cancer and to protect against sun damage like wrinkles, dark spots, and sagginess, it seems wild to think that some still skip this crucial step in their daily skin care routines. But in reality, the increasingly oversaturated sunscreen market and the onslaught of information, studies, and data surrounding it can often have a detrimental effect on consumers, leaving them unsure of what to believe and whom to trust. Over the years, certain myths about sunscreen have permeated our culture, and even the wisest of skin experts have fallen victim to them. With a scorching summer already upon us, it’s more important than ever to not only debunk these misconceptions but also to understand why they’re inaccurate.

Myth #1: Sunscreen Is Not Necessary Indoors, On Cloudy Days, Or Inside A Car

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“False, false, false!” says Dr. Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Yes, clouds do reduce some of the harmful UV rays, but they don’t block them all, particularly in areas where the ozone layer is dramatically reduced.” It’s also important to realize that UV light is not alone in its ability to cause harm. Outdoors, UV light, in the forms of UVA and UVB, can impact skin aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. Some of that light can travel indoors through windows, but we’re also exposed to other types of light indoors, including visible light and blue light, which can also impact the skin. For that reason, it’s crucial that sunscreen be worn daily, and it should not be skipped just because you’re inside.

Myth #2: One Application Of Sunscreen Will Last All Day

“If you have discovered the sunscreen that lasts up to 24 hours, please let us all in on that secret!” Dr. Idriss jokes. In fact, not only will one application of sunscreen not last all day, but it will last just a couple of hours. “Most sunscreens are tested for a specific amount of time, and that’s on average two hours,” explains Dr. Caroline Robinson, a Chicago-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of TONE Dermatology. “After two hours, the SPF protection goes down significantly, so you do need to reapply to maintain that initial level of protection.” If you are in the sun, reapplication every two hours is imperative, but if you’re mostly indoors, you can be slightly more lenient in reapplying so long as you apply before stepping outside again. “I tell people to bring a sunscreen brush, like ISDIN’s, with them wherever they go and quickly apply that to their arms and face and any exposed skin before going back outside,” Dr. Robinson notes.

Myth #3: The Higher The SPF, The Better The Protection

While this is not totally true, there is some logic behind the belief. “The SPF number does not reflect the duration of efficacy of the sunscreen; it indicates how long it would take for your skin to redden when using the product,” Dr. Idriss says. “So, for example, if you are using an SPF of 30, it would take 30 times longer for you to burn while using the sunscreen versus if you didn’t use it all.” There is also proof that the higher the SPF, the more protected you will be—but only to a certain point. “SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB, whereas SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%,” the New York dermatologist explains. “This may seem like a negligible gain in protection, but if you are prone to sunburns or skin cancers, that little gain can make a world of a difference.”

Once you go above SPF 50, though, the difference in protection is quite small. Dr. Robinson says a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen is required to cover the whole face and about a shot-glass full is necessary to cover the whole body. “But if you know that you’re not going to follow those recommended amounts—and most don’t—then you can actually benefit from a higher SPF,” she advises. “In doing so, you can get a similar protection to an SPF 30, which is what those measurements are based on, but you can get it with less than the nickel- and shot-glass-sized amounts.” Essentially, it will be more thinly spread than the recommended amounts would, but because it’s a higher SPF, it will be roughly as powerful.

Myth #4: People With Darker Skin Tones Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen

“This is a misconception I’ve been fighting for a very long time,” says Dr. Robinson. “While people with darker skin tones are indeed less likely to burn, they aren’t immune from sun damage, and oftentimes, it will develop in the form of hyperpigmentation—potentially even more dramatically than sun damage would manifest on lighter skin tones.” Additionally, certain conditions, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots that result from acne or irritation to the skin) and melasma, can be worsened by sun exposure, especially in people of color. So, even if your sun damage doesn’t come in the form of the traditional sunburn or freckles, it’s still important to wear sunscreen in order to protect your skin from other damage.

Myth #5: If You’re Not Prone To Burning, You Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen

Much like the belief that those with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen, there’s a misconception that if you don’t burn, you similarly don’t need SPF. “There’s this idea that just because you tan, you’re fine, but tanning can actually be a system of sun damage,” Dr. Robinson explains. “You can have enough exposure to the point where you no longer burn; your skin just goes straight to tan, and that’s not a good thing.” Immediate tanning can be an indication that your skin has skipped the warning response of burning entirely, and that’s actually a sign that your skin is damaged.

Myth #6: If You Wear Sunscreen, You Won’t Get A Tan

Many refrain from wearing sunscreen because they claim it will keep them from achieving that oh-so-coveted sun-kissed glow. But, as Dr. Idriss says, this is once again false. “Sunscreen makes your skin slower to react to UV rays,” she notes, “but it doesn’t prevent it from reacting altogether.” You can definitely still get a tan while safely protecting your skin with sunscreen.

Myth #7: Wearing Makeup That Has SPF In It Is Enough

Absolutely not! “Most makeups that include an SPF are not tested to the extent that sunscreens are, especially compared to the sunscreens that carry extra credentials, like an endorsement from the Skin Cancer Foundation, or anything like that,” Dr. Robinson explains. In order to reap the full benefits of the SPF listed on your makeup, you would need to use a hefty amount, up to the size of a nickel, and unless you’re a Kardashian, you’re probably not equipped to wear that much makeup. You also likely won’t be putting makeup on your ears, neck, chest, or any of the many regions of the body that are not the face but are equally susceptible to sun damage, and you won’t be reapplying makeup every two hours as you would sunscreen.

Myth #8: Spray Or Powder Sunscreen Is Just As Effective As Lotion

As new agents of delivery have come to the sunscreen market over the years, they’ve often appeared to be solutions to the stickiness and getting-it-in-your-eye tendency of traditional lotion, and while that can be true, spray and powder sunscreens can also have their shortcomings. “They can definitely be as effective, but a lot more needs to be applied in order to reach the same level of effectiveness,” says Dr. Idriss. Unlike lotion sunscreens, applying a spray or powder means that some of its contents will not land on the actual skin, so you’ll need to as much as double the amount you’re using.

Myth #9: Sunscreen Can Lead To Cancer Or Other Health Problems

While an alarmingly common belief, the idea that sunscreen can cause cancer or any other health issue is founded in no truth. “I wish this myth would go away because it’s been disproven time and again,” Dr. Robinson says. “Sunscreen does not cause cancer, and there have been so many studies to show that, but they sadly don’t make the headlines as much.” And if you’re really worried, do as Dr. Idriss suggests and simply opt for a physical sunscreen instead of a chemical one.

Myth #10: There’s No Real Difference Between Chemical And Mineral/Physical Sunscreens

Although both types of sunscreen achieve the same goal, scientifically, they work very differently. “Mineral and physical are interchangeable terms, and the most common ingredient in those sunscreens is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide,” explains Dr. Robinson. “Those are metals, and if you think about a sheet of metal, you know that it literally just reflects light; so, physical sunscreens sit on top of skin and reflect the UV rays and scatter light.” Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb the UV light and put it through a chemical reaction (their namesake comes from this) that converts the light to heat. “Because the chemical sunscreens have to first absorb the light, they take a little longer to become active, so you can’t apply them while you’re outside or even right before,” the Chicago dermatologist notes. “You have to allow at least a few minutes, which the bottle will tell you.”

Some people can be more sensitive to the ingredients in chemical sunscreens, so for babies, children, and anyone with sensitive skin, a physical sunscreen is the way to go. Historically, some consumers have shied away from physical options because they can leave more of a white film, but some recent additions to the sunscreen market have gotten around that with advanced technologies. Dr. Robinson recommends SkinBetter’s SunBetter Stick, a physical SPF 56 sunscreen which uses a new technology to uniquely shape the zinc particles so that they sit atop the skin without leaving the familiar white cast. She also loves Eryfotona Actinica from ISDIN, another physical option that uses DNA Repairsomes to repair DNA damage that can come from sun exposure, and Revision Skincare’s IntelliShade TruPhysical, which has Vitamin C in it and effectively serves as two necessary products in one.

Myth #11: If You Didn’t Wear Sunscreen When You Were Younger And Already Have Sun Damange, There’s No Point In Wearing It Now

“Although most of the damage is actually accumulated while you’re younger (typically before the age of 18), it doesn’t make you immune to worsening damage,” Dr. Idriss says. Indeed, sunscreen protects from the visible signs of aging caused by sun exposure, but it also reduces your risk of skin cancer, and that alone is reason to start or continue wearing it even if you’ve already suffered some sun damage. “I recommend you adopt a ‘never give up’ attitude,” suggests Dr. Idriss. “You only have the skin you’re in, and hopefully your life will be long, so you might as well protect and enjoy it every step of the way.”

Myth #12: Sunscreen Never Expires

Of all the myths that exist about sunscreen, the notion that it doesn’t expire might be the most outlandish. “Sunscreen is doing a lot of work, so when you’re applying it, you want to be confident that you’re getting the coverage you think you are,” Dr. Robinson explains. Like everything in life, sunscreen has an expiration date, and you can find it by looking at the back or bottom of the bottle. As for any wiggle room when it comes to that expiration, like the “five-day rule” for milk, Dr. Robinson says, “we don’t take chances with sunscreen.”

Images: Retha Ferguson / Pexels; Maciej Serafinowicz / Unsplash; Antonio Gabola / Unsplash; Taylor Simpson / Unsplash

5 Self-Tanners That Won’t Make You Streaky

If there’s one thing in this world I can confidently say I’m an expert on, it’s self-tanner. In fact, I would go as far to say that I’m a pioneer of self-tanner. Back in high school, my parents wouldn’t allow me to tan. And I was the only one in my friend group who didn’t have “cool parents” who would allow me to do so. (Obviously, now I’m grateful to them—hindsight is 20-20, right?) But, that being said, my group of besties were all SO tan and I was extremely jealous. I had to find a way to keep up. I mean, bronzer can only do so much. And trust me, I caked that sh*t on, as all naive high school girls do. But, at some point, the bronzer wasn’t enough. And so, I began my journey down the aisles of drugstores, trying every and any product that promised a bronzed tan.

Since my amateur high school days, I’ve graduated from drugstore aisles to expensive sh*t at Sephora, in my never-ending pursuit of the just-got-back-from-vaca glow. So, that being said, here are the self-tanners that actually work, from least to most expensive. 

1. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun, Sunless Tanning Mousse, $10

First, we’ll start with the drugstore option. I was actually introduced to this one by a colleague of mine a few months ago. When she came into work looking like a bronzed goddess, I had to know which high-end self-tanner from Sephora she was using. To my surprise, she informed me it was the Jergen’s mousse, and I was beyond impressed. As a self-tanner connoisseur, I had to get my hands on it. And I can attest, this stuff works. It dries almost instantly, which is a huge perk, and gives a stunning non-orange tan for a very affordable price. Although, disclaimer, it still has that dreaded self-tanner smell. You know the one.

2. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Mousse, $29

This self-tanner brand is newer to Sephora, and has been making waves fast. It’s streak-free, easy to apply, and gives an amazing tan at a totally reasonable price. Isle of Paradise utilizes color corrective technology that reacts with your individual skin tone. It contains hydrating ingredients that allow the tan to go on and fade seamlessly. Isle of Paradise has options for different levels of tan, utilizing different color bases to ensure a non-orange, natural-looking tan. I personally LOVE their darkest shade, which has a violet tone base that gives me a rich, deep brown tan. 

3. Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse, $40

I first discovered this self-tanner on Instagram (where all the best things in life are discovered, obviously). This tanner gives my skin a stunning bronze shade that looks super natural and rich—so much so, that people ask me whether I just got back from vacation. I mean, maybe they’re just asking passive-aggressively so that I’ll spill my self-tanning secrets, but hey, I’ll take the compliment. This one also consistently looks great on different people with different based skin tones, as I have seen first hand on several of my friends. This is the current self-tanner I’m using as I wait for Sephora to restock the Tan-Luxe mousse, and I highly recommend.

4. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, $42

This is a great self-tanning product for those new to self-tanning. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t go on super dark. It’s one of the innovative self-tanning products that uses a green base to create a more natural and less orange tan. It won’t look too dark, but it will still be enough to be noticeable. Of course, if you’re like me and want to be as dark as possible, you can just use a few layers of this one to deepen the tan.

5. Tan Luxe Hydra Mousse, $57

This stuff is the end-all, be-all of self-tanners. Why? Because, not only does it give a flawless shade of bronze, but it also goes on clear and thus comes off clear. It is the only self-tanner that I have ever used that doesn’t come off on my clothes or sheets. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a guy and his sheets look he just slept with an Oompa Loompa. It’s my favorite self-tanner, and constant go-to. And, even though it’s the priciest one on this list, the bottle lasts a while and it’s 100% worth it.

As you’ve probably noticed, mousse is my formula of choice. In all my experience with self-tanners, mousse is the most reliable, consistent, and easy to use. I also think that it fades the best out of all the formulas I’ve tried. We’ve all seen the girl (or been the girl) with splotchy leftover tanner, and we also all know that it’s never a good look. Apparently the newest formula on the market is self-tanner water, which is one I have yet to try. But according to the sales woman at Sephora, it’s the latest self-tanner must-have. So take that as you will.

Images: @savwalts / Unsplash; Amazon; Sephora (3); Ulta
Betches ay receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

5 Easy-To-Use Self-Tanners That Won’t Turn You Orange

As much as we like looking bronzed, it’s 2018 and it’s about time we stop roasting in a tanning bed. Like, skin cancer is so not cool and neither is looking like Selena Gomez at the Met Gala an Oompa Loompa. With summer approaching in a little over a month (praise fucking be), we should probs start thinking about how tf we’re going to live our very best lives as tan goddesses without depending on the sun. Some of us have like, lame-ass jobs and shit, and can’t afford to go to the beach seven days a week. In case you forgot, self-tanners do exist, and not all of them have to make you look like a streaky orange. Here are five amazing self-tanners to use this summer instead of baby oil at the pool.

1. JERGENS Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer

This is like, the best thing to exist since canned rosé. Perfect for those mornings when you’re rushing out the door, use this lotion replacement to give yourself a realistic bronze glow after a quick shower. Don’t rinse off—instead, pat dry before throwing some clothes on. The color of this self-tanner actually stays on your skin (like it’s fucking supposed to) and still makes you look radiant af.

2. James Read Wash Off Tan For Body

First of all, this entire brand is founded and created by a literal tanning god. IDK who he is, tbh, but James Read apparently is like, the inventor of self-tanning, which is way better than fucking toaster strudels. The quick and easy wash-off (literal) glow-up provides a subtle tan just hours after using without transfer of any color, and can also be used gradually to get an even deeper tan. Basically, it’s everything you need before an anticipated night out to look good in your instagrams.

3. TAN-LUXE The Butter Illuminating Tanning Butter

This self-tanner is streakless, gradually drying, skin-tightening, and smells like the inside of Victoria’s Secret. I mean, what more is there to want?

4. Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Finish

Imagine your favorite Snapchat filter that always makes you look like a 11/10 combined with your favorite Insta filter that always make you look about two shades deeper, all inside a bottle. Dreams do come true, betch. The BB cream-like formula smooths out any skin imperfections while also making you look like you just got back from Turks and Caicos. Use on both your face and body, and feel free to use as your next go-to foundation.

5. Tan Towel Self-Tan Towelette Full Body Application For Face And Body

Self-tanning for dummies = towelettes. Rub these all over for an even glow that looks convincingly natural and not at all streaky or orange. After just a few hours, check yourself out in the nearest reflective surface, and you’ll see a glow that looks better than one you could’ve gotten at the beach.

Photo: Ulta (2); Net-a-porter (1); Sephora (2)

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

We Asked An Expert Every Question You Could Possibly Have About Spray Tans

Contrary to what this bipolar weather is telling us, warmer temps ARE allegedly on the way. That means that it’s time to give those pasty white limbs of yours a nice little bronze glow if you don’t want to blind everyone at the first day party of the season. So, if you’re opting for a spray tan to revive your post-hibernation skin (or you’re just feeling really inspired by Jersey Shore’s recent reunion), it’s important to know how to prep for a spray tan to get the most out of your bronzing session.

To avoid looking splotchy and all of the other not-so-well-known airbrush faux-pas, we consulted with the ultimate bronze betch: Heather Shaw, spray tan connoisseur, tanner to the stars, and owner of Heather Airbrush Tanning. Heather has two salons: one on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, and a brand new NYC spot at 12 West 27th street in NoMad (open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 8pm). That means she’s the betch behind some of the best looking tans from coast to coast.

She told us everything you need to know about how to prep for a spray tan.

Before The Spray Tan

Betches: How long before the spray tan appointment should you shower/exfoliate/shave?

Heather Shaw: You should shower/exfoliate/shave with 24 hours of your appointment. If you have sensitive pores that are easily irritated by this preparation, do this prep earlier. Otherwise, right before the appointment or the morning of works.

I also suggest completing all other beauty services prior to your tanning appointment (if you can): nails, wax, eyelashes, hair, massages, facials, etc. It’s not mandatory, but don’t get a tan and go straight to a pedicure appointment and put your feet in the water. It’s a more common mistake than you’d think. If you’re getting your nails done after your tanning appointment, wait until the color has had time to develop (3-6 hours), shower first, and opt out of the extra sea salt massage scrub.

Any products that you should stay away from pre-appointment? (lotions, perfumes, etc.?)

Yes. Come fresh. No lotions, oils, makeup, deodorants or perfumes. Oils act as a repellant to the tanning solution because it is water-based. If you’re coming straight from work and you didn’t have a chance to shower off your morning moisturizers, you can wipe off any remnants of beauty products with a baby wipe. If you want to tan your face but keep your makeup on, the product may not develop completely or evenly. Try to wash makeup off prior to tanning application for maximum results.

What should you wear to the appointment?

It’s best to have dark, comfortable, loose-fitted clothing to change into after the appointment. Flip flops are best, but for those that have to wear shoes and socks, try to remove them when you get home.

Sunless tanners develop by science of oxidation, so they need oxygen to breathe and develop evenly. Ideally, no tight jeans or yoga pants with tight inseams immediately after application. Also, no bra for at least an hour. The tight elastic bands can suffocate the product, resulting in an uneven development.

However, disclaimer: I’ve had clients break all the above rules and still get away with a great, natural looking tan.

During The Apointment

What should you wear during the appointment? Can you go completely nude?

Most girls tan nude because they want to get rid of tan lines (and look skinnier). For those that prefer a tan line, I suggest a solid string thong. If you wear hanky panky lace bottoms, be sure to fold the material in half so the tanning solution doesn’t penetrate through the lace and give you a lacey tan line that looks like a skin disease. (Yes, it has happened.) It ruins any illusion of the airbrush tan looking natural.

Industry standard is that men wear something minimal for the tanning process. Boxers, briefs, speedos—or a professional tanning garment for the “no tan line” effect—basically, a sock with a drawstring.

How should you stand/position your arms/legs?

When facing the back, if you’re like most girls, you get a little bikini “smiley face” at the top of your thighs if you don’t relax your knees or lift your hips (aka your bum). Be sure to do one or the other so the technician can tan this natural crease (Basically, slightly squat).

Keep your hands out of the way when your legs are being tanned so they don’t catch overspray and discolor your palms (prayer position works great to keep your shoulders relaxed and your hands safe).

Thoughts on wearing hair nets? Disposable underwear? etc.

Hairnets = yes. Disposable underwear = no. Unless you want bronzer in your hair, wear a shower cap (especially for clients with lighter hair tones). But if you don’t wear a shower cap, it’s not the end of the world.

I’m blonde and do a million tans a day without wearing a shower cap. However, when I get a blowout, tanning solution certainly washes out of my hair. So, with that being said, I might also suggest that the technician wear a shower cap if they’re taking clients back-to-back in an enclosed space.

I’m not a fan of disposable underwear. They’re so thin and flimsy, and the tampon string size bikini line they create looks cheesy and un-natural to me. I’d suggest going nude over wearing them.

After The Appointment

How long should you wait to use any products? Shower?

I would wait a minimum of 2-3 hours to shower, but the most common suggested time for a client that wants more developed color would be about 6-8 hours. That is, unless you’ve been tanned with an “express” product where you can technically shower within 1-2 hours. Personally, I’m not a fan of the express products. They are so oversaturated with bronzer that you leave the appointment looking like you’ve just been dipped in chocolate (you should not be seen in public).

I prefer a more natural application with delicate bronzer so you can get dressed and go about your day instead of having to hibernate before your first shower.

If you use a darker product with a higher percentage of DHA (aka dihydroxyacetone, the active ingredient that interacts with amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a brown color change), you can shower sooner because it will develop faster. , I wouldn’t wait longer than 24 hours to shower. Editor’s Note: Ya nasty.

If you get your tan in the evening and wish to sleep in it, don’t sleep nude. Sweat and movement will leave bronzer remnants in your bed. Although it washes out, I would suggest wearing comfortable loose-fitted clothing to bed, then rinse the product off when you wake up.

As for beauty products and makeup, you can wear powders and eye makeup right away, but I don’t suggest using any face lotions, creams or sunblock until the product has had a little time to develop. You chance kaleidoscoping the tan before it’s had time to develop. The face usually develops quickly, so for some clients, they wash their face after 1-2 hours, then apply a full face of makeup for going out.

Any products you should stay away from to make sure the spray tan lasts longer?

YES: glycolic or salicylic acid, acetone, and most acne or bleaching cleansers/exfoliators. Tanning solution only develops on the top layer of skin, so it’s only going to last as long as the top layer of skin lasts on average 7-10 days. Any activity that exfoliates or removes the top layer of skin will result in a potentially splotchy looking fade. Use all-natural products in the shower and avoid cheap cleansers.

Any products you should use to make sure the spray tan lasts?

Use all-natural, water-based moisturizers and drink lots of water. Dehydrated skin is the #1 cause of an uneven fade.

Can you workout the morning after a spray tan?

Yes! But shower FIRST. Don’t go to SoulCycle wearing bronzer sweating from head to toe (not a good look).

Can you still get tanned by the sun with a spray tan?

Yes! Tanning products don’t protect from UV exposure, so maintain sunscreen applications. Using a natural, oil-free SPF is best.

Any other tips/tricks to know?

Take quicker showers, and avoid steam rooms, saunas, and long visits in the hot tub . Most clients get away with swimming in pools and the ocean on vacation, but chlorine is a strong chemical that can make the tan fade sooner than expected if you have prolonged exposure.

If you like to work out, don’t wear the tightest sports bras that pull and tug and take the tan off with it. Wear bralettes or more breathable activewear.

Lastly, airbrush tanning is an art. Do your research and hire a good artist. Someone who understands the subtle details involved in a natural application so you don’t end up with overly tanned hands, feet, wrists, ankles, and armpits. At the end of your appointment, detail the inside of your palms, wrists, and cuticles with a baby wipe to remove any potential overspray.

Images: Giphy (3), Unsplash (1)

The Best Sunscreen For Every Skin Type That Won’t Cause Breakouts

In LA, it’s basically already summer.  For the rest of you sad people who live in places with “weather,” summer is coming soon and the most important part of having sunshine back is protecting your skin. Do you want to look wrinkled and haggard and like you’re 60 at age 32? I grew up on the beach, people, and let me tell you: the sun DOES NOT age you well. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to die of skin cancer from the many years I tanned my naturally ghost-pale skin without sunscreen. Sigh. Lucky for you, you don’t have to end up like me. I researched and ranked the best sunscreen for every skin type so you can all die pretty.

For Oily Skin: Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector

Is there anything worse than when your skin is already oily af by itself than adding greasy sunscreen to it? Fuck no. Thankfully we live in the age of ~science~ and you can now buy grease-free and oil-free sunscreen, like this awesome one from Clinique. It also works well under makeup and is SPF 40, so you don’t need to worry about your look melting halfway through the day.

For Acne-Prone Skin: Shiseido Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion

Ah, acne. I remember seeing my dermatologist at 19 and being all, “when will I grow out of this shit?” And he laughed and said I was old, it was too late, and I will have adult acne forever. Good times. Fortunately, Shiseido makes an entire line of skincare products for the acne-challenged, including sunscreen that isn’t greasy and won’t make you break out. This one is SPF 50 and water/sweat resistant, so you can workout in it and not worry about it wrecking your fragile skin.

For Dry Skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer

If your skin is really dry, you’ll want something both protective and moisturizing. You’re already at greater risk of wrinkles with dry skin, so SPF is super important. This one by First Aid Beauty is a thick moisturizer that will hydrate your dehydrated skin as a two-in-one. Since it’s non-comedogenic, you don’t have to worry about clogged pores and ending up with our acne-ridden friends above.


For Sensitive Skin: Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen

Sensitive skin requires extra care, so you need something with mild ingredients that won’t cause a breakout or rash. Supergoop’s products are highly rated for sensitivity, and this particular sunscreen is really light, but still effective. It also is oil-free and won’t dry out your skin.
Image: Marvin Meyer / Unsplash


Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

10 Cheap Swimsuits That Look Expensive

Is there anything to do on a snow day aside from eating carbs and online shopping? The answer is no. Like all responsible adults, we spent our work-from-home snow day productively searching the internet for cheap swimsuits that are super trendy and look super expensive but really aren’t. Like, anyone can spend last week’s salary on the same neon Triangl bikini Instagram models have been wearing since 2014, but we’ve moved onto better things. The swimsuits coming out for this summer season are all about cool prints and cutouts, so we compiled a list of our favs. Here are 10 cheap swimsuits you need to own by the time the snow melts.

1. ASOS Wolf & Whistle Snake Swimsuit

Does anything say luxury better than snake print? The one-piece is classy already, and the little cutout is a cute perk. Plus, it’s only $45. I’m into it.

2. Out From Under Twisted Bikini

Kind of a boho take on a classic bikini. The tie detail *might* give you more of an illusion of cleavage. This suit comes in a few different styles and colors so you can mix and match, and you’ll look good in all of them.

3. Missguided Blue Scallop Lace Up Swimsuit

Pastels are huge right now, and this baby blue one-piece is amazing. Perfect cut for any size and the color will make anyone look tan. Also, since it kind of looks exactly like every bodysuit girls on Instagram are wearing, you can totally throw shorts over this and wear it to the bar and no one will notice.

4. TopShop Ribbed Colourblock Bikini Set


The high-waisted bikini is tricky to pull off, but this one’s a winner. Plus, the color block and ribbed texture make it look super expensive, even though it’s one of the cheaper bathing suits.

5. Target Sugarcoast by Lolli Women’s Ruffle Triangle Bikini

This one’s super pretty and feminine, but it’s also navy, which literally looks good on everyone. That’s just like, the rules of feminism. The ruffle details will also enhance your curves, so really, everybody wins.

6. Forever21 Marble Print Bikini

If you don’t follow at least five Instagram bloggers who either wear or use marble print in every post, are you okay??

7. Victoria’s Secret PINK Strappy Front High Leg One-Piece

Thank god Victoria’s Secret lied to us about stopping their swimwear line, because they make the best cheap bathing suits. This suit comes in every color and I honestly want more than one. And obviously it’s 2018 so we need some sexy lace-up detail on our one-pieces. Whatever, it looks amazing.

8. Revolve x Kendall + Kylie Mesh Mix Bustier Bikini

Another color block suit, and the army green is SO chic. Did I mention top and bottoms are like $30 each? Cheap swimsuits are my reason for living.

9. MODCLOTH Beach The Alternative One-Piece Swimsuit 

Florals try to make their comeback every couple years, but they actually work really well with this sick keyhole neckline thing. It will give you depressing tan lines, but it will be well worth it.

10. Zara Gingham Bikini Set

The cut on this one is so different, and honestly I’m pretty sure Rihanna owns this. She probably paid a lot more for it, though.
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The Best Bronzers For The End Of Summer So Nobody Has To Know How Pale You Get

As we head into depression fall, our summer tans we worked so hard on will fade faster than you can say, “PSL.” The idea of a tanning salon sounds great and all, but IDK about you. Absorbing a massive amount of UV radiation into my skin doesn’t sound fabulous after all. And like, did I mention the cost? You have to at least be willing to give up a weekend of ringing up a bar tab in order to afford decent tanning so you don’t look like a cast member of Jersey Shore. Well, it’s a good thing we live in a society where looking racially ambiguous at all times is encouraged (unless you actually are racially ambiguous, in which case you’re SOL). Otherwise, we wouldn’t have a cheaper tanning alternative, bronzer, to rely on for a golden glow. So honestly there’s no reason why you can’t be tan 24/7 in temperatures below 70 degrees. With summer being another nine months away (kill me plz), here are the best bronzers to cover up pasty pale skin since all you’ll do this season is Netflix & thot chill.

1. BECCA Sunlit Bronzer

With five different shades designed for every skin tone, this bronzer will give you the perfect sun-kissed tan without looking like Trump. The powder-based bronzer has a super creamy texture with a shimmery finish so you can apply and blend in easily. That way, your contour won’t look as though you just smeared brown lines across your face and you can stay looking ~lit~ all night long.

BECCA Sunlit Bronzer

2. Marc Jacobs Beauty O!mega Perfect Tan Bronzer

This is like, magic of a bronzer if I’ve seen it. The silky powder immediately sinks into your brush’s bristles for the most seamless application you can imagine. Like, honestly, this is the only bronzer I’d drop more than $35 on, and that’s saying a lot. The matte finish won’t make you look like a walking disco ball and even allows you to apply it for all-over body bronzing. Fucking bless.

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!mega Perfect Tan Bronzer

3. Guerlain Terracotta Original Bronzing Powder

Have you ever wished you could be tan without using a source of heat? Um, same and so does probs every other normal person, which is why Guerlain created the closest thing to it. This bronzer apparently leaves varying shades of “sun” to make your sunless tan look as realistic as possible. The moisturizing ingredients won’t dry your skin out and they enhance your skin’s natural shine without making it look greasy. Also, this makes you smell like your annual Aruba vacation, so what’s not to like?

 Guerlain Terracotta Original Bronzing Powder

4. Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder

This godsend of a baked bronzer is for those of you who want something that’s weightless and sheer enough to make you forget it’s even on your face. There’s a wide range of shades created exactly for your skin tone so you truly (and finally) can pull off the “I just rolled out of bed and literally put this on to say I tried” look. Haven’t heard of it? It’s like, slang from England I’m going to make happen. It has bomb buildable coverage so you can reapply as you desire.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Bronzer

5. Bare Minerals A Little Sun Face Color

If you could wear a single makeup product everyday for the rest of your life, it would def be this—no questions about it. It’s a non-comedogenic bronzer, so it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts if you “accidentally” fall asleep with it on. And that’s not even the best part. It also has rosy pink hues to provide a natural-looking flush and brighten the palest of skin tones so you no longer look like a vampire.

Bare Minerals A Little Sun Powder

Read: The New Fall Fragrances You Need To Try
The Best NYC Spray Tan Places That Won’t Make You Look Like Snooki

August is upon us, which means we’re about to enter that traumatizing stage of summer where it’s too hot to even hit the “continue watching” button on Netflix let alone actually leave your house to go outside and live your life tan. Nope, not gonna happen. That said, I can’t let my laziness this weather deter me from looking like the bronzed goddess I was never genetically supposed to be. My only options now are self-tanner, which puts far too much pressure on me not to fuck up the process, or spray tans, aka the reason I looked like a blond Snooki at my senior year semi-formal. It’s a real Sophie’s choice. But at the end of the day using self-tanner requires the bare minimum amount of work so you know I’m out. Spray tans it is then. And nothing is worse than having to scour through Yelp to see which salon is the least hated by Internet trolls. So lucky for you I’ve braved my friend’s reviews the trolls and picked the best places in NYC to get spray tans without looking like Snooki.

1. Beach Bum Tanning

Location: Chelsea
Average Price: $25
We’re into this place mostly because the price is ridiculous. Like, the last time I found any sort of service for less than $25 in New York City it looked sketchier than a Lifetime movie about online dating. So ya know, I’m glad there’s places like Beach Bum Tanning out there to restore trust issues. Plus the spray tanners at this venue mist on a hydrating toner to help prolong the life of your tan before airbrushing you. Blessings.The staff are also huge fans of contouring while they airbrush. So basically they can spray you ten pounds lighter even though you’ve spent the last 2-3 months being a hedonistic asshole. And they say money can’t buy happiness.

2. Gotham Glow

Location: Midtown
Average Price: $75
The best part about Gotham Glow is that they offer both in-studio services and also house calls. So if you’re lazy AF but, like, still want to look tan (hi) then you have the option of booking the appointment at your home and having the technician come directly to your home to spray tan you. What a world we live in. The in-studio spray tan costs around $75 while the house call service is more like $160 and up, but Gotham Glow is usually worth it. Especially because they can spray you in broader strokes, getting the job done in half the time thus letting you do other important shit with your day like Google whether Cole Sprouse is actually dating his costar on Riverdale because important.

3. Urban Tanz

Location: Williamsburg
Average Price: $60
Urban Tanz claims to be the “best tanning in Brooklyn” but, like, it’s Brooklyn and the average person in that area has the complexion of an extra on the set of Twilight so is that really saying much? That said, this place has hella good deals and discounts for large group packages just in case you and your friends want to GTL on a Saturday before hitting the bars. Definitely hit up Urban Tanz before any bridal/bachelorette events to ensure that no one looks like Casper in the group photo.

4. Faux Glow

Location: Midtown East
Average Price: $90
This place is a little more high-end, but if you can afford to waste your money treat yourself then Faux Glow is definitely worth it. The spray tanners are literal artists and spray you with surgical precision. They’re known for their long-lasting glow, most of which last longer than my online dating relationships (think 10 days) and the glow looks authentic AF.


5. The Spa @ Equinox

Location: Upper East Side
Average Price: $70
If you’re already a member of Equinox then congratuFUCKINGlations you get to be skinny, rich, and tan. Boo, you whore. But if you’re a peasant more like me then you’ll get some sort of sick satisfaction out of going to Equinox knowing that over your dead body would you spend $70 on a gym class but you wouldn’t hesitate to give them all your money for the perfect beach glow. Equinox is brand new to the airbrushing business and, like, they’re v eager to please. They even offer coffee and scones before the session because nothing makes me feel more comfortable shedding all my clothes in front of a stranger than carb loading right before. The session takes about 15 minutes and it’s 100 percent the best 15 minutes you’ll ever spend at the gym because instead of leaving sweaty and feeling like you want to die inside (just me?) you’ll leave looking glowy AF.

READ: 8 Tanning Myths You Should Have Stopped Believing Like, Yesterday