Fake Tans Are Bad For You, Too, So Here Are 7 Ways to Embrace Your Natural Glow

Face it: summer is almost halfway over. If you haven't quite achieved that summer tan you've been looking for, now is not the time to give in to tanning beds or — almost just as bad — self-tanning products. You may think you're doing your skin a favor by faking a bake with bronzing lotions and creams, but the sad truth is, you're not. While it may not cause cancer the same way UV rays would, self-tanning products can really dry out your skin, leaving you with a "tan" that not only looks artificial, but makes you look wrinkly and dry, too.

Besides, aren't we over looking super, super tan, anyways? The Emma Stones and Kristen Stewarts of the world are proving that having a paler complexion beats the hell out of an orange mystic tan. In my eyes, the most important thing when it comes to our skin is to achieve that all natural glow, not some crispy, rust-colored facade that either fades over time or worse, stains our clothes and furniture.

So, what's the solution? How does one exchange bad, fake tans for a natural glow? Here are five simple ways to be positively radiant all year round.

1. EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN

Getting rid of of that layer of dry, dead skin will help expose your younger looking complexion underneath. This is especially important as you grow older. In your twenties, your skin sheds naturally every month or so, but as you grow older, your skin doesn't shed cells as quickly as it used to. Use a gentle exfoliating product or a natural alternative (brown sugar, lemon, honey) to help your skin glow and look as young as possible.

2. MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE

Keeping your skin hydrated is one of the essential ways to get your skin glowing. Whether you use a store-bought moisturizer or at-home product like olive oil, make sure you're slathering it all over your skin daily. Don't forget your hands, neck and feet!

3. TAKE SHORT, COLD SHOWERS

Hot showers may feel good and open your pores, but it can strip your skin of its moisture and wash away its natural oils. Avoid this by taking quick, cool showers isntead. Not only will it help reduce swelling in your skin, but it'll result in a nice, healthy glow.

4. GET YOUR VITAMINS

There's no question that vitamins are crucial for fighting aging skin. There's no end to what they can do: Vitamin C helps brighten your complexion and reduces the amount of sun spots; Vitamin A helps reduce wrinkles, remove dark spots and smooth out rough skin; Vitamin B3 can help reduce redness;last, but not least, vitamin E can help your skin say soft and smooth. You can take your vitamins in pill form or opt for skin products reinforced with these nutrients — take your pick. Plus, eating healthy fruits and veggies help, too.

5. USE A HUMIDIFIER IN YOUR ROOM

If the air conditioner is leaving your skin dry and itchy at night, run a humidifier at night to keep the air moist.

6. HYDRATE WITH WATER AND COLORFUL FRUIT AND VEGGIES

It's a glowing celebrity's favorite answer to the age-old "how do you get such flawless skin?" question: Water, water, water. Drinking eight glasses of water a day and eating nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables will flush out toxins in your body and help you get that highly sought-after glow.

7. GET A LITTLE HELP FROM SOME BRONZER

If you're not feeling "glowy" enough, that's totally fine. That's what bronzers are for. The most important thing to remember is to find one that looks most natural. Look for a bronzer that matches your skin tone the best. It's also a good idea to avoid bronzers with shimmer or shine — matte bronzers will give you the realest-looking glow.

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