Ask Jean: 7 steps to the perfect natural look

woman lying in the sun

Photo: Valentina Munton

Ask Jean: 7 steps to the perfect natural look

Jean Godfrey-June

We want to answer your most pressing questions — or, you know, just the ones you’re curious about. Keep them coming to [email protected]. Below, aq to our beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean, It’s summer, and I definitely look better with a tan. But I’m starting to understand how my tan is not good for my health. How do I use my homemade exfoliant so it looks like a legit tan? And what is the best one? —Cate R.

Dear Cate, I’ll start with your second question: Because my tanning machine obsession has to be one of the most intense of all time, I’ve tried them all – and I love very little. What I want in a self-tanning machine is almost impossible: unrecognizable beyond “Have you been on vacation yet?” and “You look so well-rested!” I don’t want it to smell, streak, or be too dark or too light, and I want it to last as long as possible. You’d think it’s because the active ingredient in self-dissolving tanning agents is always the same (DHA, a natural sugar derivative that can stain the top dead cells of your skin – I know, sounds tempting) , so most tanning drugs will give similar results, but this is not the case.

This self-cleaning tanning product from Saltyface is a light, smooth tanning foam that is a complete miracle in terms of how easily it blends and the subtle, super natural color it leaves behind. must see to believe. Somehow, the foam is light and moist enough that it melts into your skin, instead of settling on it, as many non-shift tanning types do. I’ve always been skeptical about quick-drying tanning beds, especially uncolored ones: Unbleached, undyed tans always develop unnatural streaks and spots. But this, as I said, is a miracle.

  1. Salty tanning foam

    Salty face
    Tanning foam
    goop, $62


It only takes a few seconds to apply because of its lightness. It feels like nothing on your skin: no stickiness, no stretch, nothing. And when you wake up (I like to apply it at night, but because of its non-converting qualities you can apply it, put on your clothes and go about the day if you like), the tan is so beautiful. smooth, all natural, no slits, and catches the light perfectly. The color is not an aggressive tan or nothing pale, but actually the ideal healthy glow.

I use a tanner to apply it, but you can use your hands – just spread the cream evenly between your palms and let it soak into your skin before you start, then wash your hands after you’re done with the dye skin (see below for the final step-by-step dissolving). It’s also great for a quick refresh of legs as well as for a tan on the beach tomorrow. (Having a tan before stepping out in the sun doesn’t just make you look better; it also means you won’t hesitate to apply SPF 30 or higher, which couldn’t be more important.)

  1. Saint Jane Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30, cheap, $38

    Saint Jane
    Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30
    goop, $38


  2. The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 50 goop, $69

    Organic pharmacy
    SPF 50 Cell Protection Sunscreen
    goop, $69


  3. Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30, $39

    The alchemist has grown up
    Natural moisturizing sunscreen SPF 30
    goop, $39


Saltyface also creates a beautiful “water” tan to the face. It creates the same natural, long-lasting, streak-free glow and comes with a soft brush to smooth your skin without hands, it’s brilliant. You can also add a few drops to your daily moisturizer or SPF to nourish and hydrate skin while providing an instant glow.

  1. Salty Tanning Water, goop, $44

    Salty face
    Tanning water
    goop, $44


  2. goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion, goop, $58 / $52 with subscription

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion
    goop, $58/$52 with subscription


  3. Non-mineral tinted face sunscreen, cheap, $29

    Run away
    Mineral-colored face sunscreen
    goop, $29



A natural, uniform, super flattering light is easier than you think – and much easier than the back of many tanning boxes, along with countless articles on the subject, to make a sound. Popular wisdom includes regularly exfoliating, along with some awkward time in the bathroom waiting for the tanning machine to dry. Actually, it’s not necessary.


The secret is that body cream – or lotion or lip balm – makes everything easier and blends a thousand times better. I alternate between the super-rich, melt-in-your-body GOOPGENES body butter and the fragrant Garden of Earthly Delights lotion from Sangre de Fruta. Apply a good primer between palms and between fingers (this also helps prevent palms from getting tanned), then dab excess wherever you have thicker or drier skin. – elbows, ankles, toes, knees. Drier and thicker skin leads to more tan, creating dark spots and uneven patches that look very unnatural. By evenly applying the cream to those areas, you’ll make them a little more resistant to tanning, and the result is an even skin tone instead of a patchy look.

Interestingly, the principle of the cream or lotion works both ways: If you forget it and apply sunscreen without it, you can simply skim the drier areas right after you’re done. tanning – the result is the same.

  1. Humanrace Body Moisturizer, $54

    Body moisturizer
    goop, $54


  2. Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Hand and Body Cream

    Sangre de Fruta
    Earthly garden
    Delights Hand and Body Cream

    goop, $93



After you’ve protected the drier spots from over-staining, apply your self-tanning cream. Start at the feet: They are the hardest to get in the right direction, so focus your strongest blended attention on them. Feet have billions of different weird angles, so make sure to put the tanning machine in there so you don’t get blinding pale spots.

  1. KORA Organics Self-fading lotion

    KORA Organics
    Self-fading lotion
    goop, $50



Move up to your feet and blend. There is no such thing as overselling. It’s also difficult to use too much tanning agent on your feet — adding more dye in a single application won’t make you tan more, on the contrary. It will simply ensure no streaks and no missed spots. So be generous.

  1. Volition Beauty Getaway Glow Gradual Tan Body Firming Moisturizer, $42

    Beauty Volition
    Getaway Glow Gradual Tan Firming Moisturizer
    goop, $42



Only work where you want to — no need to do a full body unless you want to.
(Though if you’re in the part, consider who can see you naked.)


When you’re done, wash your hands with beyond thorough enthusiastic; Tanned palms look weird. Do it even if you used a glove. When your hands are completely dry, put a little tanning agent on the back of your hand and rub the backs of your hands together to dissolve the tanning agent. (A tanned body with pale hands creates an alarmingly gloved look.)

  1. Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Hand Soap, goop, $48

    Sangre de Fruta

    goop, $48



If you forget or don’t want to do the body cream procedure at first, do it now (before or after it works). Or tear off a mop and dab it on thicker, drier areas. When you’re done, use the washcloth for a final stroke of your palms and between your fingers.

  1. Herbal Essentials Lavender Face Towel, $16

    Basics of Herban
    Lavender bath towel
    goop, $16



Instead of shivering naked in the bathroom, wear a loose, dark nightgown, shorts and T-shirt, or some such and continue your business. You shouldn’t shower for at least eight hours, but there’s no reason not to get on with your life. Note: If you use a non-drifting formula like Saltyface, you can wear lighter clothes in no time without worry.

  1. G. Label Maas Slip Dress

    G. Labels
    Maas Slip Dress
    goop, $525


  2. G. Scoop-Back T-shirt by Son, goop, $145

    G. Labels
    Son Scoop-Back T-shirt
    goop, $145


  3. G. Miller's high waist pleated shorts

    G. Labels
    Miller high waist pleated shorts
    goop, $325


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