If you follow trending beauty content on social media, you might have seen the sunscreen contouring trend. What is sunscreen contouring? It’s a sunscreen application technique where people place sunscreen on their skin in the places they would usually highlight—think cheekbones, nose bridge, center of the forehead, chin—and skip putting sunscreen where they typically contour. By avoiding sunscreen under the cheekbones, on the hairline and other areas of the face, yet laying out in the sun in the hopes of getting a tanned, naturally contoured complexion, people are getting too much sun exposure without proper SPF protection. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), recommends wearing SPF of 30 or more when exposed to the sun as well as seeking shade when appropriate and wearing protective clothing. Rather than laying in direct sunlight and letting the sun give you a contoured appearance, opt for bronzer—that’s what it’s for!
Editor’s Tip: If you prefer a more long lasting tan for your face, try the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops, Fragrance Free. Simply mix five to seven drops in with your moisturizer, wait about six hours for the color to develop, and you'll be good to go. You can continue to build on your glow with more drops if you want to get a deeper tan.
Tanning With Baby Oil
Another common tanning hack we’ve seen on TikTok actually avoids using sunscreen altogether. Rather, influencers are seen mixing crushed bronzer pigments with baby oil to create a DIY shimmering, bronze body oil. They’re then applying it to their bodies and laying out in the sun to get even more bronze. You know by now that excessive sun exposure increases the risk of getting sun damage and skin cancer. By laying outside in direct sunlight for hours at a time without applying SPF, you could be putting yourself in harm's way. According to the Cleveland Clinic, excessive sun exposure can greatly increase your chances of getting melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Don’t mimic this trend—in fact, don’t let this become a trend at all.
Tanning With Cooking Spray
This trend is just as crazy as it sounds. There are really social media creators who are spraying their skin with cooking spray and “toasting” under the sun in order to look bronze. We cannot stress this enough, exposing yourself to excessive amounts of UV rays without proper skin protection is incredibly dangerous. Not to mention, this is simply gross. Who wants to smell like cooking spray?
As if laying out in the sun for any amount of time without applying SPF isn’t bad enough, there are several videos of TikTokers trying to achieve sun tan designs by placing star- and heart-shaped cutouts on their skin and laying outdoors for several hours without sunscreen. In order to make the shape appear more pale than the rest of the skin, they often need to lay outdoors in the sun unprotected for hours at a time, which leads to some nasty burns as well. This technique can also be done by drawing designs with sunscreen, which is equally as risky. Again, SPF protection is essential for preventing not only skin cancer, but sun spots, wrinkles and crepey skin, too. If you want to achieve a tan or experiment with tanning designs, opt for self tanner like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse.
Written by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Senior Art Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Adriana Perez-Bell, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Model: Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick