Colorescience’s Bronze Body Sunscreen Gives Skin a Beach-Ready Glow

I’ve never been a pro at using self-tanner. I prefer the gradual ones, but even then, sometimes it doesn’t develop 100-percent evenly everywhere I applied it, or the undertone isn’t the best match for my skin. So when I discovered Sunforgettable Total Protection Body Shield Bronze SPF 50 from Colorescience, I was hooked. Here’s why.

My Skin Type:

Combination. I’m drier in the cold-weather months and oilier in the warm-weather ones thanks to the high humidity on the East Coast.

The Benefits:

Known for its best-selling brush-on sunscreen powder, Colorescience is consistently recommended by dermatologists when it comes to sun care. This is largely due to the brand’s proprietary EnviroScreen technology, which uses triple-coated mineral UV filters—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—and antioxidants to protect skin from damage caused by UV rays, pollution, blue light and infrared radiation. It also keeps skin moisturized with shea butter, which is a plus because many body sunscreens leave my skin feeling dry.

The super pigmented bronze shade is universal in that it blends beautifully into darker skin tones without the dreaded white cast associated with many mineral sunscreens, as well as lends a nice faux glow to lighter skin tones. It gives me the sun-kissed effect of self-tanner, but with more control during the application because it doesn’t absorb into skin—there’s no DHA—so it won’t stain my palms (though you should wash your hands right after applying), I don’t need to use a mitt, and I can choose to only do one body part that’s exposed if need be because it washes off at the end of the day.

For example, I was a bridesmaid wearing a full-length gown so I didn’t need coverage on my legs, but my arms were exposed and looked way too pale for me to feel confident in professional photos. This product was the perfect solution, and my skin was also protected during the outdoor wedding. It’s also sweat- and water-resistant for 80 minutes, making it a solid pick for a day at the beach or pool.

Key Ingredients:

Zinc oxide, Lipochroman (an antioxidant), apple fruit extract, glycerin, bisabolol, allantoin, and shea butter

What It’s Free From:

Parabens, sulfates, phthalates, oil, gluten, and synthetic fragrance

How to Use It:

Shake it up and apply a thin layer to start, rubbing it in well to make sure the color distributes evenly over your skin (similarly to applying foundation on your face). Because my skin tone is on the lighter side, I like to mix it with my body lotion (or another sunscreen that’s not tinted) for a more subtle bronze, and it’s buildable if I want to add more.

Let it fully dry before getting dressed, or apply it after you’re dressed if your arms and/or legs are exposed, like I did on my arms for the wedding. I haven’t personally had issues with it staining my clothes, but I know a couple people who have, so maybe don’t try it for the first time when you’re planning to debut your new white linen cover-up (just to be safe). And because water-resistant sunscreens are designed to really adhere to the skin, I’d recommend using a body scrub in the shower to get it all off at the end of the day, rather than just a gel-based body wash (I do this every time I wear body sunscreen).

What It Feels Like:

A lightweight body lotion

What It Smells Like:

There’s no synthetic fragrance in the formula, but it does have a powdery-ish smell I can’t quite put my finger on.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re not a fan of self-tanner but you still want a bronzed look this summer (or any time of year), this double-duty lotion offers gorgeous color and SPF 50 sun protection all in one. The brand also offers a version for the face, too, and a little goes a long way so it will probably last you all summer and then some—the five-star reviews speak for themselves.

Price/Where to Buy:


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