Let’s talk about sunless tanner. There’s no doubt that having a tan makes us feel better about ourselves. It makes us feel healthier, gives us a new sense of confidence (especially when wearing shorts) and can even make us appear a tad thinner.
However, basking in the sun isn’t always an option and if you do it too much, you could obviously harm your skin. That is why many are turning to self tanners. There are no known adverse effects of using a self tanner and it allows you to control the shade of your tan. Win-win, right?
With that said, here are a few tips on applying self tanners:
Always prepare your skin before applying self tanner. Meaning, make sure you exfoliate, removing any dead skin. This will reduce your chances of getting orange-ish patches of color around your knees, elbows and heels.
Massage the self tanner into your skin in multiple directions. Even if it is a spray on type of self tanner, it is still a good idea to massage it into your skin so it applies evenly.
Self tanners work best when left on overnight. If you apply it in the morning, just make sure that you don’t exercise or shower for at least a few hours. Sweat can make your self tan a hot mess (no pun intended)!
If you do accidentally end up with a streaky tan or discolored blotches, you can quickly fix your mishap using toner with astringent or randomly, using toothpaste!
Make sure you pick the correct type of self tanner. They come in tinted gels, lotions, in an airbrush can and vary greatly in different shades. If you have light skin, I suggest using a tanner that gives you color gradually. If you have darker skin, I think it is safe to say you can go ahead and start with a medium to dark tanner. When in doubt, you can always mix the tanner with lotion first, then apply more tanner as needed.
Now, I bet you are ready to get your glow on, but don’t know what tanner to choose. Right? No worries! Here are the top rated tanners on the market, ranging from $8.00 to a little over $50.00:
1. LOreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer
Specifically designed for your face, this inexpensive gradual tanner was one of the top rated. Users found it best to apply the product over the course of a couple days so the tan gradually grows darker over time. PRICE: Inexpensive
2. Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer
This is my personal favorite. I love that it gives me a gradual tan, because with fair skin, I think it would look strange to one day be five shades darker accompanied by an orange hue! It does have a self-tanner type smell…but for the price, I’m okay with it. PRICE: Inexpensive
3.Victoria’s Secret Self Tan Lotion with Tint
Holly Morgan, Q102 personality, claims this is her favorite self tanner. Not only does it give you an instant glow with a hint of shimmer, it also smells great! PRICE: Medium priced
4. Bare Escentuals Faux Tan Body Sunless Body Tanner (Medium Priced)
This tanner applies smoothly and was in the top rated tanners because it contains a color guard, which means it is tinted so you can see where you are applying it. I hear the smell has a slight hint of Amaretto. This tanner is best used for medium skin tones. PRICE: Medium priced
5. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, 8.0-Fluid Ounces Pump Bottle
Rated one of the top tanners, St. Tropez Bronzing mousse is known to stay on longer than most other tanners. PRICE: More Expensive
6. Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream 4.4 oz
Delicious? I am not really sure but I hear the scent is delectable. This self tanner is packed with Cocoa Butter and Aloe Vera, leaving your skin silky and smooth. PRICE: More Expensive
7. Guerlain Terracotta Spray Bronzing Mist SPF 10, # 01 Light, 2.7 Ounce
Guerlain of Paris introduced one of the first bronzers in 1984 named “Terracotta”. To this day, the brand Guerlain is still one of the top rated self tanning brands around. Users found that it dries very quickly and the color was quite natural with no orange hues. PRICE: More Expensive
Do you use sunless tanners? If so, what’s your favorite brand?
[From the archives: This article was first written in 2013, but the brands of sunless tanners and knowledge behind applying it still hold true.]