Have you given up tanning in the sun for a faux glow? I know I have! Although I love being out in the warm sun, I’m all about layering up with one of my favorite sunscreens. And the “tan” that I’m sporting? That golden glow comes from a self tanner. Read on for this season’s top self tanners…
My list of Top Self Tanners include:
Of all of the self tanning formulas I tried, my favorite would have to be the AERIN Gradual Tan for Face & Body. This formula really offers everything I look for: easy application and subtle, buildable, natural color. This is a lotion formula that goes on without streaking. It’s lightly scented so you don’t notice any “self tanner” smell. I like that it can be used on face and body. And of course, I adore the elegant packaging.
When I tried Vita Liberata pHenomenal Self Tanner, I was very impressed; so I was anxious to try this new product. Described as a “world-first self-tanning bronzer”, it’s a mineral bronzer that has self tanning results. It comes in a jar and is applied over your moisturizer or foundation. To get the most true color, I felt applying over my moisturizer was best. You apply with the Kabuki brush, no differently than how you’d apply bronzer. When I washed my face at night, I felt like I did see some self-tanning effect, but it’s light. As a bronzer (or contour), though, it gives a natural, fabulous glow.
I’ve used Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for years and love the gradual, believable, tan that it produces. So I was anxious to try the Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse. The product is really light and airy, and gives a believable bronze tan. Because it’s a mousse, I’d highly recommend working in small sections and using a mitt. I did notice a slightly sticky feel after application, however, the product does dry quickly and doesn’t rub off.
Clarins is one of my favorite brands for sun (and sunless tanning) products, so I was excited to try the Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster. This is a liquid self-tanner for your face; you add 3 drops to your moisturizer (daytime or nighttime) and apply. It couldn’t be easier. The formula self-adjusts for a very natural result, and found that I really liked the nighttime application. Because it’s mixed with your moisturizer, it’s easy to extend the product onto your neck. Because of the concentrated formula, there’s no need to use more than 3 drops.
My first serum self-tanner, I felt that I got great results from L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Serum. Easy to apply, natural color, this lightweight serum dries quickly. Because it’s a serum, if you want a more gradual buildup of color, you can mix with body lotion and apply. There is a slight odor, but when mixed with lotion, I didn’t notice it.
This is the first self tanning dry oil formula that I’ve tried. I’ve used St. Tropez before and have always loved the natural color. The St. Tropez Self-Tan Luxe Dry Oil (available at QVC) gives a beautiful bronze shade. There is a shimmer to this product, so shake well before using. The formula uses a 100% natural tanning agent suitable for all skin tones and a 100% natural fragrance (to me it seemed slightly herbal), so that you don’t have the typical self-tan smell. I recommend shaking out a dime-sized amount onto the mitt for a streak-free result.
Caudalie specializes in high-performance skincare, and I like that Soleil Divin Gradual Self Tanning Cream has skincare benefits. The formula contains the line’s signature grape-seed polyphenols, antioxidants and sodium hyaluronate to help skin retain moisture. This gradual self tanning cream goes on like a light moisturizer, doesn’t streak, isn’t sticky and gives a natural color. You won’t smell “self-tanner”; instead this cream’s fragrance is derived from a blend of white frangipani flowers, watermelon, and orange tree leaves.
Over the years, I’ve picked up some self-tanning application tips including:
- Do a thorough exfoliation at least a day before you plan to use a self-tanner to get rid of dead skin cells. Shave your legs at that time. Then lightly moisturize knees, hands, elbows and ankles. Applying too much moisturizer can interfere with the self-tanner’s active ingredients, leaving you with a patchy result.
- If using a self-tanner on your face, make sure to use a facial scrub or exfoliator the day before.
- Read and follow the directions for the product you’re using; don’t assume that every product has the same instructions.
- I prefer to use a tanning mitt, working in small sections and applying the product in a circular motion.
- If you do notice some streaking, scrubbing with lemon juice will lighten/even out.
- No matter how quickly a self-tanner dries, I always wait 10 minutes before getting dressed.
- Thoroughly wash hands after self-tanner application.
- Apply your moisturizer after the self-tanner has dried, and daily afterwards, to keep skin hydrated and extend the life of your tan.
What are your favorite tips for self-tanning? Let me know in the comments!