Even though we all know about the dangers of excessive sun exposure, nobody wants to be deathly pale all summer do they? A rich golden tan is still covetable even if it comes from a tube. A touch of a tan just makes you feel better from the inside out, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I have tried spray tans (a la Jersey Shore) and while I love the long-lasting color, I can not tolerate that awful sticky feeling one has to endure for hours before being allowed to shower. No thank you! Luckily for us, there are a plethora of self-tanning products available today to address every tanning need and desirable shade without the harmful side effects. So what have I been doing the past month? I’ve been testing the best self-tanning and bronzing products on the market right now. From self-tanning creams to lotions to sprays…I tried them all, so you don’t have to. The following recommendations are sure to deliver the most skin-friendly summer glow.
Here are my top self-tanner picks 10 in no particular order:
1. Neutrogena MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tan, $9.99
This product is one of the best no-mess self-tanners I have ever tried. It isn’t new and has been available at your drugstore for a few years now, but remains a perennial favorite. The fine mist allows you to get a professional airbrush effect at home. I love the fact that you can reach those hard to get to places and you don’t have to rub it in and therefore run the risk of tan palms. Just spray all over and go. A natural-looking tan will develop within a few hours.
2. MyChelle’s Del Sol Sunless Tanner, $13.99
This is the best choice for those who want a natural product. Enjoy the look of beautifully bronzed skin from natural sugars from beets, sugar cane and other plants that react with the skin’s surface to safely give a natural-looking tan. Licorice and aloe are added to soothe, repair and hydrate for skin that stays youthfully glowing. The product smells almost as good as it works. You can also find MyChelle’s Del Sol Sunless Tanner at Whole Foods.
3. Tantasia™ from Jane Iredale, $36
This citrus smelling streak-free formula is light and absorbent and creates a flawless natural looking tan. Made with wheat protien it doubles as a daily moisturizer for the face and body. Your “vacation in a bottle,” Tantasia, works instantly, but develops gradually over three days so you can control and customize your level of color.
4. MAC Skinsheen Leg Spray, $26.50
This is the perfect solution for when you need tan legs STAT (like for that wedding you totally forgot about)! Spray the gel-like liquid onto your legs and blend away. The heavy pigment needs to be blended well, but it dries within 10 minutes and then doesn’t budge until you scrub away in the shower. So don’t fear, it won’t rub off onto your clothes. Skinsheen uses special polymers (with silicone) to adhere better to skin so don’t moisturize before using this product.
5. Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube, $25
Not only do I love this product, I love the smell. It reminds me of Hawaii. Who can resist? It is also an instant bronzer as well as a gradual is a sunless tanner. So you can look sexy right away! Use daily to build your sun-less tan and keep your body in bikini shape all year long! Also available for face, the oil-free light-weight formula vanishes into the skin instantly while delivering silky hydration. This one is staying in the act permanently.
6. Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunless Golden Tanning without the Sun, $6.92
This very emollient and botanically moisturizing natural sunless tanner absorbs quickly for a natural-looking tan in less than 3 hours. It contains organic sunflower oil and shea butter to moisturize and protect, as well as calendula and green tea to soothe and repair, protecting sensitive skin against free radical damage. The smaller tube size makes this perfect for travel.
7. LORAC selfTANTalizer Body Bronzing Gradual Self Tanner, $34
This amazing two-in-one product creates an immediate burst of bronze and then delivers a the long-lasting tanning results of a gradual self-tanner. Not only does it have a yummy vanilla scent, it comes with an applicator mitt so you don’t have to suffer streaky hands.
8. L ’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Clear Self-Tanning Gel, $10.49
I have been using L’Oréal products for years now and their products are some of my favorites. This clear gel spray self-tanner that is free of parabens and provides a mess-proof application. Simply spray it on and gently massage into skin to achieve a streak-free, long-lasting bronze complexion that begins to develop in less than one hour. It’s available at your drugstore in a medium-tone bronze finish to complement all skin tones.
9. Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula, $22.50
I have to admit something. At first I didn’t think I was going to like this formula by Kiehl’s. It is very liquidy and somewhat runny, almost like a milk and I thought there is no way this is going to work. Well, I am glad to report I was wrong! Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula actually applies like a dream. Since it is so “runny” this lightweight, non-greasy lotion to glides on easily, absorbs instantly and doesn’t streak! I am able to cover my entire body in seconds flat. The color was also one of may favorites of all the ones I tried and I noticed a natural-looking tan within one hour of application. I was also able to dress immediately.
10. Solerra Silk Spray Tan, $25.99
Yes it is no secret we are huge fans of Solerra products here at Second City Style. They are most known for their amazing Sunless Tanning Mitts, but it’s their lesser-known Silk Spray Tan I personally love the most. The easy to apply, non-streak spray delivers natural, dark tanning results while deeply moisturizing your skin. The tan takes affect within 1 hour, grows darker over 4-6 hours and will last 7-10 days! Brilliant!
Before You Self Tan:
You must exfoliate! Personally my skin can pot tolerate salt scrubs so I look for sugar-based ones. This one by Hugo Naturals is my new favorite! This invigorating blend of sugar and powerful emollients gently exfoliates and moisturizes. Whole vitamin E and oat extract add suppleness and radiance. It leaves your skin soft and ready to be tanned!
Hugo Naturals Brown Sugar and Kumquat Body Polish, $12.99
– Lauren Dimet Waters