To tan or not to tan? That is the question. Most dermatologists and health experts agree that UV ray exposure, whether through direct sunlight or via tanning beds, can cause skin damage. The good news: There is a safer option in the form of a self-tanner.
Self-tanner has numerous benefits: It’s easy to apply in the comfort of your own home, you have control over how deep you want the tan to develop, and you can remove and reapply as needed. Yes, some self-tanners can indeed leave you streaky and orange. However, it all comes down to how you prep your body and the quality of the product you use.
How to Prep for a Self-Tan
It is always best to prepare for a self-tan according to the product’s label. However, here are some general guidelines to make self-tanning at home a breeze:
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.
- Shave unwanted hair.
- Wash your body and rinse.
- Towel-dry until you are no longer wet.
- Moisturize delicate areas only, like feet, fingers, knees, and elbows.
Our Self-Tanner Picks
Now that you have your body prepped, here are some of our favorite self-tanners that will give you your best, most natural-looking, sun-kissed tan.
Loving Tan is an Australian brand that has mastered the art of self-tanning. Its quick-dry formula washes off after two hours, yielding beautiful bronze results. You can even apply a second layer if you are looking for a deeper tan.
Isle of Paradise’s self-tanning water makes it even more convenient to develop and maintain your tan. All you have to do is exfoliate 24 hours beforehand, moisturize dry areas, mist the skin (saving hands and feet for last), and blend in with a tanning mitt. After six hours, you will see a flattering bronze shade. This product also contains nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil, chia seed oil, and eucalyptus globulus leaf oil.
These self-tanning drops will be a revolutionary item for your tanning routine. Simply mix a few drops into your moisturizer and lather on the skin. It will give you a customized glow and bronze finish without looking fake or streaky. The drops can even be applied to the face, which can be challenging with other self-tan products.
This self-tanning foam is perfect for those with medium to deep complexions. It can be used on fair skin, but the results can be rather drastic. This classic formula goes on similarly to the Loving Tan mousse, but you have more control over how much of the tan develops. You can rinse it off after one hour or leave it on for six hours. If you want an even deeper shade, reapply another coat 30 minutes after the first layer dries.