The key to a natural looking fake tan is technique and great products. I’ve been playing the “I was at the beach” card for the past few months, although I confess my tan is pretty much always fake. And you know what? I’m proud of it! I took what Dermalogica’s Director of Global Education, Annet King said at her Skincare Boot Camp about the damages of UV rays to heart. Although the fact that the sun causes skincare damage and premature aging is nothing new to most of us. And yet it’s still so easy to neglect wearing sunblock because we love being tan.
Tanning beds aren’t any better for you, and many don’t want the expense or inconvenience of relying on a salon for a spray tan–although if you do, I recommend B.Bronz professional spray tanning services (I got an amazing non-streaky, instant golden tan from them). The best alternative if you want the color are self-tanners. After many, many, many months of trying over 20 different products (no joke this story has been a long time coming –I’ve been very tan recently); here are my must-haves and tips for a healthy, natural looking tan.
1. Use a good well-tested face specific self-tanner – As in avoid body tanners on your face! Beautisol is the first brand to create a skin type specific self tanner. There’s a ‘Normal-Dry-Sensitive’ and ‘Normal-Oily-Problematic’ ($26) version. It’s safe for sensitive skin while addressing and preventing breakouts and uneven skintone. It’s dynamite, as is every product I’ve used from this brand. Not to mention that website is an amazing resource for all things tan and filled with great tips and techniques to make you an application expert.
2. A great all over tan product and professional mitt– I’m all about the Fake Bake Flawless Self-tan Liquid and Professional Mitt set ($24). You spray the product onto the mitt then apply it all over your body for an even, lightweight, golden tan that quickly absorbs and dries onto skin. It’s low maintenance, easy to apply and the mitt is AMAZING. I actually need to contact the brand to try to buy a pack of 20 (I need a lifetime supply). Whenever any of my other tan products are uneven (especially the sprays), I use the mitt to even it out. It works better then any towel I’ve used –and don’t even entertain using your hand to smooth out an uneven application (can we say streakfest?).
3. Have a good spray tan on hand – I use DEX Body Glow Sunless Tanner ($34) for a dark ‘I’ve been at the beach all day’ tan although you have to really shake this product and apply in a shower tub or over plastic or it can get messy since it’s such a large aerosol bottle! It’s especially amazing on my legs to get that deep bronze I love. I also use B.Bronze Tanning Mist ($24) for a more lightweight, even tan that comes in two shades light/medium and medium/dark. The nozzle is smaller then the Dex one, so it’s easier to apply on the fly if I just want a healthy glow– especially on my arms. And while I’d categorize Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs ($14) closer to a leg concealer or foundation, this product is amazing for covering spider veins, beauty marks or any other imperfections we’d prefer to keep hidden when our legs are exposed. And offers a tint to give you a healthy glow for slimmer, perfect –err airbrushed legs!
4. Grab a hydrating build-a-tan product – It’s an easy step to replace your regular moisturizer with one that includes a gradual tanner for when you get out of the shower. They work great on their own (with daily use) and also to support and hydrate your body after using other self-tanner products to make them last longer. While many go for the popular Jergens and Neutrogena sunless tanning lotions, I’ve been won over by mousse! St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Mousse ($30), to be exact. It’s super-lightweight, hydrating (it’s infused with conditioning aloe vera), easy to apply and offers a great sun kissed, natural glow, and worked within a few days!
Another way to make your color last longer is with Fake Bake‘s NEW Gelee Daily wash. It’s a light-weight daily body cleanser packed with antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E which is perfect for summer (it kind of smells like mint chocolate). Although it’s always difficult to tell the effect of a body wash when your tans #1 enemy to your is water. So the alternative is you can stop showering;)
What are your favorite self-tanner products?
Disclaimer: A complimentary sample of these products were given to Pretty Connected by a company representative (with the exception of St. Tropez which I do have a formal relationship with). Pretty Connected was under no obligation to write this review.