A real tan is passé. The modern way to get that sun-kissed glow while avoiding sun damage is through high-quality self-tanners. These aren’t the streaky self-tanners of the 90s. Nowadays you can hardly tell if that bronze came from St. Barts or straight out of a bottle.
St. Tropez has been known for their self-tanning products for years. One of their newest products, the Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt and Glow lotion, is formulated with sea algae extract and hyaluronic acid for skin that feels more toned and hydrated. The tan you get from this will be subtle and buildable. It can take up to a week to see significant color, but it is quick-drying, streak-free and easy to apply. Even more appealing: It has very little fragrance. Available at Sephora, $35
Fake Bake Flawless delivers deep color in just a few applications. The kit comes with an easy application mitt as well as rubber gloves, which prevent dark patches on your hands. A dual-function cosmetics bronzer shows you exactly where the product has been applied, and provides an instant golden tan. It is fast drying and transfer-resistant so you can wear it throughout the day. It has a light tropical scent and is free of artificial preservatives or parabens. If you want a deep, dark tan in just a few days, this is the tanner for you. Available at Ulta, $28
Great Tan, No Mess
One of the things most disliked about self-tanners is the liquid or lotion, which can be messy and streaky. The Tan Towel completely eliminates this problem. Simply use the wipe from head to toe like you would a washcloth, and within hours you will have a subtle glow. The wipes also come in different sized towels that can be used for your face or body. Available for fair-medium or medium-dark skin tones, the tan will deepen as you continue applications. Available at Beauty Brands, $29 for a box of 5
3 Hours, 3 Shades Darker
St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse is the newest and most effective, no-fuss self-tanner on the market. You can customize your tan by the amount of time you leave the product on your skin before showering. This express self-tanner delivers a light sun-kissed glow in just 1 hour, a medium tan at 2 hours and a deep, dark bronze in 3 hours. Available at Sephora, $44
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Always shave and exfoliate 24 hours prior to application.
- Make sure your skin is moisturized and hydrated; especially the dry areas like your knees, elbows, and heels of your feet.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from getting dark spots from the tanning formula.
- Use a mitt, which will provide easy and even application.DON’T
- Spray near anything valuable. Even if you are careful, product can get on the floor or furniture.
- Shower right away; leave on overnight if possible for a richer, darker tan.
- Get dressed. Make sure to let your skin dry fully before putting on clothing.
- Apply too much on your face; it will look unnatural. A quick swipe of the mitt will give you just the right amount of color.