All right sun-worshippers, I (literally) have a lifesaver for you! The weather is warming up, especially here in Texas, and you may be tempted to hit the tanning beds- but DON’T! If you read my last article (or any other article on the most basic of skincare), you know that not only is tanning dangerous to your health, but it’s the fastest way to crack your perfectly porcelain complexion. Below I’ve listed the five best self-tanners for you to try. They come in all different textures, scents, and prices so that you can pick what’s best for you. Long gone are the days of orange, streaky, and mysterious-smelling complexion perfectors. You really have no excuse not to try these bad boys.
1. Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer
Forgive me, but I fell in love with this stuff in high school and I still use it to this day. It is the most sheer of any in this list, but it is still a great basic self-tanner. Just replace your daily body moisturizer with this and you’ll be glowing in a few days’ time. I always go for the darkest one available, even though I’m basically a ghost, because it will work faster. When I want to get dark fast and maintain the color for longer periods of time, I’ll use a serious self-tanner and then use this as a daily up-keep. Runs for about $10 at drugstores.
2. XEN-TAN Moroccan Weekly Self-Tan
This is the fastest and deepest self-tanner I have ever tried! It goes on smooth and streak-free, but very dark. The more you use, the darker you will immediately be. I recommend doing this at night, waiting 30 minutes or more for it to dry, and then going to bed. Then just rinse off in the morning and you will be absolutely glowing! You’ll see some color collect in the bottom of the tub, but the majority will stay with you, even after you exfoliate or shave your legs. You can of course put it on in the morning and run out the door, but if you sweat (or as we ladies say, “glisten”), you’re more likely to get it on clothes or get a bit of a streak. This really will last a full week, as the box promises. If you want to get Kardashian-dark, apply it for two or three days in a row. Warning: be sure to wash your hands for a full 2-3 minutes after applying, or use a mitt. This stains the hands like nothing I’ve ever used before, but it’s WORTH IT! Goes for $35 at Ulta, and it’s packaged in Plano, so support local!
3. LORAC Self-Tantalizer
An amazing body makeup and self-tanner in one! Gives both instant and lasting color. It has less staying power than the XEN-TAN, but this could be good if you want to build your color a little slower, or you’re a self-tanning virgin. BONUS: smells like chocolate for the first day you wear it. Goes for $34 at Ulta, or there’s a trial-sized one for $9 if you don’t believe how awesome it is.
4. Tan Towels
Basically a baby wipe with self-tanner inside. All you have to do is wipe your body down with it and 2 hours later you’ll start to develop color. Since it’s a much thinner, serum-like consistency rather than a lotion, it will sink deeper and really stain your skin. This might scare you if you haven’t self-tanner before, but if you have, you know how amazing that is. There’s an “Original” that I usually have to use for about 3 days before I notice any color, or “Plus” where you’ll see results the same day. You can also buy a little kit with a spray inside that I highly recommend. Just spray your body and then use the wipe to rub it in. It helps the color develop even faster and stay longer. It doesn’t get any easier than that! Goes for about $25 at Ulta or Sephora.
5. St. Tropez Perfect Legs Aerosol Spray
Connie Britton’s favorite self-tanner! You know it’s good if it even works on gingers. Plus Kate Moss’ naked body is on the box, so you can’t miss it. Fool-proof and streak-free formula that will leave you glowing for days! Best of all, it isn’t just for legs. Because it’s a spray, you can easily reach your back and other areas you would normally just say, “Eh, oh well” and leave white. You can even spray a little on your face and wear less foundation that day. $18 in department stores, Ulta, and Sephora.
Be sure to thoroughly exfoliate your body before applying any of these products to ensure longer wear. I recommend DERMAdoctor’s KP Duty Glycolic Acid Body Scrub. It uses both chemical and physical exfoliation to leave your skin feeling like a baby’s bum. Whichever scrub you choose, be sure it doesn’t have any oils, which will reject the self-tanner solution.
Do you have a favorite self-tanner that I left off the list? Be sure to put it in the comments below, and say why you love it! Also, feel free to share with us your experiences after using these products! Now go get glowing in The State of Awesome.