Today, getting a golden glow without the risk of damaging your skin from the sun is easier than ever before. It’s no secret that that prolonged exposure to UVA/UVB rays can damage the skin, leaving sun spots, cause premature aging, and even put you at risk for skin cancer. However, the sun’s dangerous rays should hold you back from getting a tan; rather than laying out and baking in the sun for hours, you should opt for a sunless tanner. We understand that the idea of a sunless tanner can be overwhelming at first. Between the stories of self-tanner gone wrong, the application process, and the umpteen brands, shades, and type of product to choose from, it can seem like a bit much. That is why we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide to help you choose the best sunless tanner, without any unneeded stress or hassle.
Before You Even Think About Bronzing…
You must buy the pre-tan essentials. In fact, chances are that you already have them, but it’s essential that you use them. If not you run the very high risk of something going wrong with your tan—regardless of three color or type of sunless tan product that you use. So, exactly are we talking about? A hefty body scrub and an intense moisturizer. Before applying any sort of color to your body, you absolutely must use a body scrub to exfoliate your body. Removing dry and dead skin is an important step to prevent uneven tanner application. After you’ve used the scrub in the shower and dried off completely, you should take your time applying a body moisturizer, from head to toe. This re-hydrates the skin so that the sunless tanner spreads across your skin without leaving streaks.
Choosing the Type of Product
There are all kinds of self-tanning formulas, each one a bit different than the next. Before choosing which shade of tanner is best for you, you should have an idea of which tanning formula you want to use. Below we explain the key details of each type.
- Tanning Towels
These are a stress-free, mess-free, and guess-free self-tanning product. Perfect for beginners, they prevent from over application and are optimal for an even glow.
- Self-tan Moisturizers
The actual amount of “tanner” self-tan moisturizers is less than the amount in self-tan lotions. This type of product is also great for beginners, typically providing a build-able glow with everyday use.
- Self-tan Lotion or Cream
This product can be used by both beginners and veterans. They provide a generous tan with a tint of color which acts as a guide, this way you don’t miss a spot!
- Sunless Gel or Mouse
This type of product is light weight and very build-able. However, it is best for the seasoned tanner as they are fast drying and should be blended immediately.
- At-home Spray Tan
When applied properly, this can provide airbrush-looking results, however, one should always enlist the help of a friend to do so.
Which Color Is Best For You?
Everyone’s skin is different, so think of the suggestions below as just that, suggestions. At the end of the day, you know your skin and how it reacts to certain products.
- Light Skin Tones
Opt for products that promote a healthy glow, rather than a tan. Gradual tanning moisturizers are a good option here.
- Fair Skin Tones
Choose a tanner that offers a build-able coverage—such as a mouse or gel—this way you can build a natural looking tan without overdoing it.
- Medium Skin Tones
Go for self-tanning products that incorporate high moisture content, this way you can protect and enhance the natural glow that your skin already has.
- Deep Skin Tones
Reach for a tanner that is specifically designed for darker skin tones, this way you are adding a glow to your skin to enhance your appearance, rather than dulling your natural skin tone.