As cooler days are headed our way, some of you might be trying to soak up those last bits of summer sun to keep your sun-kissed glow. Usually I’d be doing the same, but not this year.
I tried my best to keep my skin protected from the sun’s damaging rays this summer. This statement is HUGE coming from a girl who’s tried every trick in the book to stay tanned. I’m not one of those people who can pull off being pale; I just end up looking sickly in the winter. I’m also not the type of person who tans easily. I can achieve a decent tan from laying out but it takes a couple of weeks and sun burns to get there. I’ve come to realize it’s not worth it. It’s no news that skin cancer, and countless other skin problems, are caused by sun exposure. Exposing yourself to the potential skin problems for the price of temporary beauty is not exactly smart.
Sunless tanning has been my go-to for bronzing this summer, and continues to be as we transition into fall. I’ve tried every type of sunless tanning technique out there: oils, professional spray tans, mousses, lotions, home sprays, etc. I think it’s safe to say at this point I’ve experienced the pros and cons of all to help with the self-tanning dos and don’ts.
It does take some work to keep it up, more work than simply laying in the sun or in a tanning bed, but here are some tips I’ve discovered to make sunless tanning easier:
- Test a product before you use it. This will help you find out if it is right for your skin tone or if you need a light, medium or dark tone. Using a product that’s too dark on light skin is where the orange looks come from.
- Before applying your tanning spray/oil/mousse/lotion, exfoliate your skin in the shower. This makes the colour last longer.
- If you’re getting a spray tan make sure to use barrier cream for your palms, nail beds and soles of feet.
- Keeping your skin moisturized after application is important for lasting colour.
- During application, use a glove and to help avoid streaks and stained palms.
- Sometimes self-tanning is trial and error based when it comes to finding what works for you. For example, it took me different tries to figure out that I prefer home sprays and lotions as opposed to mousses and oils. It all depends on your skin and preference.
Products I use:
1. L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush
L’Oréal’s airbrush application allows for easy access to a spray tan without having to leave your house or spend too much money. Although the aerosol can only lasts about 5-6 full body applications for me, its reasonable price ($13 at Walmart or Shoppers) is definite competition for professional spray tans that run for at least $35. The spray is long-lasting compared to other products and you don’t have to rub it in. This is my favourite self tanning method because it’s fast, super easy to use and it doesn’t streak.
2. Vita Liberata Rapid Luxury Tan Mousse
Vita Liberata’s mousse creates great natural-looking colour – when applied properly. This product is somewhat hard to use. Because it’s a rapid tan mousse, the product sinks in instantly and makes it hard to rub in without streaking, even using the mitt that it comes with. It takes a lot of time to fully apply it to your body and after that it’s not wear-ready. You’re supposed to let it sink in until you’re the desired level of darkness and then wash it off. I usually apply it at night and wash it off in the morning but after washing it off the product doesn’t seem to last very long. It’s also on the pricier side ($52 at Sephora). Although the colour itself is the most natural-looking I’ve found yet, I wouldn’t recommend this product unless you have the time/energy to work with it. I would also get it in the lotion next time.
3. Avon Skin So Soft Satin Glow Daily Moisturizer
This product is great for a slight tint while still doing it’s job as a moisturizer. If you want a lotion that isn’t drastic and gradually gives you a some colour then this is a great one for you. It’s affordable ($10 at Avon) and easy to use; it has never caused me streaks. If you’re new to self-tanning I would start with a tinted lotion like this.
4. L’Oréal Body Expertise Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer
If you’re looking for a lotion with instant and noticeable results then this product is great. The lotion itself is more of a gel; I usually moisturize before using so it goes on smoothly and streak-free. As soon as you apply it, the colour is noticeable and darkens throughout the day. Because of the dark colour, it’s very important to apply this properly to avoid streaks. It can also be sticky so it’s not the best to use if you’re in a rush. The product has a shimmer to it, which I’m not really a fan of because it can be noticeable when you first apply. The good news is the shimmer washes off and the colour remains for a few days even without reapplication. It’s another affordable option ($13 at Walmart) that I would definitely recommend.
This is a few days after using my favourite self-tanner, L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush. It has lasting results even after 2 days.Hopefully following these steps you can have a natural looking tan in no time. Good luck!