With shorts season around the corner, I'm sometimes self conscious to let my pasty white legs out to breathe. A tan makes you look 10 pounds lighter, so that's another plus. I won't be purposefully aging and damaging my skin with the sun, so I'm left with the sunless tan. Over the years (since high school) I've tried multiple brands, salon spray tans, and have had failures and successes. Here are some old and new favorites.
My favorite is at the end.
1. Jergens Natural Glow
I've used these products the longest (the one in the pic is old!). They are not that dramatic in color change and they for the most part they apply evenly- you still need to add extra lotion to ankles, knees, and elbows. I probably won't use them this year because I've found products that I like better, but these two options (the Natural Glow and the 3 Days to Glow) are decent options. The smell is the strongest in these compared to the other products I'm reviewing. The color is the most orange (it's not THAT orange, but compared to the others it is the most orange tinted). I typically mix 2/3 part Jergens Natural Glow with 1/3 part regular lotion in my hands before applying to keep it toned down on the orange color and for even application. (You can always add more color later, that method cuts the streaks down)
My bottle also claims to reduce cellulite in 7 days - which makes me roll my eyes but whatever I didn't buy it for that reason.
2. Lancome Flash Bronzer
This is not a sunless tanner really, it's a bronzer (washes off) but it works well for one time events! It dries nicely, it's a gel, and it has no orange colors in it at all. Because it's a bronzer it also doesn't have DHA (the color factor of sunless tans) so there's no scent. The size I have is a sample, I probably won't purchase the full size because I'd rather use a sunless tanner vs a bronzer but this product worked really well. I'd like to try the new Benefit Hula Body bronzer that comes with a sponge but since it's also a bronzer so I probably won't test it out.
3. St. Tropez Everyday Body Lotion - Gradual Tan
This lotion is similar to the Jergens daily glow, use it daily and gradually build up a tan. This is my second favorite product. This product is a really great value because it's a lot of product for the price and I only need one day (not multiple days like it suggests) of application to have a nice color. The last couple weeks I used it every three days and I was happy with the amount of color because I think it's very noticeably different after one use. So to me this isn't a daily product it's more of a regular self tanner. The moisture factor in this product is the best of all of the ones I'm reviewing, and the scent is the best of all of them as well. It has an island scent - the DHA scent does break through about 12 hrs later but it's a very light odor. The color of the product once it dried was not really orange either, but I did have to use some lotion around my wrist and ankles to blend it so it didn't streak.
4. Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan
This sunless tanner is my top choice because it's the easiest to apply (foam), no streaks, no lotion needed around my ankles or knees or elbows, and it had the best "brown" color (no orange at all). I didn't think I would love it as much as my #3, but the color hues were the best and that reason alone put it at the top of my list.
This just looks the most like a real tan but that self-tanner smell definitely comes through 12 hours later. Unlike the St. Tropez, you'll have to use moisturizer the next day but like I said this product is the easiest to apply without worry of streaks, and has the best tint of color. If you are going to buy any self tanner and are worried about it looking fake then just get this product because it's the least risky.
The before and after pictures you see of this product on the internet were not as dramatic on me, so I'm guessing they put it on one day, and then again the next day to get results like this. Or their skin is just WAY different than mine.
This product you need to get from a Rodan+Fields consultant, my friend Ali can hook you up. Tell her you read about it on my blog and send her an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to get yourself one!
Don't forget to exfoliate before you apply any of these for smoother application and to lengthen your tan!