If you’re anything like me and feel practically nude without a faux-tan on, you know that sunless tanning technology has made major progress in recent years, making it so much easier to skip pricey in-salon spray jobs and give yourself a somewhat professional-looking sunless glow yourself, and right from the comfort of your own bathroom. Despite this progress though, DIY self-tanning isn’t exactly beginner-friendly, and even if you do happen to consider yourself a pro, it’s definitely not fool-proof either. Fortunately, there are several self tan hacks and plenty of newly launched ( and utterly game-changing) sunless bronzing products to ensure you end up with an even bronze glow, and not a streaky orange mishap that you’re stuck with for up to a week.
Whether you’re looking for an option that delivers instant-gratification results by way of an imperfection-blurring wash of color that’ll last for just the day, or are on the hunt for a gradual glow that will survive your week-long beach vacation, there are plenty of unusual alternatives to test out this summer (and beyond) that are much more user-friendly than the gold standard foam and lotion formulas we’re used to. There’s even a new trend surfacing as of late that combines skincare with self tanner, and I am totally here for it. While gradual tanning products often tend to be either too pigmented (hello, orange palms and ankles) or are overly subtle, these effective solutions get it just right. I will say that some of the product mentioned (including my personal favorite, the Tan-Luxe serum) will stain your hands though, so make sure to rinse with soap and warm water after you apply it to your face.
It’s no secret that I find Tan-Luxe self-tanning skincare mix-ins to be nothing short of genius. While I love their original formula (which you simply drop into your favorite serum or moisturizier before bed), this hyaluronic serum knocks out both in one fool-proof product.
Self tanning can be messy, and it’s not exactly always transfer-proof. While a golden bronze looks great on your body, no one wants to see it on their cream-hued sofa. This genius tanning water is completely clear upon application, and gradually transforms to a brown glow as it develops, meaning your furniture and white sheets won’t get destroyed.
This one-of-kind solid self tanner is actually genius. It glides on the skin evenly, effectively eliminating the potential for unsightly streaks, and color develops in about 4-6 hours. It also lasts for up to 10 days, which is a pretty extensive wear-time compared to other alternatives.
The convenience of virtually any beauty product packaged in an on-the-go-friendly compact is alluring, but I’ve never before seen a self tanner in this form. It’s a super buildable gel-like formula that gives you a super natural looking bronze without the hassle or mess. I’m packing this one with me for all of my future vacations going forward.
One of my favorite skincare products is my exfoliating pads — I use one basically every morning. When I discovered these self-tanning-infused Glow Pads, I was instantly intrigued. They deposit a wash of non-orange and streak-free color while also exfoliating away dead skin for a radiant glow.
This spray-on SPF is not only a solid mineral sun protectant, it also doubles as an instant body bronzer, with major imperfection-blurring properties. It kind of reminds of Sally Hansen’s infamous Airbrush Legs body makeup, but I like this formula even better. It’s pretty pigmented though, so make sure to apply before you hit the pool to give it adequate time to dry down.
I wish I had known about this genius self tan remover much sooner. Most of us have suffered from a self tan gone wrong at some point in our lives, and DIY removal hacks aren’t always the most effective, but this one is. It also doubles a pre-tan prep, too.
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