One of the best feelings (especially in the summer) is being tan. There’s something about the bronze that is an instant confidence-boost- legs look longer, faces look younger, and wearing white looks 10x better.
Ever since I was young I was always obsessed with the idea of being tan, since my natural skin tone is basically translucent. However, skin cancer runs in my family (both my mother + grandmother have had multiple cancerous moles removed) so my mom was always crazy about sunscreen. I used to brush it off and sneak some tanning oil whenever I’d lay out, but now that I’m a bit older and understand the importance of sun protection, I’m so thankful she was on my case for it.
I’ve been reading a book by the world renowned dermatologist Doris Day, and just wanted to give you guys a few truths about tanning in the sun:
- 90% of wrinkles come from sun exposure. 90. Percent.
- You should be wearing at least SPF 30 on your face every single day- even when it’s not sunny. Clouds only block about 20% of UVA/UVB rays, so you can still get burnt. (P.S- the increase in sun protection between SPF 30 and 50 is only about 3%, so unless you’re reapplying, higher numbers aren’t helping you)
- Are you paying attention? STAY OUT OF THE SUN.
- Sun exposure can actually make acne-prone skin worse. The sun dries out your skin and causes you it to produce excess sebum (oil) which can then clog your pores. Also- the reason acne looks a bit better after being in the sun is because the area around it tans, making it less noticeable. The sun will make any dark spots you have darker, and leave marks where current pimples may be.
That being said, I’m not about to give up my tan, so here are my favorite self-tanners and instant bronzers that I use to have a glow year-round.
Darkest Color: Loving Tan Ultra Dark
LT makes a beautiful self-tanning mousse ( you can choose between 2 hour express or original) that creates a natural, brown-toned tan (not orange or green). I do find that the formula tends to cling to dry spots a little more than other brands I’ve used, so make sure to exfoliate and moisturize before you apply, paying extra attention to naturally drier areas like your elbows, knees, and ankles. My favorite way to apply it is with a tanning mitt like this one.
Easiest to use: Bondi Sands Dark Tanning Foam
I’ve applied Bondi Sands while deliriously tired and even though I may have not been the most careful with my application, it’s never come out streaky. The color is very natural, and not too dark. If you’re just starting out with self-tanner, this is the one I’d recommend. They have shades ranging from light/medium, dark, and they just added ultra-dark to the lineup (I use the shade dark).
Best Gradual Tanner: Bondi Sands Gradual Tanning Milk
I like to use a gradual tanner in the winter time, because it doubles as a moisturizer and gives a bit of glow. This one by Bondi Sands is a really nice bronze color, is moisturizing, and best of all, doesn’t smell like a self-tanner. If you’re even lazier than I am, you can try something like Jergens in-shower tanner. When you’re finished showering but still wet, apply this all over your body and pat dry with a towel when you’re finished.
Instant Bronzer: Loving Tan Body Makeup
This is an amazing product for when you don’t have time to tan but need to be extra bronzed, extra fast. I like to apply it with a kabuki brush, and wait until it dries down before putting clothes on. Since this is technically makeup, it has some coverage, so your skin looks flawless (think no veins, bruises, cellulite, etc.). It doesn’t sweat off and I can wash it off at the end of the night. If you prefer something a little more glowy, they make a shimmery formula too.
For the Face: James Read Sleep Mask- Go Darker
You technically could use any of these products on your face- if I want my face to be very tan, I’ll just apply the mousse with a makeup brush. For more of a gradual tan, I love this sleep mask by James Read- gives a really even, healthy tan, has aloe in it so my skin doesn’t dry out, and Rosie Huntington-Whitely swears by it so that’s all the convincing you need.
I hope you guys found this post helpful! Please let me know what your favorite self-tanning products are in the comments, and let me know if you’d like a video of me explaining my self-tanning tips in more detail!