Summer is nearly here, which means a lot of sun and skin. We all want that a gorgeous glowing tan, but if you care about your health and your skin, direct tanning in the sun or in a tanning bed is not an option. So, what’s the next best thing? A great self tanner. I have been using self tanners for years, and I’ve pretty much tried them all. Through my trial (and sometimes streaky orange error), I’ve found the ones that work best. So, here are my picks for the best self tanners.
Special Occasion Tan – The Perfect Glow: St. Tropez Self Tan ($35, 4oz, Sephora)
In my humble opinion, St. Tropez tanner is the best on the market, hands down. Not only does it give the perfect glowing tan but it DOES NOT SMELL. The company uses a special technology that removes the chemical smell that most tanners have and somehow actually smells good, like a light floral perfume. The reason I call this a “special occasion tanner” is because it requires some time and effort to get right and it is a bit more expensive than other brands. If you use this tanner, this is the process you must follow to get phenomenal results:
- Shower and exfoliate
- Apply moisturizer to your entire body, let dry
- Smooth on your entire body with tanner. Pay special care not to apply too much to knees and elbows
- Use a blow dryer on warm setting to set and dry (you will notice at this point the tan does not look perfect, which is why step 5 in necessary)
- Wait 4 hours and rinse off in shower for 1-2 minutes
As you can see, this is a bit of a process but the results are worth it and the tan lasts about 5 days. I use this tanner for special events, vacations and any other time I want to look especially fabulous.
Best for Everyday Use: Banana Boat Everyday Glow Sun Dial Adjustable Color, ($10, 6.7oz, Amazon)
This is my second favorite tanner and the one I use most often for a few reasons:
- You can pick the color, from light to dark
- It is easy to apply and does not streak
- The color shades are very nice – with no trace of orange
- The smell, while no St. Tropez, is not bad
I apply this every other day as my base tan and moisturizer. Its better than the other daily tanners out there because you get a bit more color and the shades are much nicer and more natural looking. With this tanner, you do not need to go through the 5 step St. Tropez system – just simply choose your color and apply.
Easy, On-the-Go Tan: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad, ($32, 20 towelettes, Sephora)
Tan towels are a relatively new trend in self tanning. I like these for certain circumstances, but this would not be my go to for regular use. Here’s why: there never tends to be enough tanner on one towel for the entire body and it’s hard to tell where you have applied the product. That being said, I like to keep Dr. Gross’s tan towels in my bag for “pale leg emergencies” and to quickly swipe on for a little added glow before leaving the house. The color in these is very subtle and looks very natural.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These tanners are designed for use on your body and neck only, not your face. You don’t want to mess with body tanners on your face because they are not designed to be sensitive enough for your much more delicate facial tissue. To get a tan face, use a darker shade of foundation (we like Laura Gellar’s Phenomenal Foundation in Medium) and use a bronzer.
Do you have any favorite tanners that I have not listed here? If so, please share below!*note, Vasseur Skincare is in no way affiliated with any of these products or companies*