Four Self-Tanners That’ll Change Your (Skin’s) Life

It’s fall, and as the sunny days fade from bright and beautiful to dull and dreary, so does your glowing summer skin. Colder weather dries the skin’s natural moisture and leaves it cracked and scaly, so it’s natural for all of us to want to maintain that beautiful skin-kissed, dewy glow all year round.

I don’t know about you, but just a hint of color on my skin gives me the little boost of sass I need to work my little black holiday dress. The same is true for most women: firm, radiant skin gives a youthful, slenderizing, and healthier appearance. So how do we get that glow year round?

Despite the insanely harmful effects of indoor tanning, many Americans turn to the “fake bake” method in search of the ultimate skin pick-me-upper. This highly addicting habit not only increases your risk of developing skin cancer—those that use tanning beds before the age of 30 increase their chance of melanoma  by 75 percent!—but ages your skin at alarming rates. Who wants their skin to look like a piece of leathery bacon by the time they’re 50? Dr. Oz has a great, brief article on the Dangers of Tanning Beds to check out. Doctor-approved proof means tanning beds are not the best or most logical solution.

The self-tanner industry is a sky-rocketing market these days, and it’s for good reason: at-home tanning products are a proven and safe way to enhance your skin’s natural color and tone without the harmful effects of sun damage. That’s because these products have a colorless sugar called DHA which interacts with your dead skin cells to create a subtle color change. As your skin’s millions of dead cells shed each day, so will the self-tanned skin’s tinted shade. You can read more about the process at Discovery Fit & Health.

Luckily for you, I just so happen to be a self-proclaimed self-tanner guru, and with my very fair, pinkish skin, I’ve had my share of pale frustrations. From drug stores to department stores, I’ve tried enough products on the market to give you my personal “glowing skin survival kit” for when you, too, need to fight your own personal pale. Very important: for face color, I recommend using a designated tanner (most of the below brands have one specifically for your face) or your usual makeup bronzer so you won’t irritate your skin. And to keep your color looking most natural, leave a day or two between each application.

Now, without further ado, it’s time to moisturize and liven up your skin during the off-season the safe, healthy, inexpensive way with these self-tanners:

1. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

This daily moisturizer has been my go-to for so long. It’s subtle color and easy application makes it as quick to apply as regular lotion. This tanner gives a soft glow that enhances your tone and quenches your skin. Note: This is probably the smelliest of self-tanners. While it’s the easiest to use and very natural looking (no Oompa Loompas here!), I’d stick to a night application and shower in the morning to save yourself from smelling syrupy throughout the day. And always, always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after application—this goes for all self-tanners.

2. Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer

This is my new favorite, because it gives you the perks (and cheap price!) of the first Jergens product, but without the sticky feel and sweet smell that I dislike so much. The foam is easy to use—I use the medium color—and dries within seconds, and within a couple of hours (the smell’s so low-key I can wear it to work), I have a gradual, orange-free, healthy glow. Note: Do take your time applying this product, because it might streak mostly on the arms and legs. Make sure you apply in circular motions and be sure to rub some foam on the back of your hands and your feet.

3. Lancome Flash Bronzer Tinted Self Tanning Body Gel

I always use this tanner when I come back from vacation or want an instant bold pop of color for a big event, because it looks like I’ve been slaving away in the sun for hours with just one application! This tanner gives a golden-caramel glow. Note: The gel application can be tricky, so make sure you leave enough time to let it soak in and wear rubber gloves when applying it from neck to toe.  When the tanner peels off, use an exfoliant to speed up the process in the shower so you don’t look totally discolored in some spots!

4. Dior Self Tanner Natural Glow Body

You can definitely see the difference in Dior’s quality: your honey colored tan lasts just a little bit longer than the others and their face tanner product glides on impeccably. This tanner is one to save for special occasions because of the price, but it’s definitely worth it. Note: Dior product is very much like the Jergens lotion (#1), so make sure to cover your hands and feet carefully and wash your hands. To make this expensive bottle last longer, try to exfoliate before application and be frugal: don’t reapply for a couple of days.

This guest post was written by Molly Borter. She works as a content writer for the Affordable Style Network, where she creates health, beauty, and fashion resources like the fall/winter fashion guide. When Molly’s not tracking the trends in saucy cat eye and aviator sunglasses, she enjoys trying out the latest beauty products, working on her at-home glow, and teaching others how to be sun safe. For more on year-round sun safety (yes, you can get sunburn in the winter!), check out The Sun Authority.


(Thank you so much Molly for this informative article! ~ Kelli)

Polyvore Image Courtesy of Molly Borter

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Passionate about helping other women who work from home or stay at home reclaim vibrancy, find balance and live a healthier lifestyle. (more)

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