If you're in with the beauty blogging/logging world, you are probably aware this is the MOST endorsed self tanning product amongst the loveliest guru's. I love this product for the tan guard, it's spray formula, ease of use, and flawless finish. The brush allows better & more controlled blending than a glove (especially around the hands, elbows, and knees). With that said, for it being an "Extreme" tan,
it's really not that extreme... well until you shower... and then watch your tan swirling down the drain. What you are left with is still tan, just not extreme (on me at least. Keep your own skin tone in mind when comparing.... if you are really pale you might be blown away haha). Unless there is some secret to locking it in, that's why I knocked off some points. Otherwise, I do really love everything else about this product.
Million Dollar Tan- Cabana Tan Face
When it comes to self tanners, I strongly believe for the best, streak less results, a tan guard is a MUST. This product is the exception.. and maybe it is because you can see the entire surface of your face versus the rest of your body so you can blend it better? Whatever it is, this tans my face so amazingly natural and flawless... not to mention the smell will literally drag you away into paradise. I cannot find one bad thing to say about this product, and in fact, I have become so obsessed with it I have ZERO desire to try any other face tanners. This is the STANDARD product for the face.. not the Extreme. I have fair/medium skin and it tans my face to perfection.
St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse
So when it comes to St. Tropez versus MDT, I gave this one half a point more ONLY because of the color payoff. The color result you get (from standard variation) is almost identical to the color result of MDT Tan Icon Extreme. It is only slightly lighter.. slightly. I can't even imagine the result from the Dark variation. As far as watching it go down the drain after showering, this does the same thing... and also kind of stinks after 8 hours. I always apply my tanners before bed so it's not like I was running a marathon. The smell when I wake up kind of bothers me, but there is nothing soap & water can't fix!
Formula Variations: Oil, Lotion, Spray
L'Oreal Sublime Deep Natural Tan
Straight up, this is a true dark tan.. and almost instantly. It develops quick. It is cheap, easy to obtain, and perfect if you're on a budget. A little bit goes a long way too. The only thing that bothers me is the shimmer that comes with it.. If I apply at night, a lot of the shimmer seems to be gone by
morning (thank you sheets). This DOES rub off on clothes slightly too. It claims it does not, but it does (Don't worry, it washes out). The smell is also a little too "sunscreeny" for my liking, but I am also a weirdo about smells. All & all this honestly is a great tanner for the price and availability... plus it gets ya darker than both St. Tropez & MDT.
Formula Varieties: Mousse, Wipes, Spray, Airbrush, Lotion
Available at any drug store.
Sephora Tinted Body Mist
Comparing this amongst the others really is not fair. As it is a "tinted mist" this is not typically meant for an all over color. I mean, I guess you can use it for that, but I personally don't think you will be impressed. I do think though it is the perfect product for touch ups or when you are running out the door. We've all been there.. put a little swanky top on to find your chest & arms are pasty as shit. That is when this product comes into play. Just spray and blend into desired areas and boom. Instant tan. Instant. (I apply 2 coats). I only gave it a 7.5 as a direct comparison to the others as an all over tanner.
Vita Liberata Rapid Tan
Okay, let me just say the ONLY reason this did not get a perfect 10 is because of the price.. $43.00 for a 3.38 oz bottle.. really?? Ain't no one got money for that! Now, that being said, this self tanner is above and beyond the rest (justifying the price tag). You INSTANTLY see results. Full color development comes after 3-5 hours, but your skin as already tinted immediately after application. The longer you leave the product on, the darker it gets (5hours is max color). I also think compared to the others, this one gives the most "brown" color. This just has an amazing formula. I love it so so so much!! This is the first Vita Liberata product I have tried thus far, but am very ecstatic about trying more!
Self Tanner Crash Course
Tan Guards: If you have ever used a self tanner, you know some come in white lotions or are transparent when applied. And then there are others that are just straight up brown-- that's the tan guard. It allows you to see exactly where you are applying (my preferred method) to prevent streaks or missed areas.
Safety: My best friend recently complained to me about how pale she was, but did not want to use the tanning bed anymore. I suggested a self tanner to her and she replied back that "self tanners are harmful to your skin.. blah blah blah," so here's the truth:
The main ingredient in self tanners is DHA (dihydroxyacetone), a propertty derived directly from the sugar cane plant. When applied, DHA reacts with dead skin cells and leaves a temporary color. DHA is 100% approved by the FDA, and there is no evidence to support it is harmful, even for you prego ladies! However, it can enhance the reaction of UV rays, so always wear sunscreen when being exposed to the sun for a long period of time... especially when using self tanners. The bottom line: DHA is not a harmful chemical, it's a complex form of sugar.
Fading: Additionally, you should know this up front: If you are looking for a self tanner that is not going to become "blotchy" or "patchy" after a few days, you're never going to find one. Ever. That's just an overall con about self tanners that is inevitable. You shed millions of skin cells daily so when your tanner starts becoming "blotchy", it's not the tanner itself, it's your dead skin cells wearing away. Your activeness will determine how quick, and where you will start to find patchy spots. For me, I find them first on my arms (the inside part of the elbow hinge <<< is that right lol?) because of how frequently I move them. Sweat can also knock some time off your self tanner. As you sweat, it brings the tanner to the surface. So if you work out every day as I do, it will fade sooner. With that said, although a tanner last X amount of days, I tend to apply more frequently to prevent patchiness before it occurs. Ex: Million Dollar Tan lasts 5-7 days so I apply every 4 days.
Exfoliating: Although DHA reacts with dead skin, you want your epidermis (outer layer) to be even and free of impurities. Exfoliating before any tanning in general is very important to ensure an even tan. Exfoliating prior will help make your tan last longer too.
Removal: If you have ever used a self tanner, you know trying to remove it is a pain in the butt, especially if you have neglected your tan and are starting to look like you have a skin disease from the splotchy areas. We've all been there, right?! Fortunately, I know of a few methods to help. The first I stumbled upon by complete accident when I was testing eye shadow swatches on my arm. I took a makeup remover wipe and started wiping the swatches off (not gentle, but not too forceful either, just enough pressure) and noticed my tanner began lifting off my skin as well. I was about to shower and exfoliate all my tanner off anyway so I just kept going until the wipe became dry. I mean, this didn't completely remove it, and I wouldn't recommend this method entirely on its own, but it made my exfoliating process so much easier and more effective. It's like it had already done half the work and lifted most of it to the surface. So ever since, I do a quick rub down with makeup remover wipes before the 2 methods below.
The next method is by creating a lemon & baking soda paste. Both contain agents that will help lift the tanner to the surface and remove dead skin cells. The final method is just by straight up exfoliating. My go to exfoliator is by St. Ives applying vigorously until most of the tanner is gone. You will never be able to fully remove it, but I repeat until it's pretty darn close. Using an exfoliating glove or loofa will enhance the efficiency in both these methods.
Are you all tanned out not?? Ready.. set.. get tan!!
Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite self tanners?