I am actually really sad; but I have so many things coming up the next few months so those events alone are keeping my spirits up! This is the season us ladies tend to hit the tanning beds most frequent to maintain a glow during this awfully cold season.. unless of course you are one of the lucky ducks that live in warm weather all year round! (So jealous!) Tanning Beds have got a lot of flack over the years, and for good reason! We all are aware of the dangers of UV rays & skin cancer & blah blah blah.. So we'll just skip all that lecturing stuff and jump right into what this post is really about. So, if you are looking for an alternative solution to the tanning bed, look no further. This is a rather long post so you might as well get a snack and a six pack, and enjoy!
Million Dollar Tan- Tan Icon Extreme
If you're in with the beauty blogging world, you are probably aware this is the MOST endorsed self tanning product among the best gurus. I love this product for the tan guard, its 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 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, my boyfriend too - but there is nothing soap & water can't fix!
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 hey that's just me. All & all this honestly is a great tanner for the price and availability... plus it gets ya darker than both St. Tropez & MDT.. but again, downfall is it comes off quicker so you need to apply 2-3 times a week.
Available at any drug store.
Sephora Tinted Body Mist
Comparing this among 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 got it as a gift, and that is the only reason I am including this. I think 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).
Fake Bake Flawless
The best tan, the one I rated number one and also the best I have ever used is FAKE BAKE FLAWLESS. It costs $20. This, to my surprise came not only with a latex glove but also a velvety textured mitten which ensured a more even and easy application. The absolute best and most positive thing about this product is the fact that it does not smell! Well it does, but it smells of soap or light perfume rather than chemical/product. My tanned skin after showering was amazing. I had finally achieved the perfect golden glow! It wasn't a harsh dull brown, it was golden. I also found that moisturizing every night means that this process only has to be repeated once per week which is obviously a huge bonus. This great fake tan has been awarded top marks by me and has earned itself a permanent place in my bathroom. :)
Self Tanner Crash CourseTan 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. I will absolutely not use anything else.
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, a property 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. Who doesn't like 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. 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 because I work out 2-3 days a week.
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. 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 other is just to exfoliate and use a stronger soap.
please try your best to follow my tips as it really can make or break your tan.
[ 1 ] Forward planning is the key. You need at least two days of gentle exfoliation, do not try and scrub at your skin the day of tanning in one go, trust me it doesn’t work, especially if you already have a build up of tan on your skin. I recommend the Body Shop’s exfoliation gloves, $3.90 which are fantastic for boosting circulation and getting rid of dead skin. Always moisturize well afterwards for skin so smooth you’ll be making everyone feel it.
[ 2 ] Careful not to apply too much moisturizer to your body before tanning as it may not react well. Only apply moisturizer to your dry areas. For me this includes hands and feet, elbows, knees and the area around my under arms. Leave this to sink in for around 10 minutes before applying your tan, this will ensure the lotion does not stick to your dry areas and leave them looking darker.[ 3 ] Application. Always always use a mitt or gloves, brown hands are a tell tale sign your sun-kissed glow might have come for a bottle and are to be avoided at any cost. I favor a mitt which you can pick up from Boots for around $3 as it acts like a foundation sponge and minimizes streaks. The amount of lotion you need will become clear through trial and error but remember less is more, you can always go back and top it up. Start at your feet and work your way up your body to avoid any wrinkle lines on your stomach. Remember you are not trying to run the lotion in but coat your body in a thin layer of it.
[ 4 ] The lotion is best applied at night and left for a minimum, I would recommend, of ten hours. Leaving it for less time can often mean the color doesn't develop as dark and with such a pricey product you want to make sure you get optimum results.
[ 5 ] Always shower in the morning to rinse off the tan, you do not want to be sitting in a brown bath. Don’t be alarmed at the color you see in the mirror, the tan will have developed over night and the majority will wash off in the shower leaving the stain on your body. Use a gentle shower gel and sponge so as not to remove too much of the color.
Are you all tanned out not?? Ready.. set.. get tan!!
Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite self tanners?