Photo Credit: sephora.com
No matter where you live in the US, this time of year you skin is looking a little sun starved. While in nowway do we support sun bathing or tanning booths as cures, we arenâ€™t averse to a little self-tanning.
Self-tanners come in a variety of textures, such as sprays, gels, and mousses, and a full range of shades. Some like Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizers develop gradually, building color with each use. Others reach their full potential within minutes like LancÃ´me Flash Bronzer Tinted Self â€“Tanning Body Gel.
In the last few years, self-tanners have begun boasting sun protection too. Supergoop! SPF 20 Self-Tanning Sunscreen ($38) combines full spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection with technology that develops a gradual tan. Itâ€™s intended just for the body and tends toward the olive side, so if that is too dark, you can control itâ€™s depth by the number of applications. Supergoopâ€™s focus is sun protection, so you know you will be protected by this product. Plus it smells like green tea and cucumbers rather than chemicals. For the face, try Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse ($42.50), a 3-in-1 self tanner, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Whish Coconut Milk SPF 15 Self Tanner ($34) offers amazing moisturizing benefits with just a hint of self-tanner, and natural firming ingredients for a subtle natural looking glow.
Self-tanning often gets a bad rap. It can streak and if you have dark spots or hyperpigmentation the tanning pigments make those spots worse. But if you have been avoiding sunless tanning because of sensitive skin, your time has come. Enter St. Tropez Sensitive Bronzing Mousse ($42.00). It uses a plant-based ingredient derived from berries of the chaste tree, a Mediterranean plant, to stimulate melanin in the skin. The mousse is hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested for sensitive skin, and even suitable for pregnant women. According to the company it works on people with eczema and easily irritated skin
For best results with any self-tanning formulation, always exfoliate firstâ€”if you do so the night before you reduce chances of irritation. The goal is to create a smooth surface for easy application and a smooth, streak free tan. But should you mess up, not all is lost. Bronze Buffer (2 sponges, $10) is a magic little sponge that can wipe away unwanted color even after your tan has developed. Just wet it slightly to gently exfoliate and remove self-tanner on the top layer of skin. Itâ€™s great on elbows and knees, which tend to absorb too much color, and the spongeâ€™s points are ideal for small areas between fingers and toes. Bronze Buffer contains no added chemicals and it can even be used dry to remove telltale deodorant smudges on clothing.