By Ashley Goldsmith
Tan, sun-kissed and bronzed. These are all words used to describe that glow we look for when the warmer months roll around. But it’s 2009 and we know all-too-well about the harmful effects that the suns UV rays have on your skin, so what’s a glow-getter to do? Take the tanning sessions home and protect your skin with natural looking sunless tanners.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s a fine line between a believable faux-tan and an oompa loompa; that’s why here at BN we’ve sifted through the good, the bad and the orange-y to bring you the best products for your tanning needs. Though most importantly, we’ve focused on tanning for specific skin tones to help determine which products work best for you.
Always be sure your body is free of moisture so that you won’t end up splotchy and here’s a tip: for areas that can collect color (knees, ankles, elbows), lightly apply a regular daily moisturizer to these sections and allow a few minutes of drying time before applying tanner. It helps to create a more even surface for the color to spread. To ensure even application you always want to exfoliate, shave or wax before applying any self tanner.
Weleda Birch Body Scrub: This natural exfoliator contains pearls of beeswax and sugar-based extracts from coconut plants to exfoliate and cleanse your skin, making it perfect for prep. It also smells like a pitcher of lemonade! Yum! Available at http://www.usa.weleda.com
Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub: This is designed for those with overzealous, oil-producing skin. This exfoliator is gentle enough for your face and neck, thanks to aloe vera extracts, but gets the job done with finely granulated corn cob meal. Visit http://www.dermalogica.com for retail locations.
Korres Natural Products Organic Face Primer: This silicone-free primer is silky and fast-absorbing to ensure an even makeup application. Perfect before applying tinted moisturizers, self-tanners, and bronzers. Available at http://www.sephora.com
Deena Campbell, Staff Writer, said, “I’m already a medium to dark brown shade so the goal for me is to get a sun-kissed look. I find that a good bronzer always achieves the summer glow I want.” Remember when using a bronzer that you always want to lightly dust your brush over the powder and tap off excess before applying; otherwise you’ll look like you spent the afternoon mud wrestling rather than sun-bathing.
Guerlain Terracotta Moisturizing Bronzing Powder #2: This bronzer is super lightweight and is the perfect mix of glow and sparkle. You can use liberally on legs, arms and stomach as well, to ensure an even glow. Available at http://www.saksfifthavenue.com
Clinique Self Sun Body Daily Moisturizer in Medium/Deep: Switch out your daily moisturizer for this gradual tanner; it works with your specific skin tone to create a natural looking glow while moisturizing and evening out skin for those areas that haven’t seen the light of day since last August. Available at http://www.clinique.com
Jasmin Guleria, Editorial Director and Health & Fitness Editor, also weighed in, saying, “I’m a light olive tone but my legs are a lot lighter than the rest of my body so I really focus on getting color to them. Usually not with products though, just with sun. Even though I’m already a bit brown, there’s nothing like that summer glow!” If you don’t spend enough time in the sun to even out your tan like Jasmin does, have no fear! There are still some products out there for those of us fortunate enough to have a year-round tan.
Jergens Natural Glow Express in Medium to Tan: The express version of this progressive tanner works instantly and gives you full on sun-induced color in just three days. The Tan formula works with darker skin tones to help even out areas (like Jasmin’s legs!) while simultaneously moisturizing. Available at drugstores nationwide.
Completely Bare Model Tan Body: This super moisturizing self tanner, full of antioxidants and vitamins, protects your skin while bronzing it. Though it is a full-on tanner rather than a tint or a progressive lotion, Model Tan is light so it gives you more of a shimmery glow than an orangey look. Available at http://www.completelybare.com.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM SKIN:
Abby Reid, Staff Writer, said, “I’m half-Korean and half-Spanish, so I’m naturally a bit tan with golden and yellow undertones. When choosing tanning and bronzing products, I go for medium shades since they’re usually a better match.”
For someone with a unique skin tone like Abby, you’ll want to stick to products that provide more of a glow rather than those that cater to a specific skin tone. Otherwise, you’ll wind up looking washed out or muddy.
Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube: This gradual tanner provides an instant sun-kissed shimmer to compliment the golden undertones already present in Abby’s skin. It’s also got that delicious coconutty-tanning-salon smell to it. Available at http://www.sephora.com
Aveeno Continuous Radiance Moisturizing Lotion: This is fully equipped with an adjustable dial for a customizing color, so this gradual tanner is perfect for someone with mixed skin tones. You can choose an initial tone to match yours and then gradually darken it for a bronzed look. Available at drugstores nationwide.
Ashley Goldsmith, City Pulse Editor said, “I’m an honorary member of the Pale Force, alabaster, ivory, porcelain; pick your favorite! The goal for me is to add a subtle glow without looking like a Lohan.”
For light skin you always want to stick with a formula that’s not too harsh, especially if you have freckles, which can be darkened, rather than blended, with at-home products.
Kate Somerville Somer360 Tanning Towelettes: Just one of these fresh smelling towels works to cover your entire body in a subtle bronze tone overnight. Since the color develops quickly and deeply, reapply weekly (rather than every few days) or it won’t look natural. Available at http://www.katesomerville.com
Avon Skin So Soft Satin Glow Continuous Mist Airbrush Spray: This gradual airbrush tanner allows you to tackle hard to reach areas for even distribution. It’s fast-drying, moisturizing and will give you a glow within days. Available at http://www.avon.com
All Skin Tones
Self-tanners can be great for everyone, as they’re usually not targeted towards a specific skin tone like they’re progressive tanning competitors, allowing for an instant-bronzed look. Another tip is that If testers are available always take advantage, even if you just dab some onto your wrist and rub it in with a cotton ball. You’ll be able to detect any orange right away.
Borghese Tinted Moisturizer Summer Glow SPF20: This tinted moisturizer is perfect for all skin types since it adds a subtle shimmer but isn’t too deep in color. Tinted moisturizers are always a safe bet when tanning your face and neck, since they’re easy on the color but heavy on the glow. Available at http://www.borghese.com
Victoria’s Secret Bare Bronze Self-Tanning Body Spray: This spray is also great for hard to reach areas and is perfect for avoiding the ‘orange palms’ issue. You’ll have a natural bronze look within a few hours. Available at http://www.victoriassecret.com
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: Since this is a mousse, it’s lightweight and dries quickly. You can reapply this every few days (depending on how your skin takes to the formula) and you’ll be able to maintain a golden tan. Available at http://www.sttropeztan.com
We’ve definitely discovered that no matter what your natural skin tone, once summer rolls around everyone is in search of that sun-kissed glow. So be sure to read up on what works best for you and get started on that irresistible tan to throw you right into a summer romance. Because really, who can resist a bronzed summer goddess?