My first experience with self tanner was a bit scary. I may have followed the directions exactly as the bottle said, but I still ended up with orange ankles and knees– and a few random streaks in between. I later learned (after a couple more attempts) how to excel at the application process. However, I have found that I prefer gradual glow lotions instead.
These lotions make it easier to control the color of your tan and help to make those awkward streaks and orange marks a distant memory. Plus, since I pretty much have the skin color of StyleCaster’s site background, self tanners need to be on my side. Below are a list of my favorites for face and body.
1. St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body
This gradual tan lotion is made by one of the most well-known names in the business, and rightfully so. This lotion works to block most of the unpleasant scent that comes from self-tanners, and gives a gradual tan with each use. (St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body, $30, at shop.sttropeztan.com).
2. Coppertone Sunless Tanning Moisturizing Lotion
I used to have an old Coppertone ad hanging in my college bathroom (no lie), so I have a secret place in my heart for the brand. Their lotion not only moisturizes incredibly well, but it also builds a very gradual tan. The tanning agent blends with your skin tone so that the color naturally grows from day to day and is more subtle than other self-tanners. (Coppertone Sunless Tanning Moisturizing Lotion, $9.49, at drugstore.com).
3. L’Oreal Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer
L’Oreal’s daily moisturizing product is aptly named due to the fact that the lotion is great for actually moisturizing skin. For all gradual tanners make sure to exfoliate before use for the most even, streak-free color. (L’Oreal Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer, $10.49, at ulta.com).
4. Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning for Face
This oil-free gradual tan moisturizer gives you just a hint of color every time you apply– so you can decide how deep or light you want the color. With just a five minute drying time (and an SPF of 15) you can use this lotion every day without upsetting your morning beauty routine. (Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning for Face, $9.99, at drugstore.com).
5. Vitamin E Everyday Summer Face Lotion
The Body Shop’s Summer Face Lotion has a combination of wheat germ oil and vitamin E (as well as a self-tanning agent) to give your face a gradual sun-kissed glow each time you apply– as well as keep your skin healthy. (Vitamin E Everyday Summer Face Lotion, $20, at thebodyshop-usa.com).
6. Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer
Jergens Natural Glow lotion is probably what I would call the “classic” gradual self-tanner. It’s definitely the one I would recommend for beginners because it’s truly difficult to mess up. However, always wash your hands after application– or you will wind up with that undesirable orange tint. (Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer, $8.49, at drugstore.com).
Luckily, you can start applying now to get your perfect shade before shorts weather sets in.
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