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Aside from the obvious facts that self tanning is an excellent way to dodge the sun’s aging and cancer-causing effects, if you’re loyal to DIY bronzing, you know that it also offers a slew of off-label uses, from concealing bruises and scars and even creating a subtle contour (beginners shouldn’t attempt this though). Unfortunately, finding natural self tanners that won’t leave your body and skin looking like a certain president or character from “Willy Wonka” isn’t exactly a fool-proof feat. Not only is a tangerine-tinged tone a potential risk when it comes to UV-free bronzing, but there’s also the potential for streaking, stained hands, ankles and feet, and the lingering B.O.-like odor that’s more or less synonymous with this particular beauty product.
And, if you have a fair skin tone, the probability of winding up with a super obvious orange effect increases exponentially. Instead of the gilded, post-beach-day glow you were after, you wound up with an unsightly orange hue that looks as though you’ve returned from a botched science experiment rather than a tropical vacation. Regardless of your skin tone, the chance of screwing up self tanner is real and the apprehension to try it at home is 100% understandable. I for one happened to have a bit of a self tanning addiction myself — without any skills on how to apply the stuff correctly — which often leads me to dropping $30+ on a Versa or Mystic Tan. Sadly, this habit is simply not financially sustainable, so I went on the hunt for some customer-approved formulas that have earned customers’ seal of approvals for delivering an even and natural looking result time after time. I’ve rounded up some of the best self tanner formulated with natural and shade adjusting pigments to prevent this all too common summer beauty disaster from forcing you to call in sick for work or cancelling on your Hinge date out of sheer embarrassment.
1. Tanceuticals Color + Correct Self Tanning Body Lotion
This award-winning self tanner delivers streak-free color and doesn’t smell like B.O. mixed with cooking spices (like most of them do, let’s be honest). Not only does it give a rich tan effect, but it also doubles as a body blurring lotion, concealing bruises and imperfections on the skin. Several customers of this best-selling formula touted it for its transfer-resistant powers, while others praised it for its delicious coconut-like scent. One customer said she loves how it smells so much, “sometimes I open the bottle just to smell it.”
2. Miami Gorgeous Self Tanning Mousse
This natural looking self tanning mouse is infused with blend of botanicals, argan and coconut oil leaving your skin feeling smooth and moisturized. Many DIY tanning formulas can dry out your skin, which results a cracking and fast fading of your color, but this hydrating formula nourishes your skin without sacrificing color payoff. The mousse formula also allows for easy and even application and it absorbs quickly, so you won’t be left with streaky results or stains on your furniture. Customers love how the low-maintenance formula doesn’t require much down time (aka staying naked in order for the product to dry down and develop). “I can put it on after my shower and get dressed,” said one customer.
3. Fake Bake Flawless Self Tan Liquid
This easy-to-apply formula contains no lotion, which helps boost the drying time. The color develops in just 4 to 6 hours after application, and you can even apply it before you head out the door for the day without the risk of an uneven orange tinge. This self tanner is also designed with a shade-adjusting formula to ensure you get a natural-looking end result. This one gets the seal of approval from even the most fair skin fans, who praise this self tanner for its natural-looking tone. One enthusiastic customers titled her 5-star review with “From Snow White to Pocahontas in less than an hour!”