Self-Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That Glow

Victoria Moorhouse

Looking for a DIY approach to a bronzed glow that doesn’t involve harmful UV rays, tanning beds, and regularly booking spray tans that inevitably wash off within a few weeks at most? That’s where self-tanning products come in. Similar to spray-tanning, these are temporary complexion products that give you a sun-kissed tan in a variety of depths based on how long you use them. Some work instantaneously, some require a bit more persistence and the commitment of adding them to your daily beauty routine. Between scrubs, sprays, lotions, and more, beauty brands from Lancome or LORAC have crafted a product that takes getting a tan out of the sun’s control. Take a look at some of the self-tanners out there below.


st tropez Self Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That GlowThis isn’t a scrub or a moisturizer, but a self-tanning mousse that you apply with that mitt you see above to your skin. While the product is said to dry quickly, the brand recommends that you don’t get sweaty, shower, swim or so on for six hours after applying it. After that time period has passed, the instructions read to shower and then you’ll see your glow. But this isn’t a one-stop-shop for a tan—you’ll have to keep applying and regularly exfoliate to keep up the color.
(Where to Buy: St. Tropez Self-Tanning Bronzing Mousse, $18-42,; St. Tropez Self-Tanning Mitt, $6.50,

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kate somerville tanning Self Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That Glow

Kate Somerville makes tanning as simple as body wipes. Instead of spritzing a spray on your arms or legs or evening out a mousse, this brand created a self-tanning product in the form of a wipe that sets in a formula that works with your skin’s natural proteins for a sun-kissed, glowy complexion. It also includes vitamin E for moisture and nourishment and cucumber for soothing benefits. While it will give you a deeper bronze if you keep using, it doesn’t contain any SPF, so if you don’t sunscreen up for protection, you could still burn.
(Where to Buy: Kate Somerville Tanning Towelettes Face and Body, $48,

lancome gel Self Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That GlowIf you’re working to create a faux-tan on your body, what do you do to treat your face? There are plenty of brands out there that address this issue with products specifically for the skin on your face—and Lancome is one of them. To give you a bronzed look, the brand produced a “flash bronzer” that is formulated in a gel-consistency. It includes DHA, the self-tanning agent that many products contain, vitamin E, and is said to give you the look you desire in a few hours. This, too, does not have an SPF, so you’re not going to want to skip that step in your regimen.
(Where to Buy: Lancome Paris Flash Bronzer, $38,

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body perfect Self Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That GlowEvening and smoothing out skin tone and rough skin on your body is what differs this product from the rest. Because it evens out skin tone, it addresses self-tanning procedures that might have not resulted in your favor prior to it. To give it a moisturizing edge (the brand suggestions not doing so beforehand), hyaluronic microspheres and shea butter are included to firm and hydrate.
(Where to Buy: Perfekt Beauty Body Perfection Gel in Tan, $48,

lorac spray Self Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That GlowIn an aerosol can, LORAC designed a bronzing spray that comes with a puff so that you can blend in the formula to your skin, which is a great addition as sprays that aren’t evenly distributed can look streaky once dried. This water-resistant product boasts vitamin E and A, as well as other fruit extracts in its ingredients list.
(Where to Buy: LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Spray, $33,

jergens natural glow Self Tanning 101: Beauty Products to Try to Get That GlowMaybe you don’t need instant tanning satisfaction. That’s when Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer works without flaw. This is a gradual approach to self-tanning, so if you have a while before a big event and want to get a little golden in the coming weeks, try this out. It’s a rather light lotion that blend into your skin and also don’t smell like you just got a spray-tan, so no one is going to know you’re working towards getting bronzed day-to-day. It comes in two skin tone ranges, fair to medium and medium to tan, with moisturizing ingredients. The brand explains that you’ll see a noticeable difference within a few days, but if you want sun-kissed skin quicker, you should apply more frequently.
(Where to Buy: Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer, $7,