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Melanie Engle

Professional Beauty Expert

Best Sunless Tanners & Best Spray Tan

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Fake the Bake:

There’s no denying that that tanned skin will make you look younger and skinnier, and with summer always just around the corner, everyone will soon be vying for that well-rested, healthy summer glow. Before you head to the nearest beach or tanning bed, consider today’s UV-free alternative: the self-tanner, which will leave your skin a golden color without the damaging and wrinkle-causing effects of a real tan.

Self-tanners were developed in response to the link between UV-ray exposure and skin cancer, first discovered in the 1960s. And while self-tanners have been around for years, today’s self-tanning products are a far cry from their stinky, orange glow-producing ancestors. Today’s best self-tanning products are easy to apply, won’t look streaky or runny on your skin, and will have leave an ultra-natural glow that will last for days.

Maid In The Shade - Choosing Your Perfect Self-tanner:

Let’s face it, your best friend’s favorite self tanner may be the wrong color when applied to your skin tone. This is where reading directions on packaging is critical: most products darken over time, and it can take as long as 24 hours for the color to fully “develop”. As a rule of thumb, it is always easier to start out with a lighter self-tanner than change a color that looks too dark for you. Most products will continue to darken your coloring with each application.

In addition to the products which promise a rich-looking tan, or those that will only get you glowing a few shades darker than your natural skin color, your skin type can dictate the best product for you. Those with dry skin should choose a hydrating formula, while those with oily skin types can go with a gel, lotion, or spray that is formulated just for them.

Application Is Key:

No matter which self-tanner you choose, your results will depend on how the product is applied. Here are some helpful steps to make sure that your first experience with sunless tanning won’t be your last:

1. First-time users should apply a test-patch of product on their skin and evaluate for 24 hours for possible contact dermatitis.

2. Exfoliate in the shower with a loofah or an exfoliating scrub, and dry your skin completely.

3. Divide your body into sections and work the product into your skin one section at a time

4. Apply a consistent amount of product everywhere

5. Rub in small circles rather than long strokes, and be consistent with the amount of product used in each area.

6. Go lightly around feet, hands, and elbows! These thicker-skin areas absorb product quickly, resulting in color variations.

7. After application, avoid contact with clothing or water for any where from fifteen minutes to six hours – or until product is completely absorbed by the skin.

8. Faux No! Don’t worry if you get a streak: simply cut a lemon in half and rub over darker area. The natural citric acid will exfoliate the skin and correct the mistake!

Here are the best self-tanning products on the market:

With the best sunless tanners, you get that healthy bronze look without the danger of UV rays. We recommend the best spray tan and other bronzer choices that will leave you looking like you spent days at the beach.

Best Self Tanners by Melanie Engle

The Best You Can Get

  • La Prairie Cellular Self Tan for Face and Body

    Melanie says: La Prairie’s self tanner is amazing. I love how it makes your skin smooth and silky while adding just the right amount of a golden tan. The alpha-hydroxy acids remove dead skin allowing for a smoother application. With a built in sunscreen and moisturizer, you can leave the house and go right in the sun without fear of ruining your soon to be faux tan by applying an additional products.

    • SPF 15
    • Face and body
    • Multi-AHA complex
  • Rodial Brazilian Tan Light

    Melanie says: Rodial’s gel formulation is light weight, yet packed with benefits. Pomegranate helps firm, tone, and stimulates collagen that will make your skin look smooth and firm with use. The coconut scent smells sooo much better than the typical old distinctive odor of self tanners of the past. The formula is tinted which offers instant gratification while it develops in only two to four hours. The deep color will make you look like you were on a major beach vacation, even if you were trapped at work for the weekend.

    • Face and body
    • Chemical free
  • GlowFusion Micro-Nutrient Natural Protein Tan

    Melanie says: My favorite part of GlowFusion is that it has no “just self tanned odor”! An extremely unique formula offers a streak-free tan that makes the application worry free. Try this at night before you go to bed and wake up to the most perfectly tanned glow. The quick dry formula will not stain your sheets or clothes! And your new color can last almost two weeks.

    • All skin types
    • All natural
  • Guerlain “Terracotta” Sunless Self-Tanning Spray

    Melanie says: "Terracotta" contains a moisturizing, all-natural Moroccan Argan oil that leaves the skin luminous. The spray applicator mimics the popular salon spray tans at a fraction of the price. Guerlain offers an easy-to-use, foolproof tan that also helps the skin regenerate itself!

    • Normal to dry skin types
    • Spray formulation
  • Chanel Perfect Colour Body Self Tanner Soleil Identite Body

    Melanie says: Chanel’s Soleil offers two colors, Golden and Bronze, which is perfect for you to pick the color that will appear super natural with your skin color. Light skin girls choose Golden and those that want a savage tan or with darker skins will love Bronze. The light formula hydrates your skin so your new faux glow will last longer.

    • Lightweight
    • Body only

You will be happy with any of these

  • Bliss A Tan for All Seasons

    Melanie says: The 360-degree nozzle makes application in those hard to reach place a breeze. Transfer-resistant and infused with aloe vera make this a must try. Packed with antioxidants, your skin will look healthier and you will get the perfect just-back-from-vacation tan you’re looking for.

    • Aerosol
    • Face and Body
  • Decleor Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk SPF 8

    Melanie says: Of course Decleor will give you the perfect bronze color but it also will strengthen your cells' ability to renew themselves. Loaded with natural complexes, your skin will be hydrated and protected from the sun with the built in SPF 8.

    • Face and body
    • Non-oily
  • Prescriptives Sunsheen Tinted Self Tanner

    Melanie says: Sunsheen has a built in tint so you can see where you’ve already put it to avoid any streaks. The light color it offers is super for girls with light skin. If you want to look darker, simply reapply! I love that you can customize the color, and oil-free means no breakouts!

    • Face and body
    • Oil-free
  • California North Titanium Self Tanner

    Melanie says: Approved by dermatologists, this formula offers the most natural color that isn’t orange-y at all. Titanium dries very quick, and won’t transfer to your clothes. So gentle it’s even been doctor approved for pregnant women!

    • Face and body
    • SPF 7
  • Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

    Melanie says: Use natural glow in place of your usual body moisturizer everyday and discover how amazing your skin can look. With three color choices, you will achieve the most natural tan for your skin color. Choose from fair, medium, or medium/tan to achieve the most natural results. Essential moisturizers ensure a smooth even tan without any orange tones. Don’t let the inexpensive price fool you, this is a terrific self tanner.

    • Moisturizing
    • Body

Related Articles

We recommend the best sunless tanners at the best price on the Web. These spray tan, airbrush tanner and bronzer selections ensure that you get a natural looking tan without the danger of being in the sun day after day. The best self tanners, these bronzers won't leave with that awful orange glow from other products.