Summer is almost here and it’s finally time to get tan – yay! However, think twice before you jump under the sun or head towards the tanning salon. Skin cancer is currently the most common of all cancers in the United States and there are over a million cases diagnosed every year. So if you want a tan, the best way to do it is to use self-tanners. Here are some reviews of the self-tanners I have tried:
1. Bain de Soleil Streakguarde Self Tanning Creme in Dark ($9)
This was okay and reminded me of the Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. It blended nicely, did not smell too bad but barely did anything for me. My skin only got a teeny weeny bit darker and it took me a while to get the color I wanted. It also dried out my skin so save your money and get the the Jergens one instead.
2. Hawaiian Tropic’s Island Glow Daily Moisturizer ($6)
Scratch the self-tanner reviews I did earlier because Hawaiian Tropic’s Island Glow Daily Moisturizer completely blew everything else away! I bought this in Medium after reading some rave reviews online and I have been using this religiously for more than a week now. Like Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, this is a self-tanning moisturizer. It is packed with vitamins A, C and E with a green tea fragrance. Even though it claims to keep skin moisturized for up to 12 hours, I do not find it very moisturizing – I still needed to put a lotion on top. When I first applied it onto my legs, it dried pretty fast and I could not detect any green tea smell but there was none of that typcial self-tanner smell either. However, after a few hours, my legs started smelling a little like self-tanner but still, it is so much more bearable compared to the Jergen’s one. As for the color, my legs started getting darker by day three – no more pale pasty legs for me yay! The color also looked very realistic. It was a golden bronze and not orange nor streaky. Thumbs up!
3. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for Medium Skin Tones ($6)
This is probably the most natural and fool-proof self-tanner I have used. It is basically a body moisturizer packed with non-drying Erythrulose and DHA to help your skin develop a soft, natural glow similar to a sun tan. I used this every night after I showered and did not experience any streaking or orange coloration. However, like most self-tanners, the smell was horrid. Also, if you are looking for something that will give you more color, pass on this one. My skin did get darker but definitely not dark enough to pass for oh-I-just-came-back-from-the-Caribbean.
4. Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer ($6)
This is a newer version of the Jergens Natural Glow Body Moisturizer that I reviewed earlier and definitely the BEST self-tanner in my book! It is formulated with an exclusive Glow Perfecting Complex to give color in one use and a full shade of natural summer color in just 3 days. I got the Medium/Tan and guess what? I actually got a lot of color just after one use (I am like 3 shades darker now) and the best part is it looks extremely natural and there is not even a tinge of orange! I just look healthy AND tan minus the sun. You do have to be extra careful when you apply this though. Despite it being marketed as a moisturizer, it definitely feels and works more like a self-tanner. It will not suffice as a moisturizer if you have dry skin and if you apply it just like a moisturizer, you will get streaks. The trick is to *really* rub this baby into your skin like you would with a self-tanner and also make sure you wash your palms afterwards or they will get stained. *Updates:- When this started to fade after I stopped using it for a week, my skin got all blotchy and scaly and this has never happened to me before – ewwww!
5. L’oreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist (~ $10)
I read a lot of raves about this product but no matter how hard I try, I cannot get it to work for me. It always comes out splotchy and I would get a lot of color in certain areas and none in others. I also did not like that the product is only good for 6 months. Nonetheless, I do have to give L’oreal props for a few things. The mist does makes it super easy for you to reach certain places like your back compared to the regular lotion. It also dries rapidly without staining clothes or sheets and once it is dry, it does not come off easily. The color develops within a few hours and on the areas where I do get color, I do like how it turns out – it is a very natural golden color that does not look orange at all. Lastly, it does not have the foul smell most self-tanners do which is a HUGE plus. Now if only I can get this to go on evenly *sigh*
6. Lancome Flash Bronzer Instant Colour Self-Tanning Leg Gel with Pure Vitamin E ($28.50)
I know a lot of people swear by this but I find it too glittery for my taste. I used this on my arms and legs and I literally looked like a bronze statue – my friend asked if I had body makeup on *lol* It did give my skin a pretty sunkissed glow and it dried pretty quick too. If only they could take the glitter out *sigh* It also made my skin a little drier than usual so I did have to put an extra lotion on top.
7. Neutrogena Instant Bronze Sunless Tanner and Bronzer In One in Medium ($8)
You have no idea how much I *hated* this! I used this during my spring break to Florida once and I am never touching this ever again! Unlike most self-tanners, this is a foam formula that blends okay and gets absorbed easily. I put this on at night and the next morning, I woke up with tan skin which I really liked. However, after one water ride at the Universal Studio, the color got all runny and streaked all over me. I had to rush the restroom to wash it off, ughhhhh!
* Always exfoliate before and wear plastic gloves when applying self-tanner.
* Make sure the self tanner has completely dried off before you hit the shower.
* To make your fake tan last longer, do not exfoliate afterwards but remember to put lotion on your skin. The color will fade faster if your skin is dry.