How to Find a Self Tanner You’ll Love

Get a bronzy glow sans sun damage.

You don’t need a beach day (or three) to get that sun-kissed glow. Self tanners are an easy—and sun damage free—way to look bronzed all year round. They also have added benefits such as keeping your skin moisturized. Here’s how to choose, and apply, a formula that will give you the look you want.

Non-Sticky Formula

Best for people with medium and darker complexions. Fake Bake

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To ensure your self-tanner goes on smoothly and evenly—and lasts—preparation is your key to success. Before applying your tanner, be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your skin first. For especially smooth tanning, apply your product using a hand mitt and use a circular motion. The mitt guides in even application and helps avoid staining fingers and palms.

Quenches Dryness

Use regularly to slowly deepen your color. Jergens

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One secret for gradually building a tanned look is to opt for one that doubles as a moisturizer. A two-in-one formula also ensures your skin stays naturally hydrated for a host of benefits. Just a few include better absorption plus improvement of the overall appearance and elasticity of your skin. Even if your self-tanner doesn’t come loaded with moisturizing properties, you can mix it with a dollop of regular body lotion for a more subtle tint.

Dries Fast

This one creates an effortless look on most skin tones. St. Tropez

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A mousse self tanner is a favorite for being lightweight and fast drying. Self-tanning mousses are easy to layer (so you can build coverage) and apply evenly. Pro tip: Once applied, blend quickly using circular motions so the color absorbs. Yes, it really can dry that fast!