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top10sunlesstnnrs.jpgSummer is the perfect time to give yourself a more tan, glowing complexion, but getting too much sun isn’t the healthiest. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best self-tanners for 2009 that will help you get the bronze look you desire without the risk of damaging your skin.

Best Overall Application

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Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream- We love this cream because it’s easy to use and formulated with aloe vera to moisturize and cocoa beans to help prevent premature aging. Its golden color guarantees you don’t miss a spot, and because it comes in a tub rather than a spray can, you won’t be cleaning up spots all over your bathroom after applying. $42,



Best for Face

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Jergens Natural Glow Daily Facial Moisturizer- For an everyday glow and the protection of SPF 20, this oil-free moisturizing facial self-tanner delivers the perfect amount of natural-looking color. It absorbs quickly and wears well under makeup. $7.49,






Best For Travel

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L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes are packaged in individual wrappers, making them perfect for travel. One towelette is enough to cover our entire body, and the result is a natural-looking tan— no orange in sight. We found it best to apply in a circular motion for a streak-free finish. The smell isn’t our favorite, but subsides after a day. $8.99 for 6,




Most Dependable

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Neutrogena Sun Fresh Foam should be in your sunless tanning arsenal if it isn’t already. Cherished by its loyal users for years, this citrus-smelling foam goes on clear, develops a golden glow in a few hours and dries quickly once applied. $9.99,





Best Import

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Lancaster Easy Bronze Milky Spray SPF 6- As the authority in the field of prestige sun-care products in Europe’s, we now have access to these best sellers. Easy Bronze Milky Spray can be applied at any angle, even upside-down, making it very user-friendly. The result is a streak-free golden glow that lasts for days. $27,






Best For Customization

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Aveeno Continuous Radiance Moisturizing Lotion- The innovative, dual-chambered package has a dial design that allows the user to choose the depth of color to be applied and can be readjusted until the desired shade of bronze is met. $12.99,





Best Fool-Proof Kit

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Mystic Tan Perfect Tan Kit for Face ensures the perfect tan with its 3-step system. Gone are the days of over-application thanks to the uber-genius base that increases color depth and saturation in all the right places. $54,






Best Multi-Purpose Formula 

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Hourglass Solar Tan Self-Tanning Primer is just what we gals-on-the-go love. A primer and self-tanner in one, this glow-giving product leaves skin moisturized and prepped for your foundation. Subtle color develops over five days for a more radiant, natural look. $60,





Best Smelling Formula 

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Bliss A Tan For All Seasons- A user favorite, this antioxidant-rich formula provides a gradual, believable color without the typical “self tanner stink” thanks citrus-scented odor-repelling actives that mask the smell of DHA. $36,






Fastest Dark Tan 

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Bare Escentuals Faux Tan- This super-hydrating formula dries quickly and delivers instant color ensuring you won’t miss a spot. Maximum color develops in a few hours and lasts for up to a week. We recommend wearing gloves to apply this one, as the formula is highly tinted. $22,

Related Articles:

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DuWop Revolotion Bronzing Body Moisturizer is what those of us who use self-tanner call a cult classic. From its silky and smooth finish, to its ability to give a streak-free finish (not to mention its improved non-transfer formula), getting that summer glow is beyond easy with this stuff. 

Bonus: Revolotion contains SPF 15 to go along with the kiss of bronzing pigment and subtle shimmer. $28,

With Summer now a memory, there is no reason to have to sacrifice your beautiful sun-kissed glow!  We’re not saying you have to spend hundreds of dollars baking in a tanning bed, or having someone else spray-tan you to keep it; we’re suggesting that you consider using fabulous, low-cost products that will give you the look of being “kissed” by the sun, but in a more realistic, subtle way that is perfect for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons.


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Vaseline Healthy Body Glow Daily Replenishing Moisturizer & Touch of Self Tanner works to give a buildable, healthy glow to your skin, while moisturizers keep it feeling soft. Unlike other self-tanning lotions, this one absorbs quickly and doesn’t contain mineral oil. $6.99,



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St. Tropez Auto-Bronzante Lotion is a more luxurious way to get glowing at home. This self tanning lotion intensifies after 3 hours and leaves a natural, streak-free finish that won’t leave you looking like an Oompa Loompa. $37, 




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By Terry VIP Bronze Expert Sun Glow Perfecting Brush contains all-natural pigment that will give your face beautiful color without any self-tanning ingredients. You control where and how much color is used, and the purse-friendly packaging allows for touch-ups throughout the day! $48,




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Mystic Tan Sunless Face and Body Tanning Spray brings the salon-quality tan you expect from the famous company in the privacy of your home! The alcohol-free formula applies evenly over your face or body, and ensures your skin stays hydrated so it will look its best. $38,




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L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion is unlike any sunless tanner you may have ever used. This easy-to-apply (and transparent!) formula is long-lasting, and gives a great result whether you choose the Medium or Deep version. $9.49,



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Physicians Formula Organic Wear Liquid Bronzer is available in three formulas, fair, light and medium, and is great for a gorgeous glow that is Certified Organic. Soy helps even out skin tone while all natural ingredients keep your skin nourished.  $6.57,


sunlesstanners.jpgSunless tanning has come a long way. Now we can soothe, hydrate and restore elasticity with pretty much every conceivable fragrance-free solution. This season introduces us to new gradual tanners that slow hair growth by up to 50% for some softer hand-friendly tanned gams. I’ve spent months testing the newest self-tanners, here are my top five favorites. (Want more? Check out last year’s top 10 sunless tanners)

Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula

Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self Tanning Formula skyrocketed to our top five list for four reasons:620_L.jpg

1. It’s gentle enough for both face and body.
2. It’s loaded with humectants, botanicals and anti-oxidants like rosemary, rose, jasmine flower and cucumber fruit extract.
3. Even if your application methods aren’t on the highest level, you’re still going to get a glow without serious streaking.
4. It delivers a tan in about three hours and our favorite shade of bronze came after just two applications.

$22.50 at

Neutrogena Color Boosting Sunblock SPF 30

neuts.jpgNeutrogena Color Boosting Sunblock SPF30 is simply our favorite way to get a dose of Neutrogena’s anti UVA/UVB Helioplex protection with a bit of bronze at the same time on the same dime. Just make sure to keep the waterproof formula away from your eyes.

$8.99 at

Olay Touch of Sun Overnight

200-1.jpgThis was our top golden pick for a gradual tanner. The smooth lightly scented formula is loaded with high levels of glycerin to keep skin super hydrated even after the tan tint appears. We also loved that Olay didn’t rub off on our sheets and towels as much as its competitors.

$7.99 at

Quick Tan Sunless Tanning Mist by Body Drench

5541-P9082.jpgQuick Tan excels at creating a browner bronze that sprays dark and dries fast. You have to use your latex gloves to ensure an even glow - and work fast - but this brown lasts and lasts. Mist your body in your shower area for a quick clean up after tanning.

$16.99 at

Aveeno Continuous Radiance Moisturizing Lotion All Skin Tones

200-2.jpgThe dial a shade container allows you to start out light and customize the exact deepness of your tan. Aveeno Continuous Radiance formula is oil-free, but loaded with moisture rich soy to keep your skin soft for up to 24 hours. The lotion works streak-free on legs and even arms as long as you start out in a lighter shade and work your way to deep dark bronze in a few applications.

$13.99 at

For a perfect application, check out 10 Tips For A Perfect Self Tan


Looking for that perfect streak-free at-home bronze? Here are 10 tested tips to help make you a sunless tanner pro:

1. Tight fitting rubber gloves do work just as good as your hands. They should fit snugly and be thrown away after each use.

2. Elbows, knees, armpits, and under forearms and ankles should always be prepped pre tanning with lotion or a sunscreen to prevent build-up of tanner. Afterwards, designate a wash cloth for a quick semi-damp pat over.

3. Exfoliate from head to toe. Body exfoliation should be done with a non-oily or moisturizing scrub. Oil based scrubs prevent color from applying evenly to skin. Try scrubs that are designed specifically for self tanning like L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Sunless Body Scrub. Salt scrubs should be avoided if you plan on shaving before tanning.

4. If using darkly tinted self tanners, you may want to shave legs the day prior. This is especially helpful if you plan to go on with your day after self tanning application. The dark tint usually settles into fresh hair-free pores and can give off a spotted effect on skin.

5. I am a huge fan of tanning when staying in hotels. This way, you can apply tanner before you catch zzz’s and wake up golden. It also keeps the mess off your sheets at home (come on, they bleach these sheets at seriously hot temperatures so there’s no problem getting self tanning stains removed!)

6. Avoid your facial moisturizer and body creams for as long as you can and be sure not to apply at all until color is in full effect.

7. After tanning, exercise should be a sweat free activity and swimming is completely of limits. If it’s raining, stay indoors. Once you’re caught in the rain, you’ll find tiger streaks rather than an even glow.

8. If you need tan longevity, steam showers, saunas, and hot baths should be avoided during your days of deep glow.

9. Wear dark loose fitting clothing to avoid tan transferring. A tight pair of jeans put on immediately after tanning will absorb tan lotion and leave creases on your skin.

10. After tanning face, be sure to swipe a wet cotton swab across eyebrows and rub out tanner that could have deposited. Also, a cotton ball moistened across your hairline will remove where tanners like to build up during application. This will ensure a no-tell tanned face.

Want even more tips? Beauty editor Mickey Williams shares some in a recent radio interview:

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