Sunless tanning has come a long way from the stinky creams of the past that left our skin orange. Beauty editor Mickey Williams lists the 10 best tested products for 2007 and offers 10 foolproof bronzing tips to help you get your perfect glow.
1. Best Face Tanner
Olay’s Regenerist line has been an editor’s pick for affordable super charged skincare since it hit the beauty aisles in 2003. Their new Touch of Sun product comes with an SPF 15 and a hint of sunless tanner. The golden results gradually appear in about three days. In a week, medium to deep bronzed skin appears firmer, smoother and radiantly awake.
Olay Regenerist Touch of Sun SPF 15, $18.99
2. Best No-Mess Tanner
Solerra’s tanning Mitt is an excellent source of glow in a quick and mess-free package. Not only can you tan on the fly without possibly staining your hands, but it’s perfect for keeping your luggage spill-free when traveling. One mitt goes the distance for the whole body and takes 4 to 6 hours to develop. The mitts also use their Invisicare technology with moisturizing hydro-therapy instead of alcohol, wax or other drying ingredients for a longer lasting glow.
Solerra Sunless Lotion Mitt, $9.99
3. Quickest Dark Tan
Faux Tan’s molasses tinted formula requires a bit of elbow grease for even coverage, but a fast, irritant-free (we tested on super sensitive skin) tan emerges in as little as 3 hours. Faux Tan is the best tan for mini-skirt wearing pale legs because it enables you to move from application to out the door with a quick-dry bronze. Just wear gloves during application or be ready to wash hands several times because this tan likes to stain hands too.
Bare Escentuals Faux Tan, $22
4. Best Man Tan
The founder and CEO of Aqua Tan told me “men love this stuff”. I found this statement intriguing enough to focus on. When testing, I thought about all the things guys would require in a self tanner: easy to apply, no makeup look, and the smell has to be, well, manly enough. The application is as easy as spraying into hands and applying like an aftershave. It’s crystal clear, so no brown tint sitting on their masculine skin and the smell is lighter than the leading bar of soap they shower with. Aqua tan is a great man tan, just don’t forget to wash your hands guys!
Aqua Tan Clear Self-Tanning Treatment for Faces, $45
5. Best Gradual Tanner
This is the new craze in gradual tanners and let me tell you, oh do they work! I like Sally Hansen’s because the scent is clean and the color is golden brown. It takes about a week to get a brown frame and about ten days to really notice a much softer hair growth in between shaving. Smooth Glow lasts longer than other gradual tanners because you are shaving less and therefore there is less exfoliation.
Sally Hansen Smooth Glow Stubble reducing Daily Moisturizer
6. Most Innovative No-Expert-Required Tan
Why spend all the money for salon tanning when Air Glow is here? This at-home airbrush tanning duo is an investment at first, but the results are even better than the heavy “tanner than you wanted to be” glow you usually get from an expert. You control the flow and the smell is akin to a rum cocktail. The formula is Fusion Beauty’s Micro Nutrient Tinted Protein Tan and after you finish the cartridge included, buy a refill and have a tan for next season too. You’re in control with this airbrush tan - just find a friend to do your backside.
Fusion Beauty GlowFusion AirGlow, $175
7. Best Smelling Tanner
La Source stands out in the gradual tanner arena due to its unbelievably mild, fresh scent. La Source’s emollient white cream spreads easily and is virtually streak-free like most subtle body glows. I also like the fast drying non-sticky feel to your skin shortly after application.
Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Moisturizing Body Glow, $15
8. Most Chemical-Free Tanner
Liz Earle’s Sun Shade Botanical Tan Spray is a plant based formula that comes in a pump spray bottle. The glycerin used for tanning comes from organic sugar beets and its melanin from sunflowers. It claims to be odor-free, although we did smell a slight scent. It’s as chemical-free as a sunless tanner gets. Check out the rest of Liz Earle’s naturally active product line. It’s just a matter of time before it explodes in the US.
Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare Sun Shade Botanical Self-Tan Spray
9. Best Tan In A Can
Body Drench’s name sounds a bit too wet for this super fine mist that dries practically on contact with skin. The super soft spray is so easy you can almost tan yourself without blending. Just make sure to mist evenly and carefully since this formula leaves a rapid mark.
Body Drench Quick Tan Sunless Tanning Mist, $15.95
>10. Best For First-Time Tanners
I’m partial to Peter Thomas Natural Looking Self Tanner because it was my personal favorite before we started this summer 2007 bronzer showdown. I love the tingling feel the odor-free formula gives after application, and the golden color that appears in about 5 hours is truly natural looking.
Peter Thomas Roth Natural Looking Self Tanner, $28