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It’s summertime, and that means the weather is warm and the sun is shining. The perfect summertime accessory? That would be glowing, sun-kissed skin, of course. Unfortunately, for most of us, achieving beautifully bronzed skin is not such an easy feat. And while bronzer is a perennial staple in our makeup collections, it can only go so far. Thankfully, adding the right self-tanner into your skin care routine can get the job done better—and quicker—than the sun itself. Keep reading to learn about our best drugstore self-tanners for summer 2019.
Take a stroll down the self-tanner aisle at your local drugstore and you’ll quickly come to find that self-tanners come in many, many different forms. From towelettes to serum to moisturizer to spray, there’s a different type of self-tanner for every occasion—and skin type. Spending a day at the beach? Prepping for a tropical vacation? Want to rock bronzed legs with your new sundress? We’ve got a self-tanner for all of that, and more! Here are some of our best drugstore self-tanner options to choose from, including a mousse, a serum, and a self-tanning milk.
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse: With an invisible, lightweight feel and a hydrating formula, this self-tanner gives you smooth, soft skin in addition to a streak-free tan. To use, first shake up the bottle well, then pump the product into your hands and smooth evenly over clean, exfoliated skin. After you apply, your tan will gradually develop over four to eight hours.
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum: This quick-drying serum offers our longest-lasting tan—up to two weeks! It’s lightweight, and like we said, it dries quickly, which will allow you to achieve a streak-free finish. It also can be used on your face and body, making it perfect for achieving that all-over glow.
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium: This self-tanner is basically a two-in-one; it hydrates your skin like a moisturizer while also delivering an even, bronzed glow. For those who have a lighter skin tone or are looking to develop their sunless tan gradually, this self-tanning milk is a must. Use it three times per week, or as often as needed until you build up to your desired level of bronze.
In order to get the most even-toned and streak-free results from your self-tanner of choice, you’ll want to follow this easy self-tanner application guide.
Self-tanner should always be applied onto clean, exfoliated skin. So, while you’re in the shower, reach for a sugar scrub and use it to exfoliate areas that tend to be extra dry, such as elbows, knees and ankles. Why is this step important, you ask? Well, self-tanner will absorb extra fast in areas that tend to be dry, and the result will be that these areas become darker than the rest of your body. So, if you aren’t a fan of patchy tans—which we’re assuming you’re not—it’s best to exfoliate before working on your faux glow.
After your shower, you’ll want to towel off completely—self-tanner shouldn’t be applied while skin is damp. But wait, before you reach for that self-tanner, there’s another step you’ll want to take first. Apply a body moisturizer, being sure to pay attention to those dry areas we mentioned before. This is another layer of protection against developing an uneven tan. Let your moisturizer soak in completely before moving on to the next step.
Using a self-tanning mitt or your hands, apply a light, even layer of self-tanner wherever you’re seeking sun-kissed skin. If you’re tanning your face, make sure you’re using a formula that’s meant to be used there! When you reach those aforementioned areas of dry skin, use a bit less product than elsewhere on your body. Once you’re done, wash your hands thoroughly and swiftly—otherwise, you could end up with extra dark palms.
We know—you want to get out and sport your gorgeous bronze skin ASAP. But not so fast! It’s important to be patient after you’ve applied your self-tanner, so as not to cause the formula to smudge or smear off (and produce an uneven tan). So, wait for your skin to dry completely before you put clothes on, and when you do, try to wear loose-fitting clothing. That’s it! Now, enjoy your bronzed goddess look and go rock it with confidence.
Made a mistake when following these steps? Don’t worry, you can fix self-tanner mistakes, especially if you act fast. Here’s How to Remove Self-Tanner.