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If there’s one skin care product that can come in handy when you want to get your glow on, it would be self-tanner. Adding a self-tanner to your skin care routine is a great idea if you want to achieve sun-kissed skin in the warmer months—without spending all of your time at the beach or laying out by the pool. Self-tanner doesn’t have to be reserved only for the summer months, though. You can use it year-round to achieve that just-back-from-vacation tan. Below, we’re answering all the questions we tend to get asked about self-tanner—and that includes sharing the best self-tanners from our Sublime Bronze™ line.
There’s no shortage of self-tanner options available right at your fingertips. Drugstore self-tanners can be amazing, and whether you’re partial to lotions, mists, towelettes, or serums, there’s something out there for you. Below, find a round-up of our best self-tanners for you to choose from.
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Water Mousse: This lightweight mousse goes on smoothly for an even-toned finish. It also has a clear formula, which means it’s mess-free.
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium: If you have dry skin, consider using a self-tanning milk that will hydrate while it gradually gives you your desired bronze hue.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion: When you want instant color, a self-tanner with a tint is the way to go. This tinted lotion option is formulated with vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist: This self-tanner mist comes in a bottle that features a wide-angled jet applicator that sprays a continuous, 360-degree mist. It’s perfect for hitting those hard to reach spots on your back!
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Towelettes for Body: Are you always on the go? You’ll love self-tanner towelettes! Each towelette contains enough self-tanner for one application, so toss however many you’ll need into your travel bag.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Serum: This streak-free self-tanner serum offers long-lasting color, but the best part is, it can be used on your face and body.
We have good news for you: There’s no bad time to use self-tanner! Self-tanning may often be associated with summer, but all year round you’re perfectly within your right to become a bronzed goddess. Whether you have a special occasion coming up or simply want everyone to wonder whether you’re fresh from a tropical vacation—it’s self-tanner time.
Editor’s note: The occasion you’re self-tanning for could impact the best self-tanner for you to use! Check out our article, The Best Self-Tanner for Every Situation, for everything you need to know.
If you get home from the store and immediately slather your skin in self-tanner—desperate to get your glow on ASAP—you’re doing it wrong. Self-tanner may be a quick way to give your skin color, but it still requires prep work. Before you can break out a bottle of self-tanning lotion or a towelette, you need to cleanse your skin. You don’t want any dirt or grime getting in the way of your tan! After that, it’s time to exfoliate, since sloughing away dead skin cells is essential in achieving color that isn’t streaky. Use a gentle scrub anywhere you plan to apply your self-tanner, paying extra attention to knees, elbows, and ankles. After you’ve used your body or face scrub, smooth on an oil-free moisturizer and let it absorb before moving on.
Beyond taking it slow and being thorough, how you apply self-tanner depends entirely on the type you’re going to use. Here’s how to use different types of self-tanner:
Self-tanning mousse: Apply a light layer of mousse all over your body, from head to toe, going even lighter on dry areas like your knees and elbows.
Self-tanning milk: Simply apply head to toe, just like any other body moisturizer.
Self-tanning lotion: Apply evenly all over your body, using your hands or a mitt for better coverage.
Self-tanning mist: Spray the mist slowly and continuously at arm’s length without rubbing in—the formula will dry quickly on its own.
Self-tanning towelettes: Smooth a towelette all over your body, unfolding it as needed.
Self-tanning serum: Apply evenly all over face and body.
Great question! Our best advice would be yes, you should absolutely use a tanning mitt to apply your self-tanner (unless you’ve chosen to go with the spray mist, in which case you don’t need one). Nobody wants to end up with a gorgeous faux glow from head to toe and hands that are dark orange. Using a tanning mitt will help prevent this.
Since you want to avoid hopping right into bed for at least an hour or so after you apply your self-tanner, we’d recommend applying self-tanner after your morning or early evening shower. More important than the time of day, you need to apply self-tanner onto skin that’s totally clean and lightly moisturized.
Once you’ve applied your self-tanner, the next steps are the same no matter which route you’ve taken. You’ll want to wash your hands straight away to avoid dark, blotchy palms and fingers. It’s also a must to let the self-tanner dry completely before getting dressed. You don’t want your tan to immediately transfer to your best outfit, right? Right. When it is time to clothe yourself, pick out something dark to minimize the risk of staining. Oh, and avoid your white sheets for a little while—before you get into bed, your self-tanner should feel completely dry.
After putting all your effort into self-tanning, you won’t want your sun-kissed look to fade straight away. To help maintain your tan, it’s key to keep using your self-tanner of choice. Just one application won’t be enough. You can use your Sublime Bronze™ self-tanner every day until you’ve reached your desired color. Once you’re happy with your look, reapply once a week to help maintain your results.
Haven’t had your fill of self-tanner facts just yet? In that case, head on over to our article, 8 Self-Tanner Mistakes You Could Be Making.