With all the recently released news about how harmful UVA rays are to your skin on top of the damage caused by UVB rays, not to mention the fact that 61,300 melanoma in situ will be newly diagnosed in 2013 according to the American Cancer Society, I decided to try out some self tanners this year. Although it ‘s true people who go to Tanning Beds 74% more likely to develop skin cancer, that doesn’t mean that tanning outside is safe either. To learn more about UVA, UVB, and the ACTUAL  protection of Sunblock read my blog coming next week.

I have tried a few different brands and am willing to try more if there is one someone wants me to try. I know there are hundreds of videos, reviews, articles, advertisements about self tanners but I wanted people to know a little more then does it work or doesn’t it. Below I have listed my personal experience with them, the range of prices, and where to get the product just in case you wanted to give it a try. These are not in any particular order. My skin is different then everyone else’s so when I am talking about acne or a reaction please remember I have a very oily face so things tend to make me break out more but the skin on the rest of my body is not sensitive at all so I don’t tend to react as much, if I do at all.

Jergens Natural Glow Lotion
Price: $5-$10  Available: Target, Walmart, drug stores-Easy Find
This is a gradual tanner which I find a bit more tricky than the tinted self tanners. It doesn’t have much of a color to it so when you are applying it, it’s hard to see where you missed and where you didn’t. This means you are more likely to have streaks. The good part to that is the lotion doesn’t get your skin too many shades darker so it’s not as noticeable if you do leave a streak. Each day you put it on it gets darker but it has a point where it plateaus and once you stop using it I noticed it washes off pretty quickly in the shower after a couple of days. This is a great lotion if you are looking for sun kissed skin but not if want instant results like you have been in the sun for a month. The lotion aspect of it is great because unlike some gradual tanning lotions it actual hydrates you skin like a lotion. Also,  because it absorbs into your skin so well like a normal lotion does, you don’t have to wait for it to dry. I had no problems with it on my face other then the ones I stated before. It didn’t clog my pores or make my blemishing or imperfections stand out more.

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze- Instant Action
Price: $7-$15   Available: Target, Walmart, Online Easy Find

There are a lot of Sublime self tanners by L’Oreal so read the labels carefully. I really liked this one at first mainly because it was instant. I loved this for two reasons. First, I could see the tanner which meant no streaks. Second, it worked fast so I could see the color right away. I put it on consecutively until I reached the color I wanted and then I put it on every three days after that. It has glitter in it which I am not a huge fan of put when you planning to show off your legs it gives them a nice glow. You do have to wait at least 10 minutes to get dresses or you will have lines where your clothes are. This product can be put on in the morning or at night.  I know you want to know about the color and unfortunately this isn’t an easy answer. The first time I used this product it was right after summer ended so I still had a nice tan and this just increased that tan and maintained it. There was no orange color to it at all and I thought I had found my yearly self tanner. However, when I went to use this product again in the middle of winter and I had no base color left I found it had more of that orange tint I didn’t want. The first application still looked nice but the next day when I did the second application to get that desired color I noticed it was starting to have an orange undertone, especially on my face. This did tend to show off my blemishes and imperfections more but it didn’t make me break out. So although it showed the problems on my face it didn’t make them worse. Also, when you stop using it and it starts to fade, you fade in blotches on your arms which looks a little odd.

Victoria’s Secret-Self Tan
Price: $15      Available: Victoria’s Secret
This is somewhere in between a gradual and an instant tanner. On the product description it says gradual but it’s got immediate color like an instant tanner. I like this product, not love just like. It’s got a nice color but again it still have that orange undertone. It’s got glitter in it which I found like the other tanners with glitter it clogged my pores which made me break out. The color was better then most and you still had to use to consecutively until you got the desired color but once I got my desired color I found it faded and it faded fast. This product would have to be used almost everyday like a lotion. With some gradual tanners I can handle using it everyday but this doesn’t actually have any lotion in it so I had to give up my nightly lotion routine to keep the color. The smell isn’t too bad but they over use the perfume in it to cover up the self tanner smell. Not sure which one was worse to be honest. Like I said the color was great but the maintenance was too much. You don’t really have to worry about the white patches which occur when more self tanners fade because like I said it fades fast. I would suggest using this if you need quick color. I would suggest using the product at night time before you go to sleep. You will need to wait 20 minutes before dressing and at least 12 hours before you shower.

Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid
Price: $16-$26    Available: Only Online that I have found
This is probably the closest you will get to a spray tan at home. This is a dark liquid you rub into your body like you would at a spray tan booth. It has an amazing color! No orange undertones at all. This is another product that you use consecutively until you get the desired color then once every 5-7 days. I found like most self tanners it doesn’t last as long as it says but I have found if I use the Kona Gradual Tanner in between the spray sessions I keep that dark color and the best part NO ORANGE. However, because this works like a spray tan you will need someone to help you with your back or you will see a huge difference. This will get you dark like you have been in the sun all month. This is a product I suggest you do before you go to bed because you will need to go 10 hours without getting wet, plus you should wait at least 20 minutes before getting dressed. Side note, this will get on your sheets. The upside to that is this doesn’t have that strong cent like normal self tanners. On my face I have found although it doesn’t make me break out it does show ALL my flaws on my face. I tend to just use the Kona on my face and it blends nicely. It doesn’t have too many applications in the bottle but if you can’t get to a tanning salon to get a spray tan this is a nice alternative.

Kona Gradual Tanner
Price: $35  Available: Online,Crystal’s Spa and Salon,Kona Salons
This is by far my FAVORITE gradual tanner!!! I use this all winter to keep that nice base color all year round without really looking like I am wearing a self tanner. As I stated in another review I use this with Fake Bake because it keeps that dark color up in between applications but I do not want to be that dark year round because in the winter you stand out and I try to look as natural as I can. I can say without a doubt the Fake Bake would not hold it’s color as long or as well without this gradual tanner. It feels like an actual lotion and it leaves my skin feeling like silk. The smell it absolutely amazing and the best part, there is NO and I mean NO undertone of orange. You don’t have to wait for it to dry because it’s a lotion and it doesn’t clog my pores at all. If you have met me you’ve heard me rant and rave about this product. Kona also makes an actual spray tan that we have here at the salon which is what I prominently use. I am well aware not everyone can make it to a salon every 10-14 days to get one which is why I have given alternatives to do at home. I know you’re reading this probably going “They are only giving it such a great review because they have it and are trying to sell it”. That’s not true, we sell this product because I gave it such a great review. Not to mention this self tanner and the spray tan we use here are the same products that are used on the Victoria’s secret models. I love this product and because it is also a lotion I do not feel like I am giving up my nightly lotion routine. You can use this in the morning or before you go to sleep. I would suggest using it after you get out of the shower right after you dry off.

All of these are products you can use at home. Like I just stated my favorite Spray Tan is still the ones you get at the Salon. Whether I get it here or at other Salons I only use the Kona spray tan. It doesn’t have an orange tint at all. Now, all this being said I am not preaching or judging if you choose to use a Tanning Bed. I have been to more then one, more than once. Unfortunately all that sun, fake or real, is eventually going to catch up with you. Whether it’s the form of wrinkles, dry skin, sun spots, or the worst case skin cancer. I was very skeptical about self tanners at first mostly because most of them made me feel orange but once I found one I loved it was easier for me to walk away from the Tanning Bed. Since I got to be the oompla-loompa on your behalf switching to self tanners should be much easier for you.

Comment with any questions you have about any of these products 🙂

Yours Truly,

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