Tanning beds seem to be on their way out in 2013, as more and more women prefer sunless tanning options that don’t expose their skin to potentially harmful UVB rays, not even in a controlled environment. Check out the best fake tanning options that can give you the look without the risks.
Salon Spray Tanning
The easiest way to get a full tan without too much effort is to go for the salon spray or airbrush tanning method, that is either done by a machine or a salon worker.
The downside is that it only lasts a few days and you can’t shower in the first 24 hours, but by going to a salon, you can avoid the orange palms you risk when you apply the sunless tanning products at home.
Gradual or Fast
When you decide to purchase a product yourself, you can choose from the two basic types of sunless tanning lotions: the ones that offer a more gradual, long-lasting tan, and the ones that provide an instant result, but fade away faster. Don’t forget that neither of them actually protects your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays, so apply sunscreen before you go out, even if you look tanned.
You’ll have to experiment a bit to find the right product for your skin, in the right consistence. The St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse ($18) is a classic, but if you’re used to a liquid spray formula it might not be the best option for you.
Sunless Tanning Preparation
If you’re ready to try sunless tanning at the salon or at home with the best self-tanning lotions, remember to exfoliate the skin thoroughly before using the products. Shave your legs beforehand for a more even application to get as close to the perfect sunless tan as possible.
Use less on dry or thickened skin, especially on your elbows and knees and leave your hands for the last part of the process. Once you’ve applied the sunless tanning product all over your body and face, wash your hands well and use a cotton ball for the tops of your hands, letting it dry completely before getting dressed.
To get the best sunless tan, go for the product line of your favorite cosmetics brand or go straight to products with a great reputation, including the Dior Bronze Self Tanning Natural Oil ($35), Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess line ($25), L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Mist ($11) or the Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel ($35).