Self Tanners

by | Jun 17, 2011 | Cosmetics | 15 comments

In many parts of the country you’ve had summer weather for weeks or months. Here in the Northwest, we’re still struggling a bit with that. We get a glimmer of hope here and there, At any rate, many of us have decided it’s time to pack away the boots, get out the skirts or shorts and bare those legs.

It isn’t easy. Since pantyhose are out and bare is in, it is a dilemma for many women on what to do if your legs haven’t seen the light of day.

I’ve been using self tanner for about ten years—about the same time I gave tanning beds the boot. There has been some trial and error involved but I’ve learned along the way.

There are number of good products out there, both in department and drug stores with the price points varying.

The days of orange streaks are gone, but you still need to cautious on how you use this product. Whatever you choose, here is my best advice.

  1. Exfoliate before you begin the process especially with legs. There is nothing worse than a self tanning product working unevenly on dry skin.
  2. Find an old tank top/shorts/swim suit you don’t care about to wear when applying. I like to let it dry LONGER than any directions say and am cautious about my clothes.
  3. Rub evenly. When you think you are finished rubbing, rub some more.
  4. Be extra cautious around your ankles, wrists, knees etc. It doesn’t mean you totally avoid, just don’t use as much product. Apply sparingly to the tops of your feet; it is difficult to make it look natural. If you can’t get it right-skip these areas all together.
  5. Choose a time when you are not in a hurry and can apply and let it set without dressing immediately. Then it will take a few hours to become “tan”.
  6. Wash hands and palms especially thoroughly.

There are sprays, lotions, and towelettes. I prefer the lotion because I feel I have the most control getting it even.

There are dozens of products on the market and just as many opinions. If you hear/read about something, I suggest doing a search to read reviews. This can be helpful and confusing at the same time.

Personally I do not like the gradual tanners. They don’t seem to work for me, but others give rave reviews.

I’m going to recommend two of my favorites. This spring my sister told me about Kiehl’s self tanner which she gave a big thumbs up. I LOVE their products and this one did not disappoint. Many lotions will do the same for less, but I haven’t found another formula that didn’t have that self tanner smell. Kiehl’s is ODOR FREE! Available at Nordstrom.

The first time I used it on my legs I got it just right. The next time perhaps I didn’t heed my own of advice of rub, rub and rub some more and it was a little less even. (I’m also convinced I have weird uneven pigmentation on my legs) Then I tried it on my neck and chest. I couldn’t believe how natural it was. Next I tried my arms (I’ve never done that before) I wasn’t as careful on my arms and know now to watch my wrists and just rub the whole arm  not worrying about where my natural tan line is.

Another favorite product for me is Bobbie Brown Bronzer for my face. I used this the first time when I was in Hawaii last year. I have not let much sun get on my face in years. Ok I over did it a bit, but can you see why a bronzer was the clear ticket here? I would have looked like Casper the Ghost next to “Johnny Dark Tan” husband.

Below is another photo that shows a more natural look. This was taken last summer.  I can’t say enough about this product. Just helps take away the “white”!

Check out All Things Chic for another opinion on self tanner for the face. Musings of a Housewife and the blog hop has even more fashion info today for you.

Let’s get the conversation started. I know there is a lot out there so let’s hear it. What has worked for you?