Sunless Tanning Essentials | On the Daily EXPRESS

5/31/18

Sunless Tanning Essentials

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I like to share my favorite sunless tanning products every year around this time since it coincides with the unofficial beginning of summer/bathing suit season. I always have a few new readers who haven't seen my tools and tricks before, plus I do try different products now and then so some of my favorites change year to year. I use sunless tanner year round because I think I look a little better with a sunless color boost, plus San Diego has some random hot days year round, so it doesn't hurt to be prepared for shorts weather at all times. Read on for my favorite, very affordable products for a streak-free sunless tan.

Gloves: I wear sturdy kitchen gloves like these while I apply my sunless tanner so it doesn't stain my palms. It doesn't have to be this exact brand, really any dish gloves or latex gloves will work. But I personally like these because they are thick, sturdy and last a long time, plus the blue/white color pattern makes it really easy to cut them in the right spot every time. I always cut the gloves down with scissors so they cover just my hands up to my wrists. With this particular brand I can cut the gloves right along the line where the white meets the blue material, rather than trying to put them on and measure out where I need to cut.

Body Butter (Barrier Lotion): Before I apply sunless tanner, I use a heavy duty moisturizing lotion and apply it to my knees, elbows and ankles. Those areas tend to "grab" the tanning product and get darker than everywhere else, and the lotion helps dilute it and make the tan more even. It's not perfect, so if I still have a little too much color in one spot I'll scrub it off with a towel right after I get out of the shower and that usually takes care of it. I do like Trader Joe's Body Butter but again, almost any brand of thick, "body butter" type of lotion should work just as well.

Cosmetic Sponges: After I apply sunless tanner to my entire body with the kitchen gloves, I remove those, put a dab of foam on one of these cosmetic wedges and apply it to the backs of my hands. 

Jergens Natural Glow (Instant Sun): This is my current favorite "darker" sunless tanning product.  I use it on my chest and legs in the summer for a little bit more color and a more "tan" look. For whatever reason, those areas on my body don't "tan" as well with sunless products as other parts (like my back and arms) so I have to use different products to get the same results all over. This product is easy to rub in and dries quickly, and I haven't had any issues with it staining my clothes. I apply it straight out of the shower and let it dry for a good 30 minutes before putting on my clothes. I do have a black dressing gown I'll wear to cover-up while I'm getting ready since I don't mind if that gets some product transfer on it. If I know I don't have adequate time to let this dry before getting dressed, I won't use it that day (the Daily Moisturizer will have to do) since I don't want to risk having it stain my clothes.

Jergens Natural Glow (Daily Moisturizer): This is my year-round sunless tanner. Even though I use the Medium/Dark version, it really doesn't give me a "tan" look...just a slight amount of color. It's non-smelly, non-staining, easy to apply, and dries quickly. If you're new to sunless tanning I would recommend starting with this before trying the Instant Sun product or anything darker.

Foam Roller: This was one of those life-changing beauty hacks for me! I use a 6-inch foam paint roller just like the one pictured above (which you can purchase at Lowes or The Home Depot) to apply sunless tanner to my back. (I used to have my husband do this for me and believe me he was so glad when I figured out I didn't need his help anymore.) First, I apply a thick streak of sunless tanning foam to the paint roller. Then I use the roller to easily reach every inch of my back. It also helps to use a handheld mirror in your free hand to look at your back in the bathroom mirror while you do this, just like you would use to look at the back of your hair). The paint roller works best with a foam sunless tanning product rather than a lotion in my experience, and I don't find it very effective with a spray formula. I have done it with a spray product by spraying the product directly on my back then using the foam roller to rub it in, and that works okay. But it's still more difficult to reach my back and more messy since it's hard to get the spray where I want. With lotion-formula sunless tanners, it's a bit better, but the foam roller absorbs more of the product so I end up using more product to cover the same surface area.

Tried & discarded: Tanning Mitt. Tanning mitts (like this one) are pretty popular and I have tried a few. I just thought I would share my opinion here since we're on the subject of all things sunless tanning. I do think they do a good job of spreading the product evenly, but I still have to wear gloves underneath to keep the product from transferring to my hands, and generally I just find them harder to work with than the kitchen gloves. They slow down the application process for me and also seem to soak up some of the product so again, I have to use more product to get the same result. Overall I didn't feel like they improved my final result enough to be worth the hassle.

Those are my current favorite products, but as always I'd love to know if you have any that you love and recommend!

CONVERSATION

13 comments:

  1. Jergens Instant Sun is my favorite too. I have an old sundress I wear while it's drying and the tops of my hands always need extra product. I wash my hands so much that they never seem to have enough time for the color to really develop or stay. When I'm really on my A game (rare) I'll put it on the tops of my hands before bed. I learned from you a few years back about the foam roller and that has definitely been a life changer. I used to get spray tans but not any longer I think these techniques work perfectly. I should probably use the barrier lotion like you've described. I used to when I got spray tans, guess I've gotten lazy but it makes sense and wouldn't take too much extra time.
    Your skin always looks so good and never blotchy or "patch-worky" which is how I used to describe my sunless tanning skin before they started making products with color guide. It used to be a mystery to see where I missed!
    Happy Thursday Gina!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. I'm so glad to hear the foam roller trick has worked for you too! And that's a great tip about applying extra product to the back of your hands before bed. I do have the same issue with quick fading there due to hand washing. It always seems I need to wash my hands within 10-15 minutes of applying sunless tanner for one reason or another so no wonder the product has almost no chance to really set in. Thanks for sharing that tip!

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  2. The gloves trick is genius! Sunless tanning always intimidated me, but I’m totally going to give this routine a go.

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    1. Good Luck! The Daily Moisturizer is a really great option for beginners. I'm sure you'll be fine. :)

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  3. my aversion to sunless tanners is about my ability to do it, not because i think it's bad or whatever. i think everyone looks better with a bit of colour, and i've heard nothing but good things about jergens products. i might give it a go. maybe the one you use as a daily moisturiser.. i need the most simple basic sunless-tanning-for-dummies option.

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    1. If you can apply lotion, you can handle sunless tanner. :) But I definitely recommend starting with the Daily Moisturizer version since mistakes don't show as much!

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  4. I’ve never tried a sunless tanner, but with all these tips I’m definitely willing to give it a try!!

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  5. I only use the Jergens Natural Glow daily moisturizer and even that I dilute with regular lotion! I really need to branch out into other products to try and get better color! Thanks for sharing these products and things that work for you. I'd never have thought to try a foam roller!

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    1. The foam roller is the best for reaching your back! Hope you like it!

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  6. You’re so diligent! It sounds like you have this routine down pat so it’s aersime your readers can now put the tips to use! You know I don’t tan or self tan but I do like the Jergens lotion a lot when I remember to buy some! So I’ll go do that ;)

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    1. LOL, thanks for clarifying! Ha! And you're lucky to have such a pretty, even skintone without using a sunless tanner!

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