Now that summer is here, everyone wants to lay out in the sun and get that sun-kissed glow that they've been missing. However, so many of us have desk jobs, don't have the time to lay out or in a tanning bed, burn too easily, don't want to freckle more, or just straight up don't want to risk damaging our skin. Spray tans are too expensive to get on the regular and a lot of self-tanners can be really risky to use. Remember that one time you tried one and ended up orange and streaky? Is it worth the risk? Fear no more though, because here's a list of great self-tanners that will give you the glow you're looking for.
Literally any and all of them do a fantastic job. This is the self-tanner I personally use and have stuck with over the summer. The specific bottle I use is the 3 hour express. Sometimes I'm too lazy to apply this tanner constantly but I'll need a quick tan for something I'm doing later that day. The 3 hour tanner shows up right as you put it on and noticeably makes a difference, which is nice as far as making sure you apply it evenly. Definitely use an applicator glove (however it doesn't have to be expensive to work well). The 3 hour tanner gets darker for every hour that you keep it on before washing it off. One hour is light, two is medium, and three is dark. However, the extra dark bottle has also worked wonders I've heard, so explore through the brand!
Jergens Natural Tanner Daily Moisturizer
I've also used this tanner before and it worked pretty well. It goes on like a lotion, so while you're tanning you're also moisturizing, which is always a plus. The only con is that you have to wash your hand really well with water and baking soda after to make sure it doesn't stain your palms. Otherwise, it goes on smooth and gives a light, natural glow.
Loving Tan 2 Hour Express
This is probably my second favorite self-tanner behind St. Tropez. Apply this with an applicator glove and it gives a great look. I know someone who uses this as their main tanner and absolutely loves it. It's one of those tanners that goes on so smoothly you could put it on your face and look natural still. This one is also faster-acting upon application.
Josie Maran Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil
I haven't personally used this tanner, but I have heard great things about it and every time I had looked for tanners before, this one came up. Check it out, let me know what you think, read reviews, test it out, and hopefully enjoy a great looking tan. It's infused with argan oil so that is definitely a plus!
St. Moriz Instant Self-Tanning Mousse
I also haven't personally used this tanner, but again, I've heard great things. Try it out, or don't, but it is an instant tanner so that is perfect if you don't have days or hours to spare. Sometimes we can get in a bind and need a quick tan for a date or party we weren't prepared for. Plus, it's St. Moriz, which always does a great job.
For all of these, beware of it seeping through the cheaper applicator gloves as they get older and staining your palms. Although it isn't terrible, it might bother you and you may wish you had used a better glove. It's better to invest in a great glove off the bat than wish you had after buying several cheaper foam ones. Regardless though, BUY A GLOVE. You will regret not using one. You don't want everyone to know you're using a self-tanner, as the goal is to make it look as natural as possible. Furthermore, I prefer the darker looks on myself than someone else might, so pay attention when you're buying the bottle. Make sure you get the look you're wanting, whether that is light, medium, or dark. You can even be more gradual with it.
However, even if you're using a self-tanner, don't deprive your skin of any sunlight at all. The sunlight is good in moderation and can help your skin look healthier and it can even assist in clearing blemishes. Also, a slightly tanned base might just help the self-tanner look better on top, especially as it wears off. Just be sure to slap on a little sunscreen before spending too long in the sun or wear a hat and you're golden. Enjoy your sunless tan and golden glow!