Can we talk — pale-skinned person to pale-skinned person? All skin tones are gorgeous and special, but when you're pale and looking to add a fake summer glow to your complexion, it's crucial to find self tanners that won't turn you orange.
If you're pale, you probably also know — through years of trial and error (mostly error, in my case) — that one too many self tanners out there make your skin look more salmon than sun-kissed.
When the goal is to achieve a natural-looking bronze, both the self-tanning prep work you do before applying a product and the quality of the product itself matter. Always exfoliate your skin about 24 hours before you apply self tanner to reduce the chances of creating a streaky looking tan. And don't forget to moisturize skin, wear an application mitt so your hands don't give your fake tan away, and go slow to make sure you cover every visible inch of your body.
Of course, self tanner hacks will help you apply your tanning lotion so that it looks its best, but without a decent product that won't turn you tangerine, you've got nothing. Whether you prefer tanning towelettes, spray, or old-fashioned lotions, these are the seven best self tanners that won't turn your skin orange.
1. A Cruelty-Free Lotion That Can Turn Skin Three Shades Darker
This cruelty and paraben free natural self tanning lotion is made with a blend of essential oils, vitamins C and E, and even aloe vera extract. Fair-skinned reviewers say this lotion can be applied at night and in the morning you'll be three shades darker. Apply lotions to your skin in between applications and streaking won't be a problem — it smells "beachy," dries fast, and provides realistic, but definitely darker than "just a little glow" results.
2. A Golden, Streak-Less Tan In Minutes
This best-selling self tanning liquid lotion contains no artificial preservatives or parabens, works on all skin types and tones, and provides a golden tan that you can see immediately. The application can be tricky, reviewers say, and a mitt is an absolute must. But both fair and medium-skinned users rave about the color — which shares nothing in common with orange — and say it dries in minutes. This fact is both a blessing and a curse — you may want to consider using a blending balm after your application to ensure you've covered every pale patch of skin.
3. A Light Sunless Bronzer Foam With Plant Extracts
The light and airy mousse-like foam formula in this sunless bronzer is perfect for oily skin types (and every other skin type) and its blend of plant and fruit extracts will nourish skin as it tans. To be safe, use a mitt while applying this bronzer to prevent streaks and expect color to last 5-7 days (you can always touch it up in between applications to prolong your tan). This bronzer is vegan and paraben, gluten, and cruelty free.
4. Mess-Free Self Tan Towelettes That Deliver Light Color
After washing your body/face, exfoliating, moisturizing, and waiting a few hours, apply these self tan towelettes in a circular motion over your skin and then wash your hands carefully. These mess-free towelettes are easy to apply, according to reviewers, and contain no perfume smell. There's less chance of streaking, and because the formula creates a very light tan, it looks completely natural and you can build upon it until you get to your desired shade.
5. An Organic Self Tanner Spray With Hyaluronic Acid And Essential Oils
If you prefer sprays to lotions, this organic self tanner sunless tanning spray is a cruelty-free option with built-in hydrating benefits. Not only will it create a natural-looking bronze glow, but it will do it without parabens, dyes, and gluten and with the added bonus of collagen-building hyaluronic acid, organic jojoba oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, and evening primrose oil.
6. A Coconut Scented Lotion With Vitamin E & Mango Butter
This coconut-scented self tanning lotion smells like a dream, contains no mineral oil or parabens, is PETA-certified cruelty free, and provides a non-orangy, natural looking tan on the body and face. That's just about all we need from a self tanner, but this one takes things one step further and infuses its formula with moisturizing vitamin E, mango butter, acai berry, and shea butter — so your skin will look tan and healthy.
7. A Quick-Drying Drying Mousse Made With Organic DHA & A Blend Of Hydrating Oils
This foamy, self tanning mousse is formulated with organic DHA, which is responsible for giving you that bronze glow, as well as a blend of argan, coconut, jojoba, and olive oils to keep skin moist. Reviewers recommend applying this mousse with a mitt, and one reviewer even notes that this tanner "[c]reates such a beautiful color unlike other self tanners that leave you looking all orangey."
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