Faux Glow: The Best Sunless Tanners

With summer on the way and temps here in LA reaching the 80’s, shorts are making their appearance and ghostly legs are greeting the sun. Unfortunately for me, I have extremely fair skin and generally have to build a base tan by burning a couple of times before I can get any semblance of a tan. When I was younger and didn’t care about things like wrinkles and skin cancer I frequented tanning beds religiously. However, now that wrinkles are actually a concern and I’ve become deathly afraid of anything cancer related, I’ve had to look to new and safer ways to get that bronzed glow.

So, what’s a skin-conscious mama to do? Sunless tanning, of course. Back when I was in my early teens there were very few options for us pale peeps when it came to sunless tanner; all of the products on the market at the time turned me bright orange and streaky (they worked fine for those with olive skin, but I always developed a lovely day-glow orange hue). Thankfully, the sunless tanning products today have come a long ways, and being a faux tanning connoisseur I want to share my absolute must-haves with you guys. I must say that I do love a good professional spray tan, but with little to no free time it’s so much easier (and cheaper) to do the tanning myself at home!

For the Bod: Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tan

Fake Bake is my ultimate favorite sunless tanner. I have tried EVERYTHING out there: Clarin’s, St. Tropez,  Tan Towels, you name it, I’ve used it, and Fake Bake blows everything else out of the water, especially for those super pale ladies like myself.  Even with the advances that have been made in the self-tanner world, I still ended up looking orangey or even sort of greenish (what the hell, right?) with all other products because of how fair I am. With Fake Bake however, I got a gorgeous, natural looking bronze. Since discovering Fake Bake about two years ago, I have never used anything else. Fake Bake is also really well-priced at around $20; I have tried other tanning products that were $50 or more, and those can’t even come close to comparing. The other thing that I simply adore about Fake Bake is how easy it is to apply. The bottle comes with a tanning mitt and gloves (although I never use the gloves, oopsies), and the mitt allows for a smooth, even, and streak-free application. The color is immediately visible which also works as a color guide so you can see if you are missing any areas. Another bonus, Fake Bake smells surprisingly good, and washes out of clothing if you happen to get it on your stuff. Try it, and I promise you will be hooked for life-and incredibly tan. Win!

For Blending: Xen Tan Blending Balm

I can not stress how important it is to have a good blending balm.  Have you ever tried self tanner and ended up with dark, patchy knees, elbows, and ankles? That’s because you didn’t have Xen blending balm in your life. This yummy coconut scented balm is applied pre-tan to your dry areas, and can be used again after the tan application to blend problem areas like wrists, knuckles, etc. Seriously, Xen Blending Balm combined with Fake Bake is the most amazing power team, the super heroes of sunless tanning. Plus, Xen runs around $15 and lasts FOREVER.

For the Face: St. Tropez Face Tanner

While I tend to think that a lot of products marketed specifically for the face are just a ploy to get consumers to spend more money on the same product they are buying for their body, St. Tropez’s Face tanning lotion really is amazing. I have super sensitive skin, and St. Tropez doesn’t dry me out or clog my pores. The color is pretty and not too orangey, and it smells light and clean. A little bit pricer than the Fake Bake or Xen considering the size of the tube, but absolutely worth it in the quest for the perfect faux tan.

I hope that this helps! Remember that skin care is incredibly important, always wear an SPF to protect your skin (and prevent future wrinkles and sunspots!). Your body will thank you. Are there any self-tanning products you guys can’t live without? I love hearing what else is out there that I have not yet discovered!




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