My Favorite Self Tanner

Left: One application of St. Tropez Express           Right: 2 applications of St. Tropez Express

It's officially that time of year where I like to always have a tan, so I'm sharing my favorite sunless tanner with you guys! As someone who feels like I have tried every self tanner out there, I'm pretty excited to have narrowed down my faves. As of right now, my personal favorite is Loving Tan, but I wanted to share some options for those of you who might want a different look or have different preferences.

The reason I'm a Loving Tan fan is that the Ultra Dark formula that I've been using gives a great, satisfying tan without looking too dark or scary (despite what the shade name implies). It does get me darker on the first use than any other tanner I've used, which is so nice if you want to use it the night before an event and not have to worry about building your tan up throughout the week. I do find that to truly reach "Ultra Dark" I need to apply two nights in a row, but that's not a big deal. I like having the option to build it up super dark or not.

Loving Tan Pros:

  • Darker tan
  • Drys quickly 
  • Slightly better smell 
  • Lasts longest

Loving Tan Cons:

  • Drys quickly (also a con because you have to work quickly) 
  • Harder to get off if you make a mistake 
  • Bottle leaks easily - hard to travel with

St. Tropez is another really great one that I've used for a long time. The Express bottle is great to have if you're pressed for time and need to tan fast. I also sleep in it at night when I have more time and it develops a beautiful, even tan in the morning. It doesn't get as dark or last as long as the Loving Tan, but it is a bit easier to work with.

St. Tropez Pros:

  • Slightly easier to work with
  • Express option is great for a 1-3 hour processing time if you're in a rush
  • More flexibility in shade range 

St. Tropez Cons:

  • Must apply multiple nights to reach an ultra dark tan

Another that I really love, but just don't have on hand right now, is Tanceuticals! Its a lotion consistency instead of a foam and it does not have the bronze color guide like St. Tropez and Loving Tan do. That means you have to work carefully with it because you won't see if you missed a spot, but it also means no transfer to sheets! Since its a lotion, its also great if you have dry skin and need some extra nourishment.

A couple of tips to remember for a perfect application of any self tanner:

1. Exfoliate first - I use a sugar scrub and deeply exfoliate before tanning. This ensures that your skin is a soft, smooth canvas for the tanner to adhere to and you won't have any darker rough patches.

2. Apply lotion to any dry areas (hands, feet, elbows, knees, etc.) - this will help your tan look even and prevent dry areas from soaking up too much tanner and looking splotchy.

3. Use a mitt to apply - these come with most tanning products, but you can also purchase them separately at Ulta, Amazon, etc. These make it almost impossible to have streaks. I also wear a glove underneath the mitt since product can soak through. I wash it after each use and it will usually last me and entire spring/summer season before I need to replace it.

4. The longer you keep it on, the better the result. I usually apply right before bed and sleep in my self tanner to allow it to process a while and avoid the inevitable water spill that I know will happen if I apply during the day.

5. Shower off in the morning and moisturize immediately. The key to maintaining your tan is to moisturize daily. There are also lotions made by St. Tropez and other companies that will extend the life of your tan and make it appear deeper and more flawless at the same time. I haven't tried any of those, but its a great option if your tan needs a little booster!

Let me know if you've tried any of these and what your favorite self tanner is! I hope you all are planning some fun spring activities and trips!




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