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Best Self Tanner; Self Tanners with a Natural Look

Updated on August 17, 2013

Go For the Natural Tan Look Without Laying Out


Tanning Spray & Tanning Lotions

Tanning spray has become popular over the past five years because it can leave a nice, even tan that is totally void of streaks. The down side of spray tans is that they an be too even and deliver an artificial look. If you wish to use a spray on tan it is not a bad idea to rub lotion on your elbows and knees first so that the color will not develop too deeply in driest and most wrinkled parts of the body, and use a self tanning lotion on the tops of the arms and shoulders.

This will deliver the most natural look because naturally we darken more on the shoulders and arms than we do on any other body parts. Orange tanning is bad, but looking like you have just been painted one color can give a strange and unnatural appearance too.

Jessica Simpson's Too Even Tan

Mystic Tan

Spray Tan
Spray Tan | Source

No More Orange , Please!

Find the best self tanner this year....

It was some time in the late 70's that the world was just starting to hear the bad news that tanning is actually bad for our skin. Tans were linked to premature aging and skin cancer. Before the late 70's a tan was believed to be a sign of good health. Mothers were slathering their kids with tanning butter, and holding silver highly reflective trays up to their faces in order to get that healthy bronzed look. The sad news that all the years of coating themselves in oil and burning their faces with tanning lamps in the winter was actually doing damage did not sit well with many die hard tanners. Fortunately, there are fake tans on the market for those who must have their tan fix, but, are not crazy enough to become an cancer ridden old hag by the age of 40.

As a model and former Latin dance competitor, I have tried many self tanners through the years. I have years of experience with a variety of formulas, and there was a time when I tried just about every new product on the market and some of the real old formulas that I actually thought were better. With summer just around the corner, I have decided to put together a review of the one's that really work well to help women choose a good, natural looking tan, without the brassy orange side effect. Some of my favorites have actually been pulled off the market, not because they did not produce beautiful results, but because that is just what happens when a product is not marketed very well. The expensive or "big name" products stay on the market no matter how substandard they are. This has kept me searching and continuing to try products. Here is a list of current products that deliver excellent results.

But first, always remember that before you use any self tanner, you should exfoliate. This is a very important step in the tanning process. If you have dead skin cells piled up around your elbows, you obviously can not see it, but after your Faux tan develops, you certainly will. This is one way that those ugly brown or orange patches appear.

Moroccan Mineral Dark Tan is an excellent tanner. It turns the skin a beautiful deep island brown. It also has the "guide" that some of us love, while others hate. The guide is an instant brown look that can be scrubbed off after approximately 30 minutes with a dry towel. I prefer to leave it on overnight.

Xen- Tan is another excellent tanner. This is similar to the Moroccan Tan, only I believe that it is lightly lighter when it develops.

Fake Bake: One of my favorites for years. It has the tan guide, but over the years fake bake has come up with new formulas that are not as good. To be competitive, they come up with gimmicks such as mousse,gel, and "new" blended formulas, and I just thought they were terrible. The link I have provided is for the "original" formula that works beautifully to produce an even brown tone. I recommended this product to a few of my friends years ago and they are hooked on it.

Clinique Self Tanner with the tan guide, is a very natural looking golden brown. I believe it is not as dark, or brown looking, as the others I have mentioned but it is certainly natural and long lasting and streak free.

It is wise to moisturize after your tan develops. This will keep your skin looking more vibrant as well as prolong the life of your tan.

No matter what your skin color is to begin with you will be happy with your results with either one of these tanners.

Orange Tan

Brook Hogan Orange Tan

Fake Tans Can Look Fake

Be sure you know what you are doing. A fake tan can look fake and ugly. The photo above shows a pretty face wit an ugly, fake orange tan. The self tanners that I mentioned here are great for delivering brown and natural results, but there are still many products on the market that will deliver a phoney looking color that will just make you look weird.

Don't assume that the more expensive ones will deliver natural brown results either. I have tried many brand name creams that have left me looking like an orange.

The Right Shade of Faux Tan

It happens to celebrities too. One of the problems is that when one has very blond hair, going too dark with the self tanner can enhance the strange contrast of blond hair and orange skin.

Looking at the photo above I think very few people would confuse the color of her skin for a tan that was the result of a day at the beach.


After achieving your faux tan, using a bronzer to enhance your bronzed skin, or as a touch up as it fades, can not only add a tan effect, but also a shimmery and frosted glow.

Bronzers are not what they used to be. They can be found in various shades of brown, and come in powders, gels and mousse, and provide a stunning addition to your skin, no matter what color it is when you start.


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    • Skarlet profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      You are right. I forgot the smell.

      I don't really like the smell, but I tolerate it for a few hours, while the color develops. Most of these can be purchased inexpensively online. After trying many of these products, I found that the ones you don't see in drug stores seem to be the best. Fake bake produces a beautiful, natural brown color, but, it smells....

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      6 years ago from Beautiful South

      Except for the Clinique, I haven't seen any of these brands in our locale. I have tried several different brands, mainly because I now have to stay out of the sun. One thing I found in common that you didn't mention: They Stink! Some more so than others. Even the most pleasant ones that I have tried leave an odor that isn't pleasant. At first I thought it was just my chemistry, but I've heard several people complain about it. Once my husband asked me what I was angry about because he said I smelled like civet. Ha! If you know any brand that doesn't leave a bad odor, please post it. Thanks!

    • Skarlet profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      Thank you teaches. Even in California we use these. Haha. Some girls think that they like the color of these "fake" tans better than the real thing.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Living in South Florida, we see some pretty good tans. Most are natural as the sun is plentiful here and allows you to tan easily, even when you don't need it. Could ideas and suggestions for those who would like to acquire a tanned look. Thanks for sharing.


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