ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Find a Natural Brown (and No Fake Orange) Self Tanner

Updated on May 13, 2011

Brown Not Orange Self Tanners

We all want to find a natural brown self tanner and not a product that gives us a fake orange tan. But how do we know which tanner to choose?

First of all we should find a quality tanner. All products work by the same principle and by using the same active ingredient (DHA) but not all are of the same quality. Some manufacturers use DHA of lower quality.

Furthermore are there a few things to keep in mind apart from choosing the right product. This has to do with the right preparations and a proper application of the tanner. Read on to learn more.

The Principle of Self Tanners

Self tanners (also known as sunless tanners, or UV-free tanners) are creams, gel, lotions, or sprays applied on the skin to achieve a natural natural brown, bronze, golden tanned skin.

The mechanism of self tanners is that they work by staining the most outer layer of the skin. This part of the skin exists of dead skin cells mostly. That's why the tanner has to be re-applied within a few days to a week in order to maintain the tan. (The dead skin cells shed and the tan literally falls off.)

But what to keep in mind when determining which self tanner gives you the best brown tan?

Self Tanners To Avoid

There are some nasty disadvantages to many self tanners. The most common downsides of lower quality self tanners are;

  • Some do not give you that natural brown tint but result in an orange hue.
  • Several tanners have a, sometimes very, unpleasant scent
  • Especially the very cheap tanners tend to dry out your skin.

Being aware of these disadvantages we know what we want in a product:

Criteria of a Quality Self Tanner

  • Dries quickly
  • Moisturizes
  • Smells pleasantly
  • Provides a natural brown and not an orange tan

My Favorite Brown (Not Orange) Self Tanner

A few months ago I started using a sunless tanner that didn't turn me orange. After visiting the website and trying the product's free trial offer ( I believe it is still available) I noticed this product to be really satisfying.

It does not have any adverse effects such as leaving patches or even breakouts as some products I tried did. This product also is easy to use because it is applied really smoothly, absorbs really well, and does not smell.

This will probably be due to the fact that Idol Tan is a tanning lotion with natural ingredients.(the company is member of the Natural Products Association) That's why it is also a very safe product to use which I find very important considering the fact that many tan sprays contain harmful chemicals.

Furthermore this is a moisturizing tanning agent so it hydrates my skin instead of drying it out. I also found it to be the best tanning lotion I know of for camouflaging skin blemishes.

Some Other High Quality Natural Brown Self Tanners

I have tried various self tanners and I found these to be the best on the market. They provide you with a realistic, natural looking tan without the orange cast.

Fake Bake is a great self tanner with a big share of satisfied customers.

I find the Banana Boat tanner has a penetrating smell that tends to stick relatively long which is why I stopped using this product but it does give a great tan for a very good price.

The self tanner by Sun Laboratories was recommended in Consumer Reports. Check out the Amazon reviews to read more user experiences.

Tips For a Natural Brown and No Orange Tan

Use a body lotion or another moisturizing cream every day for at least a few days before starting to use the tanner. Dry skin will get soak up the self tanner which will lead to an uneven tan. When you have prepared your skin with a moisturzing cream the tanning lotion will come on more evenly.

Think and choose what suits you best
Think about what type of self tanner suits you best. There are gradual tanners, dedicated face tanners and specialized body tanners. The latter are generally more rich in fatty ingredients so if you are prone to break outs a facial tanning lotion might be a better choice since it lowers the chance on irritation and does not clog the pores. If you don't have a sensitive skin you can use the same product for both.

Avoid Too Dark Tanners
Self tanners come in light, medium, and dark tones. It is strongly recommended to choose a tone that matches your skin. When you have a fair skin go for a light toned tanner because if the lotion is too dark using it could lead to an orange tan.

Wear gloves or wash your hands
Always make sure you wash, scrub your hands when you are finished when using a non-natural ingredient product. Or wear gloves.

Scrub! For a Realistic Brown Tan

Scrubbing is Key

The last but certainly not the least tip: Scrub!

Exfoliating before applying the self tanner is key to getting a realistic brown tan. If you don't your tan might flake off. It's recommended to start exfoliating a few days before you start applying the self tanner.

Personally I find that exfoliating works best with gloves. But you can also use brushes, towels, soaps, or pads. I would certainly recommend using one of these for optimal results. Make sure to pay extra attention at the dry parts of your body such as your elbows or knees.

How To Apply a Self Tanner on Your Back

The body buddy is a handy tool which helps you apply lotion to the unreachable parts of your body. It does not absorb and is easy to wash.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • 07Angel01 profile image

      Diane Marie 

      11 years ago from Broomall, PA

      Thank you for writing this hub!, it is very well written, and is going to be very useful for me. I have always had a hard time figuring out which self tanner to buy; I also didn't know about the techniques to applying it. Your information is going to help me a great deal. Thanks! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)