Glo tested: self-tanners
- Next1 of 11Marianna Massey/WireImage
- Previous Next2 of 11Courtesy of Kerstin Florian
- Previous Next3 of 11Courtesy of VersaSpa
- Previous Next4 of 11Courtesy of Evolv
- Previous Next5 of 11Courtesy of Toni Brattin
- Previous Next6 of 11Courtesy of St. Tropez
- Previous Next7 of 11Courtesy of Philosophy
- Previous Next8 of 11Courtesy of LORAC
- Previous Next9 of 11Courtesy of Phytomer
- Previous Next10 of 11Courtesy of Sonia Kashuk
- Previous11 of 11Courtesy of Nature's Gate
Get Glowing1 of 11
By Laura Vogel
We all know that there's no such thing as a safe tan, unless it's a fake tan. (One only has to think of "Tan Mom" to recall how UV rays—whether from the sun or a tanning bed—can damage the skin.) Luckily, for those who crave a bronzed look without the risks, it turns out there is something new under the sun, in the form of self-tanners. Our testers slathered, spritzed and wiped on the latest formulas to bring you these ten sunless standouts.
Nature Girl2 of 11
Why it's unique: The active ingredient in most self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with the outer layer of the skin to create a bronzed tone. The brand-new Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan incorporates a vegetable-derived DHA as well as a host of other botanicals, including chamomile and echinacea.
Tester's take: "This self-tanner gave a gorgeous, natural-looking glow that you could amp up with additional applications. Another bonus? It is super moisturizing and smells like a garden."
SHOP NOW: Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan, $50
Sunny Scent3 of 11
Why it's unique: This tanner is fortified with vitamin D (the nutrient your body creates when it's exposed to the sun) and can be sprayed on from any angle, making those tricky, behind-the knees spots easier to reach.
Tester's take: "It smelled divine and didn't have that odd 'spray-tan smell'—people actually asked me what perfume I was wearing. The color was really pretty once it developed, a nice shade of brown with just a hint of red—like a real tan—and not orangey at all."
SHOP NOW: VersaSpa SunlessPro Tanning Bronzer 360º Spray, $37
Want an Evolution?4 of 11
Why it's unique: A combo of a potent botanical moisturizing ingredients like sweet almond oil and green-tea extracts hydrate the skin, while the gentle tanning ingredients—the concentration of active ingredients is so low that it can be used daily—deliver an ongoing glow between airbrush treatments.
Tester's take: "It has a great smell—it could almost replace a body spray. And it seemed to do the trick of preserving a tan."
SHOP NOW: Evolv Daily Glo Moisturizer, $28
Wash & Glow5 of 11
Why it's unique: The magic of this product is in the application: After a shower or bath, simply smooth it on and rinse off immediately. There's no waiting or worry about staining clothes. The lotion is tinted, so you can see exactly where your "tan" will develop.
Tester's take: "I didn't believe that self-tanning didn't have to involve wandering around the house naked, waiting for a product to dry, but this one defied all logic. It delivered a great-looking tan in minutes."
SHOP NOW: Toni Brattin Tan Secret, $30
Chocolate Mousse6 of 11
Why it's unique: St. Tropez is one of the most beloved brands in the self-tanning business. Their new mousse formulation helps ease application—a lot less streaking and no more dripping. It also dries in just 60 seconds.
Tester's take: "I like the color it gives—very natural and has more brown tones versus the orange hues I associate with self-tanners. It's very easy to apply, and I love that it's buildable color that lasted about five days."
SHOP NOW: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $30
Best Face Forward7 of 11
Why it's unique: This oil-free formula is perfect for the face (no blocked pores), and it also contains amino acids that help soften the appearance of fine lines. The color is very subtle, and you can build your "tan" gradually—no Oompa-Loompa fears here.
Tester's take: "I'm already a little dark, but it made my face more even-toned. I don't know if I would use this product every day, but I would use it at night or for going out."
SHOP NOW: Philosophy Here Comes the Sun Age-Defense Gradual Glow Self-Tanner for Face, from $26
Instant Glint8 of 11
Why it's unique: This tanner does double duty: It contains a bronzer that gives the skin an instant glow and then develops into a sun-kissed hue.
Tester's take: "I liked the light scent of this cream—it has a hint of vanilla—nothing like your usual self-tanner. The color developed gradually, but it was very natural-looking."
SHOP NOW: Lorac selfTANtalizer Body Bronzing Gradual Self-Tanner, $34
My Fair Lady9 of 11
Why it's unique: This tanner is great for those with fair complexions. It delivers a supremely subtle tan (that can be amped up with multiple applications). Also, it's formulated for face and body.
Tester's take: "This lotion, being French and all, had a very fancy smell—not a hint of chemicals. The white lotion was quickly absorbed by the skin. The resulting color was very subtle—there's no danger of looking like Snooki—and lasted about four days."
SHOP NOW: Phytomer Sun Radiance Self-Tanning Cream, $44
On-the-Go Glow10 of 11
Why it's unique: These handy little wipes are super portable, great for getaways. They are unscented and can be used all over the body—including the face.
Tester's take: "The product was wiped onto the body in a circular motion using the towelettes. It went on smoothly, and the color looked very natural and lasted for a week. I recommend this product to everyone who needs a little dash of color!"
SHOP NOW: Sonia Kashuk Sunless Tan Face & Body Tanning Towelettes in Golden, from $11
Natural Wonder11 of 11
Why it's unique: OK, this isn't a "new" product, but it works so well—at such a low price—that we had to share. This lotion goes on clear but develops a beautiful nut-brown hue rapidly. It's infused with moisturizing goodies, from shea butter to vitamin E.
Tester's take: "I was amazed at how quickly I developed color, which was dark without being overbearing or streaky or orange. It was impressive, and the results lasted."
SHOP NOW: Nature's Gate Glow Lotion, $13
NEXT ON GLO: Concealers that truly deliver