RedPlum's Guide To Sunless Tanning!

By Kate Martel

So here’s the scoop: we spend all winter waiting for the sun to shine so we can achieve a "healthy" summer glow that, in reality, isn’t so healthy. Of course having the perfect golden-brown glow can make us feel a little more confident (and does a great job of hiding imperfections) but is it really worth the lasting effects the sun’s harmful rays have on our bodies? We’re talking wrinkles, age spots as well as an increased chance of developing Melanoma. But come on, you know all this. And yet the sun’s siren call still gets you every summer. If you're ready to give the sunless route a try, read below for our round-up of sunless-summer dos and don’ts, and a list of under-$20 products we love.

For the Face Because the skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body, be sure to use a sunless tanning product that won’t clog or irritate your pores. Those specifically formulated for the face are preferable. Look for a lotion that’s oil free and contains moisturizing nutrients like vitamin E. Before you apply, make sure your face is clean and dry. Rather than moisturizing prior to the application, mix a little in with your tanner for best results.

For the Body When applying lotion to your body, the trick is to use the product in moderation to create the most even, natural-looking tan. Esthetician and makeup artist Yadira Alexander suggests starting with a quarter-sized amount of product and applying top to bottom in one smooth, even movement (watch that video for a demonstration).

Spray Tans Although sunless tanner is available in spray form it’s a little tricky to master the application process on your own. Many salons offer professional applications or spray tans. They run about $30 and last around a week or two. It’s a great way to keep your skin UV Free and still maintain a beach-y glow.

The Gradual Glow If you aren’t all about instant results, a gradual tanning lotion is a great option. Jergen’s makes two different formulas (face and body) that come in a variety of shades (light, medium and dark) that will build a very natural looking tan over time.

Sunless Tanning Tools Under $20!

Energy Glow by Dove is a daily moisturizer with a natural glow (about $10).

Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer (SPF 20) by Jergens will darken your skin as well as save it with a boost of SPF (about $8).

Regenerist by Olay is a simple serum that promotes youthful skin and protects it from damage (about $18).

Face Self-Tanning Formula by Clinique is a self-tan formula that provides both an instant and gradually increasing glow (about $20).

Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion Face/Body by L'Oreal will quite simply light up your face (about $10).

Energizing Sugar Body Scrub by Neutrogena is a sweet scrub that will get you ready to self tan (about $10).

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