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Hi lovelies! With summer pretty much here, I wanted to make a post on a topic that I feel is pretty popular around this time… Self-tanning products!
We all know that laying out in the sun is fun and all, but let’s be real it can do some MAJOR damage to your skin if you don’t take the proper precautions. Now I’m certainly not here to lecture on how you should never ever go out in the sun to layout without sunscreen because if I’m being completely honest, I do that sometimes too. But the amount of times I do that now versus when I was in high school and college is drastically less.
In my high school years, I would layout every. single. day. during the summer. I would literally start my days out by waking up, grabbing a huge bottle of water and a huge bowl of fruit and go layout by my grandparent’s pool, slathered in tanning oil (yep, you read that right… OIL) and proceed to fry my skin for hours. Not to mention the fact that I used to visit the tanning bed like it was my second home.
This went on from the time I was about 15-20 and looking back now, I shudder to think of all the irreversible damage I caused to my skin. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy laying out in the sun every once in a while during the summer months, but it’s here and there rather than every single day and I always have some sort of sunscreen on. Now THIS is where self-tanner really comes in handy.
I am not a naturally tan person (my mom is part cajun and tans SO easily and really well. I did not get that gene. It takes some work to get this Irish girl to tan!) and since I no longer go to the tanning beds or layout much for tanning, I rely on the great and wonderful product of self-tanner.
I’ve tried a variety of self-tanners over the years and have come to learn which ones have been my favorite and work well, and which ones leave me looking like an Oompa Loompa. I’ve finally found a self-tanning routine that works well for me and that has proven to be consistent. So today I wanted to share what products I have found that work best for me and compare them against each other to share what I like best and what hasn’t been my favorite aspect.
Before you tan, make sure you are following these tips to make sure you give your tan the best chance of lasting a long time:
- Shave, exfoliate with exfoliating gloves and moisturize 24 hours prior to applying self-tanner. (I normally do it the night before I plan to apply tanner.)
- Make sure to shower before applying self-tanner to ensure your skin is clean and free of any moisturizer or oils.
- Wear LOOSE CLOTHING after applying self-tanner. I will normally wear a loose dress if I’m applying self-tanner in the morning and plan to wear it all day. If I’m applying at nighttime, I’ll wear long pajamas that are silky and loose (pants AND long-sleeves so it doesn’t transfer when I’m sleeping to my sheets).
- The first time you shower after applying your self-tanner, don’t use soap! Only use water so the top layer of your tan washes off but you don’t scrub it off with soap.
This is my OG tanning products, so to speak. I’ve used it for almost two years now and it’s worked wonderfully for me! I’ve always heard good stuff about Loving Tan too, so I know there are a lot of people out there who love it.
Here are my thoughts on it and also how I apply it.
How I Use It: To start out, I ALWAYS use a tanning mitt to apply any kind of self-tanner. If you don’t, your hands WILL turn orange and splotchy. Trust me, I’ve done my research. (I LOVE this tanning mitt because it lasts forever and you can just throw it in the washer with your towels to wash. I’ve had other cheaper ones that last 2-3 applications and then my finger pokes through the end and I have a brown finger. NOT CUTE. This one has lasted me almost 2 years, even with being washed once a week.) I start out on my legs and work my way up my body to my stomach, my arms and then my back. (I use this to do my back since Jordan isn’t always around or available to help me. It works WONDERFULLY and always gets my back evenly.)
How Much I Use: I use about 3-4 pumps on the top of one leg, 2 on the bottom part of my leg, 3-4 pumps on my stomach and chest, 2 pumps per arm and 3 pumps on my back. I use any leftover product from my legs to go over my knees and feet, any leftover product from my stomach and chest to do my face and any leftover product from my arms to do the tops of my hands. I NEVER use a whole new pump for these areas or I find that it balls up and looks bad.
- I love that you can see where you’re tanning with this. It has a bronzer in it, so you can see where you’ve already tanned and can make sure you get everywhere evenly. It also immediately gets you tan since it contains a bronzer and then you just get darker the longer you leave it on. You can shower after 2 hours of leaving it on, but I normally just sleep in it and shower the next day.
- It lasts almost a full week! I love that this leaves me tan for almost a full week. It actually does leave me tan longer than a week, but I like the dark kind of tan where you can tell I look tan heehee. So that lasts (for me) about a week. I normally tan on Friday or Saturday nights and I’m good for the week!
- It fades really evenly. I’ve had problems with other self tanners fading unevenly and I just look splotchy and have to end up scrubbing the daylights out of my skin to get the dang stuff off. This isn’t like that at all; as long as you stay moisturized after every shower, which I normally do anyways, then it’ll fade evenly and naturally. (This is the moisturizer I normally use. You can get it at most stores!)
- Finally, I love the color. I use the Dark normally in this product and it looks great with my skin tone. It doesn’t make me look too dark or orange at all. The color is BROWN, not orange and looks really natural. I always get asked by people “Girl, do you literally just layout by the pool every dang weekend?!” Heehee I sometimes answer yes! But really, it’s just this tanner! xD
- There is a bit of a smell to this tanning product, although it’s not a bad smell. I actually think it smells good, but that might just be me!
- Since this has bronzer in it, it will transfer to your clothes if a) you don’t let it dry completely before putting clothes on and/or b) you sweat or get wet while having this on BEFORE showering off after the initial application. (After you shower once and get the initial bronzer layer off, it doesn’t transfer at all!) Also, if you decide to wear it to bed like I do, make sure you wear long pants and long sleeves to bed. I made this mistake a couple weeks ago and I accidentally tanned a portion of Jordan’s leg haha.
I started using this about a month ago after hearing about it for over a year from various bloggers. So many people swear by this stuff so I wanted to see what the hype was all about. I bought the tanning drops and lotion bundle from QVC to use together and see if it was really like everyone was saying. I ended up using the drops on my face with my normal facial moisturizer and then used the tanning lotion with the drops on my whole body.
Here are my thoughts on the drops and lotion after using it for about a month.
How I Use It: Again, MAKE SURE you use a tanning mitt to apply, especially with this self-tanner! I didn’t worry about using one my first time and my hands were COMPLETELY orange. Like Oompa Loompa orange. Just like the other tanner, I start out on my legs and work my way up my body to my stomach, my arms and then my back. (I’ll still use this to do my back if Jordan isn’t around or available to help but for this tanner, it actually works better for your back if you use a mitt and just try to reach or get someone to help.)
How Much I Use: For this tanner, I use about 3-4 pumps AND drops on the top of one leg, 2-3 pumps and drops on the bottom part of my leg, 3-4 pumps and drops on my stomach and chest, 2-3 pumps and drops per arm and 3-4 pumps and drops on my back. I use any leftover product from my legs to go over my knees and feet and any leftover product from my arms to do the tops of my hands. Again, I NEVER use fresh product for these areas or I find that it will ball up. I’ll also use 1-2 drops in my normal nighttime face moisturizer and apply it (with the mitt) to my face, then also blend it down onto my neck to make sure there isn’t a line.
- The lotion and drops do keep you tan for a decent amount of time! I was still tan even after a week. (Note: it did take several applications though to achieve the level of tan I usually like.)
- The color is also good! I got the Dark drops and lotion and I liked the deep tan color it gave. It gave a nice brown tan color and wasn’t orange at all.
- It doesn’t transfer to clothing or sheets, which was probably my favorite thing about this! Once you apply and let it dry, you can get dressed and wear white or sleep on white sheets and it doesn’t transfer at all.
- It’s just a tanner, there’s no bronzer in it so it a) takes time to fully develop before you see a tan and b) is difficult to see and know where you’ve tanned. Because of this, I ended up with some areas that weren’t fully tanned or even.
- This doesn’t fade as evenly as my other mousse tanner. I’ve noticed it stays FOREVER in areas like my hands, knees, under my arms, etc. But it doesn’t really fade as evenly as the other one.
- Lastly, as I mentioned in the first pro, this is more of a buildable tanner. At least in my experience, I wasn’t as tan as I would have liked after the first application. It took me at least 2 times of applying this to achieve the level of tan I normally like and that I normally get with Loving Tan.
My Final Thoughts
Overall, both of these tanners are good and get the job done. I think personally I still prefer the Loving Tan Tanning Mousse in Dark just because it fades more evenly for me and is honestly easier to put on since I can see where I’m applying it. I also like that I can apply the Loving Tan mousse once and I’m pretty much done for the week. Sometimes I might apply it once more if I know I’ll be out in a bathing suit or by the pool/beach all day. But other than that, once a week is good for me to keep me looking a natural shade of tan.
However, I do still like the tanning drops for my face! I like how I can mix them with my facial moisturizer and it still gives my face a nice glow. However, before I tried these, I was just using Loving Tan on my face and it was fine for me. Not sure how everyone will do with this as I’ve read different things from different people with varying skin types, but my experience with it was fine.
So that’s it folks! I hope this was helpful for you guys. I know especially now with heading into the summer months, a lot more people will be looking at self-tanners and if you are starting from scratch, it can be a lot to just try and pick one without anything to go off of. So I hope this will serve as a guide and help give you a place to start.
Thanks for reading lovelies! As always, until the next post Xx.