As bare leg weather approaches, self-tanners re-emerge from the back of my cupboards to aid in providing some colour to my pale and lifeless legs. When it comes to self-tanning, I’m pretty much a no frills kind of person and I usually can’t be bothered to deal with anything too high maintenance. I like gradual tanners because they can be applied like a lotion and they provide a nice but not too dramatic tan.
Before I fake tan, I make sure to exfoliate my legs to get rid of any dry skin so that the tanner can really adhere to my bare skin. I’ve tried a couple of different exfoliating products but nothing works as well as body wash paired with exfoliating gloves. The gloves allow me to exfoliate to my liking, without having to deal with goopy and messy body exfoliators that usually just end up washed down the drain.
My pick for a gradual tan that provides great colour, builds up in a couple of days and fades nicely is Banana Boat Summer Colour Self-Tanning Lotion. I apply it on my bare legs and it does a good enough job at moisturizing without having to layer it with a body lotion. It has a little bit of the notorious fake tan smell but nothing too finicky. I am probably the ONLY person in the world who actually doesn’t mind the smell of self-tanners so I may not be the best person to offer an opinion on it. For the first day that I use this, I will apply it all over my legs. On the second and third days however, I make sure to avoid my knees and ankles because they always absorb enough tan the first time around. It dries pretty much instantly and I never have to worry about it rubbing off on clothes. After 2-3 days, I get a really nice colour bronzy (but never orange) colour. Sometimes I use this once on my chest and arms to just get a slight hint of colour but I mainly stick to applying fake tanner on my legs because the rest of my body already gets naturally tanned. This product is not actually available here in Canada so I stock up whenever I head down to the States.
After the 2-3 day process with the Banana Boat, I prolong the tan with the Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream. This BB Body Cream received a bit of flack in the beauty community because of its not explicitly expressed addition of self-tanner in the formula. However, because of this, I have been able to use it as a fake tan accompaniment. I have not yet tried using it on its own, as I don’t see it being any good as a body moisturizer with a hint of self-tanner, nor as a full on self-tanner. However, when paired with an actual tanning product, it works great to expand the tan for at least 3-4 more days. As someone who does not deal well with high maintenance tanning products, this is exactly what I dream of.
I am currently testing a St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse sample that I got from a Sephora set as a 500-point perk. However, real tanners like that one, require more work, the use of a glove, additional drying time… and just too many other details that I do not wish to worry about. BUT I do have to say that it is a damn good product, especially for when I need some colour immediately. I will be testing it out a little more and I’m actually hoping that I don’t love it because I don’t think I can justify the price for a tanning product. Seriously, how can I when the Banana Boat stuff costs $5.99?!