Self-Tanners That Won’t Leave a Streaky Mess

Self-tanners sound like the perfect way to get a year-round glow. They don’t damage the skin like tanning salons or sunbathing, and they’re fairly easy to apply. Simply smooth on a few dollops of lotion, watch as your pasty pallor turns golden brown, and flaunt your newly sun-kissed skin! But anyone who’s tried self-tanners knows that it’s not quite that easy. They can have a number of unsightly side effects, leaving users looking streaky and orange. With a little effort, however, you can find the self-tanner than works for your skin.

How Do Self-Tanners Work?

All self-tanning products have one ingredient in common: dihydroxyacetone. This ingredient, also known as DHA, changes the color of dead skin cells when applied directly to the skin. This color change typically lasts about a week before the altered cells are sloughed off in the shower. That’s why self-tanners need to be applied diligently if you want to retain your golden-brown glow. If you don’t apply them once a week, your skin will revert to its original shade.

How Do I Prevent Streaks?

Not all self-tanners are created equal, and some are more prone to streaks and stripes than others. But if you want to achieve an even tan, you need to prep your skin before you apply. Start by exfoliating with a body scrub or a loofa. You should also shave your legs. By getting rid of this top layer of skin, you’ll minimize streaks and maximize your tan time.

What Should I Look for When Buying?

When choosing a self-tanner, there are a few things you should look for if streaks are your main concern. For one thing, opt for a tinted product. These products give the skin a tint during the application process, which means you’ll never miss a spot. You should also choose a product that gives you enough time to apply. Instead of choosing a quick-drying foam tanner, choose a lotion. This will give you a longer window of time to apply your tanner.

What About Application?

To avoid streaks, it’s important that you do a thorough job during the application process. You should apply the lotion in slow, steady strokes. Make sure that all areas of the body are covered, and pay extra attention to areas that are most absorbent, like the elbows and neck. After a few applications, you’ll start to get a feel for how your skin absorbs self-tanner. You can then adjust your application process to get the best results.

There are many great self-tanners to choose from. Here are four that are sure to leave you with an even, streak-free tan.

Clarins Self-Tanning Milky Lotion

If you’re looking for a high-end self-tanner, you can’t go wrong with Clarins Self-Tanning Milk. This super-hydrating formula can help you achieve a natural-looking tan, and the moisturizing ingredients improve the condition of your skin. It’s a simple way to get flawless results.

While all self-tanners contain DHA, Clarins Self-Tanning Milk also contains a second self-tanning agent: erythrulose. DHA and erythrulose combine to boost your bronze glow and enhance the longevity of your results. The formula also contains aloe vera, which softens and smooths the skin. The lotion also leaves behind an irresistible scent, thanks to traces of fig extract.

For best results, Clarins recommends that users exfoliate before use and hydrate daily to prolong results. When applying the Self-Tanning Milky Lotion, use sweeping motions to rub the product into the skin.

Clarins Self-Tanning Milky Lotion retails at $38, which means that’s it’s one of the more expensive self-tanning options available. If you’re looking for natural, streak-free results, however, the price tag might just be worth it.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

If you’ve never tried self-tanner before, Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer might be the perfect introductory product. This lightweight lotion may not help you achieve a dark tan overnight, but it’s a great way to build an even, streak-free tan over time. This cult-favorite product has won Allure Best of Beauty Awards, and for good reason. It delivers natural-looking results with every application.

This Jergen’s lotion is available in two shades: Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan. For best results, choose the option that’s closest to your natural skin tone. With consistent use, this lotion will help you build up the perfect, glowing tan. It’s also infused with great ingredients that will leave your skin feeling smooth and healthy. Vitamin E moisturizes the skin, and antioxidants protect it from environmental toxins.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable option. It’s only $10, so it’s a guilt-free way to achieve a beautiful tan.

Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula

Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula is specially designed to prevent splotches and streaks. The lightweight lotion glides onto skin, and it’s easily absorbed. Within an hour of your application, the formula will start to take effect, and you’ll start to notice your skin tone transforming into a golden brown. After about three hours, you’ll see the full results.

This lotion also contains ingredients that are beneficial for the skin. Vitamin E, cocoa seed butter, and apricot kernel oil combine to provide a healthy dose of hydration. With consistent application, you’ll find that your skin feels supple, soft, and soothed.

Kiehl’s advises users to apply the lotion liberally and wash hands immediately after application. This isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, and you should still apply an SPF product while using this product.

Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula has a retail price of $22.50, making it a mid-range self-tanner. If you’re looking for high-quality ingredients and high-quality results, this Kiehl’s product is a great choice.

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion

This Clinique self-tanner is tinted, which makes application simple. Instead of worrying about whether you’ve missed a spot, your skin has an instant infusion of color. After a few hours, your smooth, even tan will develop. This oil-free formula can be used on all skin types, and it won’t cause breakouts, rashes, or other side effects.

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion can be purchased in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep. For best results, Clinique recommends that users apply this lotion with a combination of vertical and horizontal strokes. This prevents streaks, gaps, and unwanted patchiness. This lotion costs $25, which is on the pricy side for self-tanners. If you’re looking for a streak-free tinted tanner, however, this Clinique option may be the best one available. It’s a foolproof way to achieve a lovely, even tan all summer long.

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Jun 2, 2017