Going Sunless

Achieving that sun-kissed look while avoiding those damaging UV rays

Over the past several years sunless tanning products have evolved to help you attain that golden glow without streaks or orange-looking color. So throw those pantyhose away and try some of these products designed to put a little color in your life.                                                               

  • Bain de Soleil Mega Tan

Popular among both men and women due to its neutral suntan lotion scent, Mega tan delivers great color. $10.99, drugstores

  • Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion, Deep Dark

A great bargain, Banana Boat contains the same ingredients as some department store brands priced three times as much. Also available: Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Tinted Lotion, Light to Medium. Instant tint comes from henna (subtle color) with a fruity scent and is easy to apply. $5.97-$9, Wal-Mart

  • Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer, Medium to Tan

Tired of lotions and sprays? Why not try a foaming (mousse) product?
Light on fragrance, foaming products work well with heavy body hair. Works well even for those with sensitive skin.$ 7.89-$10.99 at drugstores

  • L’Oreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer, Medium Skin Tones

Good choice, especially for those using sunless tanner on their legs because it contains mica, a natural mineral that creates a slight shimmer that doesn’t look that great on your face. Also available: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee, Medium Natural Tan. Sunless.com says this product is almost identical to a Lancome sunless tanner selling for $33 since L’Oreal owns Lancome. $10.99-$13. Drugstores

  •  Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

Said by many to be the best, this self-tanner is easy to apply and doesn’t streak. A little goes a long way, doesn’t feel sticky, dries quickly and produces a natural looking tan. $33. Macys, Melbourne and Merritt Island

  •  Adonia Bronzing Glow Self Tanner with Organic Bergamont & Organic Geranium

In-home spa-like treatment that’s a favorite among celebrities. Just a few spritzes of mist help you achieve a golden brown glow without any orange undertones, zero streaks and a pleasant scent. Available in Bronzing Serum for the face and Bronzing Glow for the body. $39, www.adoniabronzing.com

  • Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Bronzing Self Tanning Lotion

This luxurious sunless tanning lotion is a real treasure and will give you a perfect tan, thanks to a touch of instant sheer color that lets you see where you’ve applied it.

Vitamin E helps to moisturize skin, glistening gold formula provides instant bronzing

with a tropical coconut fragrance. $15., Bath & Body Works, Melbourne and Merritt Island

  • Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning

Control your shade to get the tan that’s right for you by delivering just a hint of color with each application. This lightweight lotion allows you to decide how deep and dark you want your tan to be by how often you apply. $9.99. Drugstores

  • Clinique Self-Sun Body Tinted Lotion

Available in light-medium and medium-dark, airbrush spray is also available. Instant color, golden tan develops in a few hours. Oil free and shows where it goes. $21, Dillard’s, Melbourne and Merritt Island


Some Helpful Sunless Tanning Tips (courtesy of sunless.com)

Don’t shave your legs for several hours before applying sunless tanners.

Bathe with a soft cotton washcloth. Nylon or loofah scrubbers can cause a streaky effect.

Use a 2”-3” sponge paintbrush, available at hardware stores, to apply self tanner to your back. Wash before use and let it air dry.

If you are new to sunless tanning products, don’t use sprays. They are difficult to apply evenly.

Wash your hands at least every five minutes while applying. Use a soapy nailbrush to scrub palms, fingers, and fingernails. Or wear gloves. Get the inexpensive medical supply kind that come in a box.

Five to ten minutes after applying a sunless tanner, rub areas such as elbows and knees with a little lotion to lighten the effect.

If you’re applying a sunless tanner to your face and neck that is not a “for the face”, apply a lightweight lotion first and let it soak in for ten minutes.

Your freckles and moles will darken along with the rest of your skin. In fact, some colorless moles may become significantly darker. This is a sad fact of sunless tanning.  Scars are unpredictable. Mostly, they darken very little or not at all. The more recent the scar, the less sunless tanner it will absorb. Please note that stretch marks are scars. Sunless tanners will disguise stretch marks that are a few years old; new ones will not absorb the lotion and may look more prominent.

After your sunless tan has developed (it will take at least three hours), hydrogen peroxide can be used to lighten dark spots on your palms if you make a mistake. Apply the hydrogen peroxide with a Q-Tip or cotton ball, and be sure to rinse the hydrogen peroxide off your skin afterwards. Be very careful because a drop anywhere else will leave a spot.

Apply moisturizer to your “tan” every day.