Fun fact: I never even picked up a self-tanning product until I was well into my twenties. They always seemed fussy and complicated to me, and I never thought I needed them—that is until I booked my first spray tan. I was asked to do it as research for a story I was writing, and even though I was scared I’d look orange and unnatural, I went for it in the name of beauty journalism. When I left and caught a glimpse of myself in my car mirror, I was shocked. The tan looked incredibly natural and even, and instead of looking like I just had a spray tan, I looked healthy and radiant.
It quickly occurred to me that I wanted to look like that all the time. It also occurred to me that I could probably achieve a similar result at home with the help of self-tanning products. So, I opened up Pandora’s Box and began testing a variety of formulas. Some worked, some didn’t, but along the way, I learned two things—I can’t stand streaks, and I can’t stand the smell of dihydroxyacetone (this is the active ingredient in self-tanners).
Luckily, after a few years of trial and error, I came across a select few formulas that check all the boxes. They don’t look orange and unnatural, they don’t streak, and they don’t smell as strongly as other traditional self-tanning products. Keep scrolling to see all 8.