Self Tan vs. Spray Tan: Which Should You Choose?

Palm trees, constant weather in the low 70’s, and sunny days year round: just a few of the things someone might associate with Chapman. Going to school in one of the sunniest places in America may seem like a win-win-win, but what about if you’re one of those rare chicks who can’t even get a miniscule natural tan to save her life? Not that there's anything wrong with being pale, Snow White got a dang prince and 7 friends for life all while being semi-translucent. But sometimes a fresh tan can make you feel rejuvinated and confident. There are two surefire ways to boost your tan--ways that don’t involve scary tanning booths that can be harmful to your skin. Spray tanning vs. self tanning, let's see how the two stack up against one another.

Self Tan: One of the best things about self-tanners is that there is such a huge variety of products to choose from.  You can nab a Jergen’s self tanner from the grocery store for under 10 bucks, but if you really want that one-day quick and perfect velvety finish, you might have to slurge around 40 bucks on a bottle of a self tanner from a brand like St Tropez. Although it can take a few tries to get the application process streak-free and perfect, once you’ve developed a technique, you’re good to go. And the good news? No matter how much you’re spending, you’ll have enough product for multiple tans in your future. And there’s no limit to the amount of products you can try, there’s even a gradual tanner that you just apply each time you hop in the shower. You might have to go through a few different products to find your perfect match, but once you find it, you’re all set!

My favorite products: St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse ($44),  Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam (Dark) ($24)

Spray Tan: Now, when you think of a ‘spray tan’, you might be imagining your high school’s prom-tanning horror stories or that unimaginable beet-red tan Kate Hudson gave Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars. But let me assure you, as long as you communicate effectively with your spray tanner, you have nothing to worry about. While self-tans take quite a long time to apply, bending all over the place trying to reach that one spot in the middle of your back, spray tans are a breeze—literally. All you have to do is stand there with your arms up and let yourself be bronzed.  And no, contrary to popular belief, spray tan hoses are not freezing!  Although it can be kind of awkward standing nude in front of someone you just met, most spray tanners are equipped with a plethora of social skills to make you forget what’s even happening. If you’re really uncomfortable with the idea of someone spraying you, there are always spray tan booths—although I’ve been too scared to try them after reading countless yelp reviews of uneven-tans. The only downside to spray tanning that I’ve found is the fact that it can cost you a pretty penny. Although you can scour Groupon for deals, they’re usually only for first-time uses only. Spray tans range from the 30-50 dollar range per session, so it’s not something someone with the average budget can get weekly. (Although, if I was Kylie Jenner, I know I would). 

My favorite tanners: Ashley at The Tannery (gorgeous studio setup with private rooms) & Brittany at Tan Lines (mobile tanning, or tan at her apartment in Newport Beach (she has an adorable French Bulldog that'll try and lick your legs afterward))

Final advice: stick to self tanners for everyday-use, and splurge on a spray tan on special occasions.