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Self-Tanners I’ve Tried: Ranked

Hot girl summer is right around the corner, and now is the time to prepare! If you’re wanting to protect your youthful skin and still have that summer glow, self-tanner is the way to go. I've been self-tanning for years and have tried a large variety of brands, prices, and types of tanners. Here are the products I have tried and how I rank them!

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1. Jergen’s Natural Glow Tanning Moisturizer — 7/10

I feel like everyone started out using this tanner. It does contain parabens, which makes it take a while to soak in. Some people don’t like the smell of it, but I think it smells like any other body lotion. This one is great for winter or if you want to start out with a non-mousse product. The tan is easily buildable and lasts for a while. This tan is gradual, and I personally like something that gives overnight results, so for those reasons, I give this one a 7/10.

2. Jergen’s Instant Sun Tanning Mousse — 8/10

I used this mousse for years and I'm happy to say I will still reach for it. Depending on your skin tone, this mousse may be too orange for some people, such as cool-toned individuals. Since I am warm toned, I like it on me. This mousse gives instant dark results and has a light color guard for easy application. This has always been such a reliable mousse, so it gets an 8/10.

3. St. Moriz Professional Instant Tanning Mousse  5/10

I got the express tanner from this brand one summer and I loved it. I was super tan, and it was great! This past summer, I picked up a few more bottles. I think the formula is much different between the express and the regular dark because it got all over my clothes and bed. It washes out easily, but it sucks when you wash a white shirt and it gets marks on it, even after I washed off the color guard. Speaking of the color guard, this mousse has the darkest one of all. You may notice the tanner looks greenish, but this is to counteract the orange and give a brown tone. If you’re wanting to try this one out, definitely still do it to see if it works for you! But because of the other formulation and how much it got on my stuff, I give it a 5/10.

4. Tanologist Self Tan Mousse  9/10

This brand came to Target over the past year, and I have been obsessed ever since! It is a clear mousse, which I love because my clothes and sheets stay clean — no need to wash off any color guard! I would only recommend this tanner for people who are more experienced, just because you cannot see where it goes. If you are used to putting on mousse and using a mitt, then it should be easy. The dark shade gives me a beautiful glow and really works; 9/10!

5. Neutrogena Micro Mist — 2/10

I used this in high school, and it went on terribly. I probably did it wrong, but you have to spray it on yourself which is difficult. It seems that tanners with a spray application get everywhere but your skin; 2/10.

6. B. Tan Self Tan Mousse — 8/ 10

I saw this brand on TikTok in February 2020, and I got it before my spring break trip to Vegas (right before COVID.) I got the shade “Tanned AF," and let me tell you, I was tanned AF. I loaded up on it since we were spending the whole time at the pool day clubs. This mousse is vegan and cruelty free, which we love. The only downside is that it took a long time to dry, so it felt sticky for a while. It’s also harder to rub in because of the formulation. But, since it’s vegan, cruelty-free, cheap, and made me tan AF, I give it an 8/10.  

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There is such a variety of self-tanners out there, so make sure to try a few to see what works best with your skin. Ones I still have yet to try, and will soon, include the Bondi Sands Pure line, Isle of Paradise, and Filter by Molly Mae. Get your hot girl summer started with a summer glow!

I'm Anna and I am in the Chemical Engineering program at the U! I'm from Seattle, WA and came to Utah for school. Other organizations I am part of are ASUU, AIChE, SWE, the Utah Freeskier Society, and I'm a host at Porcupine!
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