My Top 3 Tanning Products
Like most Aussies, I love summer, sun and the tanned skin that goes with it. Also like most Aussies, I like to protect myself from the sun so I don't burn to a crisp and of course, look bronzed at the same time. Impossible you say? Well, not exactly. These days there are so many great sunless tanning formulas, that you can look like you've just returned from a tropical holiday pretty much all year round.
My love affair with tanning started at a young age, when I used to "borrow" my sisters Ambre Solaire when she wasn't home and go nuts slathering it all over myself. I suppose she cottoned on when I suddenly had a new tan overnight, but back then I thought I was sahhh smart. After this I also became a big fan of solariums - remembering this was in the early 00's when there was limited information and education on health impacts of regular solarium use, and before they were banned in most countries - although that love affair lasted a short 12 months until I had a healing scar turn dark brown after a session and realized I was probably aging myself much faster than I should be at nineteen.
So, fast forward to today and I can safely say that at the tender age of *ah-hem* my early thirties, I have tried just about every single tanning line (see what I did there) available from Priceline in Australia, as well as plenty of brands that I've found online.
MINE TAN BODY SKIN
So, starting with my all-time-favourite and HG tan brand, Mine Tan Body Skin, my top choice is the Dry Oil Liquid Bronze foam. The first time I tried Mine Tan I was so impressed that I actually bought one of every product they had on offer at the time and now have the home spray machine with a portable tent to boot! They've nailed the colour and texture of the foam with this product, it leaves the most gorgeous, deep bronzed tan, and work particularly well with my olive skin and I'm sure would with paler / darker skin too. One of the star ingredients in the formula is the dry oil derived from coconut oil, which allows the foam to spread more evenly across the skin as well as moisturise while you use it. Additionally, the ingredients include Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil and Avocado Oil which are all high in antioxidants, and great for hydrating and locking in moisture. I usually find my legs are so dry if tan straight after a shower, but this product solves that problem plus dries quickly so I don't have to stand around waiting for ages to put my clothes on.
Another great benefit of the Mine Tan formula is that it lasts FOREVER once applied. Well, not literally but I get at least 4-5 days of a smooth, even tan before I even have to think about exfoliating. My personal preference is to apply using a glove (also from Mine Tan, but I also love the J Bronze - Luxe Application Mitt as it's super thick, durable and reusable). I usually apply the product directly onto the glove which then glides on very easily.
The second brand to mention in my top 3 list is the Vita Liberata - Tinted Self Tan Lotion in Extra Rich. I also came across this brand at Priceline and whist it is in the slightly higher price bracket (retails between ~40AUD - 70AUD), a little really does go a long way. I predominantly use this to tan my face as it works well as the first layer before any sort of moisturizer, toner, or makeup. For face application I prefer using a foundation brush so I get even and blended colour right into the hairline and around the chin and neck. Just remember to wash your foundation brush immediately after especially if it has white bristles otherwise they will be a lovely dark shade of bronze!
The formula develops over a few hours and leaves your skin fairly hydrated although I recommend also using moisturiser as per your normal routine. I noticed the first ingredient is aloe vera which is likely why it spreads well and has a soft balmy type texture. As well as being organic with non-toxic ingredients - free from parabens, perfumes, alcohol and other chemicals - Vita Liberata employ what they call 'Odour Remove' technology which means no nasty smelling formula or lingering smell on your skin. This has officially taken the crown of best face tanner!
One of my go-to brands for sunscreen and tanning is Le Tan and the Shimmering Self Tanning Dry Oil, which some may consider a dupe of Bondi Sands Liquid Gold (which I also love!) as it is somewhat similar in texture and application although at a lower price point. I love this formula as it is hydrating, spreads easily and has a lovely-but-not-too-sparkly shimmer to it when applied. It's labelled as Light / Medium but if you want to amp it up a bit, try doing two coats on consecutive days as the colour will develop quite dark. The price is pretty much unbeatable at $8 a bottle, and is great value as I can typically get around 2 months use out of it before running out, of course that can vary depending on how often I tan during the week.
Similar to the Mine Tan Dry Oil Liquid Bronze, I use a glove to apply and the pump dispenses the perfect amount of product for glove application. I've tried using my hands before wouldn't recommend this as mine ended up super shimmery and it took me at least 20mins to scrub the colour off with a nail brush - just goes to show the tint has staying power!