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Things that are orange: Oompa Loompas, pumpkin spice lattes, and pretty much anyone who’s ever used the wrong self-tanner. There’s nothing quite like the panic that sets in when those awful streaks appear all over your body and you realize your palms are stained a shade very similar to Donald Trump’s face. But as intimidating as self-tanners can seem, they’re still a thousand times better than laying in the sun (or in a tanning bed), racking up sun spots, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or, you know, skin cancer. Hey, don’t roll your eyes—one out of five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime, which are odds that we hate.
So instead, we’d like to introduce you to some of our favorite self tanners that are so easy to use, they’re practically dummy-proof, including gradual, buildable lotions, lightweight—yet surprisingly hydrating—face and body mousses, tanner-spiked argan oils that moisturize while you glow, and fast-acting lotions that set in just ten minutes. So next time you’re thinking about stepping outside without SPF in hopes of getting bronzed, do yourself a favor and grab one of these self-tanners, instead.
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If you want easy, sprayable application at any angle...
St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist, ; at Sephora
If you're eco-conscious and only use organic...
Coola Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum, ; at Coola
If you want to customize your face and body shade...
James Read Express Bronzing Mousse Face & Body, ; at Target
Photo: James Read
If you have literally zero time to sit and wait...
Vita Liberata Ten Minute Tan, ; at Vita Liberata
Photo: Vita Liberata
If you loathe the smell and dryness of self-tanner...
Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream, ; at Clarins
If you're a total self-tanning newbie...
Tarte Brazilliance Plus Self-Tanner + Mitt, ; at Sephora
If you want a gradual tan with an immediate glow...
Almay Healthy Glow Makeup + Gradual Self Tan,.99; at Target
If you want a no-fuss glow on your face...
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Gradual Glow, ; at Dr. Dennis Gross
Photo: Dr. Dennis Gross
If you have super-dry skin that needs a ton of moisture...
Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil, ; at Josie Maran
Photo: Josie Maran
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