If you’ve felt the joy of earning your bronzed glowing skin after a good, long day in the sun, then you’ve felt the pain of realizing that glow is fading into your paler winter shade as the weather cools down. If you’re ready to leave that pain behind and be your most glowy self year-round, you need to add summer tan lotions to your body care routine.
Do Sunless Tanning Products Work on Black People?
A common myth associated with summer tan lotions is that they don’t work on darker skin tones, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Summer tan lotions work by temporarily staining your skin.
Most commonly, you’ll see dihydroxyacetone (DHA), “a 3-carbon sugar that interacts with the protein-rich stratum corneum to produce melanoidins,” as the active ingredient in sunless tanning products. Other brands have found different ways, like using natural pigments, to create the desired result – darker, richer skin tones without extended exposure to harmful UV rays.
Not all sunless tanning products are built the same, and you may find some with ingredients that increase the amount of UV rays you absorb to help speed up the tanning process. Make sure you wear UV protection all the time, especially when using products that increase your risk of exposure to harmful UV rays.
Shop Summer Tan Lotion
Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion is a “tanning accelerant” meant to help you achieve glowy summer skin faster in the sun. The lotion uses a “secret family recipe” combined with other natural Hawaiian ingredients like light mineral oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Kona coffee plant extract, and more.
The brand recommends limiting sun exposure to one hour the first time you apply the product. You should also apply sunscreen before applying Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion. If you live in an area that is fairly sunny year-round, this is a great option!
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is perfect if you’re looking for a low-upkeep way of maintaining your summer glow. This gradual summer tanning lotion uses DHA as its active ingredient and takes about a week of daily use to develop, making it great for folks who want to approach tanning lotions more conservatively. Just use it daily in the place of your all-over moisturizer.
This tanning lotion also uses a combination of collagen, elastin, and polymers to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Tanologist Hydrating Gradual Glow Moisturizer takes a very skincare-first approach to summer tanning lotions. Formulated with DHA, hyaluronic acid, beta-glucan, sweet almond oil, and squalane, this product creates a buildable, natural-looking glow.
Similar to the Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer, Tanologist’s dermatologist tested and approved moisturizer is a gradual tanning product. Use the lotion daily until you reach your desired glow. The longer you use it, the richer your tan becomes.
Banana Boat’s Summer Color Sun Tanning Lotion is the most subtle option on this list and is great for those who want just a hint of glow.
Use this summer tanning lotion if you want a foolproof way to shake the pale winter look without as much risk of going deeper than you intended.
The Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam, while not a summer tanning lotion exactly, is perfect in a pinch. The active tanning agent is DHA, and the foam smells like coconut!
Apply the foam with an application mitt, and you can shower any residue off after just one hour. If you want a deeper, longer-lasting tan, leave the product on for up to 6 hours.
The L’oreal Paris Sublime Bronze summer tanning lotion gives you the best of instant and gradual tanning products.
The actual tanning lotion is tinted with a shimmer to provide an instant glow, while DHA and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derivatives gradually deepen your skin’s tone.
Similar to Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion, SunBum’s Natural Browning Lotion accelerates the sun’s natural effects and gets you to your glowy summer shade faster. With this product, apply SPF at least 10 minutes before the browning lotion for adequate protection. Formulated with coconut oil, aloe, Kona coffee extract, Argan Oil, Kukui nut oil, and more, SunBum’s browning lotion is a popular and effective sunless summer tanning lotion!1