Tan Safely With 6 Self Tanners for Darker Skin Tones

Tan Safely With 6 Self Tanners for Darker Skin Tones
Tan safely with self tanners for darker skin tones from Pur Minerals, Tarte Cosmetics, Nature’s Gate Organics, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Xen-Tan, and Australian Gold.

Women of color can use self-tanners despite what you’ve heard or think. We all want that sun-kissed look like actress Paula Patton. Sunless tanners are a great alternative to baking in the sun and potentially getting a sunburn. It’s less about tanning, and more about getting that glow we all desire. No matter your skin tone (light, medium, dark), a sunless tanner enhances your skin tone, and in some cases, evens out the complexion on the most hidden parts of our bodies – legs, feet and arms. What bonds us all is knowing that we all get paler during the colder months, so having a little color goes a long way. Had I embraced sunless tanners years ago, I could’ve avoided my horrible sunburn experience. Lesson learned.


  • Pro Tip#1: Use medical grade gloves to protect your hands from staining when applying self tanner. Get a streak-free, natural bronzed look with the citrus-smelling scent of Pür Minerals Get a Little Self-Tanning Lotion. $21.50
  • Pro Tip #2: Lightly dust baby powder with a large body powder puff 30 minutes after you apply self-tanner. It gets rid of that “sticky” feeling. Tarte Cosmetics has a good anti-sticky self-tanner called celluFIGHT natural anti-cellulite self-tanner. What’s more, it treats those pesky dimples on your thighs. $40
  • Pro Tip #3: Be a pro when applying a spray self-tanner by spraying it onto a large paintbrush sponge and rubbing that on your body. It’s the best way to get an even application. Scared of the spray? Then choose a cream option like Nature’s Gate Organics Happy Glow Lucky Bronzing Cream Fresh Floral Scent – online only. It smells good and gives you mistake-proof shimmer while improving the appearance and tone of your skin. $7.69
  • Pro Tip #4: Stay away from shaving before using self-tanner if you have sensitive skin. It might sting. For you sensitive skin types, look no further than  MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Del Sol. It contains organic aloe which soothes your skin. Here’s one for the eco-chicks out there. $10.67

Sunless Tanners are fabulous. Happy Tanning!


Update on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When this post was originally written, it was done so with some hesitation because it wasn’t quite clear how believable the words “tanning” and “black people” would be in the same sentence. I think it stands to reason that if Princess Tamar Braxton in Braxton Family Values, Episode 4 takes sister, Toni to the tanning salon then there just has to be some validity to this whole concept of black folks tanning…don’t you?! But, seriously even without Tamar’s endorsement, everyone can tan (regardless of shade, although the lighter of your complexion is, the more apparent the tan is). With the help of willing beauty junkie to test the newest sunless tanning products on the market (NOT PICTURED HERE), you can avoid the sun altogether and still look like like you’ve been kissed by it by using sunless tanners.

E!’s Live  From The Red Carpet Perfect Blend by Xen-Tan ($43, ulta stores) is what the celebs used during this past awards season to deliver the golden complexions  we saw all over the red carpets. When Lisa (a Korean lady with a porcelain complexion) used it, she said, “Hallelujah! the self tan lotion people have finally realized that there pale yellow folk out there trying to get a little color without turning orange…best I’ve used so far.” If Xen-Tan was able to create a believable, golden color on Lisa, then there’s every reason to believe that it would work on the palest shades of women in our unique rainbow. Lisa goes on to say that, “it really shows color in three hours, it evened out my crazy bikini tan lines , it didn’t turn my elbows, knees and back of ankles extra dark and it didn’t make the lines in my neck brown and dirty looking. It even tones my underarm area and doesn’t wash off in the shower. The smell isn’t great, but [it’s] not overpowering. It dries fairly quickly and it doesn’t make my moustache darker…very important!” The only con she could come up with is “[Xen-Tan] creates a a line on your wrist, but that’s because I was washing my hands excessively to get the brown off my palms.”

On the lower end of the spectrum in terms of price, but not in benefits is Australian Gold’s Instant Bronzer SPF Continuous Spray with Fine Finish Technology ($9.49, drugstores). Get the all-too-sought-after caramel glow quickly and easily by spraying all exposed areas (except your face) and wait 20 minutes before sun-exposure. To apply to face, spray into hands and rub. Other benefits of this bronzer includes it dries quickly and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. And don’t worry about streaking because you get an even coverage with every application.

Hue Knew It? I did.

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