self tanning essentials.

As summer ’16 comes to an unavoidable close, I can’t help but feel a persistent need to soak up the remaining freedom of these last few weeks. The seasonal jobs are wrapping up, the necessities for the school year are being collected in boxes and the liberating days to spend basking in the sunshine are officially numbered. I guess it’s time to accept that Fall is looming over us and alongside that comes the approaching school year. I’m being melodramatic, I know, but the idea of summer ending has got me clinging to my current state of freedom with extreme sincerity. I’ve found myself cramming in road trips, beach days and shopping excursions to pitifully indulge in the last ounce of summer. Anyone else feel this anxiousness to make the most of the last few weeks as well?

Paralleling my pursuit to delay the end of summertime freedom, I’ve found myself doing the same with the bronzed tan I’ve accomplished over the last four months. There’s honestly nothing more coveted than the natural sun kissed glow that illuminates our skin at the end of August. Over the years I’ve learned that just because summer is fading out, doesn’t mean our tans have to as well. I’ve complied a list of my all-time favourite products for prolonging a tan and listed them in the order I would use them from those that simply enhance a natural glow, to those attempting to recreate this look in the months to come.

1. Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion First and foremost, hydration is key to delaying a tan from fading. I try to apply this Vaseline body lotion daily, but especially after a hot shower which leaves our skin dry and tight feeling. I find that it provides a natural shimmer to the skin and has been my staple lotion for years. 2. Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster Is it just me or does any one else’s face always end up being 3 shades lighter than the rest of their body? I guess logically it makes sense because we wash our face the most frequently, but it’s so irritating to  to have to layer up on foundation to try to even out my skin tone. Luckily, this Clarins product has saved me from the seemingly unavoidable ghost-face appearance and evens out my face to the rest of my body. I simply add a few drops of this saturated tanner into my regular face moisturizer and after a few days of repeating this process I notice a definite bronzed appearance to my complexion. 3. Jergens Natural Glow Tan Extender This product is a new gem I discovered on my recent Southern vacation. I picked this product up thinking it would work similar to a regular lotion with an added glow factor, however I came back after a week in the sun looking more bronze than ever. I questioned how this was possible and then it dawned on me that this product definitely extended and enhanced the base of the tan I already had. It claims to preserve your tan for 7 days and I can confirm it works just as it says it will. I usually apply this once a week but going into the Fall I will most likely be applying this closer to 2-3 times a week.

4. Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Tanner Once the inevitable begins to happen and the tan truly does fade, this classic product works wonderfully to recreate a natural tanned glow gradually over time. I tend to apply this every couple days or after a shower to keep up a sun kissed skin tone around late September to October. This formulation isn’t potent enough that it will dye your palms orange so I usually apply this with my hands and just ensure to wash them thoroughly after. The product comes in a few variations to cater to specific skin types providing options of a Nourishing or Firming formulation as well as ranging in colours from Fair-Medium and Medium-Dark. 5. St. Tropez Self Tan Ultra Dark Mousse This product has been my favourite full blown self-tanner for years. It has a natural green undertone which works flawlessly in conjunction with my olive toned skin. I recently purchased this in the ultra-dark mousse formulation and I’m even more satisfied with the results than the original to recreate a deep, natural looking tan in the dead of Winter. This product has continuously impressed me because it fades super evenly and never leaves streaks on my skin in the way that many self tanners are infamous for. The tan tends to last me 1-2 weeks and is definitely buildable to achieve the desired level of bronze. One thing to note is that this product has a tendency to dye your hands dark, so ensure to always apply with a tanning mitt. Tip: Typically I apply this product before bed to let it develop overnight and shower in the morning. I find this method is foolproof and leaves your skin looking bronzed without having to worry about streaks throughout the day. There you have it, all my tips and tricks to prolonging a natural tan and crafting a flawless summertime glow from the end of summer until the bleak of mid Winter. Ugh, Winter. Even the word provokes me to mentally cram my end-of-summer-bender with every activity under the sun (literally).

What are your favourite tanning products?! I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried my favourites or any recommendations I should test out.

xo Olivia

  • McKenna Moe

    I’ve had a bottle of St. Tropez sitting around. Now I’ll definitely have to use it!

    • You totally should, it’s an amazing product! Thank you for reading McKenna! xo

  • I’ve never tried these products before but sure plan too! Thanks for all the info 🙂

    • So glad you found this useful! Thank you for reading xo

  • I might have to try that St. Tropez next! I haven’t had the best luck with self tanners, but after having a suspicious area removed, I’ve been trying them ALL!

    • Self tanner is always a better route, totally agree! St. Tropez is definitely worth a shot, it’s always been my favourite. xo

  • I love how most of these items can be found at your local drugstore. Vaseline has great moisturizers that work wonders for sensitive skin.

    • Ya absolutely, drugstore options are great because it’s affordable for everyone! Thanks so much for reading xo

  • Jergens is the best and it’s so cheap too! I also love using that cocoa lotion, it’s one of my favorites as well! I haven’t used tanning lotions in so long… But I’ve been so pale this summer so I might need to use them soon haha!

    Jasmine /

    • Jergens & the cocoa lotion are both amazing, totally agree with you! Thanks so much for reading Jasmine! xo

  • I hasn’t does self-tanning for a while. I love the look of the cocoa butter. Never been a fan of St Tropez products. xx

    • The cocoa butter is amazing! It leaves your skin with the perfect glow, you will def love it. Thanks so much for reading xo

  • CaitToGate

    Life long pale person here, and I will swear by St. Tropez products. As a person who has two shades (paper white and lobster red), St. Tropez has saved me more times than I can count, and it doesn’t get streaky!

    If I wear it to bed, I make sure to use old sheets, as it will rub off a bit.

    • St. Tropez is honestly amazing, I’ve never heard anyone have anything negative to say about it. Ya old sheets and long pants is smart, a little product transfer is inevitable! Thanks so much for reading xo

  • Kim LaCoste

    I love cocoa butter…I need that lotion for after the beach because my skin gets sooooo dry

    • You’ll love it! It leaves your skin with the perfect glow without being glittery, let me know how it goes! xo

  • Andrea McCann

    St. Tropez is life!!! I have to fake tan to get my face to match my body.

    • Right!! St. Tropez is life changing for sure haha. Thanks so much for reading Andrea! xo

  • Amber

    I love self tanners. I used to be an avid tanning bed user. But I’m scared to death of skin cancer now! So thankful I can fake my tan now!!!

    Amber |

    • Fake tanning is always the best route, totally agree with you! Thanks so much for reading xo

  • Brittany Ferrell

    I am definitely going to try to preserve my tan a little longer as part of attempting to look less like a hot mess as a work from home mom. Do any of these products have a strong smell?

    • Hopefully these tips will help you then! 🙂 As for smell, I’m actually quite particular with scents so it’s been hard to settle on tanners I love. The Jergens line typically has a light coconut, vanilla scent but nothing overpowering. St. Tropez has a slight self tanner scent but it doesn’t linger. Also, typically when I use St. Tropez I let it develop overnight and shower in the morning so the scent is completely gone by then! Hopefully this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for reading xo