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Winter is the time of year you bundle up, covering most of your skin, most of the time. That combined with shorter, darker days (we’re speaking for North America here — you guys down under can apply this to your summer skin situation) results is less sunshine for our skin to soak up. Just because winter is colder and darker doesn’t mean you have to look pale and pasty. With sunless tanning improvements, there are a lot of products available to help you and your ghostly skin look a little more alive.
First things first: If you’re new to sunless tanner, there are a few simple tips you should follow for best results:
Exfoliate: This is important. You want to prepare your skin by removing dead skin cells evenly, exposing fresh skin to ensure an even, long-lasting tan. This not only prolongs your tan, it helps it fade more naturally over time.
Hydrate: Dry, thicker areas — such as elbows, knuckles, knees, heels, and palms — absorb more dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, the chemical that interacts with your skin’s amino acids to produce a color change. Moisturizing these areas keeps DHA from being unevenly distributed.
Apply: Simple treatments can be applied by hand (serums to your face or sprays intended for light coverage) whereas others involving more surface area should be applied using a special tanning mitt. This both distributes tanning solution evenly and protects your hands from absorbing DHA.
Wash: No matter how you apply, wash your hands when you’re done. Use soap and water to wash under your fingernails, around your knuckles, and the entirety of your palm. Be careful to avoid splashing water or toweling off skin other than your hands so you don’t streak.
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Below, we break down our nine favorite self-tanning solutions that fight particularly pale winter skin from head to toe.
Best for Your Face
Not all tanners are the same. Some are great for your face thanks to more concentrated formulas that won’t clog pores, and others are better for your body due to their heavier, richer ingredients. When shopping for face tanners, if not marked clearly “for face,” look for “non-comedogenic,” which means the product is specially formulated so as not to cause blocked pores.
ClarinsMen Tanning Booster>
This simple-to-use concentrate is great for guys who like their current routine and aren’t looking for a drastic change. All it takes to get a little sun-kissed color is two to three drops in your daily moisturizer and you’re set. Make sure you are applying your moisturizer to your neck as well, since you want to have full coverage.
James Read Hydra Tan Mist>
This lightweight AskMen Grooming Award-winning tanning mist has glycerin and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, aloe vera and chamomile to soothe, and witch hazel to relieve inflammation. It’s basically a perfect, weightless aftershave alternative that just happens to give you a gradual tan.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads>
Tanning towels are great to throw in gym bags, dopp kits, or just use at home when you want quick, mess-free DHA application. These tanning towels are better than just great because of their high concentration of alpha and beta hydroxy acids — the types of acids that provide superior yet gentle exfoliation.
Sisley Self-Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care>
The hero ingredient in this luxury facial moisturizer is erythrulose, a tanning chemical that complements DHA. Whereas DHA delivers a tan fast, it can fade more quickly, but when combined with slower acting, longer lasting erythrulose and hydrating, plant-derived glycerin, phytosqualane, stevia leaf, and sunflower oil, the tan develops rapidly but also lasts longer.
Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze and Glow Mask>
Using this sleep mask overnight while your skin is the most receptive promotes intense repair to your dry winter face while also allowing for slight color to develop. (It’s called beauty sleep for a reason.) You can use it every night, a couple nights a week, or just a few nights before a special occasion. The resulting tan is both subtle and satisfying.
Best for Your Body
Whereas face tanners are typically more concentrated and require less to do more, body tanning products are usually delivered using a more emollient application. When shopping for tanners for the body, keep in mind that sprays and mousses are normally designed to give noticable results more quickly, and lotions are intended to be more gradual. No matter what type you like or how skilled you are at applying, these are the best body tanning products for an especially light winter complexion.
Supergoop Healthy Glow Sunless Tan Spray>
This is a great tanning spray to add to your routine any time of year thanks to its SPF 40 UV protection, but it’s a good choice for winter thanks to it’s buildable color and easy spray application. It has no fragrance, a rarity in the self-tanning world, and doesn’t transfer to your clothes, which you’ll likely be wearing more of given the cold weather.
St. Tropez Self-Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse>
A leader in at-home tanning, St. Tropez has a lot of unique tanning treatments, but its new extra-dark tanning mousse does an excellent job going darker on pale skin without looking unnatural — often a risk for those who aren’t blessed with as much melanin. Shower after four hours for a golden glow or leave on for eight hours for a deep color change.
Tan-Luxe The Gradual Tan Lotion>
Sometimes old-school application is just right. Gradual tan lotions are great, especially during winter, because they allow you to be in the most control of how tan you want to be. This lotion is unique in its very lightweight feel, which helps it absorb quickly, and not feel sticky, and maybe more important, not smell like a tanning lotion.
Skinerals Microfiber Self-Tanning Mitts and Tan-Luxe Color Corrector>
We would be remiss not to mention a great applicator mitt with bonus exfoliator glove. This microfiber mitt allows you to more easily keep your sunless secret by preventing your hands from getting the distinct mark of a self-tanner — the too-tanned knuckles and palms.
Should you get trapped in a disastrous DHA situation despite doing your best to follow our self-tanning tips, we recommend the Glyco Water corrective solution from Tan-Luxe. It’s $33, will last you a long time, and is totally worth having on hand(s) in case of tan-mergency.
Self-tanning is a great way to offset the winter’s darkness, as long as you know what you’re doing. If you use quality products and apply them with patience, you can give your skin a warm tone even on the coldest of days.
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Source : https://www.askmen.com/grooming/appearance/best-self-tanners-to-battle-pale-winter-skin.html