Whether you are craving vacation and a but aren’t traveling due to restrictions because of COVID-19 or just desire a tan without baking in the sun’s harmful UV rays — self-tanner is an absolute godsend. But as anyone who has been unintentionally transformed into a streaky or orange version of themselves knows, scoring believably sun-kissed limbs can involve some rather risky trial and error. The reason it’s tougher to nail a faux glow than, say, find the perfect foundation shade, is because self-tanners rely on dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar that safely darkens the skin.
As cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller previously told Allure, DHA can be tough to stabilize, hence the dreaded tangerine tint. Luckily, self-tanners have come a long way and many of today’s options impart “tans” that are indistinguishable from the real deal.
To save you from playing chicken with a million formulas, we compiled the mousses, lotions, towelettes — even face mists — that’ll have your friends wondering where you got that tan during self-quarantine.
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