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Best Self Tanners For Black And Brown Skin

self tanner for black women
Photo Artwork: Joy Adaeze

It’s not often you see a sunscreen or self tanner ad featuring a dark-skinned model. But take a look at #BlackGirlsTan to see how that’s all changing—including the misconception around melanated skin and tanning. 

Just like for fairer-skinned people, tanning (whether from the sun or a tanning bed) isn’t recommended for anyone, regardless of skin color, because of increased risks of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and, of course, skin cancer. Which is why self tanners are a safe and beautiful choice for everyone.

[SEE ALSO: Travel Beauty Essentials For Every Vacation On You Wishlist]

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For Black and Brown skin, self tanners can give a gorgeous glow and even out skin tone — reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, and acne scars. 

The active ingredient in self tanners is Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is usually derived from sugar cane. DHA reacts with the proteins of dead skin cells and makes them darker, giving that tanned appearance. However, DHA is dehydrating so it’s important to find self tanners that also have moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or aloe vera.

Prep Yourself

The most important part of self tanning is the prep. Twenty-four hours before applying self tanner, you need to exfoliate and/or shave. Use a cleanser that’s not oil-based because it will prevent the tan from sticking to your skin. 

However, a water-based moisturizer does allow the tan to stick better and it avoids any patchiness from dry skin. Make sure elbows, knees, hands and feet are very well moisturized. 

Depending on whether your self tanner is a mousse, foam, drops or gel, application will differ so follow instructions carefully. But always moisturize after so your tan is glowy and lasts for as long as possible.

Best Self Tanners for Black and Brown Skin

Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun in Deep Bronze is a favorite of the #BlackGirlsTan crew for its ease of use and that it gives an instant tan that deepens the next day.

Tanologist Self-Tan Drops are easy to use and customizable. You just add a few drops to your favorite lotion or moisturizer and you wake up with a tanned glow. The drops are clear so there’s no staining of sheets or clothes.

Dolce Glow Dolce Self Tanning Mist gets raves for how long-lasting the color is (up to 12 days!) and being able to easily self tan your back.

Bondi Sands Technocolor Caramel 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam is their newest product, crafted with Dermachromatic Colour Technology to enhance every skin tone. 

@bondisands

Did you know: it was our gorgeous Caramel model’s first time tanning during our Technocolor shoot? We wanted to create something for each and every one of you✨ Learn all about our NEW Technocolor Self Tanning Foam via the link in bio now! 💙💚💜🧡 #bondisands #bonditechnocolor

♬ original sound – Bondi Sands

These are definitely some self tanners we can’t wait to use! Have you ever tried self tanner?

Maggie Kim

Maggie Kim is a writer, editor and content strategist for startups (We-Ar4, Fitz Frames) and global brands (H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Lancôme). Her byline appears in Grazia, Glamour, Marie Claire, Bon, WSJ, Cosmopolitan, People and more. Maggie is an advocate for family court reform and splits her time between Paris and Los Angeles.

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