The image of Bo Derek running along a beach in the 1970s movie “10” is a forever image–one that will be forever remembered, forever referenced, and forever recreated. Turns out, Derek was always the sand-and-surf type: “I grew up tan because I was a surfer girl,” she told us. How she got tan, however, has changed over the years.
Growing up, she would get under the rays wearing a mix of baby oil and iodine. “I’m paying for that now with my dermatology bills,” she says. Still living much of her life outdoors on her California ranch, the stunning actress has traded her sun-catching cocktail for daily doses of “thick sunscreens.” But make no mistake, she still loves a good (faux) glow. So who better to test out the latest bronzers and self-tanners and tell us if they look just as good as the real thing? Check out her favorites below.
VIDEO: The Best Drugstore Bronzers
1. St. Tropez One Night Only Mist in Light/Medium
This is a winner in Derek’s book. The mist is “so easy, I’ve been using it constantly,” she says. “I’ve already applied it before photo shoots. It covers discoloration just as well as it tints.” It makes bronzing drier trouble spots, like knees, ankles and elbows, a breeze, she says. “I can lightly spray my neck and décolletage before I put on my clothes. I love it!”
St. Tropez | $20
2. Vita Liberata Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50
The self-tanning oil leaves an immediate tint, and offers broad spectrum protection with SPF 50. “I liked how it felt on my skin,” Derek says. “Because [it seemed] so concentrated, I thought it might streak, but it didn’t at all.” The ease of application also wins points; it doesn't run all over the place as other liquids do, she says.
Vita Liberata | $54
3. Benefit Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer
“The matte finish covers the white, gooey cast my heavy-duty sunscreen leaves behind,” Derek says of the makeup. “I’m a huge fan. It reminds me of a high-end tinted moisturizer. And the golden color really suits me.”
Benefit Cosmetics | $28
4. St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask
Derek admits to feeling nervous when she pulled out this sheet mask. Leave it on your face for five, 10 or 15 minutes and it’ll prompt a glow from skin in the following hours. “I left it on for just five minutes and later I could tell that I had used a self-tanner,” Derek says. Though the results weren’t streaky and the product performed well, the delivery system wasn’t Derek’s favorite: “I didn’t feel very in control.”
St. Tropez | $9
5. Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
“I thought this product was really terrific,” Derek says of the soft, creamy powder. “I put on my sunscreen and then went over it with this sponge applicator. The powder seemed to have a little glow to it. And it went on evenly, too.”
Physicians Formula | $15
6. Tan-Luxe The Face Anti-Age Rejuvenating Self-Tan Drops
“I thought this product was interesting because you can mix it into your moisturizer,” Derek says. After spiking her nighttime cream with two drops of this self-tanner, she didn’t see a huge difference–and that’s a good thing. “The best tan is always that first fresh tan,” she says. “I think we have to think of self-tanners the same way: When you start layering and layering, it starts to look artificial.” After her test-drive, “I got a very subtle, pretty color with no streaking,” she says. Bonus: “It didn’t smell.”