Back before we knew better, a layer of baby oil was always a prerequisite to laying out in the sun. These days, we're much more careful (and would rather spread on the SPF), but these self-tanning oils from St. Tropez ($40; sephora.com), Vita Liberata ($54; nordstrom.com), and Josie Maran ($38; sephora.com) merge that old-school regimen with a much safer end goal. You'll get hit with a pang of nostalgia as you spread on the oil with the same beachy glow achieved after soaking in the UV rays, with none of the burn associated.
Although they look like a temporary body bronzer at first glance, each formula is actually infused with glow-inducing DHA—aka the active ingredient in all of your favorite gradual self-tanners—to impart a buildable bronze goddess effect. Your tan will last just for days, and because of the hydrating oil base, you don't have to go too hard on the moisturizer beforehand. We also find that the fluid textue makes the formula much easier to spread, even if you're a rookie to the technique.