Wash-Off Self-Tanners for All Your Temporary Tan Goals

Wash-Off Self-Tanners for All Your Temporary Tan Goals
Art By Elysia Berman

You’ll probably be excited to hear that more and more beauty retailers are launching "wash-off" tanners and bronzers, which are exactly what they sound like: temporary, self-applied tanners that you wipe on, wear for about six to 12 hours, and then wash off. 

Consider these products the less stressful (and less likely to induce panic) alternative to spray tan appointments or semi-permanent self-tanning sessions. Seriously — raise your hand if you’ve ever vacationed in Streak City or the town of Orange Elbows.

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"Wash-off tanners [provide] instant color and are great for that last-minute tan before a night out," says James Read, international tanning expert and founder of James Read Tan. He also says these wash-off tanners are "perfect to even out a bad tan job" and are a painless introduction into the faux tanning world for tan virgins.

So if you're still weary of a full-on spray tan but want a little glow now that spring is (maybe?) arriving, it's not a bad option. 

Not sure how to apply? Read says to moisturize your skin first and then use a tanning mitt to apply the product in a downward motion.

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"Apply less on the face, as you want it to be natural," he cautions, adding that you should also be careful around drier areas like your elbows, feet, and knees. Basically, follow all the same rules you would with a standard, semi-permanent faux tan, and revel in the glory of gorgeous, sun-kissed skin that hasn’t actually been damaged by the sun.

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