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.
"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.
"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.
Need to shop? We've got you covered with the options below.
1. L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Summer Express Wash Off Face Bronzer Cream
This product is intended specifically for your face and even contains 20 SPF to further protect you from the sun. It washes off with soap and water, so, you know, it's truly temporary. Bonus, L’Oreal Paris sells a similar product for your body, as well.
L'Oreal Paris | $30
2. James Read Wash Off Tan for Body
This is a creamy skin tint that’s lauded as "the ultimate no-commitment color.” It’s formulated with anti-aging ingredients such as co-enzyme Q10, red algae, and hyaluronic acid, and moisturizes the skin, as well.
3. Benefit Hoola Zero Tanlines Allover Body Bronzer
Housed in the cutest, tiki-inspired packaging, this temporary bronzer gives you instant color, is transfer resistant, and comes with its own hands-free applicator. The tan lasts for about 12 hours, and you can build up color with multiple layers.
Benefit Cosmetics | $30
4. St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face and Body Lotion
Not only is this product approved for both your body and face, it comes in two different shades (light/medium, medium/dark) to ensure you get the perfect, natural glow. This product lasts for about 24 hours, or until you wash it off with soap and water.