How Do I Choose the Best Face Tanning Cream?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2019
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How you choose the best face tanning cream generally depends on how quickly you want to see results. For an immediate bronze glow, look for a product that has a slight tint to it with a color that will develop within a few hours. If you have the time to slowly build up your tan, a product that works gradually and doubles as a moisturizer may be a good idea. No matter how quickly you want your face to bronze, it is important that you do not choose a product that is significantly darker than the rest of your body. When choosing any type of face tanning cream, it is essential that you pick a product specifically meant for the face, preferably one that contains SPF and that will not clog your pores.

If you need to tan your skin as quickly as possible, look for a straight tinted self-tanner that is meant for your face. These products are usually labeled as a "tinted face self-tanner," and the color will typically fully develop within two to three hours. They will also give you some amount of glow instantly, which can not only give you a tan quickly, but can also help you to apply the product evenly for streak-free results.


When it comes to choosing a face tanning cream, it is typically best to use a gradual product if possible, which will usually be labeled as “gradual self-tanner” or “daily face tanning cream.” Often acting as a daytime moisturizer with a small amount of self-tanner mixed in, these types of creams are usually ideal when it comes to tanning your face, allowing you to achieve the best color for your skin tone while limiting the possibility over-tanning. It can also help you to avoid putting too many products on your face at once, which is ideal for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

The most important aspect of picking a face tanning cream is to choose a product that is meant specifically for the face. Oftentimes, the self-tanning ingredients in body tanning products are too harsh or dark for this area and can potentially make your skin look dirty or muddy. If you are prone to breakouts or dryness, or have sensitive skin, putting a self-tanner on your face that is meant for the body could result in skin issues.

Even if the product is labeled for use on the face, make sure that it is also labeled as noncomedogenic, meaning that it will not clog your pores. Outside of preventing skin problems, a face tanning cream specifically meant for this area will typically include some amount of SPF. As applying an SPF over your tanner right after application can change the color or cause streaks, this will provide you with sun protection as the product sets.


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Post 3

I actually don't mind face tanning creams that work gradually. I don't have to reapply this type of cream every day, so I think it's more efficient.

My tanning cream is formulated for daily use and has sun protection as well. So it's really an all-in-one product. I apply it several times a day when I first start using it and then touch-up every other day or so when it starts to fade. It works great.

Post 2

@SarahGen-- If you don't want to wait around for a product to work, then you should definitely get a tinted cream like the article said.

If you purchase from a makeup counter or a beauty store, you may be able to test the product before you buy it. That's really the best way to know if the color of the product will work for you. Otherwise, you will be taking a risk and it may turn out too light or too dark.

Also, some creams have a strong scent because of the ingredients that are commonly used in tanning creams. This scent can be off-putting and irritating. Testing the cream first is also a good way to know about the scent of the product.

Post 1

I want a face tanning cream that works fast, but it should not be too dark. I'm looking for a natural glow. It would also be great if the cream has beneficial, natural ingredients that protect against dryness and aging. Does anyone have a recommendation for a product?

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