How do I Choose the Best Gel Bronzer?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2019
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A consumer should pick a gel bronzer that will help her achieve the most natural-looking tan. The desired result can be difficult to attain, however, as many bronzers are known to produce an orange hue rather than a brown tone. Despite the varying color outcomes, self tanning is still a safer choice than traditional tanning. Rather than basking under the natural sun or in a tanning bed, a faux tanner can use a gel to achieve the essence of a UV-free tan.

Gel bronzer is similar to a bronzing lotion, but with a different consistency. Whereas lotion is light and creamy, gel has a thicker viscosity. Gel also takes a few minutes to dry whereas lotion is soaked into the skin much sooner. Regardless of the bronzer chosen, the consumer should use it as directed.

Using too much gel bronzer will result in sticky skin that takes a long time to dry. Furthermore, using more gel than is necessary produces uneven bronze streaks. Such streaks defeat the purpose of a gel bronzer, which is to achieve a natural tan look without physically tanning.

Some bronzer contains sparkles and is meant to glisten. While this might be a fun on-the-beach or at-the-club look, it may not be appropriate for everyday. When choosing a bronzer, consumers should look for words such as shimmer, sparkle, glitter, and shine. A gel bronzer marketed with these terms might not be best if you desire a natural-looking tan.


If you are looking for an all-over bronzer to cover the body, there are many forums online that offer reviews of such cosmetic products. A more expensive gel might be worth it if it’s known to last past a few showers or dips in the pool. Some gel bronzers also claim to be “streak-free,” though those claims are often erroneous. Try a patch test with a tanning bronzer before buying an entire bottle.

Pick a bronzer that has been dermatologist tested. When using it on your face — where the skin is prone to be oversensitive — be sure to read the ingredients label carefully. Some people mix gel bronzer with an extra-gentle product such as baby lotion before applying it. Tricks like this dilute the bronzer, allowing it to be spread more lightly and evenly.

Many cosmetic manufacturers sell gel bronzer. The products are available at drugstores, department stores and specialty beauty stores. Some tanning salons sell this bronzer, as well. Tanning salons typically sell bronzing lotion, however, that coordinates with their tanning beds.


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