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Self-Tanners: Don't Get Burned

When I was pregnant with my now almost-five-year-old daughter, I asked my OB if I could safely use self-tanners during my pregnancy.

Her advice? “Embrace your inner aristocrat; go pale.”

I followed her pre-natal direction, of course. Since then, however, I have found myself rebelling against my aristocratic heritage and embracing the tanner tones previously worn by the peasant class.

My problem? Without sunscreen, I go from milky white to fire engine red in the space of 15 minutes. Whether you’re like me and tend to burst into flame in the midsummer sun, or you’re simply aware of the damage too much sun can do to your skin, you’re probably intrigued by the 2.0 self-tanners available.

The days of orange skin are over, and there are plenty of self-tanners on the market worth your buck. My noble skin and I have tried more than I’d care to relate, and with that experience under my spaghetti straps, I recommend the following:

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel – This award-winning gel is the Cadillac of self-tanners, and serves a dual purpose: instant, natural, shimmery glow, and long term tanning effects. Plus, this time-tested brand offers ingredients to prevent premature skin aging.

Body Bling by Scott Barnes – This easy to apply bronzer is for those of us with pale skin and zero patience. Simply exfoliate, moisturize, bronze and go. A celebrity favorite (JLo loves her Body Bling), this is a staple in most makeup artists’ bags. I like to blend it with my moisturizer for a dewier, sexier glow.

L’Oréal Sublime Bronze – A bargain hunter’s dream, this self-tanner delivers a dual punch of immediate bronze gratification and overnight tanning that stays. Apply before you dress for the evening to effect a shimmery glow, and wake up the next morning with a tan that won’t rub off.

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