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Sunless Tanning: Baking Is Out, Faking Is In

Cosmetic Bronzers and Other Wash-Off Products continued...

Spray bronzers: Egashira appreciates the ease of these sprays. "You can do a really quick spray on the face, neck, decollete, or whatever area you're trying to give a little more warmth to," she says. "You can do it after your makeup is on to give it that subtle hint of color." She says she's "a big fan" of Dior Bronze Sun Powder Spray. "I love it because the colors show up amazingly well on all skin tones."

Stick bronzers: Similar to deodorant sticks, these products can be stroked right onto the legs for instant color. "They're super easy to use for someone who wants a hint of color to their legs if they're going out one night," Egashira says. Using a concealer with the leg bronzer will help hide scars, spider veins, and other leg imperfections. Also, leg bronzers can be set with translucent powder to keep the color from rubbing off, she adds. An Egashira favorite: Michael Kors' Leg Shine.

While most bronzers wash out of fabrics, let the bronzer dry completely before wearing something over it to prevent any possible staining.

Sunless Tanners: Lotions, Sprays, Gels, and Mousses

All sunless tanning products contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar that is very safe to use. It interacts with proteins in the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, to produce a darker skin color or fake tan. As dead skin cells slough off, the "tan" fades, usually within three to seven days after the product has been applied.

Sunless tanners come in forms such as lotions, gels, sprays, or mousse and can be found at drugstores and department store cosmetic counters and on the Internet.

"Personally, I love the lotions. They go on smoothly," Egashira says. Gels have their advantages, too: faster drying time and a less sticky feel.

In contrast, she has found spray tanners harder to use. Often, they require an extra pair of hands, but spray tanners are popular and easy to use for the face, neck, and upper chest, she says.

Mousses don't contain as much moisture as self-tanning lotions or gels, Egashira says, so they're fine for oily skin but not dry complexions. But, she cautions, the resulting tan tends to fade unevenly.

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