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Do Self-Tanning Drops Work?

mayo 29, 2020

By now, whether you’ve used one or not, you’re likely familiar with self-tanner. This holy grail skin care product is the trick to achieving a sun-kissed glow all year long sans sun damage. Would we be dramatic if we said we couldn’t live without it? And while you’ve likely heard of self-tanning wipes and lotions, there’s one sunless tanning product you may have been overlooking: tanning drops. Below, we’re giving you the scoop on self-tanning drops—one of the newest beloved self-tanning innovations.


Self-tanning drops are one of the most talked-about beauty products at the moment, and for good reason. They’re an excellent way to give your face some warmth, as the application method makes them a seamless addition to your skin care routine. Essentially, tanning drops come in a bottle with a dropper—similar to a serum or face oil. You simply add them to your moisturizer or face oil, wait for the product to develop, and you’ll be left with a gorgeous and natural-looking glow that doesn't require the sun! Because you mix them with your moisturizer, it's easier to achieve an even, streak-free tan—not to mention, it cuts your at-home tanning process down a step. Even if you’re a faithful sunless tan fan, understanding how to use self-tanning drops the right way is key—it’s not quite the same as using other self-tanning formulas. Want to give tanning drops a try? Follow the steps below to try tanning drops and get a gorgeous bronzed glow.


We’re willing to bet you want smooth, soft skin to go with that tan, no? The first thing you’ll want to do is exfoliate to ensure the tan doesn't cling to any dry patches. This will remove dead skin cells from the surface that could otherwise leave your tan looking patchy and uneven. Use the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser to gently resurface your skin.

As the last step in your skin prep, remember to remove any unwanted hair prior to tanning. If you shave, wax, or pluck after applying self-tanner, you risk ruining your faux glow!


Try mixing your tanning drops in with a lightweight moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin. The L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops, Fragrance Free are an excellent option as they were specially formulated for the face without fragrance or dye. How many drops you add is up to you—typically, you can add anywhere from five to ten drops, depending on how deep you’d like your tan. The more drops, the darker the tan.  


After you’ve added your drops, rub your hands together to evenly mix them into your moisturizer. Then, work the mixture onto your skin in circular motions, making sure to reach all areas of your face. Gently blend the mixture down your neck to avoid any potential demarcation lines. Remember to wash your palms thoroughly when you’re done. 


Most tanning drops will take a few hours to develop into their full, bronzed color. You’ll want to avoid washing the areas where you applied your tan until it’s fully developed. Because of this, we recommend applying your self tanning drops at night along with your evening skincare routine. Follow the directions on the bottle so you know how long to wait before you can expect to see results.


So, how long do tanning drops last? As with any self-tanner, it all depends on how well you maintain your faux glow. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1. Keep exfoliating to a minimum. 

You may not realize it, but every time you exfoliate, you’re removing surface-level skin cells. While this isn’t a bad thing, it can cause your tan to fade prematurely. It’s always a good idea to exfoliate prior to self-tanning as well as when you’re ready to let go of your tan or start a fresh faux glow. 

Tip #2. Moisturize. 

It’s important to keep your skin hydrated, as dry skin can cause your tan to fade and become patchy. No thanks! Be sure to generously apply moisturizer morning and night. 

Tip #3. Reapply. 

Self-tanning isn’t a one and done deal, particularly when it comes to tanning drops. If you want to keep your faux tan looking fresh, add a few drops to your moisturizing session every few nights to boost your color.

Photography: Matthew Zach, Senior Art Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay

Next: How to Get Rid of Tan Lines

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