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6 Best Gradual Sunless Tanners for Redheads

Get Your Ginger Glow On

If you’re a fair-skinned redhead, you may want to add a little glow to your skin this spring. Sunless tanner can have a bad rap, but there are some great items on the market. We turn to sunless tanning products frequently because it’s the only safe way for redheads to get a tan.

Let’s first go over the sunless tanning options we do not recommend. One of our least favorite options is a spray tan at home. This can be messy, expensive, and isn’t always easy to do at home. Some tanners in lotion, cream, mousse and drop options are applied once and develop within a couple of hours. These can be hard to control and may also leave you with streaks.

A great option for redheads is a gradual self-tanner, which is used more frequently and develops over a longer period. 

First, let’s establish why it’s important to self-tan if you love a little glow: 

1. Sunburn Prevention: Redheads typically have fair skin, making them more susceptible to sunburn. Gradual self-tanners offer a safer alternative to traditional sunbathing. We can’t say this enough!

2. UV Damage Reduction: Avoiding prolonged sun exposure helps reduce the risk of UV damage, including skin aging, wrinkles, and potential skin cancers.

Why should redheads use a gradual self-tanner?

Gradual self-tanners are applied like a daily lotion and may take a couple of days up to a week to develop. This gives you more control over the intensity of your tan and allows you to customize your glow. They are also hydrating which keeps your tan looking amazing. Here are 6 more reasons why we love a gradual sunless tanner: 

1. Sensitive Skin Care: Many redheads have sensitive skin, and gradual self-tanners allow for a gentler approach to achieving a tan without irritation.

2. Even Tan Development: Gradual self-tanners provide a more controlled and even tan development, minimizing the chances of streaks or uneven coloration.

3. Moisturization: These products often contain moisturizing ingredients, helping to keep the skin hydrated and preventing dryness that can be exacerbated by excessive sun exposure.

4. Long-lasting Results: Gradual self-tanners offer a tan that builds up gradually, resulting in a more natural and longer-lasting color compared to immediate tanning methods.

How to pick the right gradual self-tanner?

1. Skin Type Consideration: Choose a gradual self-tanner formulated for your skin type. Options for sensitive skin, dry skin, or oily skin are available to cater to specific needs.

2. Shade Selection: Pick a shade that complements your natural skin tone. Gradual self-tanners come in various intensity levels, allowing you to achieve a tan that looks natural on you.

3. Ingredient Check: Look for products with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated during the tanning process.

4. Scent Preference: Consider your scent preferences. Some self-tanners have a characteristic odor, so choose one with a scent you find pleasant or one that is fragrance-free if you’re sensitive to smells.

5. Application Method: Choose a product with an application method that suits your preference, whether it’s a lotion, mousse, gel, or spray. Each has its own application nuances.

6. Brand Reputation: Check reviews and the reputation of the brand. Reliable brands often have well-formulated products that provide consistent and satisfactory results.

7. SPF Content: Some gradual self-tanners include SPF for added sun protection. If you’ll be exposed to sunlight, this dual-functionality can be beneficial.

8. Allergen Awareness: Be mindful of any allergies or skin sensitivities you may have and check the ingredient list for potential allergens.

6 Best Gradual Sunless Self-Tanners for Redheads 

1. Jergens Natural Glow + FIRMING Self Tanner

Jergens Natural Glow + FIRMING Self Tanner: $13

2. Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Self Tanner

Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Self Tanner: $16

3. TAN-LUXE The Gradual – Illuminating Gradual Tan Lotion

TAN-LUXE The Gradual - Illuminating Gradual Tan Lotion: $34

4. Hempz Daily SPF Yuzu & Starfruit Touch of Summer Moisturizing Gradual Self-Tanning Creme with SPF 30

Hempz Daily SPF Gradual Self-Tanning Creme: $24

5. L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Glow Daily Moisturizer and Natural Skin Tone Enhancer

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Glow Daily Moisturizer: $10

6. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops: $28

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Would You Try A Custom Self Tanner for Redheads?

READ: Fake Tan Tips: A Redhead’s Guide On How To Apply Sunless Tan