Fans of sunless tanners have several reasons to cheer this year. The muddy brown and Day-Glo-orange skin tones of seasons past -- not to mention that telltale bronzer odour -- have been replaced by multi-tasking products that build colour gradually while moisturizing, firming and protecting against harmful UV rays.
By using lower concentrations of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the sugar that combines with colourants to stain the surface of the skin, most companies have reduced the odour problem. Olay turned to its perfume scientists to develop a new masking fragrance for its Touch of Sun line, while Shiseido claims to have gone one step further, eliminating the DHA odour altogether from its new Brilliant Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Gel. "We did it with a revolutionary new emulsification technology," says Shiseido trainer Tamara Vajagic. Coating the colourant and the DHA particles with a lipid shell stabilizes them and diminishes the side effects -- fading and odour -- when they combine on the skin. And there's no need to worry about staining your tennis whites or losing your faux-tan to an unexpected summer downpour because companies are now turning to colour-fixing polymers.
Bronzed beauties should try:
Dermalogica Protective Self Tan With SPF 15 ($58.50)
Olay Complete Touch of Sun Daily UV Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 ($20)
Kiehl's Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula ($31)
Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Gel in Light Tan ($34)
Photo courtesy of Marcio Madeira