The newest sunless tanning craze is DRY OIL self-tanner!
I can hear you now. “Kathryn, don’t you normally tell us to stay away from oil when we are getting our spray tans?”
Yes, I do! And I am so happy you are listening, but let’s give this a try and see what happens. This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may make a commission. Read my full disclosure here.
What is a dry oil self-tanner?
At the spray tan studio, I spend my days talking about skin health, looking at the skin and what condition it’s in before I apply a tan and helping my clients make decisions about what products they are using all over their body that is nourishing to the skin and NOT damaging to their sunless tans.
Dry oils have been used as facial serums for some time now and are a very lightweight oil that is quick-absorbing and non-greasy nourishing the skin and allowing all of the benefits of a deep moisturizer without the sticky feel of heavy cream.
Add a sunless tanner to a dry oil base and you have the best self-tanning combination possible!
Soft moisturized skin, with a bronzy glow!
I was really excited to give this a try so I ordered 2 of the best top-rated self-tanning dry oils so I could check them out and see how they work. I applied one to each leg to get an idea of the color and compare the products.
Best Top-Rated Self-Tanning Dry Oils
I ordered the Bondi Sands Self Tanner Liquid Gold Dry Oil and the Coola Tan Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist.
Coola Tan Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist:
Shop this Dry Oil on Amazon
The Coola Tan packaging is VERY nice! The self-tanner bottle comes nestled in a hard box base with a slide-on cover and the sunless tanner is in a glass bottle with a mist spray top. It sprays out evenly in a fine mist and sprays evenly when the bottle is tipped on its side.
The dry oil has a VERY LITTLE SMELL when sprayed, NO BRONZER— it’s clear when applied. Nice if you want to apply during the day and not run the risk of getting bronzer on your clothing. I sprayed the dry oil directly to my leg after my shower/exfoliate/shave and then smoothed the product into my skin. It dried nicely and was NOT STICKY at all. This made me very happy because I hate feeling sticky.
The color developed gradually, had to apply it for a couple of days to see the color. I would consider this a buildable color sunless tanner. The packaging says daily-use, which I could see myself doing because it made my leg feel very smooth. The box says it lasts 3 days, it lasted more like 5 on me. But my skin tends to hang on to my sunless tans well.
I think this is perfect for fair skin. Also, LOVE that it says it’s 70%+ organic.
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Bondi Sands Self Tanner Liquid Gold – Sunless Tanning Oil
Shop this Liquid Gold Self Tanner on Amazon
The Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry Oil comes in a nice plastic bottle that is shrink-wrapped to prevent leaking. (Neither product leaked during shipping) it has a pump-spray applicator that sprays out in fairly large droplets. Not what I would recommend for spraying directly onto your skin to apply so I sprayed it into my self-tanning mitt and then smoothed it onto my leg.
This self-tanner has a light bronzer and gives your skin a little glow immediately that is SO nice to take the pasty away immediately and have a tiny glow. We all love instant gratification right?! I felt like my legs looked smooth and even with the dry oil on them.
Bondi Sands did great picking out the scent in this dry oil self-tanner with a SOFT TROPICAL COCOANUT SMELL which I felt was nice. I am very picky about how products are scented and don’t care for heavy perfume types of smells but this is light and soft. I liked it.
The product dried to a very comfortable feel. NOT STICKY at all. See the above “I hate sticky” comment. There was NO TRANSFER of bronzer onto any of my clothing or white sheets that night–no stains! Win/win!
The Bondi Sands sunless dry oil is more of a MEDIUM COLOR. Very buildable but darker than the Coola Tan self-tanner. The bottle says to leave the self-tan on for 2-3 hours to develop, but I l did leave it on overnight and slept in it. I did end up with one leg darker than the other but it was all in the name of research so all good! The Bondi Sands also lasted a good 5-6 days.
After I applied both products one to each leg for several days (5 applications to each leg) to reach my desired level of bronzed I then let the sunless tan fade. And we all know what can happen with bad sunless tanning products. The fade can be horrible! I am happy to report that both self-tanners FADED AMAZINGLY. No patchy weird alligator skin at all. Just a soft fade into the sunset and the return of my white pasty legs. So sad.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with a dry oil combined with a self-tanning product. But I have to say that I was REALLY HAPPY. Much better results than most of the sunless tanning lotions that I have played with. These dry oil self-tanners blend VERY easily around ankles and over feet and hands. Leaving a nice smooth finish from the leg to the foot. I still have to give it a try over the top of my sunless tanning solution but the first go is a two thumbs up!!!
UPDATE: I have used the dry oil self-tanner layered OVER my spray tan to extend my color and it has worked GREAT! Really easy to use and keeps my spray tan color boosted and even. HIGHLY recommend as a go-to product to take on vacation to keep the glow going!!!
If you are FAIR grab the Coola Tan Sunless Dry Oil Mist.
If you are a MEDIUM/DARK skin tone grab the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Liquid Gold Dry Oil
As a small business owner, I can’t stock all the amazing products that are available in the world of sunless tanning but I can give you my professional opinion.
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