As we get older, it’s an unspoken rule that SPF is to be worn on a daily basis, or else risk facing all sorts of unsavory side effects like wrinkles and fine lines, as well as much more serious ones like skin cancer. In fact, my mother also taught me to never venture to the beach without a plan B, should said SPF wear off or wash away in the water. A floppy sun hat, perhaps. Or a giant umbrella. (Guess who always had to carry the umbrella?)
Now, call me dramatic, but one of the most unappealing parts about keeping up with applying SPF like a responsible adult is giving up any hopes of having an enviably sun-kissed glow in the name of antiaging and general health. Bah-humbug. For the body, I rely upon self-tanning mousses to feign a faux glow, even in the summertime. But for my face, where I want that golden tan the most, I’ve been out of luck. Any trendy self-tanner face spray, wipe, or serum that I found contained ingredients that my sensitive, breakout-prone skin couldn’t handle, and so I went on with a self-tanned body and relied on my favorite Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer for the rest.
However, when L’Oréal announced the launch of their new Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops, I was keen on trying them immediately. (The Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse is one of my favorite fake tanners ever.) A quick peek into the ingredient list ensured that there were no ingredients that would irritate my skin, and the instructions were easy enough. Simply mix 5 to 10 drops into a dime-sized amount of moisturizer before applying all over your face. The brand says to wait at least six hours before washing it off. When my sample arrived, I couldn’t prep my face fast enough.
About three or four hours after my first application, I could already tell a very subtle tanned glow was coming on. It looked as if I’d put on my favorite illuminating tinted primer, Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter. Score. Later when I applied makeup, I could definitely see a slight natural bronze happening on the base. The next day, I applied the drops again and saw even better results. (The brand recommends building up your face tan over the course of a few days.)
Instantly, I felt like I’d been laying on the beach drinking margaritas for two days instead of working from a dimly lit desk at home. Seasonal affective disorder, who? I didn’t experience any streaking or blotchiness and plan to regularly use the drops once or twice a week to maintain the healthy looking glow. Moreover, my golden complexion didn’t come with any sun exposure guilt at all, which might be the best part of all.
So if you’re looking for a solution to dull winter skin or merely just want a way to get a faux glow far away from the sun, shop the bronzing drops below.
L'Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops
These facial drops are formulated with hyaluronic acid to ensure your skin stays hydrated and smooth, and they soak into the face without any stickiness or residue. Perform your skin care as usual and mix 5 to 10 drops into your face cream before applying. (One bottle will last you a long while.)
Shop It: $16.99; lorealparisusa.com
L'Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse
If you're looking to match the face to the legs and arms, try this water mousse for your body. It's one of the best drugstore options I've ever tried.
Shop It: $9.59; amazon.com