These Sunless Tanning Drops Are A Game Changer

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Courtesy of Katie Smith

Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, you didn’t just lie out in the sun — you bathed in the sun. But first, you were armed with baby oil, tanning magnifier, and some Sun-In because why not fry your hair while you are frying the rest of yourself?

I was pale with Irish skin and would burn, but I wanted to be like one of the girls in the Ban de Soleil tanning commercials.

I scraped the money I earned from my after school job and bought me some self-tanning lotion. I couldn’t tan like some of my friends could but I could certainly fool them.

Only no one was fooled, because I looked like I’d been dipped in Cheeto dust.


My hands and feet were a nice shade of orange and I smelled like burnt hair.

I decided to try the sun tanning lotion again when I was in my 20s, since the trauma of my teenage self-tanning adventure had worn off. I also figured that enough time had gone by that the self-tanning industry knew by now how to create a nice glow sans the sun.


That was the year 2000, and when I walked into work and one of my friends told me I looked like I’d been “rolling around in the dirt, or picking potatoes or something” I decided to give up on self tanners.


But, if you know me in person you’d see I’m not a quitter. Also, I like myself better when I have some color and don’t resemble the can of paste I used to eat as a child. So, when I spotted some L’oreal Sublime self- tanning drops which you add to your moisturizer, I really wanted to try them.

Truth be told, I’d been eyeing some really expensive brands online after seeing influencers talking about how much they love them.

After grabbing the bottle, my boyfriend begged me to put them back. He told me I didn’t need them (lies) but the truth soon came out: “My mom used to use that when I was a kid and it looked horrible. Her hands would be covered in it.”

He knows I only listen to what I want to and that was the end of the conversation after I threw them in my cart.

Well, until he saw me a few days later and noticed my healthy glow.

“It’s the tanning drops,” I said.

“Wow,” he responded. “I’m impressed.”

I’m sure it will be no time before I’m rubbing them all over his face and lovely bald head because these L’oreal drops are legit, folks. The picture one the right is me after three uses, compared to me before this bronze adventure.

Before/After Self-Tanning Drops

You mix a few drops with your moisturizer and build a gradual tan. Here are some other things you should know:

If you are fair like me, go slow. I used three drops my first use, then gradually went up to five drops.

I saw results after the first use. I wasn’t necessarily tan but I was glowy, and it looked like I had BB cream on. I’m telling you, these drops are like a real life filter.

I’ve been using them for a week and I like the natural non-orange color of my skin so I’m just going to maintain this by using them every other night with my moisturizer. I don’t have to wear much makeup and I love that.

My favorite part about these drops is there’s no smell — like at all. And they have hyaluronic acid so your skin feels really good.

Some self-tanning tips:

1. Exfoliate before using these — don’t forget your neck!

2. I put Vaseline on my eyebrows and lips to protect them. I remember even my damn eyebrows turned orange during my past escapades with self tanners.

3. Don’t forget your ears. I just give mine a light swipe — nothing crazy.

4. Get the back of your neck too. When you pull your hair up you don’t want to see a line.

5. Rub, rub, rub. I’ve been rubbing mine in so well I have zero streaking.

6. Wash your hands immediately afterward. Otherwise, you’ll look like you have poo dripping down your hands.

I must tell you, I liked these drops so much I’ve been mixing them with my moisturizer and using them all over my body — they are that good. I know there are separate drops for that but since I had already spent money on these, I wanted to try and see how they’d work before I went out and bought more.

I give these two thumbs up for sure, and I’m adding the drops into my skincare routine year round.

I like the fact that they give me a nice, healthy glow and blur out some things I don’t like about my skin, like redness and the veins around my eyes.

I’m sure you can go darker than I did for a deeper sun-kissed glow, but it’s nice to know the fair-skinned people of the world can have some color without looking like we eat one-thousand carrots a day.

Honestly, if these work on my pale, thin skin, they will be great for many complexions.

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