The Self-Tanner That Helped Me Fake A Florida Tan

I wanted to fit in with my Florida fam, but I'm wasn't about to bake in the sun.

I look a lot like both of my parents. I’ve got my mom’s eyes and smile and my dad’s nose and face shape. I am, however, about 10 shades paler than either of my parents--and have been for a long time.

Since my rents relocated to Florida, things have only gotten worse. Despite my strongest petitions and pleas, neither my mom nor dad is particularly vigilant about sunscreen. I, on the other hand, slather SPF 50 on as if it’s youth serum. And it sort of is, isn’t it?

I don’t mind being pale, but my family loves to rag on me for my less-than-bronze skin. I try not to let it get to me, but after spending the past couple weeks with my tanned fam, I was ready for a change.

But I am not about to bake in the sun. A paranoid fear of skin cancer and an even more paranoid need to look 24 forever means I never leave the house without a proper layer of sunscreen. So instead, let us take a journey down the road of sunless tanners.

Self-tanners have made me nervous ever since an unfortunate and embarrassing incident in high school, but they’ve come a long way in the past 10 years. (And so have I!)

I’d been hearing awesome things about Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads for a while now. So when the company sent samples my way, I was stoked to try them out.

The Glow Pads look a bit like small, square face wipes, but are actually self-tanning wipes packed with vitamin D that exfoliate as they gradually add color to your face.

Here’s my face before beginning my Glow Pad regimen.

There’s no makeup or anything on my face. That’s just my natural, pasty goodness. Here’s a photo in direct sunlight.

That night, after washing my face, I got to work with the Glow Pads. I swirled one wipe around my face in small circular motions, because all beauty products work best when applied in small circular motions. Duh. I used one wipe, and made sure to get all the way up into my hairline, as well as down my jawline and neck.

I then promptly washed my hands and went to sleep. When I woke up and checked my reflection, I almost freaked out. My skin was definitely darker after only one use. Not dramatically, but noticeably.

And here’s my mug in the sunlight.

I ran up to my dad like the excitable child I am, and exclaimed, “Do I look tanner?” I think (or hope) he misheard me though, and he replied, “Yeah, you do look like you need some sun.” Clearly, my work here was not done.

That night, I repeated the same process with the Glow Pads and fell asleep with visions of my parents’ approval dancing in my head.

The difference the next day wasn’t as dramatic as the first day, but it was still obvious to me.

I also began to notice that my skin felt softer and looked clearer, which could be attributed to the Glow Pads’ exfoliating properties.

On the third night of my experiment, I repeated the same process, but I realized the rest of my body was starting to look comically pale compared with my face. I grabbed some Kate Somerville 360° Tanning Towelettes and gave myself a light wipe-down.

The next morning, my skin was glowier than ever, and the tans on both my face and body lasted several days with minimal fading despite showering, swimming, and sweating.

While I don’t feel the need to always be tan, I can definitely see myself integrating these subtle and gentle self-tanners into my regular routine--especially if I’m going to visit my parents.

How do y’all feel about self-tanners? Have you ever been mocked (lovingly) by your family for your pastiness?