Before last week, I had never used a self tanner. I am very melanin-blessed, and my skin darkens incredibly easily and quickly in the sun. The thought of buying a product for what I could so easily achieve in a mere half hour outside was mind-boggling to me.
However, I know now the benefits of limiting sun exposure for skin health. Plus, due to wearing different styles of bathing suits each time I have a pool day, I found myself with multiple wacky tan lines collected over the past few months. I wanted to test out a drugstore self tanner to get rid of tan lines and even out my color overall.
I decided on the Neutrogena Micro Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan. This is a spray-on product that you don’t need to rub in, so forget about a streaky finish! I also loved that the continuous spray was supposed to work at any angle, so you could even do your own back without the help of a second person. The oil-free formula is non-comedogenic and fast drying. I chose the Medium Intensity, which is supposed to provide a tan two shades darker than your current skin tone.
The scent of the formula is very similar to sunscreen, and pretty subtle when spraying in a well-ventilated area as directed. I sprayed this in my shower, with the door open, just in case things got messy. Luckily, they didn’t, and the spray worked well to deposit even product onto my body. The mist is fine and strong, and the spray was consistent. This tanner applies clear, which is both convenient and not-so. I liked that I could go about my day immediately without worrying about color rubbing off on clothes, but it also made application a bit tricky since I couldn’t see what I had already covered, if I was overlapping areas, etc.
My skin stayed a bit sticky for about 15 minutes after application, then it just felt a tad filmy— similar to if you had sunscreen on. After four hours of developing, I could see a subtle difference. The skin I had targeted became slightly more golden and my tan lines seemingly more blurred. To see what the tan looked like at the 4 hour mark, watch the video at the top of the page. Since I was a bit nervous and conservative during my first application, I decided to go in with a second coat and let it develop overnight for final results.
By morning, I could definitely see color. A nice warm, golden shade had developed that looked very natural. While the skin that hadn’t been exposed to the sun was still definitely lighter, the tan line wasn’t as harsh and the contrast not as stark. The tan was even, no splotches or streaks at all.
I’m super happy with the results, though next time I know I can definitely use the Deep Intensity if I’m using it in Summer.
You can find the Neutrogena Micro Mist Airbrush Sunless Tanning Spray at Ulta Beauty for $12.