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How to Choose the Perfect Self Tan Shade for Your Skin Tone

When it comes to self tanning, we're all about that flawless natural glow. But what looks natural on you might not look natural on your best friend - probably because you've got different skin tones.

If you're not sure which self tan to choose for your skin tone, or even what your skin tone is, don't stress. We've compiled a helpful guide on how to choose the perfect shade of self tan for your skin tone, so you can be slaying the golden goddess look in no time.

What is your skin tone?

There are a few different skin tones that you could have. The differences between each one could affect which self tanner would get your skin looking its bronzed best.

Becky Bowden, Editor at LifeStyleLinked said; “When choosing a self tan shade I always like to make sure that the finish will look as natural as possible. Having very fair skin means that I choose a tanning product that gives a more natural, sunkissed look as I find it helps give your skin that healthy glow without being too dark.”

Samantha Abbott, Blogger at The Beauty Spyglass said: "Choosing the right tan for your skin tone I would say: The first step is to establish your skin tone and decide on your skin’s undertones. However, once self-tan is applied, it’s a chemical and molecular reaction within the skin that determines the final colour result. You may find trial and error lead you to your perfect golden glow. Personally, I prefer a tanning product with a guide colour so that I can see exactly what I’m doing!"

Fair skin

Usually considered the palest skin type, those with fair skin are the Snow Whites of the world. The palest of pale, usually with pinkish undertones or lots of freckles.

Light skin

Just a touch along the shade scale are those with light skin. Still pale but not quite porcelain, light skin usually has warmer or neutral undertones.

Medium or olive skin

Those with medium skin tones are in the middle of the shade spectrum. They tend to have warm or more olive tones, and are already naturally a little more bronzed than those with fair or light skin.

Dark skin

Those with dark skin have a rich, deep complexion. Usually, those with darker skin tones will have warmer undertones, but not always.

Which self tan is best for your skin tone?

Of course, you're free to choose whichever shade of self tan makes you feel beautiful. But, if it's your first time delving into the wonderful world of self tanning and you're not quite sure what would suit you, check out our recommendations!

Fair or light skin

If you have fair or light skin and it's your first time self tanning, you might want to reach for a gradual tanner first. Gradual tanners, like our Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk, can be applied every day to build up a natural-looking tan.

These are great for those of you with paler skin, as it's not as dramatic as other formulas, making it perfect for a subtle glow.

For something with a little more impact, go for a developing self tanning product. These work wonderfully for those with lighter skin shades, as they can be washed off whenever you think the colour has developed enough. We recommend picking out a self tanner in a Light/ Medium shade to suit pale or light skin tones.

Tanning tip: Because self tan mistakes are likely to show up more on paler skin, try using a self tanner with a guide colour like our Self Tanning Foam. This means you can easily see where you've applied product and fix any little mishaps for a flawlessly even tan.

Medium or olive skin

Those with medium skin can push the boat out with darker shades of tan. Go for a Self Tanning Lotion, Foam or Mist in Dark to deepen your natural complexion and give your skin a warm glow.

Medium skin tones would also suit an oil-based formula, like our Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry Oil, to bring out the natural radiance of your skin. Liquid Gold develops over 2-3 hours for a natural-looking golden glow with no wash-off required.

Dark skin

Even if you're born with naturally bronzed skin, you can still get your glow on. If you love the look of a deep, dark tan, go for our Self Tanning Foam in Ultra Dark. Crack out your tanning mitt and smooth all over the skin for a natural-looking tan that will suit your skin tone.

If you'd like to enhance your skin's natural shade, pick up a self tanner like our GLO Shimmer One Day Tan. Perfect for taking you from day to night, it's packed with light-reflecting particles to give your skin a brightening bronze boost for a show-stopping luminous look.

An endless summer glow

You don't need to spend a week in the sun to get a flawless tan! Self tan is a quicker, and safer, way to look like you've just returned from an exotic summer holiday. And, now you have an idea of which self tan shade would suit your skin tone, you can really get glowing!

Of course, there's no real best self tan for fair skin, medium skin or dark skin, it's up to you to decide what makes you feel your best. And if you're not sure where to start with self tanning, check out our guide to self tanning for beginners.

Once you've found the perfect Bondi Sands self tan for you, let us know! Use the hashtag #bondisands on all your Instagram posts to share the love!

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