Southern girls love their tans, 3 products

So, as a Southern girl, I love being tan! I love summers and I love feeling the sun on my skin. I always think I look better with a nice tan to my skin. However, I know how damaging tanning can be to the skin so I have a few products that I love, that NEVER turn me orange, and that are a great price!

1. Malibu Tan: Golden Glow Skin Firming Bronzing Moisturizer Hemp Body Lotion

Malibu Tan


This stuff is amazing! You can get a whole 18 oz bottle for 5.77 at Walmart and it rocks! It is a gradual tanner, so it’s perfect if you’re timid about going from pasty to tan in a day. It smells pretty tropical and it really does moisturize your skin. After a couple of days of application you can have a nice healthy, natural looking tan.

2. Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion

Banana Boat Tan


You can get this for $6.67 at Walmart. I like how when you squeeze it out it comes out dark, so you can really tell where you have already applied it. There is no guessing about if you’ve already put it on in a specific area. I’ve always loved how the color came out and it was able to last me about a week. Just be sure to moisturize after applying so it fades nicely.

3. Fake Bake Flawless

Fake Bake


This is probably my favorite and It’s only $14.75 from Amazon. It comes with a glove for application, which you just spray the product onto, and then rub onto your skin.  And it dries really quickly compared with gels and lotions, which I really appreciate when I’m in a hurry.


    • Deirdre says:

      I like to use the Malibu lotion during the winter months, because it gives me a nice color and glow. I switch between the Banana Boat and Fake Bake depending on which one I feel like using. I will use the Malibu lotion with/on top of my other products to help stretch out how long they last. Good luck! :)

  1. Tina says:

    I can’t stand the smell of fake tanners. It makes me sick :-( does anyone know of a good one that doesn’t have that smell?

    • Deirdre says:

      I like to use the mitt to apply the Fake Bake to my face. I know they have a Fake Bake specifically for your face, but I’ve always just been able to use the normal one without any breakouts etc. Good luck!

      • Zoey says:

        Oh ok. My face doesn’t break out easily, either. I just wasn’t sure how it would turn out on your face but I’m glad to know it turns out well! Thanks!

        • Deirdre says:

          Yeah, it turns out well :) Oh, and just to make sure it doesn’t go on weird or anything I always exfoliate my face and apply moisturizer and let it completely soak in before putting on the Fake Bake. That way it applies easier and evenly!

          • donna says:

            Can you use the moisterizer glow if you do the tanning bed n just use as moisterizer will it still add to the tan?

    • Deirdre says:

      Oh, that stinks! Hmm, you can try going on Walmart’s website and seeing if it’s listed as being “available” at a store that is close to you. Good luck!

    • Susan Lawver says:

      Cassie – it took me forever to find at Walmart but finally found it with the other moisturizers in the skin care section not the seasonal sun tan lotion section.

      I almost gave up but glad I didn’t – I’m amazed at what a nice glow/look the Malibu gives with just one application. The backs of my legs have never looked better!

  2. kelsey says:

    I saw this pinned on pinterest and i can testify for the malibu hemp one! I have tried a million self tanners and it is the only one that a)gives me a normal color!!not orange!! b) does not smell awful!! c)is reasonably priced!!

  3. litabean says:

    This might be a silly question, but it’s the one part of sunless tanning products that I haven’t been able to figure out…how do you apply the product evenly to your back?

    • Deirdre says:

      I like to take a pillowcase or hand towel you don’t care about staining and fold it in half. Put the lotion in the middle of the pillowcase/towel. Then with one arm over the shoulder and the other behind your back pull the towel back and forth. I also like to use a mirror to make sure I’m getting everywhere while I apply it! Oh, and make sure to arch your back out a little so you get the middle of your back :) Good luck!

      • litabean says:

        That’s such a good idea! I never would have thought of doing that, but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the tip!!

  4. brittani says:

    I use the light to dark banana boat cream you have listed second. Love it!! Definitely use sparingly on knees and ankles. You’ll see color in just a few hours. I usually apply after a shower, then use a hair dryer to fully dry my skin, and go to bed. Wake up with a nice glow!

    • Deirdre says:

      I apply moisturizer before I apply the tanner, but I don’t put more on directly after I apply it. However, I do put lotion on daily afterwards to help keep the color from fading unevenly. Hope that helps :)

    • Deirdre says:

      The Malibu lotion has never stained my hands. Nor has the Flawless Bake, because I always apply it with the mitt. The Banana Boat one can if you leave it on your hands after application, but I always wash it off with soup and water. Just be sure to not get water anywhere else or it will also wash off the tanning product where you want it to be! :)

  5. Rachel says:

    Do you recommend any other brands besides banana boat? I’m allergic to something in all of their products….well at least I break out and turn red & swollen ):

    • Deirdre says:

      Yes, of course! I really like the Fake Bake and Malibu Hemp lotion which are both not Banana Boat brand. I’m not sure what you’re allergic to, so maybe go to a dermatologist and find out. Then you can check the other self tanners to make sure they don’t have what you’re allergic too in them! Good luck! :)

    • Deirdre says:

      The Hemp Malibu lotion has never stained anything of mine. But for an instant tanner the Fake Bake has never stained any of my stuff because it dries so quickly! Good luck!

    • Deirdre says:

      It shouldn’t come off after getting in the water. But since you will be in water a lot more frequently than usual, it will fade more quickly. So instead of lasting 5-6 days it will probably only last 3 days. Also, your feet might lose their tan from walking on the sand. However it should be really easy to reapply while you’re there depending on how long you’re there. Also, if you want to, you can just use the Malibu gradual tanner to stretch your color a couple more days! Good luck :)

    • Deirdre says:

      Both the Banana Boat and Fake Bake last 5-6 days. I’ve never really kept track of how long the Malibu one lasts because I apply it pretty regularly as a regular lotion.

      • Lauren says:

        I mean how often do you have to buy a new bottle? I’m mostly interested in how often you have to buy more of the fake bake

        • Deirdre says:

          Oh, haha, it easily lasted me the whole summer last year. However, I don’t know exactly how many applications it has per bottle. I tried looking it up and the best I found was someone said 17-20 “tans” per bottle. But that is completely dependent on how much someone applies and how often it is applied. Hope that helps!

  6. Samantha Hager says:

    I found this on pinterest it was very helpful! I was wondering however I’m really pale and was thinking about using the fake bake but will it make me way to dark or orange?

    • Deirdre says:

      It’s never turned me orange, nor do I think it’s ever looked too dark. If you only apply it once it shouldn’t be too much. But if you don’t want to jump too quickly from super pale to tan you can use the Malibu gradual tanner for a week, then use the Fake Bake. Hopefully that helps!

  7. Danielle says:

    Do any of these rub off on your sheets at night? I worry about that (don’t want to stain white/beige sheets!).


    • Deirdre says:

      I have only ever had the Banana Boat rub off a little on my sheets and it was because I went to bed without waiting very long after applying it. But if I apply it and wait an hour or so it has never happened again. Also, the Fake Bake dries much more quickly so I’ve never had a problem with it either :)

    • Deirdre says:

      I have only used it a few times, but my roommate a couple of years ago used it daily and her legs always looked a nice tan color. So go for it if you want to try it!

    • Chelley says:

      I use jergens natural glow- 3 days to glow moisturizer.. Fair to medium.. I get compliments all the time about my tan and I haven’t even been in the sun yet :-)… I used to hate their smell but now they made it without the odor so I LOVEEE it!!! Doesn’t turn ya orange either ..

  8. jennifer says:

    How Do U Get Color On Ur Hands……..Always Have To Wash Them.After Applying….Dont Wanna Have A Tan All Over And Have Ghostly Hands

    • Deirdre says:

      So instead of using your hands and then having to wash them I would recommend using a mitt (comes with Fake Bake) or latex gloves. This keeps the lotion from getting in between your fingers and in your nails. And when I apply tanning lotion on my hands I like to mix it with a little body lotion and apply it just to the backs of my hands and fingers. The lotion helps the tanner from turning your hands too dark and making them look dirty. Good luck! :)

  9. Tanya says:

    Do you apply lotion over your entire body first to reduce becoming too dark all over or for streaking? I am just wondering since I am pretty pale and am concerned about becoming “too dark” right off or the streaks. Would mixing tanner with lotion then applying extend the products life by using less and result in a lighter overall color? I have heard of putting lotion or vaseline on your knees, elbows, wrists, hands and feet, but I haven’t about putting lotion all over first so just wondering. Have you tried Sun Labs? Thank you!

  10. Grace says:

    I’m incredibly pale–like porcelain doll pale–and I have pink undertones to my skin rather than yellow like most people. Would you still recommend all of these for someone with my complexion? I’ve heard Sun Labs is great, but it’s much more expensive than the products you’ve listed. Thanks!!

  11. Alexis says:

    I am incredibly pale and I love bare mineral’s faux tanner. I love their moisturizing tanner also but I feel it’s a bit overpriced for what it is. I use my bare minerals faux tan once a week and use Nivea or jergen’s moisturizing tanner after I get out of the shower all the other days. It has always worked really well. And I learned if you find yourself with orange hands after tanning, get a small amount of baking soda in your hands and drip some peroxide on it until it turns into a paste. Rub your hands together gently for about 5-7 minutes and it will make your hands look almost as good as new. it will also leave your hands extra soft :)

  12. Melissa says:

    I LOVE fake Bake!! Best sunless tanning product by far! I have tried just about all of them. Victoria Secret had a selfless tanner that I really liked but it is nothing in comparison.

  13. Abbey says:

    If you mix regular lotion in with the tanner and put it on your knees, elbows, hands, and ankles it will make it blend better so it doesn’t have that dirty look. It also works good for your face to lighten up the tanner just a tad and also keep your face moisturized. After I wash my hands I put a little bit of the tanner on the back of my hand and run the two backs of my hands together(as well as around the wrist area to blend it back in)

  14. Gigi says:

    This is so helpful! I’ve been doing research on the self tanners. I have the Jergans gradual tanner. I’m not crazy about it though it tends to have a pungent tanner smell afterwards that even my bf asks if I put the lotion on. Any self tanners that doesn’t smell?!?

    • Deirdre says:

      I does have several natural ingredients, but there might be some other stuff in it. Here is the ingredients list:
      Water, Propylene Glycol, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Isopropyl Myristate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Stearate, Dihydroxyacetone, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Hempseed (Cannabis Sativa) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Erythrulose, Ubiquinone, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8, Bupleurum Falcatum Extract, Caffeine, Coenzyme A, Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Oil, Jojoba (Buxus Chinensis) Oil, Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) Seed Oil, Olive (Olea Europaea) Oil, Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) Oil, Green Tea (Camellia Oleifera) Extract, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Sorbate, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, BHT, Citric Acid.
      Hope that helps! :)

  15. michelle says:

    The Malibu lotion is always on the bottom shelf in the cosmetic lotion aisle, not the body lotion aisle. Sometimes the different lotion aisles are close in some Walmarts and sometimes not close at all. I have had problems finding it, then I figured it out! Great stuff, a lot of product for not a lot of money.

    • Deirdre says:

      I use it on my face without a problem, but my skin doesn’t break out easily from products so maybe do a test area to see if it bothers your skin. Good luck!

  16. Kacee Rae says:

    Ok this may be a stupid question… Do you use the tanner under your arms like on your arm pit or just go around it?

  17. Ashley says:

    I’ve always been curious about self-tanners: Should you put them on your face as well? And if so, does it clog your pores? When you wash your face at night/in the morning does it make the color on your face fade more than the rest of your body? Does it rub off on clothes? I know I’m very inquisitive, but I’m a complete newbie when it comes to self-tanners.

    • Deirdre says:

      You don’t have to :) The Malibu lotion is a gradual tanner, so it won’t stain your hands or any other part of your body with regular use.

  18. Elaine says:

    I have tried many my self since I am half German and half Mexican. And I burn so easy outside due to my medicine I take. I am very tan on my legs since they see the sun the most, but my upper body never does. So I have tried clairns face tanner…..which smells. Oh did I say I cant wear perfume or anything with a scent. So….. St. Topaz stinks, I tried so hard but no. I love tarte new full body tanner! U can use it on your face too. No smell either. I have used everyone of the recommended ones to. I love them all. Also I have used for just my face bare essentials face tanner. Great! No smell.
    I put on my tanner on every day this way I match. And my body lotion by aveeno. I use baby one because of smell. Hope this help u all.

  19. Debby Ruffin says:

    I live in Fayetteville, NC- haven’t been able to find any of the first two products at Walmarts here….any other stores they might be in?

  20. stacey says:

    are you sure that Malibu Tan doesn’t make you go orange, I have tried so mant tans and they have either made me look orange or made me look like I am dirty, LOL.. weird I know, LOL.. and I don’t want to spend the money on going to a salon :)

    • Deirdre says:

      I personally have never, ever turned orange from Malibu Tan. You can see the color quite quickly after application. You could even do a test area on a normally covered area to see if you like the color it gives you. Hope that helps!

  21. Emma says:

    I use sally hanson fake tan going to discos with costs over 10 euro and notice it only lasts for the night. I Like to go for a more beige or darker colour. I was wondering is there any cheaper but long lasting tan available and approved of? need help :O

  22. Janna says:

    Have any of you used self-tanners while pregnant? I can not stand being this pale and with maternity pics coming up soon, I would love to have a nice glow! I usually use self-tanners religiously, but stopped once I became preggers because I wasn’t sure how it would affect the baby?! Any advice?

  23. Caitlin says:

    I’ve used fake tanner in the past and my hands and fingers turned orange :/ any ideas how to stop that from happening??

    • Susan says:

      It *can* be hard to find. I always find it at Walmart but it’s *NEVER* with the sun screen products or even the makeup. It’s always tucked away on the bottom of some random shelf. Asking people that work there is never any help either. Look around where the Beauty section. It’s hard to describe. It’s usually on a back wall. Don’t give up. It’s there. I buy 2 bottles cuz it’s so cheap and cuz I never know if I’ll find it again. :)

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