Should Women of Color Self-Tan? PLUS Product Review!

A big part of becoming a beauty expert is not being afraid to experiment Royals. I’ve been mulling around a few questions in my head about self-tanner and I’m so stinkin’ excited I tried them out! They are: Will self-tanner enhance my “natural tan”, even out my skin tone and give me a glow-y summer look? The answer: YES!!!


In my quest to find a self-tanner to try, I ran into a few issues during my research. (A) No other woman of color I know self tans, so I had no references! (B) From reading several dozen reviews, I could tell I needed to avoid self-tanners that turn orange and emit that “self-tanner smell”. (C) PRICE! I saw self-tanners that were going for $70-80 in the salon where I get my hair cut! *Jeez*

After a little digging I ran into tons of great reviews on Banana Boat’s Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion in Deep Dark Color. The best part is that it’s affordable and easy to find. I got it for $6.47 at Walmart. At that price, I was willing to take the chance that my theories weren’t going to turn into fact. The formula says it’s oil-free plus enriched with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. The finish is also streak-free, which I think has more to do with your application techniques than anything else.


When it comes to self tanning, the application is just as important (if not more!) than the actual self-tanner that you decide to use. Here are my tips and what I did to get a glowing natural tan.

Step One: Apply an hour before bed. Most self-tanners need up to 24hrs to fully develop. But most importantly, no matter what self-tanner you use…there’s “the smell” that you have to deal with. BB Summer Color I’m told isn’t that bad compared to most self-tanners out there. I found it to be not that bad and only slightly annoying. It didn’t drive me crazy, but I was happy to wash it off the next morning.

Step Two: Shave & Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate! Let me say just now that I don’t recommend shaving right before to everyone and while using every product. I am saying that I was able to do so without any irritation. Proper exfoliating on the other hand, is a MUST! a sugar scrub is great, but I suggest an exfoliating glove to really get the best results possible. If you apply self-tanner on flaky skin, your tan is going to look uneven and blotchy.

Step Three: Now that your nice and smooth, dry of really well and apply moisturizer just to your knees, ankles, elbows and wrists. This will keep the self-tanner from saturating those areas and making them darker than the rest of your body.

Step Four: Most people use gloves, but I decided to apply the self-tanner with my bare hands. BB’s Summer Color is a great consistency (not too thick or runny) and extremely moisturizing! It let my skin soft and with a slight bit of color due to it’s tint. The slighly bronzed shade makes it easy to tell where it’s been applied.

I started on the bottom half of my legs and spread the little bit left out to my knees and ankles. And then I just worked my way up! Never rub self tanner into the places that you applied moisturizer earlier. Just work whatever’s left over onto those areas and you’ll get an even tan. Also, because BB’s Summer Tan is oil-free, you can apply it to your face also. It will give you a nice glow and reduce the amount of foundation and concealer that you normally use.

Step Five: Wash your hands! If you want to avoid orange or weirdly tanned palms, wash your hands thoroughly. I even use a sugar scrub to make sure I got it all off.

Step Six: In a perfect world, you could spend the nest 30 mins walking around naked and letting the self-tanner do it’s thing. But most of us have roommates, so I’m going to advise against it. Do however, apply really loose clothing until it completely dries. This is especially important if you applied it during the day and don’t want to ruin your good clothes.

Step Seven: Enjoy your tan! The great thing about BB’s Summer Tan is that it’s build-able. The more you use it, the tanner you’ll get. I would suggest not applying it more than once in a 24hr period though. If you’re satisfied with your results, just re-apply every 3-4 days to maintain. You can also mix equal parts of self-tanner and your favorite lotion to keep a healthy glow year-round!


I love my bronzed skin!! It’s more even and my legs look smoother and dare a say a bit sexier ;) Using Banana Boat’s Summer Color in Deep Dark gave me a more evened skin tone and enhanced my natural color. I even look more toned and fit! Even though I’m IN LOVE with the results, I don’t think I would make this an every day thing. But anytime I know I’ll be showing a lot of skin (or leg), I’m definitely reaching for this. I can’t wait to discover other brands and what they can do. I may even try a spray tan one day!

Do you use self-tanner? What are your favorites and why do you like them?  If you’ve never self-tanned, are you inspired to now? Leave a comment below!

 Bronze Royally,

J. Clarice


7 thoughts on “Should Women of Color Self-Tan? PLUS Product Review!

  1. Looks rather interesting but what are the healh implications when using self-tanners? Is it prodimentally chemical? Just curious on how self-tanning is any healthier if at all healther than just getting rays from the sun. (Which mind you are too healthy either)

    • DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) is a plant derived colorless sugar that interacts with the dead surface cells in the outer layer of skin, staining the skin darker. The effect is temporary and fades as dead skin cells naturally slough away. DHA is the only FDA-approved skin-tinting additive. It doesn’t photo-age the skin or contribute to skin cancer.

      It’s a lot healthier than laying out in the sun because while suntans also start fading after a few days, the harm done to the skin is permanent. Getting a suntan breaks down the DNA in skin cells, but using a self-tanner like the one above causes no damage.

      The only thing to look out for is an allergic reaction. So as with any product, test it on your skin first! And of course don’t get it in your eyes, nose or mouth. It’s safe and a much better alternative than laying out in the sun or using tanning beds.

  2. Cool!!! I was rather concerned. When I hear the word tan I immediately think of the tangerine tinted people off of Jersey Shore lol But I’m glad you broke it down.. makes sense. Being that my skin is extra super sensitive and I have ALL the allergies that last statement definitely was much needed! Thanks for the info!!

  3. I absolutely loved this article and I’m so glad you found a tanner that works for women of color. While I do love my “natural tan”, I don’t think there is anything wrong with enhancing your own beauty regardless of race.

  4. I Agree with Raquel. I’m a lady of color and after getting of winter I needed something to help enhance my color and even my skintone! i use Ocean potion ever glow. It was $4 at walmart and it works amazingly to me ! it’s 20fl oz too! So a great deal! It smells awesome too!

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