So this post is in response to reader fdfd who asked what the difference is between a bronzer, tinted moisturiser and a ‘natural glow’ daily facial moisturiser. In addition to that he wanted to know the basic steps one would take when putting on cosmetic items like the ones listed below, that’ll be the next post.
Bronzer – This is a powder that you apply to your face right at the end of your other facial products. You sweep it on alone to give a little instant colour and contour to your face or you can apply it after self tanner or tinted moisturiser to enhance your colour and mattify. Think of it as a finishing powder, used to polish up anything you have on your face.
Self-tan – Self tan comes in many incarnations and this can lead to confusion. Anything that says ‘natural glow’ or ‘holiday skin’ is a self tanner. A self tan will either instantly or gradually give your face a temporary tan. This means that even when you wash your face you will still have a tan, at least for a while.
Products like the one from Jergens you mentioned double as moisturisers. This means they have less tanning product in them so you can wear them every day in place of your moisturiser to gradually build a nice tan. It makes it look like you’re naturally developing a tan.
With a product explicitly labelled as a self-tan like Half Baked or St. Tropez – you use them the night before you want a tan and wake up to an instantly tanned face. They don’t work as moisturisers and the level of pigment is much higher. They basically ‘stain’ your face with a wash of colour that will last up to a week before you have to top up the colour again. This is a faster approach than the ‘daily glow’ products that build up gradually.
Tinted moisturiser – A facial tanner or bronzer is designed to make your skin a touch darker, a tinted moisturiser is meant to match your natural skin tone perfectly. Think of these working just like a foundation, albeit a lot more natural and sheer in its coverage. You buy one to even out your existing skin tone and cover up minor imperfections. This does not tan your face, when you wash it off at night you won’t have picked up any colour. Some tinted moisturisers are so sheer that you can choose a colour one shade darker than your regular skin tone for a tanned look. This would be more like a liquid bronzer…
Liquid bronzer – This is a medium between a facial tanner and a tinted moisturiser. Like a facial tanner it will darken your face by a shade or two, giving you a nice natural tan. However, unlike a facial tanner this will not temporarily tan your face. You apply this in the morning to get a tan and then when you wash your face at night, you wash off the entire colour.