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How do I Choose the Best Bronzer Products?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Bronzer gives you the look of being in the sun without the risks of tanning, and unlike many self-tanning products, it won't turn your skin orange and can easily be removed if you don't like how it looks. Bronzer products come in many different forms, including gels, lotions, and powders, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best bronzer products depends on your age, skin type, and skin tone.

If you plan to use bronzer products on your face, you'll want to choose a bronzer that won't make your skin break out or accentuate lines. For example, shimmer bronzer can look great on your shoulders, but unless your face is completely smooth, all that shimmer will settle into and highlight your wrinkles. If your skin is sensitive, consider a mineral bronzer, which usually contains fewer irritating ingredients than other bronzer products.

Gel or liquid bronzers have the advantage of not settling into fine lines the way powders can. They can also be mixed with facial moisturizer or body lotions for easy application. Some people with oily skin have difficulty with gel or liquid bronzers, as they can make skin appear oilier. You may also have more difficulty controlling the intensity of a gel or liquid bronzer and may need practice in getting the right amount of bronzer onto your skin.

Carefully consider the color of the bronzer products you use. If your goal in using bronzer is to replicate a sun-kissed look, the bronzer should be no more than two shades darker than your natural skin color. Be careful of bronzer beads or palates that contain bronzers in many different colors. While these can look pretty in the package, some of the colors may simply be too dark for your complexion, making it difficult to get the look you want. If you plan to use bronzer powder in place of blush, you'll want to pick a bronzer that is well suited to your complexion. Some bronzers come in a range of hues and may have pink, peach, or rose undertones.

Unless you are using a liquid bronzer that contains a sunscreen, keep in mind that no bronzer or self tanner will protect you from the damaging rays of the sun. Don't undo your efforts to protect your skin by using bronzer products instead of tanning by forgetting to wear a high SPF sunscreen daily.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

By serenesurface — On Jan 15, 2014

For those on the lookout for a good face bronzer, I highly recommend mineral bronzer made from natural ingredients. It blends nicely, looks natural and the product lasts forever! I tried cheap bronzers before but they never looked right on me and never blended with my skin tone properly. Mineral bronzer cost more but it's definitely worth it. Plus, I think it's going to last me for a good three years.

By bear78 — On Jan 15, 2014

@donasmrs-- I don't think that's a good idea simply because self tanning creams or instant bronzers are not formulated for the face. A face bronzer is a cosmetic but a body bronzer is a colored cream or spray. It won't be safe to apply those products around the mouth and eyes, especially if there are chemicals and fumes involved. You should buy a face bronzer separately.

The skin on our body and face is different. You can buy a bronzer for your face based on the type of skin you have. If you have dry skin for example, a cream face bronzer will work well. If you have oily skin, you should use a powder face bronzer.

And when you apply bronzer to your face, you can't apply it everywhere like you would a body bronzer. A face bronzer is meant to be applied lightly with a brush on the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. These are the areas that would get slightly tan if you were to be exposed to natural sunlight.

By donasmrs — On Jan 15, 2014

I have a gel body bronzer that I use often. It's a nice, glowy tan color that makes my skin look healthy and beautiful, like I just went tanning. The only problem is that while my body looks great, my face looks pale. Can I use my body bronzer on my face? Is this safe?

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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