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Gluten Free Sunless Tanners

My skin tone is translucent. You can see right through it and I am not fond of it, luckily my Husband likes my paleness. I have tried a million sunless tanners, but there is one gluten free sunless tanner that I always go back to. During the winter I cover it up with lots of clothing but when summer approaches I have to start wearing shorter sleeves and shorts. For at least 3-4 months out of the year the average temp is over 90 and often 100 or more. I try to stay indoors but my family always wants to eat and my kids like to play, so I do have to get out in this sun and rough it. Ugh! So, what is the best sunless tanner? Coola Tanning MousseJosie Maran Self Tanning OilTarte Brazilliance and Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit will be the 2 that I talk about in this post.

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Gluten Free Sunless Tanner

When the temps start reaching over 80 I have to start applying my tan a few times a week. By the way, you are all welcome. This is totally a service to the community so I don’t scare all of you people by blinding you will my pasty pale skin. It is a chore, but I do not tan and this is the approach many take now in order to avoid skin cancer. Lucky for me, there are some great self tanners out there! Not all of them may be gluten free though.

The Best Sunless Tanner

Every year I go through and update this post for everyone. It is the time of the year when everyone that see’s me in person is asking what self tanner I am using. Literally, all 3 of my best friends have asked me in the last 3 days. I went online to share links with them and realized that one of my products has been updated, I will provide the updated packing and product below. I also wanted to share that I was recently diagnosed with skin cancer. Luckily, it should not be serious. The cancer was mostly removed and I will be using a cream to kill the additional cancer cells. In a few months I will be going in for a full scan, I think I may have another bit on the back of my leg. (Update, all is well!)

It is important for me to share this with you because it is so important to limit your sun exposure. My entire life I have never been one to spend extended amounts of time in the sun because I am very fair skinned and the sun honestly makes me feel sick. Growing up though my parents did not provide sunscreen to me very often and I had some serious burns. Part of my daily routine is using the Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit Touch Of Summer Moisturizing Gradual Self-tanning Creme because it has an SPF 30, so I know that before I head out I am protected.

What is the best gluten free sunless tanner?

I have found in order to maintain a healthy shade of pale my regimen consists of two products. The first is a tarte sunless tanner that I apply about 2 times a week, maybe 3 if I need to wear a bathing suite. The other product is a daily tanner that needs to be applied on “off” days from the tanner.

When I say I have tried every sunless tanner known to man-I mean it, I really have. With 36 years of paleness under my belt I started craving tan skin at the ripe old age of 10, I did grow up in California after all. I would sneak my Mom’s tanners until I started purchasing my own. The worst part of a tanner is the after smell, so I totally take that into consideration when I am recommending these products to you.

Sunless Tanner

I have talked before about my favorite beauty company and that is Tarte. They are amazing in every aspect. They are a gluten free, vegan, cruelty free company who believes that beauty doesn’t need to compromise our health. I trust all of their products and I have loved every single thing I have bought and used. Tarte sunless tanner is no exception.

UPDATE: They have updated this product to be called Tarte Brazilliance Plus+ Self Tanner with Mitt

Here it is:

The tanner goes on with color so you can see where it is going and if you have streaks. With all tanners you should exfoliate before hand and I also rub a tiny bit of lotion on my knees, elbows, heels and wrists. My favorite exfoliator is the Tree Hut Tahitian Vanilla Bean Shea Sugar Scrub. Exfoliating is important so those extra rough dry areas don’t cling on to all of the pigment and leave dark non-natural looking spots. This tanner also comes with a mitt so you don’t have oompa loompa palms.

Gluten Free Sunless Tanner

In between my Tarte tanner I use Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit Touch Of Summer Moisturizing Gradual Self-tanning Creme, 6.76 Oz, 6.76 Oz . This gives you a natural glow and the smell is amazing in comparison to some of the other tanners. Jergens is the worst, yuk! Make sure you have exfoliated before hand and I recommend using Hempz Lotion for dry spots. To add the Hempz Lotion to the dry spot allow the tanner to slightly dry and then rub in a very small amount of regular lotion to the ankles and feet, knee caps, and elbows. I often mix the Hempz Yuzu Lotion with the regular lotion to do my ankles and feet to give it a more natural look.

Believe me when I say you will be happy with these two products for your summer skin. They are affordable and work very well all while being safe for your gluten free skin. Are there any tanners that you prefer?

2021 Update

This year I decided to branch out and try other brands of sunless tanner. There are so many out there that are gluten free now, so I have been trying them all.

Recently I tried the Coola Self Tanning Mousse

I have to say that I give it a 8/10. The only reason is because as it dries there is a faint smell. It is not bad, but there is a little smell there. However,  it dries very very fast and leaves little behind on clothing and it gives a nice color. I really love how quickly it dries.

The other sunless tanner that I have used most recently is the Josie Maran Argan Self Tanning Oil. This one is also a winner with a 10/10. The smell is soooo good, that was my first impression. Also, it’s a very light oil that is moisturizing, but not greasy whatsoever. It dries very fast, the fastest of any sunless tanner I’ve used. While it doesn’t give a bold color right away the color it gives is very natural and I really like it. It even has worked well on my face. The mitt that comes with it is the best tanning mitt I’ve ever used. 

What is my self tanner routine?

Where are the best places to purchase these fabulous tanners? Ulta, Tarte.com, and Amazon are my go-tos. Do you use self tanner, if so what is your favorite?





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  1. I need a good self tanner for the summer!! I don’t like to use tanning beds so this is perfect 👌🏼 and gluten free… even better!! Thank you for sharing .

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      You’re very welcome!