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The BEST clean at-home sunless tanner that you’ve probably never heard of

Vita Liberata Fabulous Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion | Clean At-Home Sunless Tanner


As soon as I hit publish on this post I’m about to make some lunch and then head outside to the pool! But in my IG stories Q&A yesterday, I got asked if I had any reccos for clean sunless tanners, and I decided this post was worth a refresh! Even if it doesn’t feel like spring outside where you are, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little color.

So–I present to you–my favorite sunless tanner that is natural, non-toxic and gives you awesome color that lasts! (AKA…A UNICORN!)

Who. Knew. (And no, this is not sponsored!)

It’s called Vita Liberata’s Fabulous Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion. (You can get it at both Nordstrom and Dermstore!)

Have you ever heard of this brand before? I hadn’t. I can’t take credit for this discovery though, because I actually read about it on Cupcakes and Cashmere–I bought it on a whim, and I loved it so much that I had to dedicate a whole post to it–just as she had!

Note on pregnancy-safe beauty products: Now that we’ve shared the big news about LR, I’m getting a lot of questions on “pregnancy safe” things. There is no official definition of “pregnancy safe” just like there is no real definition of “clean” or “non-toxic”–these are not regulated terms. Advice varies from doctor to doctor and person to person. I cannot tell you what is “pregnancy safe” for you, so it’s up to you to decide what you feel comfortable with! I do want to point out that this product does have salicylic acid in it, which some doctors say to avoid, others say it’s perfectly safe. This is typically considered a very safe ingredient so it doesn’t keep me up at night, but wanted to call it out!

The BEST Clean At-Home Sunless Tanner: Vita Liberata

Why I love it: 

It develops gradually and comes out clear, not brown–going on like a lotion!

It doesn’t get all over your sheets and your clothes–it’s a zero transfer formula. This is my biggest issue with sunless tanners and why I don’t use them more often. This is a complete game-changer!

It doesn’t smell awful–eventually, it does develop that hint of “sunless tan” smell, but not nearly as much as a lot of them that I’ve used!

It’s a very natural, not too dark, not too light color. It just gives you that *hint of sun-kissed glow*

It’s hydrating–made with Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter and Aloe Vera.

It actually LASTS for days! Another big pet peeve I’ve had with other at-home sunless tanners (St. Tropez, Tarte)–this one seems to last much better. The color is perfect for everyday–it’s not “Vegas pool party tan” but “I’m a normal everyday human who wants a natural kiss of color.” I find that it lasts for about a week and doesn’t come off in that bad patchy way that a lot of sunless tanners do.

How to apply it: 

Exfoliation first is KEY–my absolute favorite exfoliating mit is the Microdermamit. It’s AMAZING and not too harsh on your skin, and does an incredible job. I have them both for face and body. It’s a small, family-owned brand, too! Make sure to focus on feet, ankles, heels, wrists, knees and elbows–AKA the dryer spots that usually give your sunless tan away!

Then, I apply body lotion (I’ve been using Billie’s for about a year now and I love how affordable it is, and it’s clean!) to my feet, ankles, heels, wrists, knees and elbows ONLY–just the spots that tend to get extra orange–(if you’ve ever gotten a spray tan, this is where they instruct you to put the “barrier cream”). The reason for this is that these areas tend to get more dry and therefore absorb more product, making them more prone to turning orange. Don’t apply lotion anywhere else, though–per the instructions on the bottle.

Then, I apply the product itself with a sunless tanning mit–rubbing in circular motions all over. I’ve found this to be the key to an even tan. (I never have good results just using my hands!)

Another key is to not rush through the application process.

Rub and rub so you don’t miss any spots and you get a nice, even tan. I also like that this ensures my hands don’t get too orange–just make sure you apply it to the tops of both hands! Leave on 8 hours before showering!

Also, I do not apply sunless tanner to my face–so I can’t speak to that specifically. I apply it up to my neckline and under my jaw–but I’ve had bad experiences with sunless tanners making me break out (This happened with St. Tropez)–so I’m too nervous and I just add extra bronzer when I do my makeup to match.

Looking for a spray tan instead? 

Bookmark this for the future once we’re actually going places again. ????But I always get asked where I go for spray tans in Chicago, and I LOVE Penny Kraft + Co. I would HIGHLY recommend Penny you’re in Chicago and looking for a place for a spray! They’re only $45 and if you mention my name at booking, you get $5 off!

For your day-to-day use though, you can’t go wrong with the Vita Liberata! 5 stars in my book! Next I want to try their sunless tanning water which looks very intriguing…stay tuned on that!

That’s all for now! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!