The best body bronzer
When you want your skin to have a healthy glow and shimmer but don’t have the time to develop it naturally, use a body bronzer. These products come in many forms, shades and finishes to match your skin tone needs. Many also include extra ingredients to boost the health of your skin, among other benefits.
The best body bronzer is the Laura Geller New York Bronzer Powder. It can be applied dry or wet and across the face in addition to the body.
What to know before you buy a body bronzer
Body bronzer types
Body bronzer types can be broken down based on their consistency.
- Powder bronzers are typically meant for use on the face or as finishers on top of other makeups, but some are meant for use anywhere on the body. Some powders can be applied with a damp applicator for a liquid-like look.
- Cream bronzers are thick and goopy, which makes them easy to apply. They often have extra properties such as moisturizing, self-tanning or sun protection.
- Liquid bronzers are thin and tend to offer the most natural look, but they’re often the most unwieldy to apply and are prone to running if misapplied.
Body bronzers have a range of finishes depending on where it falls on the matte/dewy spectrum.
- Matte is the farthest side of dry and has a flatter appearance. It’s best for those with oily skin, as it can even out the excess shine.
- Dewy is the farthest side of wet and has a reflective appearance. It’s best for those with drier skin to add the glow and shimmer it may lack.
- Everything else falls somewhere in the middle. It includes such finishes as demi-matte, which is a little dewier than matte, and satin, which is a little drier than dewy.
Body bronzers come in a large range of shades so there’s a perfect match for everyone. If you can’t find an exact match, don’t worry. You can apply an extra layer or two to darken the bronzer’s appearance on your skin.
Body bronzer features
Self-tanners are different products than body bronzers. Bronzers add temporary color that’s gone as soon as you wash it off while self-tanners absorb into the skin and darken it for longer.
That said, some bronzers include self-tanning elements to help the color last a little longer. It just won’t be as powerful an effect as a stand-alone self-tanner.
Sun protection factor
Some body bronzers include a little sun protection. These are great choices if you’ll be outside, but keep in mind that bronzers rarely have more than SPF 15 and shouldn't be used in place of sunscreen.
Body bronzer cost
They can cost as little as $5 or as much as $50. Basic bronzers shouldn’t cost more than $15 with better brands costing up to $30. Most bronzers over $30 are designer brands.
Body bronzer FAQ
What type of body bronzer should I use for my skin type?
A. There are four main skin types with each best served by different types of body bronzer.
- Standard skin is the baseline. Any type of bronzer can be applied depending on the look you want to achieve.
- Dry skin lacks moisture, meaning creams and liquids are best used to give this skin the healthy glow it tends to lack.
- Oily skin has too much moisture so powder bronzers are usually the way to go. However, some creams and liquids can be used as long as they have no oils and minimal-to-no moisturizing effects.
- Mature skin tends to be drier than standard skin and has fine lines. Any bronzer type can be used so long as it doesn’t absorb too much moisture and it has anti-caking properties to avoid settling in the lines.
How long will a body bronzer last on the shelf?
A. That depends on the type. Liquid and creams last the shortest, usually no longer than a year though some might stretch to a year and a half. Powders can last for up to two years. If the bronzer smells, looks or feels different, toss it and get a new one.
Which body bronzer should I get?
Best of the best body bronzer
Laura Geller New York Bronzer Powder: available at Amazon
Our take: This can be applied anywhere and comes in a large variety of shades.
What we like: It comes in fifteen shades from light to dark. Multiple skin-health ingredients are infused in each disk including the antioxidants centella asiatica and white tea extract. It can be applied dry in up to three layers with each layer deepening the color or applied wet for extra shine.
What we dislike: A few consumers received trial-sized disks instead of full-sized ones. It doesn’t include an applicator; if you don’t have one, purchase them together.
Best bang for your buck body bronzer
Ownest Kyda Body Luminizer: available at Amazon
Our take: This is a perfect starter bronzer if you aren’t sure you’ll like using one.
What we like: It comes in six shades including pink, bronze and white. It’s easy to apply other makeups with it such as foundation. Extra ingredients help moisturize the skin and prevent caking. Application is easy and it dries fast, plus all it takes to wash off is basic soap and water.
What we dislike: Be careful not to apply too much as the excess can easily rub off onto your clothes and other surroundings.
Honorable mention body bronzer
The Lotion Company 24-Hour Skin Therapy Vanilla Bean With Bronzer: available at Amazon
Our take: This is a great choice if your main concern is skin health but you still want to stand out.
What we like: It’s handmade in the U.S. by a father-and-daughter-run company. It contains no parabens or petroleum and is not animal tested. The vanilla bean scent is sweet and has a woody undertone. There’s just enough bronzer to achieve a subtle glow.
What we dislike: A few purchasers found the scent to be a little strong or not vanilla-like enough. Others wished it moisturized more.
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Jordan C. Woika is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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