Tanning wipes are a popular option for quick, convenient self-tanning. The towelettes are also good for touching up smaller areas like tan lines. These wipes can be a good deal pricier per-application than other sunless tanners, but this is to be expected from a convenience product.
In fact, the most popular tanning wipe we found reviewed is also one of the most expensive. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Body (Est. $45 for 8 wipes) is recommended by InStyle magazine as one of the best self tanners of 2011 and 2013. The product claims to do it all: exfoliate, soften and reduce the need for shaving. Another popular option from the same company is the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad (*Est. $18 for 10 wipes) , which tans like the body pads, but doesn't offer the added time-saving steps. Finally, we also found some recommendations for Kate Somerville 360 Face Self Tanning Pads (*Est. $45 for 8 wipes) .
As far as results are concerned, all three products are judged on a slightly different rubric. One Allure editor says of the Alpha Beta Glow Pads, "After only two uses, I looked like I had spent a few days on the beach." The body pads perform about the same for tanning. Users at Sephora.com generally love the tint, saying it provides a natural-looking tan, though the color can be too intense on fairer skin tones.
However, there are some higher expectations for the body pads, like improved exfoliation and reduced hair growth in addition to a tan. As for the exfoliating claims, users aren't impressed. They say they do, in fact, have to exfoliate before applying the Glow Pads for Body. Reviewers are pleased that hair growth appears to be a bit more sparse after applying, though. The Kate Somerville 360 Face Self Tanning Pads also offer results, though a bit more subtle than the Dr. Dennis Gross pads meant for body.
All three products are praised for their lack of smell. Some users say Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare towelettes don't smell at all, while others say the scent dissipates quickly. The same is true of the Kate Somerville wipes; Sephora.com users say they don't notice any smell at all. As for the feel of these products, they leave skin soft -- not greasy or sticky -- according to reviewers.
However, there are some downsides. The clear formula of all three can make application a bit tough. While it's pretty easy to remember just how much of your face you've wiped down, users find that when applying all over the body, it's easy to miss a spot or reapply to the same area more than once. And while application isn't messy, self-tan towelettes aren't foolproof; some users say they end up with streaks.
Still, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads for Body are a reasonable, well-reviewed option for those wary of other application methods. The added bonus of reduced hair growth sets them apart from others. The difference in price, however, makes the standard Alpha Beta Glow Pads the better bet for small touch-up jobs. And for subtler face tanning, Kate Somerville 360 Face Self Tanning Pads are a safer bet than either Dr. Dennis Gross product.