I’ve never been one to shy away from a viral beauty trend. From buzzy throwbacks like cracking nail varnish (2012, you called?) and burgundy lipsticks to more recent trends like contouring and glass skin, I’m always up for experimenting. However, there’s one beauty trend that, up until recently, I just couldn’t get on board with—self-tan. My reason for this? Well, first, as a Black woman, I’ve always been pretty dubious about what the end result would actually look like, whether it would be totally unnoticeable on my skin tone or would leave me looking patchy.
Second, even if I were curious, the tanning industry is notorious for being pretty much non-existent for darker skin tones. So imagine my surprise when I started to notice Black women professing their love for self-tanning on the internet. First, there were TikTok videos and then, much to my delight, came skinfluencer Alicia Lartey with a super-detailed Instagram post of self-tanning recommendations for Black girls and how these products could actually help to cover hyperpigmentation and stretch marks on darker skin. I also learnt that there were a number of tanning products on the market that imbued Black skin with a lit-from-within glow. And as someone who goes weak at the knees for any and all glow-boosting products, I was intrigued.