Intensifier Vs Bronzer: Which Is The Better Tanning Product?

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Looking for that bronzed goddess glow without setting a fake tan appointment? It is possible! First, you should know the difference between an intensifier vs bronzer, and how they can help you achieve the tan that you want.

Let’s be honest, almost everyone looks better when they have a sun-kissed glow, just as if you’ve arrived home from spending a week in Mexico, California, or Hawaii. Thankfully, during the dark and dreary winter months, there are several tanning products that can help you achieve that California tan.



But if you’re new to the wonderful and innovative world of tanning, the product jargon can be a little overwhelming. For this reason, we’ve broken down the differences between an fire intensifier vs bronzer, as well as rounded up our favorite products.


Intensifier Vs Bronzer:

What’s An Intensifier?


A tanning intensifier (otherwise known as tanning lotion or tanning accelerator) is a lotion made with ingredients that will hydrate and slightly darken the color of your skin, giving you an extra boost of color.

In intensifiers, you won’t find DHA, which is the ingredient in fake, sunless tanners that leads to a darker skin tone. Instead, intensifiers are filled with ingredients that work with the natural melanin found in your skin.

Intensifiers are not sunless tanners – you’ll need to spend time in the sun for these products to work. The optimal time to use an intensifier is in the summer or when you’re on vacation, exposing yourself to the sun.


What’s A Bronzer?


While you might know bronzers to be the small compact of dark brown powder that you brush over your cheekbones, the name can also refer to something different when it comes to tanning. A bronzer can be applied to your whole body (avoid your face, unless the product is specifically for faces) and will give you a deep glow and sunless tan without having to lay by the pool for ten hours straight.

A bronzing lotion typically has dark color added to it, which instantly darkens the shade of your skin tone or natural color when applied. It’s almost like makeup but for your body. The color isn’t permanent so you don’t run the risk of dealing with pesky streaks or fine lines for days after. Instead, it will wash off in the shower.

Sometimes, you’ll also find bronzers with self-tanners (DHA). These products are best for those who want to achieve an instantly bronzed look that develops into a longer-lasting tan over the day.

When it comes to purchasing a body bronzer, don’t cheap out as inexpensive products might rub off on your clothing or bed linen, and it might mess with your sensitive skin. You might look like a tanned queen who’s been vacationing in California for months but buying all new bedding totally isn’t worth it.

So, what’s the main difference between intensifiers and bronzers? You can use bronzers without the sun, while intensifiers only work in the sun. For this reason, we recommend opting for a bronzer instead of an intensifier, as it’s the safer (and quicker!) option.


Our Favorite Bronzers:

1. Isle of Paradise’s Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer


Isle of Paradise’s Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer

Get this on Sephora

If you’re seeking an instant glow-up before an exciting first date, look no further than this Isle of Paradise wash-off body bronzer. It’s vegan, clean, and cruelty-free which means that it doesn’t contain any products derived from or tested on animals, or any harmful chemicals. Instead, it’s made with avocado, chia seed, tea tree oil, and coconut oil.

For immediate results, applying it is as easy as pie: just rub it all over your body as if it were a moisturizer. Say hello to your new tan!

PRO TIP: With all self-tanners and bronzers, it’s smart to test it out on a small patch of skin 24 hours before using it on your entire body. This way you can rule out any allergies or avoid looking like an oompa loompa if the shade isn’t right for you.


2. By Terry Tea To Tan Face & Body Bronzer


By Terry Tea to Tan Face and Body Bronzer

Get this on Skinstore

If you like natural-looking bronzers, this unique product is a cult favorite among ladies who love a good, warm glow without going to a tanning session. It’s a buildable spray-on bronzer that works amazingly on the face too. 

It’s also great for spraying on pale legs before heading out for the night, whatever the occasion.

Editor’s note: I use this bronzer instead of a foundation on my face – it looks so natural and blends perfectly with a kabuki brush! If you’re someone who loves using fake tan but is frustrated that it comes off too quickly on the face, you have to try this product! 


Our Favorite Intensifiers:

1. Australian Gold Bronzing Dry Oil Spray Intensifier


Australian Gold Bronzing Dry Oil Spray Intensifier

Get this on Ulta

If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that Australians know exactly how to achieve and keep a good tan, which is why we trust Australian Gold. This dry oil intensifier leans on aloe to hydrate your dry skin and promote tanning. The product contains a “Colorboost Maximizer” that will help you develop a darker tan and designer skin that will last for longer.

This intensifier smells mighty scrumptious and should be generously applied to exposed skin. Australian Gold products can be found online or at any Ulta Beauty store, so be sure to stock up on a few bottles before your next tropical vacation so you can achieve a healthy glow through native Australian oils.


2. The Fox Tan Rapid Accelerator


The Fox Tan Rapid Accelerator

Get this on Ulta

Despite the fact that this product is called a tan accelerator, it does the same thing as a tan intensifier. The Fox Tan Rapid Accelerator will help you achieve the darkest tan possible when you’re by the pool, on the beach, or relaxing in a tanning bed.

The product’s special formula contains the brand’s famous FoxComplex, with main ingredients like beta carotene, raspberry fruit extract, argan oil, and jojoba oil. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, which is perfect for folks who are mindful of what they put on their body.

For best results, the Fox Tan Rapid Accelerator should be applied before sun exposure. It will help you achieve a darker, deeper tan in less time with less UV exposure required.

IMPORTANT TIP TO REMEMBER: When using a tan intensifier or accelerator, pay attention to how your skin feels and looks during the tanning process. Since the product promotes the tanning of your skin, you’re more prone to burning if you overdo it on sun exposure.

If you forget that you’re using an intensifier, you could end up looking less like a bronzed goddess and more like a red lobster.

Did you find this guide on intensifier vs bronzer products helpful? We hope you did! If you’re still looking for more beauty ideas, check the posts down below.


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