It's easy to assume that self-darkening moisturizers are synonymous with self-tanners, but the two products aren't the same. While both skin-darkening moisturizers and self-tanners can give you a fake tan using the same basic ingredients, they work a little differently. The moisturizer's skin-tinting power will be very subtle. In fact, for some products, repeated use is necessary to see a visible color on your skin. On the other hand, self-tanners will give you a more pronounced color after your first use [source: Quenqa].
If it's a quick, noticeable tan you're after, a self-tanner is probably what want. But if you'd prefer not to go from pale to dark overnight, opt for the gradual tint of a skin-darkening moisturizer -- some moisturizers will take a week of daily use before you'll notice a change. Some self-tanners, on the other hand, can give you a bronzed glow in just a few hours [source: Kam]. The difference in skin-darkening speed is because moisturizers have smaller amounts of DHA than self-tanners. But because they moisturizer the skin while darkening it, moisturizers often provide a more even, natural color [source: Quenqa].
If you covet that tanned look, a skin-darkening moisturizer may be a good choice. They're safer than sunbathing, and, because they're moisturizers, they can also make your skin look and feel great. To learn more about skin-darkening moisturizers, visit the links on the following page.