Best Self Tanners and Leg Makeup for Mature Skin

Summer isn’t exactly right around the corner, but it’ll be here before we know it. After my post on the best swimsuits, I got lots of emails and questions about self-tanner and leg makeup for mature skin. Swimsuits and self-tanner go hand in hand for me, so I thought it was time to relook at them and try a few new ones. Today, I’ve rounded up the best self tanners and leg makeup for mature skin.

In case you haven’t noticed, I have extremely fair skin. My legs are glaringly white, which can cause the blue veins to stand out like on a roadmap. I didn’t know enough about the importance of sunscreens when I was younger, so I used baby oil with a splash of iodine, which promised to “dye my skin.” That was a major fail and only succeeded in marinating my skin for the resulting sunburn.

I do remember trying a self tanner back in the day, but it turned me a putrid shade of orange. Luckily, they’ve come a long way in the last few decades. After asking my readers and reading reviews, I decided to dive back in, try new options and see what works best.

Does Self Tanner make you look older?

It really depends on who you ask! My personal opinion is no. I think that a little bit of (fake) color can add to your appearance and even give you a more youthful look, so long as you don’t go for the George Hamilton tan. To be honest, the best part about a self-tanner is that it helps to camouflage any veins or bruises you may have.

What Self-Tanner is best for mature skin?

Beauty by Earth Tanning Lotion

This Beauty By Earth self-tanner has 19,000k+ reviews on Amazon, yet I’d never heard of the brand. It lives up to my cruelty-free and clean standards, so I bought some to try, and I love it! I bought the fair to medium, and it also comes in medium to dark.

It goes on easily and has not left a single streak. I noticed a light sunscreen scent that’s not unpleasant, which dissipates after it dries. I also ordered these drops, which I add to my moisturizer, and they work great too! Beauty by Earth now has a pretty extensive line. I’m impressed enough to experiment with some of their other products, like their exfoliating gloves and maybe this application brush.



Tan-Luxe The Butter Tanning Butter

This tanning butter is a luscious moisturizer, even without the self-tanning properties. It contains Vitamin E, sweet almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and tons of other moisturizing oils. It smells lovely and feels super hydrating going on.

Best Self Tanner for Mature Skin

Here, I’ve applied TAN-LUXE The Butter Tanning Butter on the right and regular lotion on the left. You can see it quickly dialed down the pastiness in just four hours. You can apply it all over, but I’m only interested in adding color to my legs. They only downside for me was it began to rub off on my white towel after a few days. If I’d had dark towels, I don’t think I’d have seen it. I’m interested in trying the other options that Tan-Luxe has to offer to see if they stay on better because the color was very flattering. Some of the products from the brand are currently on sale at HSN if you want to try them here!

Isle of Paradise

Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops

I tried these very popular Isle of Paradise drops. I like that they’re organic because I try to avoid as many chemicals as possible. My daughter mixes them with her moisturizer and loves them. I could not get the hang of them which I’m guessing was user error. The brand also has quite a few other options, and almost all of them have five-star reviews, so I’m tempted to try the brand again.

+ Lux Unfiltered

+ LUX UNFILTERED was co-founded by lifestyle blogger Sivan Ayla. This is another one I discovered on Amazon with amazing reviews. It’s non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan. I love that it has two scent options, Santal or Rosewood, instead of smelling like your normal, horrible self tanner.

Vita Liberata

While I was researching the best self tanners, I came across this brand that’s cruelty-free and has a variety of products. The Gradual Tanning Lotion received Allure’s 2020 Best of Beauty Award, so I plan to try it.

Saint Tropez

This was one of the most recommended body and face self tanners from the AWSL community. Be sure to buy the mitt for easy application of this mousse so it doesn’t get everywhere or stain your hands.

  • “As for the rest of my body, I really like St. Tropez self tanning foam. You use a mitt to apply it, and it’s very natural looking.” – KATIE

Natural Glow by Jergens

I’ve used Natural Glow by Jergens for more years than I can remember. It doesn’t have a weird smell and has never left me streaky. I admit I never attempt a dark-tanned look because it would look dumb on me, but this gives my legs a soft color that improves the look of my legs.

Body and Leg Makeup

I noticed a lot of readers talking about how they like to use body makeup on their legs. If you have a lot of freckles and “age spots” on your legs, self tanner simply makes them darker so body makeup is the answer. I decided to try one of the best reviewed.

Westmore Beauty Body Coverage

I ordered some Westmore Beauty Body Coverage Perfector to try, and wowza! It really covers. This comes in 9 natural looking shades, which will work for almost everyone. I chose Light Radiance. I also bought this Westmore Beauty Blend & Blur Extra Large Body Makeup Brush, which I think was crucial to get the flawless results I did.

I squeezed a small amount onto the brush and began buffing it into my skin. The kabuki brush is amazingly soft and full, so it gets into every line, crease, and crevice. This blends the product in so there is no line of demarcation and helps give you great coverage. After it was blended, I added a bit more to the brush and moved on to a different area.


The skin on my legs just looks smoother. To be honest, in person, it looks like I have pantyhose on that leg! It hides the spider veins and freckles in a totally believable color, so I’m impressed. This did not rub off on anything and did not change until I used some body oil to loosen it, then it came right off. I chose a color that would blend with my skin and just improve what’s there, but you could easily choose a deeper shade and get a tanned look.


  • Dermablend Leg and Body Makeup: This came highly recommended by many of you. In the reviews, you’ll notice that many use it to cover up tattoos and show you before/after pictures. If you have any bruises, I think this would cover them up!
  • Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs:
    • “I have used Sally Hansen leg makeup for years. Yes, you have to apply it daily as it washes off so it might not last if you swim! It does not come off on the bed linen and takes just a couple of minutes to apply, and you are able to see it go on evenly, no streaking.” – FRAN

Do you have any self tanners to add to the list? Are you a fan of leg makeup?

Thanks for reading, and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.


  1. Hi Jennifer,

    I’m fair-skinned and my legs get tanned in the summer because I am a daily runner. Does anyone here have experience with sweating? Do these lotions come off when one exercises in the heat? I’d like to cover the varicose veins for my race events. But I’d be super embarrassed at the end of a race with gold streaks down my legs!! Thanks for any help.

    1. I had to use oil based product to remove the Westmore so that would stay on. Self tanner would also stay put.

  2. I used to use self-tanners, but the past years it just seemed like a lot of effort. My biggest problem with them is I have a lot of darker spots on my legs and the self-tanners make them even darker. I even try to blot the self-tanner off of all the areas, but they still are darker. Unfortunately, the worst part of my legs, dark spots and spider veins, are from my knees on down. Because of that I don’t wear dresses or skorts anymore, I’m 66. Thanks for your inspiration this morning. I think I’m going to try the first one on the list from Amazon. Leg makeup would help with covering up the dark spots, but I like a self-tanner that you apply once and it last for about a week. Always appreciate your research, enjoy your weekend!

  3. I love all your ideas. If you had to choose one product for a very fair skinned blonde 65 yr old what would you recommend? I’ve never tried anything.

    1. If you just want to try one, I’d suggest the tanning drops. I really like the Earth ones. You can add one drop to a dollop of body lotion, or three!

      1. Jennifer, did you get the light or medium Earth drops? I’m about as fair as you. Thanks.

      2. I got the light

  4. Great post very informative from you and other ladies. I shal experiment with self tanners as I have never used them .
    Thanks you
    Pamela Wales UK

  5. Jennifer, no one has mentioned the 17” scar left by knee joint replacement. Does anything reduce the look? My legs look exactly like yours except for the scar. I have not used the self tanners because of the smell. Does Dermablend have an odor?

    1. I’m not sure about Dermabkend but you might try the Westmore. I didn’t notice an unpleasant scent.

  6. i am so glad I found Westmore. I have ordered a couple times. I like to wear dresses so let it dry completely. I have used L’oreal but Westmore covers all manner of imperfections and looks great for a few days. Since I don’t wear a dress every day- mostly to church or for other special occasions like a graduation party – I found it better that Sally Hanse spray. When I used that, I did it in the shower area but it does go everywhere and make a mess

  7. Great post and wonderful comments from everyone. My sister is a professional movie TV make up artist (Tricia Sawyer) and uses Westmorland often. She promises to bring me some when she returns from location.
    Her latest is “Palm Royale” and look at the beautiful tans on those ladies.
    My son is getting married in June in a tropical Island-so as a redhead over 60, blue eyes as fair as they come- I need as many suggestions as possible.
    Thanks again -this is timely and needed! Cheers all.

    1. Congratulations on your sons wedding!

  8. Tanologist is my top choice of self tanner. It lasts about a week and has just a very slight scent. Nothing obvious. It looks very natural, even on my light skin. Jennifer, like you, I only apply it to my legs except for special occasions. In Texas, the warm weather is great for wearing the self tanner most months.

    1. That’s a new one I haven’t heard of. Thank you.

  9. Great information, will give self tanner a go this year . Thank you for varied information .
    Pamela Wales UK

    1. It’s a great alternative to pantyhose etc.

  10. Deborah Murphy says:

    I use the Westmore product or Dermablend on my forearms as well. I have those purpura spots that just appear with no reason. I like that it does not rub off, and the Westmore product lasts several days. I have been taking a product, Purpuex, an oral supplement containing arnica, and that has helped too. I really enjoy your posts, I imaging its ALOT of work. Thank you for your efforts.

    1. Arnica is great for any sort of bruising. I did try the Westmore cream on my forearms too. Pretty amazing stuff.

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