What is Bronzer, and How Does It Work?


When you spend a day out in the sun, you want to look your best doing it. For many, that means having skin that’s tan all over.

However, it can be tough to achieve a completely flawless tan unless you spend a ton of time outdoors…

That’s where bronzers come into play. 

In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about bronzers, including guidance for picking the right bronzer for your goals. Let’s get into it!

What is bronzer (and how is it different from fake tan?)

A bronzer is essentially a product that helps to make your skin look darker – and is similar, but not identical to, fake tan. 

Bronzers are designed to provide those who use them with a darker complexion temporarily. Fake tanning products typically use a chemical reaction to produce darkness that can last up to 10 days.

Additionally, self-tanning solutions are typically standalone products that exist in their own right. A bronzer can either be a standalone product or be included alongside sun protection products such as sunscreen, making it a great combined solution for your sun care needs. 

For example, Australian Gold sells bronzers with sunscreen across the entire SPF range to help you look your best – while still getting the protection that you need to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. 

Does bronzer protect your skin from the sun?

Bronzers (without sunscreen) don’t inherently protect your skin from the sun. They exist to give you a darker complexion for as long as you keep applying them, but it would be a mistake to use them as a direct substitute for sunscreen. 

That being said, you can buy bronzers that have sunscreen in them. These products let you get all of the benefits of a bronzer without also having to worry about applying a separate sunscreen product on top of the bronzer – saving you time, money, and that “heavy” product feeling on your skin. 

Benefits of using a bronzer 

There are lots of different reasons why you might want to use a bronzer. Here are four benefits that you can get from doing so.

Enjoy glowing skin

The main purpose of a bronzer is to give your skin the same glowing look that it gets when you’re tanned. Even if you have a tan already, applying some bronzer to your skin can help to deepen your natural color and help you look your best.

Reduce signs of aging

Excessive tanning (both indoors and outside) can actually cause your skin to age faster. But those with naturally darker complexions tend not to have as many obvious signs of aging, such as wrinkles.

That’s why using a bronzer can be a fantastic way to reduce signs of aging. It gives you the aging-related benefits of having a darker complexion without actually having to speed up the skin aging process by spending too much time in the sun. 

Cover up uneven skin pigmentation

As we grow older, many of us begin getting uneven pigmentation across our faces and bodies. Applying a layer of bronzer can help to even everything out to give you a consistent pigmentation across all of your exposed skin.

Boost your confidence

Ultimately, bronzer is designed to help you look your best when enjoying a day outside. And when you look good, you tend to feel good as well.

So if you’re looking for a nice confidence boost on your next day at the beach or lake, then adding some bronzer to your skincare routine could be just what you need to get it.

Types of bronzer: Immediate, delayed, or gradual?

As you think about which bronzer products are best for you, you should know the major categories that you have to choose from. The most popular types of bronzers are immediate, delayed, and gradual.

Immediate bronzer

Immediate bronzer begins giving your skin a darker look right away. You’ll notice your complexion darkening as soon as you apply it.

This is a good option for people who would like to see the full impact of their bronzer as soon as they put it on.

If that’s what you’re looking for, then you can check out Australian Gold’s general protection sunscreen with bronzer. It won’t just protect your skin from the sun and make it look darker, it’ll also help to nourish your skin with healthy ingredients like tea tree oil and Kakadu Plum.

Delayed bronzer

A delayed bronzer is also sometimes called a sunless bronzer. Its purpose is to provide you with a tanned look that deepens over time.

The reason that it’s sometimes called sunless bronzer is that this effect happens regardless of whether you spend time in the sun or not. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting enough sun to see the full impact of the bronzer that you apply.

This can be a good option for people who want their tanned look to deepen naturally throughout the day, just as it would if they were spending a day in the sun. Best of all, since no sun is required to make that happen, this can be a great bronzer to use in the lead-up to that sun-filled vacation!

Gradual bronzer

Gradual bronzer is also designed to provide you with a deepening tanned look over time. The main difference between it and delayed bronzer is that gradual bronzer requires consistent sun to provide this effect, meaning it can require a little more effort to get the full tanning effect. 

How to choose the right bronzer for you 

Now that you’re familiar with what a bronzer is and the different types that are available to you, it’s time to start shopping. But what type is the best fit for you?

Before you press “add to cart”, consider the following questions to ensure you’re picking the perfect product for your tanning needs. 

How will you use your bronzer?

This is the first decision that you should make before going shopping. The way that you’re going to use your bronzer will help you figure out which style you need to achieve your goals.

For example, do you want some bronzer to use for your next day at the pool? Or are you just interested in getting a bronzed look throughout your day-to-day life?

If you plan on using your bronzer while tanning outdoors, then you’ll want a product that also includes some SPF protection from the sun. 

Otherwise, you would need to apply multiple products to your skin to make sure that you can tan safely, and applying sunscreen over your bronzer could limit the effectiveness of both products.

What type of skin do you have?

Your skin type can also influence the bronzing solution that’s best for you – especially if you plan on using it while outdoors.

For example, people with fairer skin have lower levels of melanin, which is the group of molecules that provide the skin with natural protection from the sun.

That means if you’ve got fairer skin and you plan on using bronzer outdoors, you’re going to need to look for a product with a higher SPF rating, such as SPF 30.

You might also have skin that’s sensitive to certain types of products. 

For example, maybe you’re allergic to some of the chemicals that are found in commercial sunscreen products. In that case, you might benefit from picking up a plant-based sunscreen to go with your bronzer.

How do you want to apply your bronzer?

You can buy bronzer in many different forms. It exists as powdered makeup, lotions, and misted sprays.

This gives you a ton of flexibility to find a bronzer that goes on the way you want it to. If you’re looking for precision, that might mean buying a powdered makeup bronzer that matches your skin tone.

But if you want something that’s easy to put on, then choosing a sunscreen spray with instant bronzer could be a better selection.

What’s your budget?

Of course, you also have to consider your budget while shopping for a bronzing product. If you want to buy from a luxury brand, you may end up getting a bronzer packed with nourishing ingredients – but this can get expensive to use consistently.

That’s why buying from Australian Gold could be your best option. Our bronzing products are simultaneously affordable while being packed with the skin-nourishing ingredients that you’d expect to see from a luxury brand.

That way, you can use your bronzer as often as you need to without having to worry about damaging your skin with cheap ingredients.

Australian Gold makes it easy to enjoy the many benefits of bronzer

Bronzer is a fantastic way to give your skin an extra glow while enjoying the great outdoors. You can even pick up a sunscreen with bronzer in it so that you don’t have to worry about applying multiple products to your skin.

No matter what type of bronzer you’d like to purchase, Australian Gold has you covered.

Our water-resistant sunscreen with bronzer comes in sprays, lotions, and gels – and it’s available at affordable prices with SPF ratings ranging from 4 to 30.

To read more about what makes our bronzer sunscreen different, or to try our products for yourself, check out Australian Gold today!