While looking tan will never be passé, getting tan the old-fashioned way—basking in the sun for hours on end—certainly is. And for most of us who are time-crunched, work-obsessed, and over-scheduled as it is, who has time to hit the beach weekly to maintain the real thing? Luckily, with self-tanner it’s never been easier to look like you just spent a week in St. Tropez when, in reality, you barely left your office. Not only is self-tanner infinitely safer than the sun, it also offers near-instant gratification. While prices vary widely (drugstore shelves are packed with options in the $7–12 range; prestige brands can run $25 and higher), all self-tanners contain the same active ingredient: dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a chemical that interacts with the amino acids in the surface skin cells to turn them brown. When it comes to application, however, there are several options. Which one is right for you? Read on.