best self tanner

Self-tanners have gained significant popularity as a safer alternative to sunbathing and tanning beds. They offer the perfect solution for achieving a sun-kissed glow without exposing the skin to harmful UV rays. Over the years, the market has become flooded with a variety of self-tanners, each promising the best results. Below is in-depth analysis of the ten best self-tanners available today, highlighting their unique features, benefits, and why they stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Top Picks

Bestseller No. 1
Coco & Eve Self Tanner Mousse Kit - (Medium) All Natural Sunless Instant Self Tanning Lotion with Bronzer & Mitt Applicator | Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Kit
  • NATURAL LOOKING, SUN KISSED SKIN WITHOUT SUN DAMAGE OR CHEMICALS. The world's first 100% Natural DHA self-tan body treatment with full skin care benefits. Transforms your skin without any of those nasty streaks or blotches for a beautiful natural looking, golden glow with no orangey tones.
  • ANTI-AGING WITH ZERO NASTIES. This lightweight mousse delivers an instant bronze glow that is fast drying and develops in just 2 hours to a long-lasting tan. Infused with raw virgin coconuts, botanicals and amino acids to hydrate, blurs pigmentation and cover blemishes to perfect your skin. Created using our unique Cellushape technology enriched with powerful natural antioxidants like fig, banana, papaya and cocoa to improve signs of aging.
  • SMELL SO GOOD, YOU’LL WANT MORE. Our Sunny Honey self tan has a tropical mango and guava fragrance that gives you the feel of an island escape. No more biscuit smells! Get ready to rock that tan glow! A little goes a long way as each bottle has roughly 260 pumps and can last approx 10-20 full body tanning sessions.
  • EASY APPLICATION WITHOUT ANY TRANSFER. Lightweight, non-sticky formula to be applied by hand in circular motions. Use only a small pump to apply the tan to tricky-to-tan areas like the feet, hands, face and ears. Shower in warm water after 2 hours and gently pat skin dry. You may also wish to sleep in it overnight for a deeper and longer-lasting tan as our tan doesn't transfer! Psst, you may even use a fine-tipped brush or freckle stencil to make faux freckles!
  • CRUELTY FREE, VEGAN AND ALL NATURAL. Formulated with only the highest quality natural ingredients. Our cutting-edge formula will moisturize your skin while giving you that stunning beach babe glow. Our Coco & Eve Sunny Honey tanning mousse is vegan, cruelty free, never tested on animals and toxin free made with all natural ingredients.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Beauty by Earth Self Tanner - USA Made with Natural & Organic Ingredients, Moisturizing Self Tanning Lotion with Aloe Vera & Coconut for a Natural Glow, Streak-Free Fake Tan, Medium to Dark
  • A NATURAL, SUN-KISSED GLOW: Goodbye to orange hues and hello to a natural-looking tan. Our bronzing tanning lotion comes in fair to medium & medium to dark shades for all skin types.
  • CLEAN BEAUTY: Trust Beauty by Earth for a natural self tanner organic made with organic aloe vera, shea butter, and botanical extracts without any harmful additives or dyes.
  • SUITABLE FOR FACE & BODY: Our organic tanning lotion can be used on both face and body for a seamless, all-over tan. For acne-prone skin, use our tanner lotion for glowing skin.
  • OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE: We offer a variety of USA-made best self tanning lotions and formats, including mousse, spray tan, tanning drops, tanning mist, and more. Find your perfect match!
  • EASY APPLICATION, NO STREAKS: Our best self tanner for body is easy to apply & goes on clear, without leaving any streaks or patches. You'll have a beautiful, even tan in no time. And no staining your sheets or clothes!
SaleBestseller No. 3
b.tan Violet Self Tanner | Love At First Tan - Fast, 1 Hour Express Sunless Tanning Mousse, Violet-Based, Cancels Orange Tones, No Fake Tan Smell, No Added Nasties, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 6.7 Fl Oz
  • NO ORANGE TONES. i'm perfect for anyone looking for a medium dark tan with absolutely no orange tones
  • COLOR CORRECTING. because i cancel out orange tones, i may look a little gray when applying but don’t let that scare you.. it’s all apart of the process
  • 1 HOUR CURE TIME. 1 hour development time, leave on for 4+ hours for darker results
  • PRO TIP: apply a moisturizer to elbows, knees + ankles before application. apply evenly (but not too thick) + blend thoroughly for the perfect bronzed glow. use with a mitt for ultra smooth results.
  • VEGAN FRIENDLY. i love animals so im 100% cruelty free, vegan friendly, and free of nasties like parabens

What is self-tanner and how does it work?

Self-tanner is a product designed to give the skin a tanned appearance without exposure to harmful UV rays. The active ingredient in most self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colorless sugar that interacts with dead skin cells on the surface to produce a brown color. This reaction typically starts within a few hours of application and can last several days, depending on the product and the individual’s skin type and care routine.

How should I prepare my skin before applying self-tanner?

Proper skin preparation is crucial for achieving an even, streak-free tan. Before applying self-tanner, exfoliate your skin thoroughly to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth surface. Pay extra attention to rough areas like elbows, knees, and ankles. After exfoliating, make sure your skin is clean and dry. Avoid using oil-based moisturizers just before application as they can create a barrier and cause uneven tanning. If necessary, apply a light, water-based moisturizer to very dry areas to prevent the self-tanner from clinging too much to those spots.

What is the best way to apply self-tanner to avoid streaks and uneven color?

To apply self-tanner evenly, use a tanning mitt or gloves to protect your hands and ensure a smooth application. Start with a small amount of product and apply it in circular motions, working from one area of your body to another. Be cautious around joints and dry areas like knees, elbows, and ankles, as these can absorb more product and appear darker. Blend well and be sure to check for missed spots or excess product. Allow the self-tanner to dry completely before dressing to avoid transferring the product to your clothes.

How long does self-tanner last and how can I extend its longevity?

The longevity of a self-tan typically ranges from three to seven days, depending on the product and how well you care for your skin. To extend the life of your tan, keep your skin moisturized with a hydrating lotion or after-sun product. Avoid long, hot showers and exfoliating the skin, as these can speed up the fading process. Pat your skin dry after bathing instead of rubbing it. Reapply self-tanner as needed, usually once a week, to maintain a consistent color.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with using self-tanners?

Self-tanners are generally considered safe for most people, as they do not involve exposure to harmful UV rays. However, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions to certain ingredients in the product. To minimize the risk of irritation, perform a patch test on a small area of skin before full application. Avoid applying self-tanner to broken or irritated skin. Additionally, while self-tanners are safe for external use, they should not be inhaled or applied to the eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes. Always follow the product’s instructions and safety guidelines for the best results.

Best Self Tanner

1. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse is a top contender in the self-tanning world. This product is often hailed as a must-have due to its lightweight and easy-to-apply formula. The mousse texture allows for smooth application, ensuring an even, streak-free tan. One of its standout features is the quick-drying nature, which makes it convenient for those who are always on the go. Additionally, it contains an intelligent tanning system that adapts to individual skin tones, ensuring a natural-looking tan for everyone. The product is infused with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, which keeps the skin moisturized and extends the life of the tan. It also has a pleasant scent, thanks to its Aromaguard™ fragrance technology, which reduces the common self-tan odor.

2. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops 

The Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops offer a customizable approach to self-tanning. These innovative drops can be mixed with any moisturizer, allowing users to control the intensity of their tan. Available in three shades—light, medium, and dark—these drops cater to a wide range of skin tones. The formula is enriched with color-correcting actives like avocado, chia seed, and coconut oils, which help to create a natural, even tan while nourishing the skin. The drops are vegan, cruelty-free, and free from parabens, making them a great choice for those looking for a more ethical option. The ease of use and versatility of these drops have made them a favorite among beauty enthusiasts.

3. Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is an Australian favorite that has gained a loyal following worldwide. This self-tanner is known for its salon-quality results, providing a rich, bronzed tan that lasts for days. The foam formula is lightweight and easy to apply, ensuring a streak-free finish. It contains aloe vera and vitamin E, which hydrate and nourish the skin, preventing dryness and extending the longevity of the tan. The addition of a coconut scent makes the application process even more enjoyable. Bondi Sands has also incorporated dual-action tanning actives, ensuring a deep and long-lasting tan. This product is perfect for those looking for a reliable self-tanner that delivers consistent results.

4. Vita Liberata Phenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse

Vita Liberata Phenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse is a standout product due to its long-lasting formula. As the name suggests, this mousse promises a tan that can last up to three weeks. It achieves this through its unique pHenO2 technology, which boosts the tan’s longevity. The mousse is also enriched with organic extracts like aloe vera, cucumber, and marula oil, which hydrate and protect the skin. The formula is free from parabens, perfumes, and alcohol, making it suitable for sensitive skin. Its quick-drying nature and odorless application add to its appeal. Users can enjoy a natural-looking tan without worrying about frequent reapplication.

5. Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse

Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse is a professional-strength self-tanner that delivers impressive results. The mousse formula is easy to apply and dries quickly, providing an even, streak-free tan. It contains high concentrations of active ingredients, ensuring a deep and long-lasting tan. The product is available in multiple shades, catering to different skin tones and preferences. Loving Tan has also included a natural olive color base, which helps to eliminate the orange undertones often associated with self-tanners. The addition of aloe vera and green tea extracts provides hydration and antioxidants, keeping the skin healthy and glowing. This self-tanner is ideal for those seeking a salon-quality tan at home.

6. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer offers a gradual tanning solution that doubles as a daily moisturizer. This product is perfect for those who prefer a subtle, buildable tan. The formula is enriched with antioxidants and vitamin E, which nourish and protect the skin. It also contains a blend of hydrating ingredients like glycerin and shea butter, ensuring the skin remains soft and smooth. The gradual tanning effect allows users to control the intensity of their tan, making it a great option for beginners. Jergens has also incorporated a pleasant fragrance to enhance the overall experience. This product is ideal for those looking for a natural-looking tan with added skincare benefits.

7. Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel is a cult favorite known for its lightweight, non-greasy formula. This gel provides an instant bronzed look while developing into a natural-looking tan over a few hours. The formula is enriched with plant extracts like aloe vera and cocoa, which hydrate and soothe the skin. The gel texture allows for easy and even application, ensuring a streak-free finish. Clarins has also included their exclusive SelfTanComplex, which combines DHA and erythulose to create a long-lasting and natural-looking tan. This product is perfect for those seeking a quick and easy tanning solution that delivers consistent results.

8. Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops

Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops offer a luxurious approach to self-tanning for the face. These drops can be mixed with any facial moisturizer or serum, allowing users to customize their tan. The formula is enriched with skin-loving ingredients like raspberry seed oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E, which provide hydration and nourishment. Tan-Luxe has also incorporated their Triple-Tan Technology, which ensures a natural and long-lasting tan. The drops are available in two shades—light/medium and medium/dark—catering to different skin tones. The ease of use and skincare benefits make this product a favorite among those looking for a flawless facial tan.

9. L’OrĂ©al Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse

L’OrĂ©al Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse offers a refreshing and hydrating approach to self-tanning. This water-based mousse is lightweight and easy to apply, ensuring an even and streak-free tan. The formula is infused with coconut water and vitamin E, which provide hydration and nourishment. L’OrĂ©al has also included a fresh fragrance, making the application process more enjoyable. The mousse develops into a natural-looking tan over a few hours, with results lasting up to a week. This product is ideal for those seeking a hydrating self-tanner that delivers a radiant glow.

10. Tarte Brazilliance PLUS+ Self-Tanner

Tarte Brazilliance PLUS+ Self-Tanner is a skin-loving self-tanner that offers more than just a tan. This product is enriched with maracuja oil, which provides intense hydration and nourishment. The formula also contains a blend of antioxidants and vitamins, which protect and rejuvenate the skin. The self-tanner comes with a mitt for easy and even application, ensuring a streak-free finish. Tarte has included a natural citrus scent, which enhances the overall experience. The tan develops over a few hours, providing a natural and long-lasting glow. This product is perfect for those looking for a self-tanner with added skincare benefits.

The bottom line on the best self tanner

n conclusion, self-tanners have revolutionized the way we achieve a sun-kissed glow, providing a safe and effective alternative to traditional sunbathing and tanning beds. The variety of products available in the market today cater to different preferences, skin types, and desired outcomes, making it easier than ever to find the perfect match for your needs. From lightweight mousses like St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse to customizable options like Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops, there is a product to suit every individual’s tanning goals.

Proper application and skin preparation are key to achieving the best results with self-tanners. By exfoliating beforehand, applying the product evenly, and maintaining hydrated skin, users can enjoy a streak-free, natural-looking tan that lasts. Understanding the specifics of each product and following the application instructions carefully can significantly enhance the overall tanning experience.

While self-tanners are generally safe and free from the risks associated with UV exposure, it’s important to be mindful of potential skin sensitivities and to perform patch tests when trying new products. With careful selection and proper application, self-tanners offer a convenient and reliable way to achieve a beautiful tan without compromising skin health.

Ultimately, the rise of self-tanners reflects a growing awareness of the importance of skin protection and the desire for healthy, radiant skin. As technology and formulations continue to improve, the options for achieving a flawless, sun-kissed look are likely to become even more advanced and user-friendly. Whether you prefer a gradual tan or an instant bronzed effect, the right self-tanner can help you achieve your ideal glow while keeping your skin safe and nourished. Embrace the benefits of modern self-tanning products and enjoy a radiant complexion all year round.