– Best Self-tanners –
Looking for the best self-tanners to give you a natural glow? We’ve got inexpensive self-tanners in this post that will leave you sun-kissed and streak-free. Still have reservations? How do you apply self-tanning lotion? Read on and you’ll thank me later.
What you Should Know About Self-Tanners
Sunless tanning, also known as UV-filled tanning, self-tanning, spray tanning, or fake tanning, is getting a tan without exposure to the sun.
Sunless tanning entails the application of creams, lotions, and sprays to the skin.
Since the 1960s, when health authorities proved linkages between UV exposure and the prevalence of skin cancer, sunless tanning has grown in popularity.
From 2019 to 2025, the global market for self-tanning products is expected to grow by 5.9%. The ease of use and excellent results continue to drive product demand and interest.
Top 35 Best Self-Tanners You Should Know
Self-tanners have considerably improved over the years because of innovations in product formulation that address difficulties such as the dreaded orange cast.
They have also worked on improving unpleasant aroma and streaking (better formulation bases such as self-tanning drops, lotions, creams, mousses, wipes, and mists that apply and spread more easily).
Are you ready to uncover your go-to look for this summer and the months and years ahead? Check out our picks for the top 30!
1. St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
This clear, streak-free mist can be used under or over makeup for a natural glow that may last for days.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties and ingredients like fresh green mandarin water, it might just become a key part of your skincare routine too. And hey, none of that chemical smell you can’t stand!
2. Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
This tanning concentrate may look small, but it’s mighty. Simply add a few drops to your serum, moisturizer, or face oil for a glorious tan. So easy.
We’re talking Triple Tan Technology here for nourished, natural radiance. Reviewers say they “couldn’t recommend this more” and that they now have a “perfect bronzed glow”!
3. Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish
If you’ve ever been stuck wearing pants in 90-degree weather because of a terrible tan you couldn’t remove, this is the body bronzer for you.
It rinses off, so that fear of commitment is gone, making it great for beginners especially. The hydration will stick around though — this best self-tanner has moisture-locking technology that lasts up to 72 hours!
4. Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum
If you’re a beginner, a single product for the face and body might be more up your alley.
Many beauty lovers out there swear that coconut oil was the one ingredient that changed their skin for the better, and that’s the power ingredient in this anti-aging face and body tanner!
Don’t forget about the hyaluronic acid too. Because this tanner is naturally derived, it claims to not turn skin orange, leave an unpleasant odor or stain your clothes!
5. COOLA Organic Gradual Sunless Tan Sculpting Mousse
You can’t go wrong with COOLA. This is the best, and this product confirms my opinion. This gradual tanner is perfect for confidently tanning pale skin.
Interestingly, it’s already unique, but it gets even better from there when you realize it has ingredients like green coffee extracts to contour and firm up the skin.
It’s made with 70% + certified organic ingredients too!
6. Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
You’ll want to try out this instant tanner from Clarins. This non-oily gel tanner has aloe vera and shea butter to keep skin soothed and smooth in the sun, and it dries fast so you can get dressed just a few minutes after application!
7. Suntegrity Staycation–Botanical Bronzing Shimmer Serum
This luminous bronzing serum is made for all skin types, including sensitive and blemish/acne-prone.
It even has a gorgeous shimmer to it so you can truly sparkle in the sun without needing to cover up any dots or spots you would rather not show off.
We know they can be more visible on pale skin, so this could be a big help!
8. Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foamto
Bondi Sands is easily a favorite among influencers, and we can see why. Getting an even tan is so easy with this professional-grade tanning foam, and it comes in a light/medium shade for those of us with fairer, very pale skin.
It’s made to give you “the ultimate Australian tan in minutes,” and we have no complaints about that!
9. Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
These cruelty-free tanning drops are vegan, organic, and hypoallergenic, free of toxins, gluten, mineral oils, and more. Amazingly, they are also a total fan favorite with over 1,300 reviews.
Wake up with a soft glow after using them and that they are a “must-have for an even all-over tan”!
10. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousseto
They made this natural DHA tanning mousse with the brand’s Cellushape technology.
It’s infused with raw virgin coconuts, botanicals, amino acids, fruit extracts, and cocoa to potentially hydrate skin, blur pigmentation and stretch marks, and provide anti-aging, anti-cellulite benefits!
11. Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion
For just $10, we’d recommend this clean tanning lotion to just about anyone.
It has plenty of fans and a beautiful ingredient list featuring shea butter, sweet almond oil, and safflower oil — and no gluten, parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances!
12. Curb Appeal Beauty THE Tan Stick
It almost looks like a stick of deodorant, but this tanning stick is actually a dye-free, mess-free way to a sunless yet sun-kissed glow.
Such a great pick for beginners. It goes on clear, and claims to exfoliate the skin as you apply using both microdermabrasion and glycolic acid!
13. Moroccanoil Shimmering Body Oil
Whether you already have a little of a tan going on or just want a little of natural-looking radiance to make your pale skin more like porcelain, this pearlescent body oil is our pick.
It’s not exactly a tanner, but it can still give you that even-toned, glowy effect. Impossible to overdo it!
14. Sisley-Paris Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care
Want every self-tanning session to feel like a trip to the spa? The fancy moisturizing cream is the perfect pick for adding to your facial skincare routine.
Emphatically, this skincare contains stunning ingredients like hibiscus flower extract and alpine rose extract!
15. Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil
If you have dry skin, you don’t want to risk your best self-tanner clinging to dry patches. That’s why we suggest an oil like this one, which may hydrate for up to 48 hours at a time.
We love the cooling rollerball applicator too!
16. Tarte Brazilliance PLUS Self Tanner
If you try to stick strictly to clean beauty to avoid any negative reactions, this best self-tanner may be the one for you. It’s hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and sulfate-free!
17. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream
If you don’t want to commit to a face tan — especially if you’re not sure how it’ll turn out — try something like this bronzing cream instead of that you can just wash off and reapply as needed.
It’s non-comedogenic and has a lovely, velvety finish!
18. Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse
Reviewers — over 3,000 of them — love this self-tanner for its natural color and bearable scent. The nonsticky, non-orange mousse works in two hours, as promised, giving skin a relatively quick bronzy glow sans sun.
For best results, reviewers note that skin prep is key (exfoliating and moisturizing), and a mitt for application is a must for non-streaky color.
19. Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk
This won’t work as quickly as the rest of the self-tanners on this list, but if you want a subtle glow without all the extra steps, this is it.
Delivering a bronzier glow in one-to-three days, this is as easy to use as your post-shower moisturizer: Just slather it on and wait for it to sink in.
Reviewers note that while you’ll have to wait a bit for the stickiness to fade, the formula is transfer-proof and the fake-tan smell doesn’t last long.
20. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse
There are many things reviewers love about this tanning mousse, but at the top of the list is the scent — a first for self-tanner.
Along with its tropical smell are fruity ingredients like mandarin and coconut oils to nourish the skin.
You’ll want to grab the velvet applicator mitt to apply the mousse, which you can leave on for two hours or overnight for a deeper, transfer-free tan.
Besides the delicious aroma, reviewers (close to 6,000 of them) rave about the natural-looking color.
21. B.tan Self Tanner Mousse
This tanning mousse comes in five shades that will even suit darker skin tones. Tanned AF, one of the top reviewed shades, promises bronzy skin in just an hour and a deeper color after eight hours.
This is also the rare body tanner you can use on your face.
22. L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Water Mousse
Indeed, L’Oréal Paris’s coconut scent is pleasant, and the product delivers quality results at a fraction of the price. The water-based liquid pumps out as a white mousse and sinks in quickly without streaking or sticking to dry skin.
It takes about eight hours to fully develop, but you can use it before bed for a subtle glow in the morning. In warm weather, try applying it daily for several days to build up the color.
23. James Read Tan Coconut Melting Tanning Balm
This solid coconut balm smells like tropical heaven, transforming from a thick paste into oil the moment it hits the skin.
Be sure to read the fine print on the tub advising you to “apply sparingly.” You may otherwise have to blot the excess with a damp paper towel before getting dressed.
While this product does not contain a bronze color guide, the clear, glossy sheen ensures that you don’t miss a spot.
The color took about six hours to show up, and the deeply moisturizing blend resulted in the supple glow that’s usually reserved for vacation.
24. Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin
This self-tanner works double duty, delivering very gradual color and hydration to the skin simultaneously. Apply the moisturizer to wet skin before you get out of the shower; once it’s rubbed in, gently pat dry and you’re done.
The formula looks like a moisturizer and feels like one, and you’ll recognize the scent if you’ve used Jergens products before.
Don’t expect noticeable color until day three, though. If the goal is to take your body a full shade darker, plan to use it for a week.
It’s definitely more of a commitment, but it’s worth it if you’re a beginner or have fears of waking up too tan.
25. St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist
While no self-tanner smells as pleasant as James Read’s coconut oil, St. Tropez’s new continuous mist is a close second.
The company called upon the fragrance noses at Givaudan to create a powdery floral aroma that doesn’t make you want to hold your breath until it’s time to shower.
After misting and blending it with a mitt, you wait one-to-three hours before rinsing it off for a light, medium, or dark tan, respectively.
It dries instantaneously, so feeling sticky is never a concern. Eight hours after you apply and rinse, the results are tanned skin without a single streak like your own skin, only healthier.
Basically, this is best for when you want to look really tan all over your body, and the mist makes it easier to reach back areas, which are difficult with a lotion.
26. Coola Sunless Tan Dry Body Oil Mist
Coola’s self-tanner checks all the boxes: zero mess, no powerful odor, no streaks, and noticeable and natural color after just one use.
The oil formula is parched and extremely lightweight, so it absorbs quickly without leaving a slick coating. Unlike St. Tropez’s continuous mist, this one sprays out in little bursts and requires blending in circular motions with a mitt.
It’s best for a short-lived glow, as it lasts only up to three days, but considering the simple application process, reapplication isn’t a deal-breaker.
27. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Body
This Glow offers exfoliation with the help of lactic acid and willow-bark extract and delivers a believable bronzy color that looks natural on even the palest limbs, like mine.
Apply the wipes in a circular motion, and the color develops in an hour. The wipes have other beneficial claims, too, like firming the skin and slowing hair growth.
There’s a slight DHA smell to them, but that disappears after the first shower.
28. Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
Rather than relying solely on DHA, this formula contains another ingredient, called erythrulose. Whereas DHA darkens skin within hours, the latter develops two-to-three days later, helping to prolong a fake tan.
The best thing about this gel is that it feels extremely hydrating while you apply it, not sticky like some lotions. And it gets bonus points for being one of the few you can use on your face, too.
29. Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Tan Lotion
If you’re already an olive skin tone but want to take your glow up a notch, consider a gradual tanner like this lotion from Neutrogena.
Unlike Jergens’s gradual option, which you apply in the shower, this one is a traditional lotion used on dry skin, so it’s a little less messy.
Unquestionably, the formula is quick to develop, with the coverage you can see in two hours, and it dries in minutes. It’s easy to find in your local drugstore, and at $9, it won’t break the bank.
30. Vita Liberata Invisi Mousse Foaming Tan Water
Vita Liberata’s foam will leave your skin several shades darker in just one use. The full glow takes eight hours to develop, but once it does, the results last a week and fade evenly.
Thanks to a water base and hydrating botanicals (like organic raspberry), there’s no need to moisturize before application.
With minimal prep and long-lasting color, this is a pretty low-maintenance option that’s made with 90 percent organic ingredients.
31. Pradas Glow Sol Solution Sunless Tanning Mousse
The color develops in one hour for a light radiance and can be left on for up to four hours to achieve a dark tan. It contains caffeine to tighten skin, along with aloe and oils, for a glistening boost.
Despite being used for the Angels, it doesn’t make you overly dark. You may not feel like a V.S. model, unfortunately, but your skin will be a nice glowy bronze.
32. Isle of Paradise Glow Clear Self-Tanning Mousse
This tanner is available in three color-correcting shades: peach for a light glow on fair skin, green for a medium tan that counteracts redness, and violet for dark bronze sans sallow tones.
However, if you’re weary of color-correcting, even the green results in a bronzy, natural tan that lasts for several days, albeit fading a bit unevenly.
The only major issue: The cucumber-eucalyptus scent won’t remind you of DHA, but it’s strong, almost like Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning product you’d use in the kitchen.
33. Tan-Luxe The Butter Illuminating Tanning Butter
If you’re looking for a self-tanner with benefits, this lotion has a buttery texture courtesy of a blend of raspberry-seed oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E.
The results are a subtle shimmer and glow and very hydrated skin after just one use.
34. Express Tan Tinted Mousse
Bronze beautifully without breaking the bank using this tinted Ulta Beauty airy mousse formula, which scored top in GH Beauty Lab testing at achieving a “tan” that looked uniform and faded evenly.
Undeniably, the product is rated above the rest on many fronts. 100% of testers liked the “airy” mousse and mitt application, 85% said the color wasn’t streaky or blotchy, 95% found that it faded evenly, and 90% would continue to use it.
35. Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil
If you have fair or pale skin, turn to this Josie Maran self-tanning oil, which is rated highly with GH Beauty Lab testers for its natural color and scent, either mango or apricot vanilla.
The formula was also quick-drying and non-greasy. “It did not streak, spot, or have any orange tan hue to it,” one user reported. Note that some users wished the color produced was deeper.
Best Self-tanner Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the Best Self-tanning Product?
‣ Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel.
‣ Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Gradual Sunless Tan Lotion.
‣ Vita Liberata Invisi Mousse Foaming Tan Water.
‣ Pradas Glow Sol Solution Sunless Tanning Mousse.
‣ Isle of Paradise Glow Clear Self-Tanning Mousse.
‣ Tan-Luxe The Butter Illuminating Tanning Butter.
Q.2 What is the Best Self-tanner?
‣ St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist
‣ Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops‣ Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish
‣ COOLA Organic Gradual Sunless Tan Sculpting Mousse
‣ Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
‣ St. Troper Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
‣ Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foamto
‣ Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
Q3. Is Self-tanning Lotion Bad for You?
If you’re looking to get a summer glow, try sunless tanning lotions and creams that contain ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These options are safe and harmless.
Q4. Will you Still Tan Even if you Don’t Put on Tanning Lotion or Spray?
You can still tan if you use a sunless product (spray tan or tanning lotions). Sunless products do not offer protection from the sun so you can still soak up the rays.
Q5. Spray Tanning Products?
‣ Norvell Venetian Plus.
‣ Aussie Bronze 12% Dark.
‣ Norvell Premium Sunless Tanning Solution, Double Dark.
‣ Tampa Bay Tan Tanfastic 8.5%
‣ Norvell Premium Sunless Tanning Solution
Q6. Is it Safe to Use Spray Tan?
When used appropriately, they considered the DHA in a spray tan solution safe. While the FDA allows DHA to be externally applied for spray tans, improper use may have unknown risks.
The FDA advises that you avoid inhaling DHA and cover areas around your eyes or lips when spray tanning.
Q7. What is it Like Tanning with a Spray Tan?
Absolutely, you can tan after a spray tan. You can use the natural rays from the sun or hop into a tanning bed.
If you keep the after spray tanning fun facts in mind, you are sure to gain the glow of the summer you’ve been searching for.
Q8. How do You Get Rid of a Sock Tan that has Been There for Months?
Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of warm water. Wash the tanned portion of your legs. Spread the baking soda paste over the affected area and gently rub it in, moving your fingers in small circles to remove any dead skin cells.
Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
Q9. How Long Until a Spray Tan Shows up?
The amount of time you’ll need to wait before showering depends on what kind of spray tan you received.
Traditional spray tans will need about eight to twelve hours to develop (it’s best to sleep in these and then shower in the morning), while certain express solutions will allow you to shower after one to three hours.
Q10. How Soon can You Take a Bath After Receiving a Spray Tan?
You must wait at least six hours after your appointment to take a shower. This gives your skin ample time to absorb the solution and ensure an even shade.
There are some newer products on the market that allow you to shower sooner with the same great results (ask your salon if they carry it).
Q11. What is the Best Way to get a Tan?
‣ Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30.
‣ Change positions frequently.
‣ Eat foods that contain beta carotene.
‣ Try using oils with naturally occurring SPF.
‣ Don’t stay outside for longer than your skin can create melanin.
‣ Eat lycopene-rich foods.
‣ Choose your tanning time wisely.
Self-tanning can be difficult, so you’ll want to be prepared with the best supplies and tools.
Surprisingly, the best self-tanners are an excellent substitute for sunbathing.
However, understanding how best self-tanners work, the active components in each self-tanning product, and how to apply them correctly is critical for safe and successful tanning.
They are, without a question, cost-effective and protect you from harmful sun rays that could hurt your skin.
If you found this information about the best self-tanners beneficial, please share it with your friends and family and leave your thoughts below.
Meanwhile, keep checking Suntrustblog.com for the most up-to-date information on the best self-tanners.