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Top 11 Best Self Tanners

Written by Andrew Le, MD

UpdatedFebruary 28, 2024

Self-tanners are a popular product category for those seeking a sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of UV rays. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which self-tanner will give you the best results. The best self-tanners should provide a natural-looking tan that is streak-free and long-lasting.

When choosing a self-tanner, the critical thing to pay attention to is the formula. Self-tanners come in various forms, including lotions, sprays, and mousses. The formula should be easy to apply and blend evenly, without leaving behind any streaks or patches. It's also essential to consider the color of the self-tanner. Some self-tanners have a green or violet undertone to counteract any orange tones, while others have a warm undertone for a more natural look.

After researching and testing several self-tanners, we have identified the best self-tanners that will give you a natural-looking tan without any streaks or patches. First up we have Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam, which is easy to apply and gives a flawless finish every time. Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Tanning Mousse is in the second position. It is a luxurious foam that absorbs and delivers a natural bronze color in just a few hours. Lastly our third pick is Beauty by Earth Self Tanning Drops. It can customize your own face tanning lotion or body tanner lotion.

Best Self Tanners

If you want to get a sun-kissed glow without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays, self-tanners are the way to go. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. That's why we've compiled a list of the best self-tanners available, so you can achieve a natural-looking tan without any streaks or orange hues.

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

The Editor's Choice

Achieve a flawless, natural tan with Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam. Effortless application, quick-dry formula, enriched with aloe vera and coconut. Moisturize for best results and layer for a deeper glow. A must-try for an easy, streak-free sun-kissed look, though scent might not suit sensitive noses.

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If you're looking for a natural-looking, streak-free tan, Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is a great option.

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is simple to apply and gives a flawless finish every time. The lightweight foam applies easily and evenly, and the salon-quality formula is enriched with aloe vera and coconut for a natural-looking, bronzed glow. Plus, it dries in seconds, so you can get dressed and go about your day.

However, some users have reported that the product can be drying to the skin, so it's important to moisturize regularly. Additionally, if you're looking for a darker tan, you may need to apply multiple coats. Finally, some users find the scent to be overpowering, so it may not be the best option for those with sensitive noses.

Overall, if you're looking for a self-tanner that's easy to apply and gives a natural-looking, streak-free tan, Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is definitely worth a try.

Pros

  • Applies easily and evenly
  • Gives a natural-looking, bronzed glow
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Can be drying to the skin
  • May require multiple applications for a darker tan
  • Scent may be overpowering for some
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If you're looking for a natural-looking dark tan, Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Tanning Mousse is the perfect choice.

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Tanning Mousse is the best self-tanner for face and body. It's perfect if you're thinking "I want the darkest tan possible." This self-tanner is a luxurious foam that absorbs and delivers a natural bronze color in just a few hours. The product is made in the USA with clean ingredients, vegan, certified cruelty-free, and with no chemical dyes.

The foam is easy to apply, but it's white, so you can't see where you applied it. The smell is a bit weird after 8 hours, and you need to put two coats on for dark results. However, the self-tanner is perfect for those who want a natural-looking dark tan without exposing their skin to harmful UV rays.

In conclusion, if you want the darkest tan possible, Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Tanning Mousse is the perfect choice. It's made with clean ingredients, vegan, certified cruelty-free, and with no chemical dyes. The foam is easy to apply, and it delivers a natural bronze color in just a few hours.

Pros

  • Absorbs and delivers a natural bronze color in just a few hours.
  • Made with clean ingredients, vegan, certified cruelty-free, and with no chemical dyes.
  • Beauty by Earth offers many formats available.

Cons

  • The foam is white, so you can't see where you applied it.
  • Smells weird after 8 hours.
  • You need to put two coats on for dark results.
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If you're looking for a self-tanner that allows you to customize your own face tanning lotion or body tanner lotion, then the Beauty by Earth Self Tanning Drops is a must-have.

These self-tan drops can be used to customize your own face tanning lotion or body tanner lotion. Simply use more or fewer drops depending on the desired color. Start out with less, and add more as needed.

There is a reason why Beauty by Earth has the highest-rated self-tanner, and that is because their sunless tanner drops are formulated with natural & organic, skin-loving vegan ingredients like aloe vera and coconut water. Have a gorgeous looking natural self-tan without the stench or orange hue, making this the best self-tanner for face and body.

Mix the tanning face drops with your favorite face moisturizer to have your own face tanner lotion. Or mix the fake tan drops with your body lotion for a natural-looking body bronzer.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a self-tanner that is easy to use, customizable, and made with clean ingredients, then the Beauty by Earth Self Tanning Drops is a great choice.

Pros

  • Fully customizable color to match skin tone
  • Clean ingredients & no horrible smell
  • Make your own self-tanning lotion with our travel-friendly bottle

Cons

  • May require trial and error to find the perfect shade
  • Can be difficult to apply without streaking
  • May not last as long as other self-tanners
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If you're looking for the darkest self-tanner possible, B.TAN Darkest Self Tanner is definitely worth considering.

I've tried a lot of self-tanners over the years, and I have to say, B.TAN Darkest Self Tanner is one of the best I've used. The fact that it develops in just 1 hour is amazing, and I love that there's no fake tan smell. Plus, the fact that it's vegan and cruelty-free is a huge bonus.

That being said, there are a few downsides to this self-tanner. Some people have reported that it has an orangish tint, which isn't ideal. Additionally, because it goes on clear, it can be difficult to tell where you've applied it, which can lead to streaks or missed spots. Finally, the color may not last as long as you'd like, so you may need to reapply frequently.

Overall, I would definitely recommend B.TAN Darkest Self Tanner if you're looking for a high-quality self-tanner that will give you a deep, dark tan. Just be aware of the potential downsides and make sure to apply it carefully to avoid any streaks or missed spots.

Pros

  • Develops in just 1 hour
  • No fake tan smell
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Might have an orangish tint
  • Goes on clear, so it's difficult to tell where it has been applied
  • Color may not last long
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If you're looking for a self tanner that gives you a medium dark tan without any orange tones, then b.tan Darker Self Tanner is perfect for you.

b.tan Darker Self Tanner is a great option if you're looking for a self tanner that gives you a natural-looking, medium dark tan. It's easy to apply and dries quickly, so you don't have to worry about it rubbing off on your clothes. Plus, it's 100% vegan and free of nasties like parabens, so you can feel good about using it on your skin.

That being said, some users have reported streaking and uneven results, so it's important to apply the product evenly and follow the instructions carefully. Additionally, the tan may only last a few days and requires reapplication to maintain the desired color. Finally, it does have a classic self-tanner smell, which may be off-putting to some users.

Overall, if you're looking for a self tanner that gives you a natural-looking, medium dark tan and is 100% vegan and free of nasties like parabens, then b.tan Darker Self Tanner is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • Gives a rich, warm dark tan in just 1 hour of development time
  • 100% vegan and free of nasties like parabens
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Some users have reported streaking and uneven results
  • The tan may only last a few days and requires reapplication
  • Has a classic self-tanner smell
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If you want a natural-looking tan without any streaks or orangey tones, then you should definitely try the Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Bundle.

This lightweight mousse is easy to apply and develops in just two hours to provide a long-lasting tan. It is also anti-cellulite and contains powerful natural antioxidants like fig, banana, papaya, and cocoa. The formula is cruelty-free, vegan, and all-natural, so you can feel good about using it.

The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Bundle comes with a Kabuki brush and mitt for even application, and it can be used on all skin types. The formula is non-sticky and doesn't transfer, so you don't have to worry about staining your clothes. Just be sure to shower in warm water after two hours and gently pat your skin dry.

Overall, if you're looking for a self-tanner that provides a natural-looking tan without any harmful chemicals or ingredients, then the Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Bundle is definitely worth trying.

Pros

  • Provides a natural-looking, golden glow without any streaks or blotches
  • Infused with raw virgin coconuts, botanicals, and amino acids that hydrate, blur pigmentation, and stretch marks
  • Has a tropical mango and guava fragrance that smells great

Cons

  • May require more than one application to achieve the desired level of tan
  • May not work well for people with very fair skin
  • May not last as long as some other self-tanners
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If you're looking for a natural-looking, streak-free tan, St.Tropez Classic Self Tanner Bronzer Mousse Foam is a great choice.

St.Tropez Classic Self Tanner Bronzer Mousse Foam is a lightweight, easy-to-apply tanning mousse that adapts to your skin tone for a natural-looking, streak-free tan. It provides 24 hours of hydration and is quick-drying and non-sticky, making it perfect for those on-the-go. However, it may not work as well on extremely fair skin, and it can be difficult to apply without the St.Tropez tan applicator mitt. Additionally, it may require multiple applications for desired results. Overall, if you're looking for a reliable self-tanner that provides natural-looking results, St.Tropez Classic Self Tanner Bronzer Mousse Foam is a great option.

Pros

  • Easy-to-apply, foolproof, and adapts to your skin tone for natural-looking results.
  • Long-lasting, lightweight, and 100% clean fake tan.
  • Provides 24 hours hydration, quick drying, and non-sticky.

Cons

  • May not work well on extremely fair skin.
  • Can be difficult to apply without the St.Tropez tan applicator mitt.
  • May require multiple applications for desired results.
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If you're looking for a self tanner that will give you a deep, long-lasting tan, the B.TAN Besties Bundle Self Tanner Kit may be the perfect solution for you.

This self tanner is 100% vegan and free of parabens and other harmful ingredients, making it a great choice for those who are conscious about the products they use. The formula is easy to apply and provides a deep, dark tan that lasts for days.

One of the standout features of the B.TAN Besties Bundle Self Tanner Kit is the included mitt, which makes application a breeze. The mitt ensures that the formula is applied evenly and prevents streaks or uneven patches.

While the formula does develop in just one hour, it's important to note that the results will be darker if left on for longer. This means that you'll need to plan ahead if you want to achieve a specific level of darkness.

Overall, if you're looking for a self tanner that will give you a deep, long-lasting tan, the B.TAN Besties Bundle Self Tanner Kit is definitely worth considering. Just be sure to apply it carefully to avoid streaks or uneven patches.

Pros

  • Provides the darkest, longest-lasting tan possible
  • Comes with a best-selling mitt for easy application
  • Develops in just one hour, with darker results after 4+ hours

Cons

  • May not be suitable for those looking for a more natural-looking tan
  • Takes longer to develop than some other self tanners on the market
  • May leave streaks or uneven patches if not applied carefully
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If you want a fast, dark tan without any fake tan smell, B.TAN Darkest Possible Self Tanner is a great choice.

I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly this self tanner developed - just one hour and I had a noticeable, dark tan. Plus, there was no unpleasant fake tan smell, which is always a plus. I also appreciate that it's 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

However, I did find that I needed to apply at least 2 coats to get the best results, and even then it wasn't always perfectly even. Additionally, the color didn't last as long as some other self tanners I've tried. Overall, though, I think B.TAN Darkest Possible Self Tanner is a great option if you're looking for a fast, dark tan without any nasties.

Pros

  • Develops in just 1 hour
  • No fake tan smell
  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Requires at least 2 coats for best results
  • Color may not last as long as some other self tanners
  • Can be difficult to apply evenly
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If you're looking for a natural-looking tan without the harmful UV rays, then the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Mini Kit is worth considering.

This self-tanning kit is easy to apply and doesn't streak, leaving you with a natural-looking tan. The clear self-tanner mousse has a pleasant tropical scent and doesn't require rinsing off, making it convenient for busy lifestyles. The face mist adds an all-over glow, and the kit is vegan-friendly.

However, some users have reported issues with the spray bottle, and it may take multiple applications to achieve the desired color. Additionally, those with very fair skin may not see as much of a noticeable difference.

Overall, the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Mini Kit is a great option for those looking for a natural-looking tan without the harmful effects of the sun.

Pros

  • Achieve a sunless tan over 4-8 hours with our clear self tanner mousse with no need to rinse off and no transfer
  • Vegan-friendly with tropical scent
  • Comes with a face mist for an all-over glow

Cons

  • Some users reported issues with the spray bottle
  • May require multiple applications for desired color
  • Not suitable for those with very fair skin
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Get an instant tropical tan with Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan, a water-based self-tanner mousse that develops in just 5 minutes. This self-tanner is formulated with a tanning active derived from natural sugars and infused with coconut water for hydration. It's suitable for sensitive skin and comes in medium and deep shade options.

Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan is perfect for those looking for an instant tropical tan without the harmful effects of the sun. The fresh tropical scent of passion fruit essence makes this self-tanner one you’ll want to wear. The water-based formula works with your unique skin tone to give you sun-inspired color that lasts for days.

The self-tanner comes with a color guide to help you create the perfect shade, tailored to you. However, it may take a few tries to get the desired shade, and it may require a tanning mitt for even application. Additionally, if not allowed to fully dry, it may transfer onto clothing.

Overall, Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan is a great option for those looking for a quick and easy tropical tan without the harmful effects of the sun.

Pros

  • Instant color with medium and deep shade options
  • Long-lasting sun-inspired color that lasts for days
  • Fresh tropical scent with passion fruit essence

Cons

  • May require a tanning mitt for even application
  • May take a few tries to get the desired shade
  • May transfer onto clothing if not allowed to fully dry

Buying Guide

When choosing the best self-tanner, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you get a product that suits your needs and preferences. Here are some key features to look out for:

1. Type of Self-Tanner

There are different types of self-tanners available in the market, including lotions, sprays, mousses, and gels. Each type has its unique application method and drying time. Choose a product that you are comfortable using and that suits your skin type.

2. Skin Tone

Consider your skin tone when choosing a self-tanner. Some products are designed for fair skin, while others work better on darker skin tones. Choose a product that matches your skin tone for a natural-looking tan.

3. Ingredients

Check the ingredients list of the self-tanner before making a purchase. Look out for ingredients that may irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. Ingredients like DHA, erythrulose, and dihydroxyacetone are commonly used in self-tanners and are generally safe for most people.

4. Application

Consider the ease of application when choosing a self-tanner. Some products require a lot of effort to apply evenly, while others are more straightforward. Look for a product that is easy to apply and doesn't leave streaks or patches.

5. Drying Time

The drying time of a self-tanner is an important factor to consider, especially if you have a busy schedule. Some products dry quickly, while others take longer to dry. Choose a product that dries quickly and doesn't leave any residue on your clothing.

6. Longevity

Consider how long the tan will last when choosing a self-tanner. Some products last longer than others, and some require frequent reapplication. Look for a product that provides long-lasting results without the need for frequent touch-ups.

In summary, when choosing the best self-tanner, consider the type of self-tanner, your skin tone, ingredients, application, drying time, and longevity. By considering these factors, you can choose a product that will give you a natural-looking tan without any negative side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some of the top-rated self-tanners for pale skin?

Some of the top-rated self-tanners for pale skin include St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse, and Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self Tanning Foam.

2. Which self-tanners are best for dry skin?

Self-tanners that are best for dry skin include Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops, Clarins Self Tanning Milky-Lotion, and Tan-Luxe The Butter Illuminating Tanning Butter.

3. What are some of the best drugstore self-tanners?

Some of the best drugstore self-tanners include L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum, Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse, and Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion.

4. What are some of the best self-tanners for travel?

Some of the best self-tanners for travel include St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse, Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, and Tarte Brazilliance PLUS+ Self-Tanner.

5. What are some of the best self-tanners for mature skin?

Some of the best self-tanners for mature skin include Vita Liberata Phenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse, Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel, and Tan-Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum.

6. What are some of the most popular self-tanners recommended by Reddit users?

Some of the most popular self-tanners recommended by Reddit users include Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam, St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, and Tan-Luxe The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops.

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