“Fake it till you make it” might just be the best beauty advice we’ve ever gotten. Or rather, simply “fake it.” A great tan can make summertime feel even better—not to mention make our favorite dresses look that much better—but too much time in the sun can be seriously damaging to skin. Enter: gradual tanning products. These 22 serums, oils and lotions deliver believable, consistent color rain or shine.
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This Aussie-born formula boasts a color guide to make streaking a thing of the past, a deep, never-orange color payoff and barely-there fragrance. With this sleek bottle in tow, no one will know whether your sun-kissed tan is from a week-long stay in the islands or courtesy of your new favorite bronzer.
Instead of applying a traditional self-tanner on the face, try this lightweight, noncomedogenic face serum. It’s packed with gradual (and believable) bronzers and enriched with vitamins C and D to impart a natural-looking glow without the sun damage.
Available in medium and deep shades, this always-clear formula won’t transfer to sheets or towels as it builds up a smooth, believable glow in a few hours (for a deeper tan, keep it on overnight).
This light, quick-to-absorb serum makes applying and blending easy. You’ll notice a natural-looking kiss of color overnight, plus an extra dose of hydration thanks to natural HA.
When there’s no time for busting out the self-tanner, this foolproof wash-off solution comes through with its high-coverage pigment—which covers anything from varicose veins on the legs or unwanted spots on the hands—while still looking totally natural.
Calling all glow getters: COOLA’s serum—made with hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells—imparts a transfer-resistant tan while addressing potential concerns like dry skin and fine lines.
Perfect for both body and face, this ultra-fine, cult-fave mist dries in seconds and is the best tool for tanning: The formula is tinted, so we know exactly where to apply if we missed a spot (or two or three).
We’d be lying if we said that we didn’t have a storied past with streaky tans. These easy-to-use wipes deliver an even layer of sun-kissed color that’s entirely foolproof.
We dare you to find a tanning product more convenient than this award-winning, clear spray with aloe vera from Hampton Sun. Apply directly to dry skin for the ultimate glow-on-the-go.
Want to fool your friends into thinking you have a place in Tahiti? La Mer—the crown jewel in any skin savant’s shelfie—hits it out of the park with this best-selling and fast-acting sunless tanner.
Three drops of Clarins is all it takes to get the dreamiest summer tint. Golden Glow Booster for Face boasts super-soothing aloe and if you’re not already convinced: It’s a lot less expensive than a trip to Bora Bora, too.
Vitamin E and coconut water shine in this hydrating foam formula from L’Oréal. A paragon of buildable pigment, Sublime Bronze goes on easy and can be effortlessly layered for deeper color.
Aesthetician-created Cleantan features plant-based pigments for a bespoke and guilt-free glow. And application is easy—just mix in with your fave moisturizer.
Well worth its weight in, well you know, vegan Argan Liquid Gold is gluten-free, cruelty-free and streak-free and offers a choose-your-own-scent adventure.
Tinted Wet Skin Moisturizer is back and better than ever with this reboot that includes a blend of collagen and elastin to diminish cellulite—all from the comfort of your own shower.
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