The 22 Best Self-Tanners to Use on Your Face and Body

The 22 Best Self-Tanners to Use on Your Face and Body featured image

“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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1 / 22

Bali Body Ultra Dark Self Tanning Mousse ($31)

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. 

2 / 22

St. Tropez Bronzing Face Serum ($30)

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.

3 / 22

Jergens Sol Sunless Tanning Water ($24)

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).

4 / 22

Tan Luxe Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum ($49)

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.

5 / 22

Tarte Shape Tape Waterproof Body Makeup ($39)

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.

6 / 22

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water ($28)

NewBeauty Award-Winning Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water comes in three varieties with ingenious color-correcting pigments to deliver an even, natural glow, no matter your skin tone.

7 / 22

COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Serum ($54)

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.

8 / 22

Kora Organics Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion ($48)

Anything good enough for Miranda Kerr is something we want to stockpile, especially if it’s a product that she uses to get her dewy, supermodel glow. BONUS: This one-size-fits-all lotion boasts lavender essential oil for a subtle scent. 

9 / 22

James Read Tan Instant Bronzing Mist ($38)

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). 

10 / 22

Tan Towel Body Tan Towelettes ($29)

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. 

11 / 22

Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Mist ($36)

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.

12 / 22

La Mer The Face & Body Gradual Tan Lotion ($100)

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.

13 / 22

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face ($32)

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.  

14 / 22

Tan-Luxe Sleep Oil ($52.50)

We’ve had our fair share of self-tan-induced nightmares. Tonight we’re sleeping well knowing that Tan-Luxe is working hard while we doze for a healthy glow (for our faces and not our pillows) literally overnight. 

15 / 22

Innovative Glow Pads tan while they exfoliate—thanks to alpha and beta hydroxy acids—creating consistent color that lasts long after the sunny season ends.  

16 / 22
Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops ($39)

Like liquid sunshine without the damage, D-Bronzi provides a temporary glow—it washes off with cleanser—and boasts skin-bettering ingredients like peptides and white tea extract to help minimize any fine lines. 
17 / 22

Supergoop Healthy Glow Sunless Tan ($38)

Cult-brand Supergoop does it all with the Healthy Glow Sunless Tan—part self-tanner, part sunscreen, part moisturizer and wholly genius. 

18 / 22

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse ($42)

With an average of four out of five stars on Sephora, Ulta and Amazon, we think it’s fair to say that St. Tropez’s scented Bronzing Water Mousse is a major winner.

19 / 22

L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse ($15)

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.

20 / 22

Cleantan A Tan With Benefits Quickie Concentrate ($43)

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. 

21 / 22

Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil ($39)

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.

22 / 22

Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Wet Skin Moisturizer ($10)

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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