Bronzing Drops: The Best Drops for a Natural-Looking Glow

Bronzing Drops: The Best Drops for a Natural-Looking Glow featured image
Typology / Vacation
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It’s that time of year again: Most of us are coming out of winter hibernation mode and our skin could use a bit of help in the glow department. That’s where bronzing drops come in, which are trending big right now. While bronzing drops can fake the look of a tropical vacation in a flash, they don’t just offer color perks: Look for moisturizing ingredients if you have dry skin; if you live in a big city or spend a lot of time outdoors, opt for an antioxidant-rich option.

Most bronzing drops are meant to be mixed into serum, moisturizer or foundation, but they can also be used solo for more concentrated color. Don’t hesitate to mix a few drops into your body lotion for a little bit of a sun-kissed effect, too. I have fair skin, and I love mixing bronzing drops into my body cream and applying it on my arms whenever I’m wearing a sleeveless dress. These fifteen formulas lend a nice temporary glow without committing to self-tanner or damaging your skin in the sun—one drop at a time.

The Best Bronzing Drops For Your Skin

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Typology. T34 – Bronzing Drops Vitamin E 2% + Apricot Extract ($35)

Mix one to two drops of this silicone-free, 95% natural bronzing concentrate to your moisturizer, foundation or tinted serum for an instant sun-kissed glow. It’s also bonafide skincare, thanks to antioxidant-rich vitamin E and apricot extract, a skin-strengthening fatty acid with plant-based antioxidant properties that helps preserve the skin from photoaging induced by UV rays.

Size: 0.52 oz | Key ingredients: vitamin E, apricot extract, natural pearlescence | Finish: natural to luminous | Shade count: one


2 / 16

SALTYFACE Tanning Water ($44)

This foolproof tanning water is the perfect place to start if you’re a beginner. The clean formula goes on clear while the tan develops gradually over 24 hours. How deep the tan is depends on how much you use and can be customized to your desire (the brand recommends starting with one to two drops), or for a super subtle glow, the drops can be mixed in with your favorite facial moisturizer.

Size: 1.8 oz | Key ingredients: sugar beets, glycerin, aloe leaf extract, chamomile flower extract, cucumber extract, marshmallow root extract, aalendula flower extract, linden flower | Finish: natural | Shade count: two (Light to Medium and Medium to Dark)



3 / 16

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops ($38)

“I don’t wear foundation, but I really wanted something I could mix into my other products to give my skin some color,” says Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson. “D-Bronzi is made with vitamins, antioxidants, platinum peptides, and barrier-supportive fatty acids that defend skin from environmental free radicals. It’s a gorgeous, sheer bronzer that I formulated with skin health top of mind—like sunshine in a bottle without the damage.” Pro tip: Though some bronzing drops can be used alone, Masterson says this formula is way too concentrated to be used that way.

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: cocoa extract, peptides, chronocyclin | Finish: radiant | Shade count: one



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Naked Sundays CabanaGlow™ SPF50 Mineral Glow Serum Drops ($35)

Suki Waterhouse and Khloé Kardashian love these SPF 50-infused bronzing drops from Naked Sundays. Three buildable pigments can be worn alone or mixed together, protects against UVA/UVB and pack a serious punch of skin-loving antioxidants. Grab Pearl, a brightening, light-catching shade, to even and perfect skin tone, while Illuminating imparts a warm and natural glowy finish. Bronze (shown here) delivers a sun-kissed look without the skin damage.

Size: 1.69 oz | Key ingredients: pink algae, hyaluronic acid, rosella extract, zinc oxide | Finish: natural | Shade count: three (Bronze, Pearl and Illuminating)



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Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop’Lit All-Over Glow Enhancer ($34)

Available in four shades—two are more bronze and two are more highlight—these hydrating drops are best mixed into foundation for an illuminated effect (they also help minimize the appearance of pores). Or, you can apply it alone as a full layer under foundation, or dab a little bit on the high points of your face to accentuate certain features.

Size: 1.2 oz | Key ingredients: prickly pear extract, sodium hyaluronate, pomegranate peel extract, vitamin E, milk thistle extract | Finish: radiant | Shade count: four (Bronze Jasper, Honey Citrine, Taffy Topaz, Pink Pearl)



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Vacation Studio Tone SPF 50 ($29)

For an instant bronzing boost paired with heavy-hitting skin care ingredients such as ferulic acid, ceramides and vitamin C, look no further than Vacation’s new Studio Tone SPF 50. Its universally flattering bronze shade is adaptable, the formula is vegan and ocean-reef friendly and it’s PEG-, paraben- and cruelty-free.

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, cocoa, hazelnut, ceramids, collagen peptide, ferulic acid, vitamin E, algae | Finish: natural | Shade count: one


7 / 16

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops ($35)

Glow Recipe’s best-selling Dew Drops inspired the brand to create Hue Drops. All the same clinically effective hydrating and brightening ingredients found in the original serum are here, now in a sheer tinted hue that imparts a warm, ultra-flattering glow.

Size: 1.35 oz | Key ingredients: niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, watermelon, centella asiatica | Finish: illuminating | Shade count: one


8 / 16

Versed Mood Lighting Glow Drops ($20)

One of the more budget-friendly bronzing drops on the list, Versed’s Mood Lighting Glow Drops don’t skimp on skin-savoring ingredients. Peptide polyglutamic acid, which holds 4,000 times its weight in water, works alongside antioxidant-rich blueberry extract to deliver smoother, more even-toned skin with a healthy glow.

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: peptide polyglutamic acid, blackberry extract, vitamin E | Finish: illuminating | Shade count: two (Sheer Bronzed and Sheer Golden)



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Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops ($29)

Supercharged with clean skincare ingredients, these customizable drops leave your complexion naturally-bronzed and streak-free for up to five days. It’s ingredient list is especially beneficial to help address uneven skin tone, promote brightness, reduce redness and fade the look of dark spots. Mix it with your favorite moisturizer, serum or foundation.

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: vitamin C, grapefruit, chia seed, avocado oil | Finish: natural | Shade count: three (Light, Medium and Dark)



10 / 16

LUMENE Invisible Illumination Liquid Bronzer ($30)

For those looking for a 100% vegan formula made with wild crafted, upcycled ingredients, LUMENE’s Liquid Bronzer is for you. Case in point: Nordic algae hydrates skin 3X more effectively than hyaluronic acid, per the brand, so skin isn’t just freshly sun-kissed, but more plump and bouncy too. Brightening wild cloudberry are a “rare Lapland treasure” and contain “twice as much vitamin C than their equivalent weight in oranges.”

Size: 0.5 oz | Key ingredients: Nordic algae, willowherb, wild cloudberry, vitamin E | Finish: luminous| Shade count: two (Summer Glow and Deep Glow)



11 / 16

Tan-Luxe Super Gloss SPF 30 Illuminating Bronzing Drops ($49)

While the shade coming out of the dropper looks intense and metallic, these bronzing drops actually go on sheer so you can build your ideal bronze. Hyaluronic acid and squalane keep skin hydrated and dewy as you build your tan, while broad-spectrum SPF 30 protects skin from UVA/UVB rays, photoaging and blue light damage.

Size: 1.01 oz | Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, squalane, argan oil | Finish: radiant | Shade count: one




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Cover FX Custom Bronzing Drops ($38)

Go for a subtle sun-kissed vibe or full-on bronzed goddess with Cover FX. Their ultra-concentrated formula is best mixed in with your foundation or moisturizer to give your skin-care routine a luminous boost. Pro tip: a little goes a long way. One to two drops is all you need to create a golden glow.

Size: 0.3 oz | Key ingredients: mica, jojoba esters, sunflower seed oil | Finish: radiant | Shade count: two (Sunkissed and Gilded Glow)


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SOL By Jergens Deeper By the Drop Serum ($24)

This pick from Jergens can be used on the face and body and works together with any moisturizer to build a long-lasting tan. The formula is oil-free, so acne-prone skin types can rest easy knowing that it won’t congest skin, while dry skin types will love how coconut water works to keep skin hydrated. The brand suggests using as little as three drops or as many as 15 to suit your unique skin tone.

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: coconut water, cranberry extract | Finish: natural | Shade count: one


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Indeed Labs Nanobronze Bronzing Drops ($25)

For those who battle redness and also want a little color, these plumping bronzing drops are a great option. A botanical pea extract is the star, which has been clinically proven to provide a temporary tan enhancement without the use of DHA. Cacao seed adds blue light protection and kelp extract protects against pollution. The three ingredients together help combat redness, reducing its appearance over time.

Key ingredients: pea extract, cacao seed extract, hyaluronic acid, and giant kelp extract | Finish: radiant | Shade count: one



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Whind Ourika Sun Instant Glow Tinting Water ($35)

When you want something a little closer to self-tanner, but without the DHA, this is one to try. At the heart of the 98-percent natural formula is erythrulose, a botanical alternative to DHA, which gives skin instant color, but can also be layered gradually for a deeper tone. Because it contains both hyaluronic acid and glycerin, it’s great for those with dry skin, but any skin type can benefit.

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: erythrulose, hyaluronic acid, glycerin | Finish: natural | Shade count: one


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Pai The Impossible Glow Bronze ($39)

Let’s dive into the secret sauce behind this formula: Pai combines mica (a natural pearlescent pigment), titanium dioxide and iron oxide particles, and then changes the size and shape of the particles to alter the color and intensity of these drops. So cool!

Though the three shades of these drops were designed to suit all skin tones, if you have yellow undertones, the brand says you might prefer Champagne. Pink undertones may lean toward Rose Gold, and the original Bronze delivers a warmer, deeper glow (a little goes a long way).

Size: 1 oz | Key ingredients: mica, hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, lemon fruit water | Finish: luminous | Shade count: three (Bronze, Champage and Rose Gold)

BUY ON PAI – $39


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