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17 of the Best Face Self Tanners for Acne-Prone Skin


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Editor’s note: This article was last updated on December 8, 2023.

Beautiful in bronze! We love how confident we feel after applying self tanner to our body, but what about our face? Body and face self tanners are often not one in the same. You know how you use one sunscreen for your body and a separate one for your face? And separate cleansers and moisturizers? The same should go for self tanners!

The skin on your face is likely much more sensitive to certain ingredients than the skin on your arms and legs. If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, you know the struggle. You want a non-comedogenic sunless tanner that isn’t going to clog your pores and result in whiteheads and/or blackheads. You want something calming, soothing and effective so you can glow from head to toe!

How Picked Out the Best Face Self Tanners for Acne-Prone skin

First is the most obvious yet most important step: searching specifically for facial tanning products. Anything exclusively for the body was instantly out. We also searched for the word “non-comedogenic,” for dermatologist testing and approval and for clean ingredients free of nasties like parabens, sulfates and phthalates. We looked for the same types of ingredients and specifications we normally look for in acne-friendly products!

We looked for face self tanners with extra benefits too, like gentle exfoliation and anti-aging properties — skincare-like formulations. We also kept an eye out for products that could be used in different ways, whether mixed in with your moisturizer or even sprayed over your makeup. Shop our picks below, and see each one’s best uses and qualities!

17 of the Best Face Self Tanners for Acne-Prone Skin

1. Bondi Sands PURE Self Tanning Sleep Mask

Get Sun-Kissed While You Snooze


This non-comedogenic, salon-quality self tanner is all about elevating your beauty sleep. Wear overnight, wake up with glowing skin! This vegan formula even contains skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E for extra hydration!


  • Fragrance-free
  • No parabens, dyes or sulfates


  • Cannot apply any other skincare products until color has developed

Available at: Bondi Sands, Amazon

2. COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum

Ageless Beauty


This streak-free, transfer-free tanning serum can be incorporated into your skincare routine for a gradual tan. It has potential anti-aging benefits too, featuring star ingredients like argan oil, plant cell cultures and hyaluronic acid. It also smells like piña colada. Yum!


  • DHA is natural, derived from sugar beet
  • 95% of testers agree it creates an even and natural-looking tan


  • Might not be strong enough for a more intense tan

Available at: Sephora, Amazon, Ulta

3. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Intense Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Face

The Ultimate Texture Eliminator


Dr. Dennis Gross is practically synonymous with clear, healthy skin, so the fact that the brand makes a self tanner version of its famous glow pads is just incredible. Along with streak-free color, these exfoliating pads may help smooth skin, eliminate blackheads, tighten the appearance of pores and fade sunspots!


  • Towelette sachets are ultra-portable
  • Get vitamin D without the sun damage


  • May be better for warm skin tones

Available at: Amazon

4. TAN-LUXE THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops

Customizable Color


This face tanning concentrate can be mixed with your moisturizer, serum or oil. Just add one to four drops, depending on how much color you want, and then apply. This toxin-free formula uses Triple Tan Technology for natural color, plus raspberry seed oil, aloe vera and vitamin E for nourished skin!


  • Two shades available
  • No parabens, sulfates or phthalates


  • One of the pricier picks

Available at: Amazon, Ulta, Sephora

5. St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

Easiest to Use


No blending, massaging or patting — with this water mist, all you do is spray. No rinsing either! You can even apply under or over makeup, so no worries if you forget to apply it beforehand. Another “easy” aspect of this tanner is that it’s “best for anyone or everyone,” so you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’ll work for you!


  • Colorless, and therefore no transfer
  • Natural tanning active


  • Takes four to eight hours to develop, so may not be best for super fast results

Available at: Amazon, Ulta, Sephora

6. Undone Beauty Glowed Up Foolproof Foaming Facial Tanner

Long-Lasting Results


This tanning foam, which is buildable, claims to last up to a full seven days, so you won’t have to keep applying day after day. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, as well as paraben-free and gluten-free, making it both animal-friendly and skin-friendly. It comes in two shades too!


  • Guide color for flawless application
  • Shoppers say it’s “beginner-friendly”


  • Brand recommends applying with the Seamless Brush, which is an extra cost

Available at: Amazon

7. Mystic Tan Wake Up & Glow Facial Self Tan Spritz

A Simple Spritz


This clear tanning mist is mess-free and has shoppers feeling like they need less makeup. It’s under $20, and reviewers say it leaves them looking like they used a tanning bed (minus the aging effects). It’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid to protect and hydrate the skin!


  • For all skin tones
  • Made with Eco-Certified DHA and erythrulose


  • Needs four to eight hours before getting wet

Available at: Amazon

8. Coco & Eve Bronzing Face Drops

For Dry, Acne-Prone Skin


Alcohol in skincare/makeup products isn’t always bad, but if your skin is on the dry side, it’s great to use alcohol-free products like these face tanning drops. They’re made with hydrating favorite hyaluronic acid and anti-aging botanicals to address fine lines and wrinkles while leaving you “sun-kissed for days”!


  • Dermatologist-approved and non-comedogenic
  • Two shades


  • Small bottle for the price

Available at: Ulta, Revolve, Amazon

9. Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Bronzing Drops

For a Gorgeous Glow You Can Wash Off at Night


Looking for something more temporary? These bronzing drops are the way to go. Try mixing with your morning moisturizer for an instant pick-me-up. We love this one because it comes from one of our top skincare brands and contains protective antioxidants to shield skin against environmental pollution!


  • Mimics the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D
  • Free of essential oils, silicones, and fragrance


  • May fade a bit by end of day

Available at: Amazon

10. Maya Chia Water | Color Tinted Super Antioxidant Hydration + Gradual Sunless Tanner

So Fresh, So Clean

Credo Beauty

This is an ultra-clean beauty pick that meets the strict Credo Clean Standard and is even gluten-free. It contains anti-aging skincare favorites like chebula and astaxanthin for a soothed, glowing, protected complexion. Just a pump or two should do the trick!


  • Shoppers love the “believable, buildable color”
  • Can mix with moisturizer for a more gradual tan


  • Need to apply daily to maintain tan

Available at: Credo Beauty

11. Tanologist Self Tanner Face + Body Drops

Double Duty


Don’t want to use separate products for your face and body? That’s fine too — but make sure you’re using one made for both! These non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested drops are clean, clear and pore-friendly!


  • Three shades
  • Vegan


  • May run out quickly if you use on your full body

Available at: Target, Ulta, Amazon, Revolve

12. Isle of Paradise Day Dew Self Tan Face Mist

The Blue Light Blocker


We loved seeing vitamin C in this mist for acne-prone skin, but we were especially thrilled when we saw the cocoa seed oil, included to help protect against blue light! It’s recommended that you apply before makeup in the morning for a dewy glow!


  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates
  • Hyaluronic acid and glycerin moisturize skin


  • Must shake very well before use for best results (bi-phase formula)

Available at: Sephora

13. Lux Unfiltered  Nº12 Bronzing Face Drops

Luxury Pick


Let’s get a little fancy with Lux Unfiltered! These tanning drops are fragrance-free, cruelty-free and non-toxic, leaving room for all of your skin’s new BFFs: pomegranate extract, coconut water, passionfruit oil, vitamin E and, of course, hyaluronic acid!


  • Free of parabens, paraffins, phthalates, sulfates and silicones
  • Customizable, buildable color


  • One of the pricier picks

Available at: Amazon

14. MineTan Facial Tan Mist

Rosy Glow


Knowing our own acne-prone skin, we’re always intrigued seeing rosewater or rosehip seed oil in a facial product. It can be super soothing and calming for red, broken-out skin. Of course, this mist claims to do more than just soothe. Its goal is to leave you with a golden glow!


  • Non-comedogenic
  • Transfer-resistant — bronzer and dye-free


  • May have to use every day to build/maintain tan

Available at: Amazon

15. Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam Fragrance Free

Best for Oily/Combination Skin


Looking for an oil-free formula from a top brand? Bondi Sands has your back! This foam can be used on the body, though it’s recommended that you use the remaining residue on your mitt on your face too. This pick is also non-comedogenic!


  • Cruelty-free
  • Fast results


  • Brand recommend using with a tanning mitt or glove — not included

Available at: Bondi SandsTarget, Amazon

16. Saltyface Tanning Water

Best for Beginners


A tanning lotion or foam might feel a little intimidating if you’re new to the self tanner game, but this light-as-water formula makes that beautiful, bronzed glow more than achievable, even on first try. Just apply as the final step in your skincare routine!


  • Skin-friendly ingredients for acne-prone skin like tea plant, aloe vera and cucumber
  • Dropped bottle blocks UV light to extend shelf life


  • Gradually deepens for up to 24 hours — not for ultra-quick results

Available at: goop

17. Awesome Bronze Gradual Tan Drops

Powered by Superfoods

Beauty Pie

These tanning drops, made with natural DHA, contain superfood ingredients like spirulina and red seaweed extract for a healthy tan your skin will love. Apply after cleansing and exfoliating your face for best results!


  • Also contains banana flower extract and hyaluronic acid
  • Clean


  • Should not be used with retinol, AHAs or BHAs

Available at: Beauty Pie

Other Face Self Tanners We Love for Acne-Prone Skin


Related: Best Self Tanners for Beginners and Pale Skin

Looking for other ways to elevate your beauty routine? Check out more picks below: