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Beautiful in bronze! We love how confident we feel in our skin with a great self tanner by our side, but what about our face? Body and face self tanners are often not one in the same. You know how you use a separate sunscreen for your face than you do on your body? 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, for example. If you’re acne-prone, 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 We Found the Best Face Self Tanners
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. Anything we’d love to see in any 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!
15 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!
- No parabens, dyes or sulfates
- Cannot apply any other skincare products until color has developed
2. COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum
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
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
4. TAN-LUXE THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
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
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
6. Undone Beauty Glowed Up Foolproof Foaming Facial Tanner
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
7. St. Moriz Radiant Glow Face Tanning Mist
A Way Affordable Favorite
This clear tanning mist is mess-free and has shoppers “glowing and thriving.” It’s under $20 for over five fluid ounces, and reviewers say it’s “better than the expensive tan mists out there.” It’s also formulated with vitamin E and aloe vera to protect and hydrate the skin!
- Dermatologically-tested and salon-tested
- For under or over makeup
- Must remove tan before reapplying
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
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
10. Frankies Bikinis Vegan Bronzing Facial Self Tanning Serum
So Fresh, So Clean
This is an ultra-clean beauty pick, free of gluten, artificial fragrance, silicones, sulfates and phthalates. It even contains hydrating skincare favorites like glycerin, green and white tea extract and chamomile extract for a soothed, glowing complexion. Just a few drops should do the trick!
- Non-irritating, clinically-tested, allergy-tested, dermatologist-reviewed
- Buildable color
- Not as many reviews as others
11. Tanologist Self Tanner Face + Body Drops
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
- May run out quickly if you use on your full body
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)
13. Lux Unfiltered Nº12 Bronzing Face Drops
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
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!
- Transfer-resistant — bronzer and dye-free
- May have to use every day to build/maintain tan
Available at: Amazon
15. Mario Badescu Self Tanning Lotion
Best for Combination and Oily Skin
Looking for an oil-free formula from a celebrity-favorite brand? Mario Badescu’s got you! This lotion is designed to be gentle enough on the face, though you can use it all over. It’s a trusted and affordable find for a “natural, healthy glow”!
- Simple/short ingredient list
- Brand recommend using with a tanning mitt or glove — not included
Available at: Amazon
Other Face Self-Tanners We Love for Acne-Prone Skin
- Beauty by Earth Face Self Tanner
- L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self Tan Drops for Face
- b.tan You Glow Girl! Face Self Tanner
Looking for other ways to elevate your beauty routine? Check out more picks below:
- The 10 Best Long-Lasting Self Tanners
- 12 Best Self Tanners Available at Ulta — Starting at $12
- 11 Best Cellulite Treatments for Women
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