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There’s nothing like a tan to leave us looking and feeling like our best selves, especially in the summer when we’re wearing short shorts, miniskirts and tank tops. We’re so over tanning beds, and while salon spray tans can be great, they can also end up being costly — on top of taking a chunk of time out of your day.
That’s why we’re all about self tanners. Ones we can use right at home, on our own time, whether they are for our face, legs or entire body. We love having one for an instant bronze, as well as a more gradual one so we’re never left looking too ghostly. For some, it goes deeper than that though. Maybe you need one for a specific skin tone, or one made for sensitive skin. And what if you’re shopping solely cruelty-free? Not every self tanning system is interchangeable. It’s like any other form of makeup. One might work better for you than it does for someone else, and vice versa.
Apart from the glow they give our complexion, we love self-tanners and bronzers for other reasons too. If you’re dealing with stubborn acne, unwanted cellulite, dark spider veins or maybe some hyperpigmentation and discoloration, a self-tanner can help you blur out those insecurities, leaving your skin looking even and smooth!
We also love having so much control over our tan. Not only can we control the time our tanning session begins — sometimes after salons have closed up for the night — but we can be more specific with our application and reapply whenever is most convenient for us. We don’t have to wait for an appointment! Even better is if you’re using one during winter and don’t want to deal with driving through snow and walking through harsh winds to get to the salon. Your own DIY salon is waiting for you in the warmth and comfort of your own home!
Ready to find your go-to for this summer and all of the months and years after that? Check out the 10 of the best we picked out below!
Our Pick for Best Self Tanner: St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
This clear, streak-free mist can be used under or over makeup for a natural glow that may last for days. Thanks to its antioxidant properties and ingredients like fresh green mandarin water, it might just become a key part of your skincare routine too. And hey, none of that chemical smell you can’t stand!
Best Self Tanner for Face: Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
This tanning concentrate may look small, but it’s mighty. Simply add a few drops to your serum, moisturizer or face oil for a glorious tan. We’re talking Triple Tan Technology here for nourished, natural radiance. Reviewers say they “couldn’t recommend this more” and that they now have a “perfect bronzed glow”!
Best Self Tanner for Legs: Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish
If you’ve ever been stuck wearing pants in 90-degree weather because of a terrible tan you couldn’t remove, this is the body bronzer for you. It rinses off, so that fear of commitment is gone. The hydration will stick around though — this self tanner has moisture-locking technology that lasts up to 72 hours!
Best Self Tanner for Face and Body: Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum
Many beauty lovers out there swear that coconut oil was the one ingredient that changed their skin for the better, and that’s the power ingredient in this anti-aging face and body tanner! Don’t forget about the hyaluronic acid too. Because this tanner is naturally derived, it claims to not turn skin orange, leave a bad odor or stain your clothes!
Best Gradual Self Tanner: COOLA Organic Gradual Sunless Tan Sculpting Mousse
You can’t go wrong with COOLA. As one reviewer said, “COOLA is the best and this product confirms my opinion.” This gradual tanner is already unique thanks to its mousse formula, but it gets even better from there when you realize it has ingredients like green coffee extracts to contour and firm up the skin. It’s made with 70%+ certified organic ingredients too!
Best Instant Self Tanner: Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
Not wasting any time? You’ll want to try out this instant tanner from Clarins. This non-oily gel tanner has aloe vera and shea butter to keep skin soothed and smooth in the sun, and it dries fast so you can get dressed just a few minutes after application!
Best Self Tanner for Acne-Prone Skin: Suntegrity Staycation – Botanical Bronzing Shimmer Serum
This luminous bronzing serum is made for all skin types, including sensitive and blemish/acne-prone. It even has a gorgeous shimmer to it so you can truly sparkle in the sun without needing to cover up any dots or spots you would rather not show off!
Best Self Tanner for Dark Skin Tones: KKW Beauty Skin Perfecting Body Foundation
KKW Beauty, also known as Kim Kardashian‘s beauty line, is well known for its inclusive shade range. This tanner comes in numerous deep shades for naturally darker skin tones. It’s also made to blur imperfections and soften skin while smelling lightly of vanilla and coconut. Shoppers say they “swear by this stuff”!
Best Self Tanner for Fair Skin Tones: Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam
Bondi Sands is easily a favorite among influencers, and we can see why. Getting an even tan is so easy with this professional-grade tanning foam, and it comes in a light/medium shade for those of us with fairer skin. It’s made to give you “the ultimate Australian tan in minutes,” and we have no complaints about that!
Best Cruelty-Free Self Tanner: Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
These cruelty-free tanning drops are vegan, organic and hypoallergenic, free of toxins, gluten, mineral oils and more. They are also a total fan-favorite with over 1,300 reviews. Shoppers say they “wake up with a soft glow” after using them and that they are a “must-have for an even all-over tan”!
Check out more of our picks and deals here!
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