Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.
It’s time to bring out the short shorts, the mini dresses, the tank tops, the camis and the swimsuits. It’s getting hot, hot, hot outside, and we’re shedding layers left and right. What’s underneath though? If you’re not thrilled with your pale winter complexion persisting all year long, it’s time to grab a self-tanner!
Just like your other skincare or makeup though, you might want to stick with clean, organic and non-toxic self-tanners. But why? And how do you find them? And how do you use them? Let’s get into it!
What are Clean, Natural, Non-Toxic Self-Tanners?
These self-tanners should be made with organic and naturally-derived ingredients while leaving out any of the “harsh chemicals, preservatives, parabens or unnatural fragrances” you might find in other tanners that may ultimately damage your skin (source: Who What Wear). They may also keep you from turning orange. Sun-kissed glows only!
What Should You Look for in a Self-Tanner?
You’ll find DHA in pretty much any tanner, as it’s what tints your skin, but it’s great to look for a naturally-derived DHA. You also might want to avoid harmful alcohols, according to Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson for WebMD, to avoid potential negative reactions. This is in addition to those chemicals, preservatives, etc. we mentioned before!
What Are Some Different Types of Self-Tanners?
Of course, there are different self-tanners that target your face or your body, perhaps, but they also come in many different forms. There are lotions, wipes, oils and sprays — as well as more gradual tanners versus ones with instant results!
How Do You Apply Self-Tanner?
Many can be used with just your hands, but some require a tanning mitt to help smooth everything out evenly. There are even some airbrush devices!
Tips and Tricks for Your Best Self-Tan
As recommended by Dr. Robinson, it’s always best to do a patch test first with a new tanner in case you have an allergy, and to make sure the color is right. It’s also common practice to exfoliate your entire body before application so the tan applies evenly. Goop also recommends starting with moisturizer for better blending, as well as starting from the feet up and being careful to tan the backs of your hands before washing them off!
How We Found the Best Clean and Natural Self-Tanners
Research, research, research! And patience, of course. Armed with all of the above knowledge and our own experiences, we searched Amazon to find products with experts’ stamps of approval, top-tier user reviews and, of course, a stunning ingredient list!
7 Best Clean, Natural, Non-Toxic Self-Tanners for Women
Best Overall Self-Tanner: Beauty by Earth Self-Tanner
Beauty by Earth is all about natural, organic ingredients and kicking chemical-filled tanners to the curb!
- An incredible amount of glowing reviews
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Can be hard to find the middle ground between too much and too little
Get the Beauty by Earth Self-Tanner for just $31 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best Splurge Self-Tanner: Norvell Oasis Spray Tan Machine Kit
Get a professional looking spray tan at home with this kit that includes a spray tanning machine and a Norvell tanning solution made with organic and natural ingredients!
- “As easy to operate as a hair dryer”
- Can quickly get your money’s worth if you’re a frequent salon tanner
- Might need someone to help get your back
- An investment not everyone can splurge on
Get the Norvell Oasis Spray Tan Machine Kit for $170 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best on a Budget: Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion
This botanical-powered lotion packs a powerful tanning punch for a super low price!
- No gluten, parabens, phthalates or synthetic fragrances
- Just $10
- Some reviewers dislike the scent
Get the Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion for just $10 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best for Face Tanning: SOL by Jergens Deeper by the Drop Serum
This oil-free serum’s tanning active is derived from natural sugars and can be mixed right in with your moisturizer!
- Customizable color depending on amount used
- Can be hard to see where you’ve already applied
Get the SOL by Jergens Deeper by the Drop Serum for just $18 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best Self-Tanner for Dry Skin: Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion
This organic tanner is made with organic botanicals and is free of toxins. It also has a moisture-locking system that dry skin will love!
- Has odor removal technology to decrease any bad smells
- Gradual tanning formula lowers chances of transfer
- Some shoppers found it wasn’t dark enough
Get the Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion for just $20 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best In-Shower Tanner: St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion
A tanner you can use in the shower? So easy. This paraben-free, sulfate-free and phthalate-free tanner is made with 100% naturally-derived DHA too!
- Kylie Jenner is a fan of the brand’s tanners
- Takes just three minutes of waiting before rinsing
- Takes a few days to see a big difference
Get the St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion for just $25 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best Tanning Wipes: Endless Luxe Self Tanner for Body
These exfoliating tanning towelettes are enhanced with natural herbal extracts and are totally paraben-free!
- No mitt necessary
- Mess-free application
- One shopper needed two wipes for even coverage their first use
Get the Endless Luxe Self Tanner for Body for just $38 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 3, 2021, but are subject to change.
Looking for more? Explore self-tanning bestsellers at Amazon here and don’t forget to check out all of Amazon’s Daily Deals for more great finds!
Browse fashion, beauty and health products. Also, check out our gift guides.
This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as wedding-guest outfits, purses, plus-size swimsuits, women's sneakers, bridal shapewear, and perfect gift ideas for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.
The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from the advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!