#Skin Care

We Found The Best Self Tanner To Turn You Bronze, Not Orange

by Bethany Lozier

We Found The Best Self Tanner To Turn You Bronze, Not Orange
Shop Story

While pale skin never truly goes out of style, nothing beats a bronzed summer glow! The search for the best self tanner for everyone is certainly tricky, but this roundup is sure to turn you into a glowing goddess… without the harmful UV rays.


RELATED: The 15 Best Bronzers for Pale Skin So You Can Look Sun-Kissed Without the Burn


Below are the 10 best self tanners to shop in 2020, from lotions and mousses to mists and towelettes, and even self tanners for face specifically. Skip the pricey spray tan, and grab one of these instead. Read on to hear what makes each great for faking that sun-kissed glow without needing to soak in aloe afterward.



1 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer


In our humble opinion, the best self tanner is one that requires low maintenance and gets high-quality results. And what's easier than applying your instant tan in the shower? This formula comes in two shades, but it's the rate of your application that determines just how bronzed you get.

2 of 14 Image Credits: Nordstrom

St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion


As all experienced bronze goddesses know, the best tan applications come with a lot of trial and error. This acclaimed formula from the famous sunless tanning brand St. Tropez lets you determine the strength of your tan with every application. Reviewers are raving about the ease of application and natural-looking color — just be wary of minor streaks.

3 of 14 Image Credits: Amazon

Beauty By Earth Natural Self Tanner


This natural self tanner will definitely not give you an Oompa Loompa hue, we promise! Made from all-natural ingredients, this golden lotion glides on skin to create an even glow wherever you apply. Reviewers agree: This product does all of the legwork so you can show off yours all summer long.

4 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

Tarte Brazilliance Plus+ Self Tanner + Mitt


With 18,500 "loves" and a 4.3-star rating on Sephora, it's clear that this Tarte self tanner is beloved. Reviewers toss around statements like "best self tanner I've EVER used" and appreciate the body lotion's natural look with no unnatural scent. Plus, with the adorable mitt included, you won't be getting the dreaded, accidental super-tanned patches on your hands.

5 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

Isle Of Paradise Self-Tanning Water


Wait, water that tans you? What's this sort of magic, you say? Well, this water contains color-correcting technology designed to naturally enhance your skin's natural tan. There are three variations available, so be sure to choose the one best suited for your skin's undertones. This is definitely in the running for the best self tanner money can buy, according to one reviewer.

6 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Maui Babe Browning Lotion


If you've ever been lucky enough to experience a tropical vacation in Hawaii, you've likely seen this iconic bottle before (it's in literally every establishment). This browning lotion is definitely not your average self tanner; it's used best when mixed with sunscreen and when you have time to tan on your hands. Give this product a little time and you'll have an amazing, bronzed hue.

7 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

TanTowel Self-Tan Towelettes


Let's all admit one thing: Applying self tanner can sometimes be a real pain in the butt. If we're looking for the best self tanner out there, we have to focus on convenience, too. In lieu of lotions and creams, these tanning towelettes may be just what you need to achieve the ultimate glow. They're designed for quick and seamless application, and they even exfoliate as you're gliding them across your skin.

8 of 14 Image Credits: Amazon

Neutrogena Micro-Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan


A cool, refreshing mist on a summer's day sounds so perfect, and so does the streak-free tan this product promises. Forget forking over oodles of cash for an airbrushed spray tan at the salon; this affordable tanning mist dries within minutes, so you don't have to worry about transferring unwanted color to your clothes.

9 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Vita Liberata Self-Tanning Night Moisture Mask


Self tanner for your face is certainly tricky. If you follow a strict skincare regimen, most of the products in your repertoire are likely working against a sustainable amount of color. Luckily for you, this mask should be applied after your serums and creams to ensure maximum hydration as well as tint.

10 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

Clarins Self Tanning Milky-Lotion


As far as ultra-luxe tanners go, you can't beat anything in Clarins' lineup. Combined with figs to create a hydrating formula, this milky product can be used on your face or your body. Reviewers cannot get enough of the delish scent and their super natural-looking tans.

11 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

Clinique Self Sun Face Tinted Lotion


Suffer from super sensitive or acne-prone skin? Clinique's oil-free self tanner for face delivers a lovely glow without causing an unfavorable reaction. Reviewers recommend pairing this with SPF (not included in the formula) and using a cloth for exact application.

12 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

COOLA Sunless Tan Dry Body Oil Mist


While we really wish we could own everything COOLA has to offer, this self tanner may be one product we're willing to take the plunge with. It's certified organic and has a lightweight texture that absorbs nearly instantly, so you don't have to wait around in your birthday suit.

13 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse


Mousse is not just for creating voluminous waves in your hair; this tanning mousse will give you the sun-kissed glow without the hours spent under the harmful rays. Mixed with olive milk and vitamin E, this mousse is absolutely beloved, with some even comparing it to St. Tropez's products (for half the cost).

14 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Australian Gold Instant Bronzer Spray Gel Sunscreen SPF 30


Cute koalas and super attractive actors aside, the Australians are certainly masters of tanning. Enriched with minerals and a bronze glow, this spray gel sunscreen will protect you from harmful rays and is even water-resistant. The instant bronzer helps prepare your skin for a real tan, which is a feature reviewers gush over.