15 Best Self Tanner Brands You Can Buy

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Tradition tanning is a pastime that many still enjoy today. There is, after all, no comparable feeling to having the warm sun on your bare skin, and the glow that comes with it only makes us feel that much prettier. That is if we don’t burn. Self-tanning has become a popular alternative to the traditional tanning method because it is considered much safer, and if done right, still gives men and women that summertime glow they desire. However, how does one know what the best self-tanners are?

Fear not friends, as we have done a lot of the heavy lifting for you! First, take some time to review our buyer’s guide to choosing a self-tanner as it will help walk you through questions to ask yourself, different types of self-tanners and some controversies surrounding the ingredients used in these products.

Then make use of our top 15 list of best self-tanners to help further guide your research into different products. This will surely help guide you in the direction you need to go to find the perfect product for yourself.

Comparison Table

tanner brand

A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing A Self-Tanner

Let’s face it; nobody wants to look like a fool while he or she are out shopping for beauty products. Come on; we’ve all experienced those moments where we ask a question in store, and the associate makes us feel awfully small, even if it wasn’t their intention.

However, instead of going blindly into the store or to look over consumer product reviews, take a few minutes to look over our buyer's guide to self-tanners really.

Things to Consider Before Buying:

While most consumers believe they can just walk in and pick a self-tanner right off the shelf, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind before you buy.


Because if you don’t you can quickly get in over your head and or turn yourself a nice shade of Oompa Loompa orange, and we know that nobody has time to deal with that.

  • MaintenanceThis is vital because self-tanners are known for fading unevenly. In many cases maintenance includes exfoliating, avoiding certain lotions and reapplying in order to maintain your desired shade.
  • What Color Works for You? – If you are new to self-tanning, it may take a few purchases to find the color that is best suited for you. Before going all out and applying your self-tanner all over your body, it is vital that you do a spot test on a small patch of skin to see how it will look after application and after allowing it to dry.

Types of Self-Tanning Products:

  • Moisturizers – Self-tanning moisturizers help to build a sun-kissed glow with daily use gradually. They are also known to have a lower concentration of DHA the other self-tanners. These are also generally more often used for the face.
  • Tanning TowelettesThese towelettes are presoaked with self-tanner, meaning that users simply have to open, unfold the sheets and swipe them across the skin.
  • Lotions/Creams – Self-tanning lotions and creams are generally used for the entire body, and they are almost always tinted so that users can see where they may have missed while applying.
  • Mousses/Gels – Self-tanning mousses and gels are a favorite for many because they are not only lightweight but fast drying. They are also easy to layers so that users can build a custom coverage.
  • Do-It-Yourself Tanning Sprays – These are typically better for those more experienced with self-tanner because it requires the user to spray themselves evenly from about 6-inches away and in circular motions. Do-it-yourself tanning sprays are better off done with a trusted friend.

What’s the Deal With DHA?

Self-tanning is often seen as the healthier alternative to tanning out in the sun where you are exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays that can wreak havoc on your skin. However, that doesn’t mean that self-tanning doesn’t have its controversies.

The main controversy surrounding self-tanning is with the use of the ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA). The Food and Drug Administration has approved DHA for use externally, such as on the skin, but it warns that DHA should not be inhaled or applied to areas such as the lips, nose or the areas around the eyes.

Some reported issues surrounding the inhalation of DHA include increasing an individual’s risk for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and even cancer.

How We Chose Our Ratings

Our focus is to provide you, the consumers with an honest look at products on the market.

That being said, after looking over hundreds of reviews, we tallied up our own totals to give each product in our top 15 best self-tanners list with a rating out of 5 stars.

Our totals are based on overall consumer ratings, product reliability and overall quality of the product. In the case of a ratings tie, we took the overall price into consideration in order to keep the consumer’s best interest in mind.

Top 15 Best Self-Tanners

Self-tanning can be a little scary, especially for those who have never attempted it before. Well, fear not, as the products listed below are all designed with the user’s in mind. This means that the application is simple, so there is little to be afraid of.

So take a look at our top 15 picks for best self-tanners currently on the market:

Skinerals Self-Tanner Sunless Bronzer

This sunless tanner allows users to maintain their tan no matter if they are at home or on the go. The great thing about this self-tanner is that it’s made with many natural ingredients, making it a better alternative to those that are made up of potentially harmful chemicals.

St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist

This self-tanner allows you to control the depth of your tan with St. Tropez’s advanced mist formula for a natural, healthy looking tan. This formula has a pleasant fragrance and is quick-drying and non-sticky, meaning that transfer is less likely to happen.

Self-Tanning Liquid Solution Flawless by Fake Bake

This ready to wear tan is lightweight and very fast drying, which means fewer changes to the product transferring to clothing or other surfaces. Using three tanning agents – Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) boosted by DMI & Erythrulose – Fake Bake works with your own skin tone to produce a naturally-based darker pigmentation on your skin.

Miami Gorgeous Self-Tanning Mousse

This self-tanning mousse leaves users skin not only perfectly tanned but 100% streak free. This self-tanner is an idea for both body and face and is enriched with Organic Oils and Extracts such as Argan Oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Elderflower Extract.

Self-Tanner Organic & Natural, 8 oz Face & Body, Medium Bahama Tan Self-Tanning Lotion

Get a beautiful tan without the sun! This lotion is made with natural DHA (from sugar cane), food grade preservatives along with pure, natural and organic ingredients perfectly blended to create a rich, natural looking tan.

Other ingredients include Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Argan Oil and Monoi de Tahiti Oil that deeply moisturize your skin.

This product is maid with no mineral oils, lanolin, parabens, PABA, alcohol, petrochemicals, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, fillers and artificial fragrances.

Organic and Natural Ingredients Sunless Tanning Lotion

Want a sun-kissed glow without spending hours in the sun? The natural self-tanner by Beauty by Earth helps users get a beautiful, healthy tan without exposing their skin to harsh UV rays or potentially dangerous chemicals that are used in other self-tanners.

Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette Classic

These tan towel towelettes are infused with a clear self-tanning formula that works with the proteins and amino acids in the user’s skin to produce a healthy, natural sunless tan in only a few short hours. The high-quality fiber towelettes are pre-measured with tanning solution, and there are no dyes or stains used in this formula.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for Body, Fair
to Medium Skin Tones

Achieving a flawless, sun-kissed glow becomes simply as applying your daily lotion thanks to Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for the body.

With a hydrating blend of ingredients, antioxidants, and Vitamin E, this moisturizer keeps skin moisturized while enhancing your natural skin tone for subtle, streak-free color.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, Leg Makeup

This spray-on makeup gives legs an airbrushed look all while staying fresh and natural looking all day long. This formula is both transfer and water-resistant and comes in a variety of shakes for different skin tones.

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk

This self-tanner is designed to gradually deliver an even, bronzed glow all while softening and nourishing the user’s skin.

Suave Visible Glow Self-Tanning Body Lotion

Suave Visible Glow Self-Tanning Body Lotion For Medium to Tan Skin Tones allows you to enjoy an natural-looking, even tan anytime. This subtle self-tanning formula gradually gives a streak-free experience that gives your skin the right amount of color. This lotion will leave your skin hydrated and moisturized for hours.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Tinted Self-Tanning Body Mist

The Sephora Tinted Self-Tanning Body mist gives users a gorgeous, natural-looking tan effect without streaking-year-round and without exposure to harmful UV rays. This product is enriched with glycerin to moisturize the skin and is tested under dermatological control and is made without Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, GMOs, and Triclosan.

Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner

Tan Physics True-Color Formula 12 is perfectly formulated to provide users with a rich and natural looking tan. Better yet, this self-tanner is formulated with exclusive anti-aging moisturizers that hydrate, replenish, and restore your skin.

Banana Boat Self-Tanning Sunless Lotion
for a Natural Looking Tan

Look summer ready all year long thanks to Banana Boat’s summer color self-tanner. Get golden brown and streak free with this lotion. The self-adjusting color formula allows users to control the shade of their tan.

Fake Bake 5 Minute Mousse Ready To Wear Tan

This ready to wear tan is lightweight and very fast drying, which means fewer changes to the product transferring to clothing or other surfaces. Using three tanning agents – Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) boosted by DMI & Erythrulose – Fake Bake works with your own skin tone to produce a naturally-based darker pigmentation on your skin.

Is Self-Tanning for Everyone?

Is self-tanning for everyone? Technically yes, but also no. Now, that’s not meant to confuse you, but to warn users that just because a product works for one person, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for another.

As with any product, it is important to do your research and make sure you do skin tests before you do a full application. Those with sensitive skin may not want to venture into the self-tanning world because some of the ingredients could cause further irritations.

Woman putting lotion on her legs

Our Final Thoughts on Self-Tanners

So what’s the moral of the story? Yes, self-tanning is a better alternative to traditional baking under the sun, but those who may have sensitive skin should venture forward with caution.

Make sure to use our buyer’s guide and our top 15 list of best self-tanners to help guide your research and take your time finding a product that works for you!

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