Best Self Tanners – Top Sunless Tanning Lotions Reviewed

self tanningIf you’re tired of the bronzers and the foundation and you can’t make up your mind on which is the best self tanner for yourself, you need a tanning product that will leave you with that bronzy glow with little effort, and without any sun damage.

No more of rather finicky self-tanners from the past, the ones that call for a high level of maintenance, including proper exfoliation before application to avoid the pesky streaks and the rub off on your clothes and sheets. It’s time for a switch up.

Thanks to the changes in the design and the ingredients, you can now access the best self tanning products that work instantaneously, making your friends green with envy. And thanks to these self-tanners, you don’t have to take a trip to a tropical beach to bake under the sun’s harmful UV rays.

There are numerous self tanners in the form of face mists, towelettes, lotions, and mousses which means that your search for the right product will not be as easy as buying the first one you see.

Sunless tanning lotions are great, but as someone who’s been transformed into a streaky orange version of yourself, albeit accidentally, you will agree with me that the search for the right product involves quite a bit of trial and error at its riskiest.

This risk comes from the active ingredient in self tanniners, DHA. DHA is a type of sugar that darkens the skin safely. It’s FDA approved, but the problem with DHA is that it’s hard to stabilize, hence the risk of the tangerine tint. So it should be made with stabilized DHA.

The self tanners I review below are, however, some of the best on the market. They’re made of standout formulas, and promise a natural tan.

Why use sunless self tanning lotions

For a long time, men and women have looked for the best tanning products, and the search is ongoing. But with research by dermatologists and pharmaceuticals, it’s clear that we’re getting closer to perfection thanks to the sunless self-tanning lotions.

With a sunless tanner, you don’t have to bake under the sun and come out with sunspots and sunburns. You end up reducing your risk of skin cancer too. And if you have to bask, you have to invest in quality sunscreens which is not cheap

There’s also the fact that tanning beds are considered dangerous. Tanning beds are associated with melanomas, which are the most aggressive skin cancers.

They can also cause premature aging of the skin, especially if you don’t use tanning bed lotions; and the experts note that there are no real health benefits associated with the use of tanning beds.

Contrary to popular belief, tanning bed will not help you deal with psoriasis or even eczema. Since these two skin conditions result from inflammations in the body, phototherapy is the safer treatment option.

Looking at these negative effects, it’s clear that the use of the sunless tanning lotions is one of the best moves you could make.

Reviews of The Best Sunless Tanning Lotions

1. Beauty by Earth Self Tanner with Organic & Natural Ingredients

Say hello to the perfect tan with this self tanner from Beauty by Earth. This product promises the perfect sun-kissed look, and with over 3500 reviews, it’s clear that this sunless tanning lotion actually gets the work done.

You might also like it because its production takes place in cruelty-free conditions. Also, it’s never been tested on animals, and it’s made of all-natural ingredients.

Some of these natural ingredients include organic Japanese green tea extracts, organic shea butter, as well as organic coconut oil. These ingredients have been chosen carefully, they are of the highest quality, and they provide adequate nourishing for the skin. These ingredients are also the reason for the streak-free tan.

Besides being all natural, it’s highly recommended because it’s one of the few sun tanning products that give off the perfect tan, without causing sun damage.

By getting a beautiful tan without having to soak up under the sun, you protect your skin from premature aging, a common side effect of overexposure to the sun and its harmful UV rays. The use of the sunless tanning lotion also lowers your risk of skin cancer.

You might also like this self-tanner because it’s ideal for all skin types.

This lotion is also free of phthalates, parabens, and all the other chemicals that invade the skin. In place of these harmful ingredients are powerful and protective non-nano-minerals which offer skin-deep protection.

  • It works on all skin types
  • It has a nice subtle scent of vanilla and coconut
  • Its ingredients are all-natural and nourishing to the skin
  • It doesn’t cause breakouts, even on sensitive skin
  • It’s a bit too thick, and it doesn’t spread as easily. You might have to blend it with oil for good and even infusion


2. Skinerals Self Tanner Sunless Bronzer

If you’ve joined the all-natural bandwagon and are looking for the best beauty products made from all-natural and organic products, Skinerals Self Tanner Sunless Bronzer is exactly what you need.

It’s a recommended product from top-rated dermatologists. This bronzer is 100% vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and also paraben-free. It’s made in the USA.

Thanks to its natural ingredients, you expect this tanner to rejuvenate and protect your skin.

  • Easy to use
  • Works on all skin types
  • It’s made from safe, natural ingredients
  • No staining
  • Sweet apple scent
  • It’s gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and free of parabens
  • A bit of a reddish / pinkish rub off


3. Fake Bake Flawless Self Tan Liquid

Don’t let the name fool you – Fake Bake Flawless Self Tan Liquid is, in fact, one of the best self-tanners on the market.

And the best part, besides working well, is that you can choose to apply it before bed, or before your shower in the morning and it will leave you with that beautiful natural, and flawless glow.

It works on all skin tones thanks to its design with unique ingredients which make sure that the tanner blends well with your skin’s pigment. The tanner is also made with a built-in color guiding system, which ensures a streak-free application.

The other reason why Fake Bake is one of the best is that it isn’t a lotion. Without the moisturizer, this tanner dries up quickly. The moisturizer in the lotion is the reason why the self-tanning lotions take significantly longer to dry up.

Thanks to its unique, patented formulation, you should expect a perfect tan in 4-6 hours.

One of the ingredients in this product is Erythrulose which, together with DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) and DMI deliver that soft, natural-looking and long-lasting tan. These ingredients ensure that you get that bronze tan, every time.

  • It doesn’t leave a bad odor, streaks, or stains
  • Free of parabens, as well as DHDM hydrantoin, meaning that it’s one of the safest
  • Works on all skin types
  • Lasts long (up to a week) and the tan forms evenly
  • Soaks easily
  • There are fakes on the market
  • It doesn’t look good on the face


4. St. TROPEZ Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

If you’re looking for the highest quality, super lightweight, and streak-free self-tanning sunless formula, you might want to try St. TROPEZ Self Tan Bronzing Mousse.

It’s one of the best self tanners, and it’s highly recommended because of its ease of application and the fact that it dries up in only 60 seconds, leaving you with that rich bronze glow you’ve always wanted.

This bronzing mousse gives off a natural-looking glow and no self-tan smell.

The other attractive element of this tanner is that it comes in a travel-size bottle, meaning you can take it with you on your next trip, without worrying that it exceeds the airport standards.

  • Easy to apply
  • No streaks
  • Made of safe ingredients
  • Best for people with a rather fair complexion
  • It has warm undertones and no orange streaks
  • Slight off smell


5. Sun Laboratories Tan Overnight Self Tanning Lotion

You don’t always find self tanners that have been well-formulated to protect your skin, besides giving off the perfect tan, and this is one of the good ones. It is an amazing blend of natural ingredients that promise to nourish, hydrate, revitalize, and boost the skin’s elasticity while giving you a wondrous sunless tan.

It’s paraben free and safe from the harmful chemical-based ingredients. As a sunless tanner, you don’t have to spend hours under the scorching UV-radiating sun. Therefore, you get to feel good and look great without having to worry about exposure to the unforgiving sun.

It’s easy to use, and it dries pretty fast, which is why this is the best overnight self tanner. When using it, you might want to apply some lotion on the knuckles, knees, and elbows because these areas absorb more of the tanner, becoming darker than the rest of the body. The body lotion will ensure even tanning.

Keep in mind that you can avoid steaking by applying the tanning lotion in a circular motion.

  • The tan will last a few days
  • It dries up pretty fast
  • Medium strength self-tanner
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Free of parabens
  • It doesn’t have the best scent


6. Bahama Tan Level 2 Medium Self Tanner Organic & Natural

This sunless self tanner is the best smelling one on the market, and if you’re looking to smell good and look even better with a natural tan, you might want to try this product.

It’s free of that chemical smell common with self-tanners, and it’s made of natural ingredients that not only nourish but also protect the skin. Some of these natural ingredients include coconut oil, shea butter, Monoi de Tahiti oil, as well as the deep moisturizing argan oil. It’s also made of the Eco Cert-approved DHA as well as food-grade preservatives.

Bahama Tan doesn’t cause blotches or orange streaks, and it’s not made of toxic chemicals like parabens. Its non-toxicity is also seen from the fact that it is free of components like lanolin, mineral oils, PABA, petrochemicals, alcohol, or sodium lauryl sulfate. It’s also free of formaldehyde, propylene glycol, toxic chemicals, butylene glycol, artificial fragrances, or fillers.

Application is effortless, and the best part is that the tan lasts up to 4 days, or even longer in some cases.

  • You can use it for the whole body
  • Expect a tan in 6-8 hours
  • No streaking or blotches
  • Its applications is effortless
  • It will moisturize and hydrate the skin
  • It works on different skin tones
  • Made of natural, organic, and safe ingredients
  • It gives a level 2 medium tan
  • Beautiful scent
  • Best for sensitive skin
  • The tanning time is longer than what you’d get from other brands


7. Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner

Wouldn’t you like a sunless self-tanner that tans and nourishes your skin, leaving you with a gorgeous and flawless skin with the most authentic natural look and feel? Well, you can finally get it thanks to this tanning product by Tan Physics.

It’s designed to hydrate and replenish the skin while also protecting it. All this is possible, thanks to its all-natural formulation.

You might also like this tanner because of its formulation with anti-aging moisturizers which leave your skin hydrated and replenished, restoring the skin’s health.

  • It’s a two-in-one formulation for tanning and anti-aging
  • Made of natural ingredients
  • Even tanning
  • The tan stays on after your shower
  • Easy application
  • It doesn’t work for everyone, and some people report that it causes streaks


8. Tanceuticals Self Tanner – CC Self-Tanning Lotion

If you’re looking for a self-tanner that will last more than a few days, check out the Tanceuticals Self Tanner that works well for the whole body.

Besides its long-lasting formulation, the other reason why you might like it is that it’s made using natural ingredients in cruelty-free conditions. It’s also free of artificial coloring, and you might like that it’s enriched with vitamin E, as well as acai berry and mango butter. These ingredients will enhance the appearance and the quality of your skin.

Also, it doesn’t cause streaking, and it leaves you with a natural glow. You also don’t have to worry about the staining of sheets.

The other reason why this tanner is top ranked has to do with the fact that it’s infused with a fresh coconut scent which eliminates the chemical odor common with self-tanners and fake tans.

  • Free of mineral oils and parabens
  • Cruelty-free certified
  • Made with healthy, nourishing ingredients
  • Easy to use
  • Works well for both men and women
  • Smells great
  • It only lasts 2-3 days


9. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse

This summer, you need to invest in a good quality self-tanner, the kind that gives you a flawless and a natural looking tan. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse could be exactly what you need.

Formulated with an advanced color complex solution, the tanning mousse will work with your unique skin tone, even mimicking the tan you’d get from the sun.

It’s easy to apply, and since it’s tinted, you can see the areas you’ve applied. The tan dries up in only 60 seconds. The color will also develop instantly, deepening with time.

It has a light, refreshing scent; and it’s ideal for light and deep bronze tones.

  • Available in deep and light bronze
  • Easy to use
  • It revitalizes, moisturizes, nourishes and illuminates the skin, restoring its natural beauty
  • Works well on different skin tones
  • Great tan
  • You should exfoliate the skin first
  • It doesn’t dry instantly, and you will be sticky for a while


10. Famous Dave’s Self Tanner

Famous Dave’s self tanner offers the best tanning effects while enhancing the appearance and the health of your skin.

It comes with a myriad of beneficial ingredients such as organic argan oil, CoEnzyme Q10, hyaluronan, organic aloe barbadensis gel, jojoba oil, and sesame oil. This product is formulated in an FDA-certified facility. You might also like this product because it’s smooth and creamy and medium to dark.

The ingredients in this self-tanner are moisturizing, and they promise to enhance your skin’s health. These ingredients, particularly CoEnzyme Q10 and hyaluronan offer anti-aging benefits, and they also enhance your skin’s texture. CoEnzyme Q10 offers the skin antioxidant protection in the lipids that form part of the cell membrane. There is also Matrixyl 3000, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving you back that youthful look.

Hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid is also important as it offers tissue hydration, tissue hydration, and overall healthy cellular function. Unlike other potentially hydrating formulas, hyaluronic acid holds more water, which is why its use makes this an amazing product when it comes to skin care.

It’s also free of parabens and other harmful chemicals.

You might also like it because this creamy lotion is quite easy to use and distribute on the skin evenly. This product is easily one of the best self tanners for sensitive skin.

  • It offers immense moisturizing and hydrating effects to enhance and protect your skin’s health.
  • It’s creamy and easy to use
  • Made of high quality, natural and organic ingredients
  • The ingredients fight premature aging seen as fine lines or wrinkles
  • No streaks
  • Works well on all skins, but it’s better on older skin
  • Free of carcinogens, parabens, and sulfates
  • It doesn’t have the best scents, but it’s tolerable since it fades within an hour of application.

Things to keep in mind before self tanning:

  • Before you apply the self tanning lotion, consider taking a shower. You should only apply the tanning lotion on clean skin.
  • You also need to make sure that your skin is a little wet. The areas of your skin that are too dry will have a darker tan because the tan penetrates deeper in these areas.
  • Shave beforehand because shaving after applying the tan could take it off.
  • Towel-dry your skin, then apply a lightweight moisturizer. Focus on the driest parts of your skin like the ankles, knees, and elbows.
  • Use a mitt when applying the tanning lotion, starting from your feet, going up.
  • Ventilation is crucial, and you should always self-tan in a room with proper ventilation
  • If you choose to use a spray instead of a lotion, please protect your mouth and nose
  • Follow the instructions on the package.


The best sunless self-tanning lotion is acts fast, lasts long, and it also promotes your skin’s health.

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