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Review: Best Self Tanner

While a tan can look healthy and gorgeous, not everyone wants to spend their time baking in the sun or visiting a salon. The sun’s harmful UV rays can damage your skin as well as cause skin cancer and salons are not only expensive but the UV rays are still harmful. With the best self tanner in 2021 you can ensure you have a gorgeous tan without taking any of the risks from exposure to harmful rays.

Detailing the Best Self Tanner of 2021

Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

This tanning lotion is made with safe and organic ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, and green tea extract that combine to give your skin a gorgeous bronze shade without any ill side effects. The lotion is buildable, so you can apply another layer the following day if you would like to have a darker shade of tan. This offers you superb control over the resultant shade and makes the tanner easy to apply. It is a long-lasting tanner that requires reapplication only after four to seven days to maintain the tan. Also, there are zero phthalates, parabens, or any other chemical-based ingredients in this product, making it completely safe for all skin types.

Neutrogena Micro-Mist Self Tanner

Neutrogena's MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tan provides a tan that’s so professional, it’ll look like you've been airbrushed. Releasing formula in an ultra-fine mist, this product helps prevent streaking and produces a more even glow. Its spray tip uses continuous spray technology to prevent your sunless tan from becoming splotchy. Quick to dry, this tanning spray won't leave behind a mess or get all over everything. Made with an oil-free formula, this product is non-comedogenic so your pores are kept open and unclogged.

Tan Physics True Color Sunless Self Tanner

Tan Physics' True Color Sunless Tanner has been endorsed on multiple news sites, and it's no surprise as to why. Made with scent-blocking technology, this product reduces tanning odors while hydrating your skin. This self tanner helps to restore the skin's health while adding flawless color thanks to hydrolyzed collagen and argan oil. Color correcting tints prevent the skin from turning orange, instead giving you a lush, healthy bronze color. In addition to keeping you out of the sun, your skin will feeli soothed thanks to the added aloe vera.

best Dream Tan Bronze Knight Self Tanner

Dream Tan Bronze Knight Self Tanner

Dream Tan's Bronze Knight Tanning Spray offers a lustrous tan without having to spend hours under the sun. Its sunless technology uses a mix of natural ingredients to add color to your skin, including aloe vera gel and jojoba oil to moisturize skin. If purchased from the manufacturer's website, this product also comes with a free mitt for helping even out the product while in use. Quick-drying and long-lasting, this self tanning spray applies easily and fades away naturally over time.

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self Tanner

L'Oreal Paris' Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist is ahead of its time, utilizing advanced spraying technology to help you achieve that perfect airbrushed tan. Its innovative spray head uses 360 degree technology to create a super wide angle application path. Applying as a fine mist, this self tanning spray coats on evenly to lesson your chances of blotchiness or streaking. Drying on the spot, there’s no need to rub in this self-tanner, leaving behind a quick and easy tan that looks light and natural. Available in varying shades, everyone can find a shade that will blend perfectly with their skin tone.

best Sephora Collection Gradual Body Lotion Self Tanner

Sephora Collection Gradual Body Lotion Self Tanner

Sephora Collection's Gradual Self-Tanning Body Lotion offers a natural-looking golden tan with continual use. Along with providing long-lasting color, this product hydrates the skin with its HydroSenn technology. This innovative technology pulls in water and keeps it retained in the skin throughout the day. Made without parabens, sulfates or phthalates, this product is non-greasy on the skin and won't stick to your clothes. This product also contains DHA to help enhance the skin's color and provide a beautifully progressive tan.

Banana Boat Summer Color Self Tanner

Banana Boat knows sun protection and their Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion works well on all skin types. Available in two different shades, this product allows you to adjust the density of your tan's color depending on how many layers you apply. Formulated with aloe vera extract and vitamin E, it helps moisturize the skin while keeping it healthy. Never irritating the skin or clogging pores, its quick-drying formula helps prevent streaking.

Ultra Sun Ultra Dark Lotion Self Tanner

Sun Laboratories' Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion is their most popular sunless tanner. Originally made for professional use, this self tanning lotion provides a natural-looking tan instantly. The product's built-in bronzer enhancement helps users achieve a deep, rich tan that will last for days. This smooth lotion revitalizes and darkens the skin while the pump applicator makes it easy to apply. Streak-free, non-greasy and quick-drying, this product will leave behind a glowing tan that looks like it came from hours spent laying out on the beach.

best Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Bronzing with Vitamin E Self Tanner

Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Bronzing with Vitamin E Self Tanner

Bath & Body Works' True Blue Spa Bronzing Self-Tanning Lotion with Vitamin E provides a luxurious treatment for self tanning treatment at home. This product works best once you've applied moisturizer to the skin, allowing it to massage easily onto your body for a beautiful golden tan. Containing vitamin E, this product improves skin regrowth and keeps it from drying out during application. The glistening formula works quickly, providing a maximum tan color within as little as four hours. Additionally, this product was not tested on animals, providing a clear conscious when purchasing it.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer Lotion Self Tanner

Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is a consumer favorite and easy to find at just about any drugstore. This product is long-lasting and creates a gradual tan that is deep and beautiful. Filled with antioxidants and vitamin E, this self tanner doubles as a moisturizer and skin-repair lotion. This products water-based formula is gentle on the skin and doesn't leave behind a greasy feeling or any unwanted shine. Available in two different shades, this gradual self tanner is great for skin tones that range from fair to dark.

COCOSOLIS Choco Suntan and Body oil

If you are trying to achieve the perfect tan anywhere and anytime, the COCOSOLIS dark tanning lotion is the perfect tanner for you. This tan lotion is a blend of natural vitamins, organic cold-pressed oils, minerals, and antioxidants. All these active ingredients help give you a long-lasting glow and a quick tan. Enjoy the tanning oil in the sunbed or the sun by using it 10 minutes after using the sunscreen. Get the best tanning and skin glow by using this premium quality product from COCOSOLIS and experience a change in your experience.

Fake Bake Fair Gradual Self Tanner

Fake Bake's Fair Self-Tanning Lotion is made specifically for individuals with lighter skin. Made to create a gradual tan over time, this product works well on fair skin, never looking unnatural or too dark. Created with a subtle "show where it goes" cosmetic color, even inexperienced users will find it easy to apply without missing a spot.

Containing both Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and Erythulose, this self tanner safely darkens the melanin cells on the top layer of the skin, making for beautifully blended color. While this product is made to offer a lighter tan, it can be applied in multiple layers for those wanting darker color.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer Pump is a gradual, moisturizing self tanner made for daily use, and infused with vitamin E to help soothe skin. Thanks to its gradual coloring formula, light skinned users can "grow" their tan, allowing them to achieve the exact shade they are hoping to achieve without going too dark. Since it’s filled with antioxidants, this self tanner also promotes healthy skin cell growth. Available in an easy to pump container, this product is simple to use and won't leave behind a mess.

Clinique Self-Sun Body Tinted Lotion

Clinique's Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion comes from a brand that prioritizes skin care. Its advanced formula creates an instant golden glow after only a few hours, making it a wonderful alternative for those who don't have time to use a gradual self tanner. The light to medium formula is perfect for those with fair skin who want to achieve a natural looking glow. This oil-free self tanner won't clog pores and is also non-acnegenic to keep your skin feeling its best.

Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow

Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow

Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow offers a flawless tan without having to deal harmful UV rays. Made with a satiny finish, this product blends perfectly onto the legs. Its golden gel formula uses a well-balanced pH complex that keeps your tan in place for long periods of time while also darkening it in the process. Additionally, this product's formula helps deepen the skin's natural complexion, leaving your tan looking natural and real. Though this self tanner is safe enough to use on the entire body, it truly gives the legs a gorgeous glow that stays put for weeks.

Buyer's Guide

Everybody wants to get a tan. Most people look healthier with brown skin and a sun-kissed glow. Unfortunately, we can’t all live in the south of France or head to the beach every day. If you want a killer tan – and can’t afford to chase the sun all year round – you are going to need to invest in a self-tanning product. But which one is right for you? We have put together some tips to help you select your perfect self-tanner.

What is a self-tanner?

Self-tanners are products that give your skin a desirable, tanned complexion without exposing yourself to potentially dangerous UV rays. Visit any drugstore and you will find self-tanners in the form of lotions, sprays, and ointments, which you apply to your skin at home. Alternatively, you can visit your local salon and pay for a professional spray-on tan treatment.

These self-tanning products contain the additive dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This chemical reacts with the surface layer of our skin and simulates a natural tan that lasts for a few days.

Why do you need a self-tanner?

If you have never used self-tanner in your life, you may not be aware of their various cosmetic and health benefits.

Your skin won’t be harmed

If you are the sort of person who loves a tan, you will almost certainly know your way around a tanning bed. You might even go on multiple holidays a year to keep on top of your glow.

When you use self-tanners, you can achieve your desire look and take care of your skin. UV rays can be dangerous if you do not take the proper precautions. We do not recommend subjecting your body to these rays on a regular basis, as you will accelerate your skin’s aging process and also run the risk of developing skin cancer.

You can catch a tan in less than an hour

One of the biggest positives of self-tanning is the lack of time and effort it takes to achieve the tanned look. If you are a socialite and find yourself needing to look your best for a variety of occasions, you can rest easy knowing your self-tanner is at hand to help make a memorable impression among your friends.

Makes a tanned complexion easy to maintain

As we’ve already discussed, achieving a tan is an arduous and time-consuming task. By utilizing self-tanner products, you can develop and maintain your glow with little effort. As well as the initial self-tanning product, you can also purchase natural tanning extenders and moisturizing body lotions to keep your skin looking brown and healthy.

Things to consider when buying a self-tanner

If you are reading this guide, you’ll probably be itching to pick up your first self-tanner. But before you go rubbing any old lotion into your skin, check out these tips for choosing a self-tanning product that is right for you.

Lotion, Spray, or Mousse

Self-tanners come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and forms. For most people, tanning mousse products are the easiest solution – they are quick to dry and give you a dark complexion. However, they do not last very long when compared to lotions, which are easy-to-use and handy for those who have never used self-tanner before.

If you do not have anybody to help you with your tanning routine, you may also want to consider self-tanning sprays. They give you less control over coverage but help you reach difficult parts of your body.


Most self-tanners are tinted products. This means you can see where you have applied the lotion as soon as it touches your skin. However, some are completely clear, which makes it difficult to achieve an even complexion.


You do not want to smell like the inside of your cosmetics bag, which is why you should consider the scent of a self-tanner before making your purchase. Some self-tanners have strong scents which linger after use. Have a sniff before you buy anything and make sure you enjoy the smell before applying it to yourself.


Self-tanners are notoriously tricky products to wash out of your fabrics. If you have a lot of white outfits, towels, or carpets, staining can become a serious issue. Make sure you look for information on the packaging in regards to transference. That being said, not all products come with stain warnings.


Some self-tanners will stay on your skin longer than others. Regardless, you should not expect to keep your fake tan for more than a few days. If you want a glow that lasts longer, check the packaging – duration information should be available on most sunless tanning products.

Gradual or Instant

Some products take several days to build a natural-looking glow on your skin. Others will turn your brown within a few hours. You should think about how soon you need your tan before buying anything.

Self-tanner price range

Self-tanners, like every other cosmetic product, fluctuate in price. Most self-tanner lotions cost around $10 for a bottle. However, this price can fall to as little as $6.00 and rise to over $100, depending on the brand. That being said, the popular sunless tanning products will cost $20-30 per 8oz bottle.


Are self-tanners safe?

Compared to UV rays and long-term exposure to the sun, self-tanners are a much safer alternative. You may have allergies, which is why you should do a skin test before applying the lotion all over your body. On the whole, you are unlikely to experience many side effects, making this the healthiest way to achieve a tanned complexion.

How do self-tanners work?

Self-tanners contain a chemical known as Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is derived from natural sources such as sugar cane. When the chemical comes into contact with the amino acids on your skin, it creates the color of the artificial tan.

What should I do to prepare for self-tanning?

If you want to get the most out of your self-tanner, exfoliate and shave your skin on the day before you intend to apply the product. This helps you achieve a streak-free finish that will look healthier and last longer.

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