This is Winging It, where we're helping you master your favorite salon treatments and looks without having to leave the house.

By Erin Lukas
May 07, 2020 @ 2:30 pm
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Forget everything you think you know about self-tanner, including the streaks, Cheeto-colored skin, and stained white sheets.

Sunless tanners have evolved, and now come in multiple forms — from traditional tanning lotions to gradual tan serums — and they're easier than ever to use. Some even offer bonus skincare benefits like extra hydration and gentle exfoliation. 

Whatever self-tanner you choose, you'll end up getting a healthy sun-kissed glow without exposing your skin to damaging UVA/UVB rays

Since finding the right self-tanner can take a ton of trial and error, we've gone ahead and done the work for you. Here, the 10 best self-tanners to use on your face and body for a faux tan that looks unbelievably real. 

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer 


The Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer is known for delivering the most natural glow at a drugstore price point. On top of a realistic fake tan, this scent-free lotion simultaneously hydrates and firms skin. 

To buy: $8;

L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse


If lotions aren't your thing, try a mousse. L'Oréal Paris' self-tanner melts into skin for a streak-free finish and smells like a tropical vacation. Just remember to wait four hours post-application before showering so the color fully develops. 

To buy: $12;

M-61 PowerGlow Peel Gradual Tan


Run one of these pads over your face for a bronze glow, plus a bit of light chemical exfoliation. On top of a realistic tan, glycolic and salicylic acids reduce pore size and improve skin texture and tone.

To buy: $68/30;

Coola Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum


It checks all the boxes off as a good self-tanner (a natural, streak-free glow), but it also offers the same skincare benefits of your favorite anti-aging serum. Plant cells and hyaluronic acid included in the formula keep skin soft, smooth, and firm. 

To buy: $54;

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Foam


This lightweight foam dries down in seconds, which is great if you want to look instantly bronze, but even better because you won't mess it up since it's so easy to apply.  

To buy: $26;

Bali Body Ultra Dark Self Tanning Mousse


Seasoned self-tanners will appreciate this ultra-dark tanning mousse. It's formulated with a color guide to ensure you get even coverage. 

To buy: $31;

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops 


Don't want to give up your favorite moisturizer? Just add in a few drops of this product for a subtle glow. What makes these drops unique is their color-correcting actives that balance our your skin tone. Use the peach to brighten, green to reduce redness, and violet to minimize sallowness. 

To buy: $29;

St.Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist


Further dispelling the argument that face mists are pointless is this self-tanning version from St. Tropez. It's infused with natural tanning agents and refreshing botanical extracts. An added bonus: It has a tropical scent instead of that unpleasant, tell-tale self-tanner smell. 

To buy: $30;

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster


Mix this self-tanning booster to your day or nighttime moisturizer to develop a soft, natural glow. Just don't use this product solo — it's meant to be used with a cream, people!

To buy: $32;

Tan-Luxe The Water Hydrating Self-Tan Water


This color-free tanner looks like a tall glass of water, but it also contains organic tanning actives: vitamins B, C, and E, raspberry seed oil, and aloe vera. It will leave skin unbelievably realistic tan and supremely hydrated.  

To buy: $47;