The Best Self Tanners (2022 Reviews)

Vanessa Manning
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Whether you want to simply enjoy a little color or want to look like you could spend hours in the sun, there’s nothing more enjoyable than the look of a natural, healthy tan. Many of us attempt to create that natural complexion using self-tanners.

With so many to choose from, however, finding the best self-tanner can be a little bit tricky. You may even find some that make your skin uncomfortably dark!

With so many different self-tanning products out there, it’s important that you become knowledgeable about the more popular ones. To help you find the best self-tanner, I’ve created a list that includes some of the latest products on the market. Synthetic (nano) tanning products have dominated the marketplace mostly because they are safer than the ones containing skins dyes & DHA but they’re also favored because they fade back to your natural color easily.

If you’re interested in more in-depth information about how they work, I’ve provided a thorough explanation of how self tanners work at the bottom.

NameCategoryProduct
Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Sunless Tanning LotionBest OverallJergens Natural Glow 3-Day Sunless Tanning Lotion
Jergens 20937 Natural Glow Instant Sun Body MousseBudget PickJergens 20937 Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse
Tan Physics True Color Sunless TannerUpgrade PickTan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner

1. Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Sunless Tanning Lotion

Our rating: 9 / 10

Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Sunless Tanning Lotion

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Quick and Even Results.

2. Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse

Our rating: 8 / 10

Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse

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Pros:

  • Dries Quickly
  • No self tanning skin smell
  • Protects against UVA/UVB
  • Can be mixed with other self tanners
  • Gives a nice glow
  • Great for face!
  • Very low cost
  • Not orange

Cons:

  • Can leave some shimmer on light-colored clothing or fabrics.

This self tanning mousse from Skinerals is another great option for novices. As its name suggests, it provides a natural-looking tan that will look good and feel natural., and it will blend well with your natural skin tone. It dries quickly. To apply, you’ll want to makeup a tanning mitt and apply the product in sections.

You can apply it together with other products to produce a perfectly tan, dewy look within minutes. It comes out of the tube white, but it quickly darkens to your skin color. It will not stain your clothes. According to customers, you will see results in two to four hours, but the color won’t be quite (or as noticeable) as it is in an hour or two.

3. St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse

Our rating: 8 / 10

St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse

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Pros:

  • Fast Drying
  • Easy to Apply
  • High quality/affordable price
  • Affordable
  • Doesn’t leave behind a scent
  • Color lasts
  • Doesn’t streak or rub off on clothing or towels
  • Versatile (can be used on the face and body)

Cons:

  • Can’t be used on the face
  • Cast can appear orange if not done correctly

St. Tropez self tanner is one of the best selling brands of self tanners on the market today. Their Self tanning express advanced bronzing mousse is a lotion type tanner that will give you deep rich color in as little as one hour. It is a non streaking, non orange color that lasts up to a week.

St. Tropez is a great product that works if you are not accustomed to using self tanners. It has a fresh clean scent and it is easy to apply. It also has a light brown color guide that is color and streak free.

4. Sunless tanning lotion by L'Oreal Paris

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sunless tanning lotion by L'Oreal Paris

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Pros:

  • Medium color
  • Protects your skin
  • Pretty affordable

Cons:

  • Some have a strong smell
  • Some have a greasy feel
  • Only works on light skin

The L’Oreal Paris Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer and Natural Skin Tone Enhancer, Medium Skin Tones has medium to dark tinted lotion that works wonders. It is made for medium to darker complexions, so if your skin tone is lighter you may not see much of a difference. It goes on smooth with a light scent to it and the moisturizing lotion soaks in to your skin nicely.

5. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

Our rating: 8 / 10

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

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Pros:

  • Streak Free
  • Develops in 4 hours
  • Maintains color longer than most tanners

Cons:

  • Need a large bottle to maintain tan
  • Some may have a fragrance associated with it
  • Can be dark if you aren’t careful

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is the gold standard of self tanners and it is by far the most famous bronzing mousse out there. They also have a new liquid body wash self tanning option, but I’ve never tried it.

If you’re looking for a self tanner that can deliver you a beautiful golden glow with results that last more than a few days around the pool or the beach, then this is a great product for you.

The St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is different than other self tanners and requires some jiggering to get the application just right …’but once you’ve dialed it in, it’s probably the best self tanner available.

6. Self Tanner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Self Tanner

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Self Tanner is a fast-acting formula that provides instant color with no orange streaks. It is a great way for beginners to try out self tanning or a great alternative to the traditional sunless tanning lotions that won’t cause damage to your skin.

This self tanning lotion is made with Organic Aloe Vera & Shea Butter to keep your skin soft as it tan. If you are used to other lotions and you are at all concerned about this, you should know that the aloe really does help and it is not a gimmick.

No matter how dark you want to tan, this kit has a variety of options so that anyone can achieve their personal desired shade. It’s also great for building a tan because you can apply it once per day for several days to achieve your preferred level.

7. Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette Classic 10 Count

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette Classic 10 Count

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Pros:

  • Ease of use/application
  • Quick tan
  • No streaking

Cons:

  • Must be protected from the sun with sunscreen
  • Short shelf life

Tan Towel has been around since 1991 and is still the leader in self-tanning technology. Tan Towels are considered the best self-tanning products on the market with micro-pore paper that absorb the tanning solution and give you a natural, streak-free tan.

These easy-to-use towelettes have tangerine and pomegranate seed extracts to help keep your skin looking its absolute best.

Interview questions can be tough to handle, but with some practice you can improve your chances of getting the job by presenting yourself in a way that reflects your expertise in the field.

8. Jergens 20937 Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse

Our rating: 8 / 10

Jergens 20937 Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse

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This Jergens lotion provides 24 hour moisture ‒ it is absorbed deeply into the top layers of the skin for allover hydration. This Jergens tan provides you with sheer sunless tan with no streaks or orange tint. It leaves you with a natural, streak-free, radiant and even toned tan.

It is oil-free and water based, paraben-free, non-greasy formula, that allows you to have a beautiful sunless tan. It doesn’t cause any irritation to your skin.

The Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse offers you lightweight, non greasy sunless tan formula that provides a natural sunless tan.

9. Self Tanner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Self Tanner

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Pros:

  • One of the best value indoor tanning products that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals
  • Has a nice semi-natural tan look
  • Will not leave orange streaks on your skin
  • Good for face and body
  • Natural oils moisturize the skin
  • Creates a long-lasting tan

The Face Tanner from GoodSkin Labs creates a mostly-natural-looking tan that will make your skin look like you spent a few days on a tropical island.

I like this self-tanner because it’s affordable, it’s easy to apply, and it’s one of the best-seller self-tanners on the market.

It has moisturizing ingredients and will not leave your skin feeling dry with a greasy film. This fake tan is non-streaking, natural looking, and easy to apply.

10. Level 2 Medium Self Tanner Organic & Natural

Our rating: 8 / 10

Level 2 Medium Self Tanner Organic & Natural

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Pros:

  • Vegan, Cruelty Free
  • Not tested on animals
  • No DHA
  • Paraben Free
  • No fragrance
  • 100% Safe
  • Made in the USA
  • inorganic and certified organic ingredients

Cons:

  • Color guide WILL stain
  • Doesn’t last very long
  • Doesn’t tone

Bahama Tan's solution is formulated using a blend of tropical ingredients. These include Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Organic Coconut Oil, Babassu Oil, Cocoa Butter, Macadamia Nut Oil, Plumeria, Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, Kukui Nut Oil, Olive Squalane, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Lanolin, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Squalene.

This product is environmentally sustainable and cruelty free. It is paraben-free, fragrance-free, and sulfate-free. The goal was to produce a tanner that could be used on both the face and body and was safe and natural. The tanner is 100% safe, cruelty-free, vegan, and organic with plant-derived organic ingredients.

11. Self Tanner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Self Tanner

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This self-tanner from L'Oreal Paris is a little bit different from most because it uses a serum rather than a cream. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does take a bit longer to dry, so I would recommend applying it at night and letting it set overnight.

It comes in a small bottle that is perfect for travel and easy to open without any mess, which is why it is one of the best self-tanners for legs.

It has an extremely subtle scent, and the color is definitely natural. Just apply it each night to your legs and arms, and you will wake up with a beautiful tan.

12. Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid

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Pros:

  • Flawless looking tan
  • Coconut scented
  • Long lasting
  • Affordable
  • Includes a convenient guide to help you determine your pre spray and post spray levels.

Cons:

  • You can’t get any darker than Golden Medium with this.
  • You have to wait a few hours to shower before or after application of this product.
  • You have to exfoliate your skin at the beginning of the tanning process before you start.
  • It needs to be soaked up by the skin. So if you are using this product be sure to wear loose clothes that will not rub off the tan while wet or damp.
  • It sometimes develops around hairs more than in the hairless spots.

Fake Bake Flawless is great for beginners who want a nice looking tan but aren’t ready to take the risk. It is a technically safe starter tanner that produces a great looking tan without the mistakes you can get with the others on the market.

It’s easy to apply and reactivates with water. It’s easy to tell how much you have applied (because you can’t get much darker than golden medium), and it’s easy to remove.

13. Miami Gorgeous Self Tanning Mousse LaPlaya Glow Instant Self Tanner Bronzing Mousse to Tan Skin Organic Ingredients Best Natural Self Tanner Satisfaction Guarantee 4.2 oz

Our rating: 8 / 10

Miami Gorgeous Self Tanning Mousse LaPlaya Glow Instant Self Tanner Bronzing Mousse to Tan Skin Organic Ingredients Best Natural Self Tanner Satisfaction Guarantee 4.2 oz

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Pros:

  • Tan in 3-6 Hours
  • No DHA or Parabens
  • Mango Seed, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin E
  • Formulated for pale, delicate, and sensitive skin
  • Perfect for all skin types
  • Easy to apply
  • Instant Results
  • Great Value (check current price on Amazon)

Cons:

  • Tan looks streaked
  • Take note that most people don't actually hate it, but they don't like it either. Some people even recommend it to others. It’s just that it breaks a lot of tanning rules.

The Miami Tanning Company makes a hefty and said to be effective self-tanning product that’s also natural ingredients and paraben free.

The Miami Tanning Company’s mousse is among the finer self-tanning products you can find, and it’s very popular because of its amazing smell, natural ingredients, and easy application.

Miami Tanning Company makes an array of luxury self-tanners that all have a unique scent. LaPlaya Glow is the Desert Sunset scent, and it’s a perfect combination of floral and fruity notes.

14. Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner

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Pros:

  • Long-lasting, no-streak tan
  • Doesn’t clog pores
  • Quick and easy application
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Paraben free
  • Made in the USA
  • Develops overnight
  • Mood boosting due to an endorphin rush
  • Has been around since 2011

The Tan Physics Sunless Tanning product is a unique one in that it is made of a unique formula that contains no DHA (Dihydroxyacetone). The only DHA tanning products include tanning lotions, fake tans, and tanning gels. Fake tans use DHA to chemically induce color into the skin. Tan Physics’ product serum is the only sunless tanner that actually uses DHA.

Tan Physics sunless tanning system is a nanotechnology based product, which means that it is non-irritating, fast-absorbing, and uses naturally-derived ingredients.

15. Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Self Tanning Spray

Our rating: 8 / 10

Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Self Tanning Spray

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Pros:

  • Less time needed to develop
  • Can be used by the face and body
  • Light scent
  • Affordable price

The best self tanner for you is the one that matches your natural skin tone. The Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Self Tanning Spray, Medium Dark, 6 oz, is a great choice for just that reason.

It comes in a small, 6 ounce bottle that’s easy to transport with you anywhere. It has a light scent, but can’t be used on your face. It develops pretty quickly, and leaves no streaks if you apply it evenly. It’s also very affordable.

This self tanner will help you develop a darker, natural-looking tan that will look good with any outfit.

16. Sun Laboratories Self Tanning Lotion Ultra Dark Instant Tint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sun Laboratories Self Tanning Lotion Ultra Dark Instant Tint

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Pros:

  • Can be applied on all skin types
  • Leaves you with a natural looking tan
  • Streak free
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • A little messy
  • Might leave you with a blotchy tan
  • Takes longer to achieve the desired result

Sun Laboratories Self Tanning Lotion is one of the best rated sunless tanning products on the market. The ultra dark formula is designed specifically for achieving the darkest possible tan that lasts a very long time. This product contains an instant self-tanner that will leave you with bronze and gorgeous skin.

This product is applied just after showering. You just apply it all over the body, wait for one hour and then shower. It will leave you with a natural looking tan that will last for up to 10 days. It is also pretty affordable and it does provide a great value for the price you pay.

If you are looking for a more affordable option then I recommend this one from Crepe Erase. This brand of self tanning lotion is as good as any other on the market. It is easy to use, it leaves no streaks and best of all it is water resistant.

17. Tanceuticals Self Tanner

Our rating: 7 / 10

Tanceuticals Self Tanner

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Pros:

  • Great smell
  • Applies easily

Cons:

  • Very dark – start with a small amount of product
  • Not safe for very fair skin

This lotion was the only self tanner I could find with a coconut scent. It was hard to find self tanners with a great coconut scent because many of them were significantly more expensive. I’ve tried a lot of self tanners in the past few years and I was pretty sad when I had to switch to Tanceuticals because it was obvious that most of the tanning products I had tried were not health and beauty products but products designed to destroy your skin.

I like the fact that I don’t break out in allergy rashes anymore when I use this self tanner and it puts on a solid sandy color which would be perfect for a base that I could mix with a lotion or oil for my skin.

When you first apply the Tanceuticals Self Tanning Lotion, it seems kind of orange, but it dries very clear. It also doesn’t feel like you have lotion on afterwards. On my mom, who is 60, it gave her a nice glow color and then she could add a little tint with a little Massage oil in a tube.

18. SunFX Summer's Secret Instant Bronzing Spray on Tan

Our rating: 7 / 10

SunFX Summer's Secret Instant Bronzing Spray on Tan

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Pros:

  • Lasts longer than most spray tans
  • Lighter than other tanners
  • Doesn’t transfer to sheets and clothes
  • Affordable price
  • Light smell

Cons:

  • Tan will rub off on clothes/sheets if too much lotion is applied
  • The bronze shade can look orange at times
  • The color fades pretty fast

This self-tanner can give you a noticeable result within a few hours. It’s safe to use on bare skin that hasn’t had any sun exposure for at least two weeks (which makes it look way more natural) and doesn’t leave behind any dark orange cast no matter how you apply it.

It dries pretty quickly, so you don’t have to worry about smudging it all over your floors or making a mess. It’s also affordable and doesn’t have an overpowering perfume like some other tanners.

19. Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive and Uniform Color Towels

Our rating: 7 / 10

Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive and Uniform Color Towels

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Pros:

  • Convenient to use
  • Very affordable
  • Perfect for very fair skin

Cons:

  • Not for medium or dark skin tones
  • Expired after two years
  • Make sure to wash your hands well after applying the towels

(48 Towelettes)

These face/body towels come in packs of 24 which last ages, so if you sometimes bake in the sun at the beach or lie in tanning beds, it’s worth the additional money to buy them over other self-tanners. This product is a great alternative to tanning beds and much safer for your skin.

You simply apply the towels after you shower, and the color should develop in two hours to a few hours. You can help the color along by rubbing the towel gently into the skin.

20. VITA LIBERATA Advanced Organics Fabulous Self-Tanning Tinted Mousse

Our rating: 7 / 10

VITA LIBERATA Advanced Organics Fabulous Self-Tanning Tinted Mousse

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Pros:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Easy-to-apply
  • Smells pleasant
  • Dries quickly
  • Long lasting tan
  • Doesn’t stain your fingers like some do
  • Sweet Orange + Ginger has a lovely smell
  • 100% Vegan, never tested on animals
  • No parabens, sulfates, PEGs or phthalates
  • Certified Organic, produced without chemicals

Cons:

  • There’s an oder… but it’s not that bad … it goes away pretty quickly
  • It’s a little pricey compared to other products out there

Vita Liberata is a company that specializes in providing luxurious and luxurious-feeling beauty products. I’ve tried several of their products and I’m yet to be disappointed.

This luxurious self-tanner leaves my skin feeling soft, hydrated, and velvety smooth. This cruelty-free product is infused with organic and natural ingredients such as Tamanu Seed Oil, Pink Grapefruit juice, Ginger root extract, and more.

21. Kate Somerville 360 Face And Body Self Tanning Towelettes

Our rating: 6 / 10

Kate Somerville 360 Face And Body Self Tanning Towelettes

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • One of the best smelling

Cons:

  • Some directions are a little confusing
  • People who are use to self tanners, might have other opinions

Kate Somerville 360 Face And Body Self Tanning Towelettes are an excellent self tanner.

When I first tried Kate Somerville 360 Face And Body Self Tanning Towelettes, I was surprised how easy it was to use! I applied the tanner to one leg, waited the specified time and did the other leg. There was no color developed after the specified time, so I then applied this products in the morning and went to work. After a 9 hour day at work, there was a lot of color on my legs! I simply washed it off in the shower and I had a nice, natural looking tan! For me this isn’t an everyday self tanner, but it does work well for a special occasion!

I love the smell of this product. It isn’t some overpowering smell and it isn’t intollerable. It simply smells like a typical body/face cream.

22. Neutrogena Micro-Mist Tanning Sunless Spray-5.3 oz

Our rating: 5 / 10

Neutrogena Micro-Mist Tanning Sunless Spray-5.3 oz

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Naturally derived
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Sun-kissed color
  • Great for all skin tones
  • Long-lasting color

23. SugarBaby Golden Glamour Spray on Tan

Our rating: 5 / 10

SugarBaby Golden Glamour Spray on Tan

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Pros:

  • Dries quickly and easily
  • Dark enough color for most skin tones
  • Rinses off in the shower
  • Doesn’t have that gross self-tanner smell
  • Good price
  • No streaking, color looks good
  • The mitt is good quality
  • You only need one application

Cons:

  • Contains some harsh chemicals
  • Some orange coloring may transfer to the bedsheet
  • Made in the U.S.A., including the packaging
  • Not available in stores

It’s difficult to find an affordable self-tanner, but this one is worth the price. It is a great alternative to the St. Moriz tanning mousse at a fraction of the cost. If you are looking for a self-tanner that won’t break the bank, then you’ve found it.

It is one of the best selling self tanners for a reason and has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon. It’s easy to use and gives you a nice, natural-looking tan. It is the best overall self-tanning lotion.

24. Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Lotion

Our rating: 4 / 10

Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Lotion

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Pros:

  • Tanning lotion
  • Works well
  • Very suitable for outdoor activities
  • Natural ingredients
  • Builds a nice tan

Color, GM Collagen & Fruit Acid – 4oz.

25. Infinity Sun Glow On the Go 5oz Mist

Our rating: 4 / 10

Infinity Sun Glow On the Go 5oz Mist

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Pros:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Natural ingredients ensure compatibility with sensitive skin
  • Easy application

The Infinity Sun Glow On the Go 5-oz Glow Tan Mist makes it very easy to apply spray tan. Simply spray it on your skin and then wipe it off to even out the tan. An excellent option for those who don’t want to put their skin through the stress of a full body sunless tan.

Infinity Sun regularly updates the ingredients of their glow products to keep up with the times and respond to customer demand. The spray tan solution is free of common irritants like lanolin, petroleum, mineral oil, and parabens. This product also features a proprietary non-aerosol spray nozzle that helps to keep the solution from inadvertently drying out and clogging.

Infinity Sun’s spray tan solution is available in several shades including Dark, Medium, Medium Dark, Extra Dark, and Light. However, for the best results, it’s best to apply the spray to a tanning mitt and then wipe it all over your body to ensure even application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best self tanner 2022?

Plenty of self tanners can leave you looking like you just jumped out of a leech infested swimming pool, or you could fall victim to one that leaves you looking like you have fallen victim to a leech infested swimming pool!

A great self tanner should:

  • Leaves you looking like a sun-dried California girl
  • Natural looking
  • Easy to apply
  • Easy to remove
  • Long lasting

Here are our favorites for self tan:

  • Tanwise review (best budget product)
  • Da Vinci is the best of the best!
  • Best budget self tanner
  • Tanwise review (best budget tanner)
  • Beach Tan is the cheapest self tanner but best reviewed and most popular in the UK

What is the best self tanner on the market?

The best self tanner is the one that works for your individual skin tone, type, and needs. Read on for a few helpful suggestions you can use to decide which self-tanner is best for you.

Tip: Don’t be fooled by celebrity spokespersons and endorsements. There is no one best self-tanner for all types of skin.

What is the best instant self tanner?

The best instant self tanner is the one that you are going to be happy with. Each of these products has its strengths and weaknesses and it’s up to you to decide which one is the best fit for you.

Conclusion

Based on Amazon reviews, our nominees are Fade Zapper, Natural Skin Fade, Radiance of The Seas, Studio Gear, and Mad Hippie. Next, we tested several of the top self tanners to identify which one might be the best for you. We found that our winner was the Studio Gear Darker by a mile. It smells great, it has a bit of a shimmer to it, it contains no harmful ingredients, and it truly enhanced our skin/tan in a way that the others just couldn’t compete with.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Sunless Tanning LotionBest OverallJergens Natural Glow 3-Day Sunless Tanning Lotion
Jergens 20937 Natural Glow Instant Sun Body MousseBudget PickJergens 20937 Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse
Tan Physics True Color Sunless TannerUpgrade PickTan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner