May 7, 2021


Keep Fit & Healthy

The 15 Best Self-Tanners to Give Your Face Its Glow Back

5 min read

If there was ever a time to self-tan, it’s right now so that you can be ready for summer with a nice, healthy glow. But finding the right self-tanner takes a lot of trial and error—especially if you plan to put it on your face. We didn’t dump all of our money into skincare products only to clog our pores with harmful ingredients, right? Here, 15 face tanning products you can trust that are super easy to use and will give you that effortless radiance you’re so ready for.

RELATED: This $14 Cream Cured My Over-Exfoliated Skin in 3 Days

Best Application

Dr. Dennis Gross’ peel pads are popular on their own, but add a little complexion-warming glow and it’s love on a whole new level. This formula sloughs away dead skin cells while delivering a warm, bronzy finish that’s never streaky or patchy.

Buy It ($38)

Best Natural

Prefer something a bit more gradual? This face cream imparts a super subtle yet buildable glow that you can tailor to your own liking. The slow-enhancing tan will allow you a great base for a lighter foundation like tinted moisturizer.

Buy It ($25)

Best Sun Protection

Wearing sunscreen doesn’t have to leave us feeling ghostly all summer. This easy-to-use spray formula has SPF 40 to protect skin from harmful rays, plus vitamin B5 for hydration and buildable, long-lasting color for a faux glow that looks very natural (all without risking sun damage).

Buy It ($38)

Best Buildable Formula

The last thing we need is a longer skincare routine. But these completely customizable drops can be added to any moisturizer, serum or face oil for the level of glow you’re looking for. And don’t worry about streaks—this formula includes Triple Tan Technology, which works with your skin tone to deliver a natural-looking glow that’s never patchy or orange.

Buy It ($49)

Best Organic Formula

Argan oil, hyaluronic acid and plant cell cultures combine forces in this gradual self-tanner for maximum glow and skincare benefits. This hybrid product is getting a lot of love with one reviewer saying, “I am fully hooked on this one! After just using it once (mixed in with my moisturizer), I noticed the beautiful tint it gave to my face. I am so pleasantly surprised, this is my go to when it comes to sunless tanning!”

Buy It ($54)

Best Quick Application

The self-tanner for people who hate applying self-tanner. This bronzing mist goes on like any facial spray for an even, fuss-free glow and tropical-scented pick-me-up. Plus, it even shields skin from free-radical damage.

Buy It ($30)

Best Scentless

Mix these drops with your moisturizer for application to achieve a natural, sunny tan. Available in light, medium and dark and is completely odorless. Remember, the more drops you add, the deeper your tan will be.

Buy It ($20)

Best Natural Color

If you’re concerned about looking like a Cheeto, try these customizable self-tanning drops with color-correcting technology. Each bottle comes packed with skin-loving ingredients and clinically proven invisible pigments to give you the most natural-looking tan possible. Just mix a few drops with your moisturizer, serum or face oil for streak-free results.

Buy It ($29)

Best for Hydration

Like other tanning drops, mix these with your favorite moisturizer and watch your skin go from pale to bronzed. These hydrating drops will be your new summer go-to and leave you feeling and looking radiant.

Buy It ($32)

Best Long-Lasting Formula

This tanning product is great for dry skin as it offers wonderful hydration while leaving a lovely sun kissed tan behind. One reviewer reports, “Very gradual colour, but doesn’t have that piece-y, peeling look as it wears off. Smells like rainbow sorbet, so if you like rainbow sorbet you’re in luck.”

Buy It ($33)

Best Makeup Hybrid

This gel formula will give you a healthy tint with no oily residue. Mix a little bit with your foundation for optimal results. Customers love the duality of this hydrating product and how easy it is to use: “[This] product has become a new regular in my routine as it offers beautiful sun kissed looked and goes on very easily layers over concealer,” mentions one reviewer.

Buy It ($31)

Most Affordable

It’s always a plus when you can find a self-tanning product that is ideal for your face and body. This one is a mist that can be easily spritzed wherever you are looking to glow quickly. After it dries, you can top with your makeup and SPF for a lovely tan that won’t be accompanied by the gross self-tanning smell. You can also add more the next day if you want a more enhanced bronze.

Buy It ($15; $11)

Best Skincare Benefits

That’s right, this serum not only tans, but it also prevents ageing. It can be mixed with your daily moisturizer or applied directly to the skin for a stronger color. The formula contains Matrixyl 3000, which will help your skin produce more collagen and elastin resulting in a more youthful appearance. One reviewer writes, “I absolutely LOVE this product!!! I was able to use it along with my moisturizer and I was left with a beautiful glow. After using it, I’m able to wake up refreshed and go about my day with no makeup, but still have a nice even glow and complexion. Definitely recommend anyone who wants to look bronzed and flawless!”

Buy It ($30)

Best Scented

This tanner is citrus-scented so you can avoid the musky self-tanner smell and have a refreshing aroma for summertime. Throw this cream on before bed and wake up to an illuminating, natural tan. Just make sure to wash your hands after you apply and avoid your eyebrows and hairline. Cream tanners take a try or two to get used to since there is no color guard, but once you get the hang of it, you will be hooked on the results.

Buy It ($37)

Best Feeling Formula

This cream-based product is a great option for your face because it contains hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil—who doesn’t love skincare wrapped into tanning? This Aussie product is designed for a deep but natural bronze that won’t leave you orange-y. “The Fox Tan Rapid Face Tanner is an absolute must purchase repeatedly product! Within using 2 times, my face is already darker than it has ever been (using in a tanning bed). The color is of natural sun, in no way orange or fake-bake looking. The lotion itself is yellow in color and a little bit goes a long way. It has a light decent smell to it. It did not make my face greasy at all. It went on smooth,” one reviewer raves.

Buy It ($15; $11)

RELATED: Your 2021 Shopping Guide to the Best Self Tanner (That Won’t Leave You Orange)

PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow’s editorial and sales departments.

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