13 Best Cruelty-Free Self-Tanners Available In 2021

Written by Baishali Bhattacharya
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When we talk about self-tanning, the market offers a multitude of products like oils, lotions, mousses, and sprays that provide a streak-free application. However, self-tanning can be tricky. So, it is important to pick the right product to get that perfect even shade.

If you are looking particularly for cruelty-free self-tanning products, it can be quite tiresome and time-consuming. So, in the post below, we have created a well-researched list of the best cruelty-free self-tanners that will give you a golden glow. Scroll down for some failproof options!

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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Best For Dark Skin Tones: Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam
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Best Buildable Formula: Beauty By Earth Self Tanner Lotion
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Best Fast-Drying: Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Light Bronze Sunless Tanning Mousse
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Best Reef-Friendly: Sun Bum Browning Lotion
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Best For All Skin Types: Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam
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Best For Face And Body: Skinerals Natural Skin Science Californium Sunless Tanning Mousse
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Best Fragrant: Existing Beauty Bronze Tan Dark Self Tanning Mousse & Moisturizer
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Best For Sensitive Skin: Botanic Tree Organic Cosmetic Self Tanner Lotion
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Best Nourishing: Naturena Organic Skincare Ultra Premium Self Tanning Mousse
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Best Mess-Free: Tanologist Express Tan Self Tan Water
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13 Best Cruelty-Free Self-Tanners

1. Best For Dark Skin Tones: Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam

The Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam is suitable for those who have olive skin tones and prefer a dark glow. The lightweight foam is enriched with aloe vera and coconut that give you a flawless, even finish. The salon-quality formula settles into a bronze shade in just six hours.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera and Coconut

Skin Tone: Dark

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Streak-free
  • No orange tint
  • Easy to use
  • Pleasant scent
  • Vegan
  • Dries fast

Cons

  • Transfers easily

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2. Best Buildable Formula: Beauty By Earth Self Tanner Lotion

The Beauty By Earth Self Tanner is made with nourishing ingredients that are carefully chosen from around the world. It includes organic shea butter, coconut oil, and green tea extract to provide hydration and nourishment to your skin. You can use this tanner in layers to achieve the desired shade. The long-lasting, fast-drying formula hugs your skin seamlessly without any orange tint, streaks, blotches, or dark spots.

Key Ingredients: Shea butter, Coconut oil, and Green tea

Skin Tone: Medium

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Chemical-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • May feel greasy

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3. Best Fast-Drying: Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Light Bronze Sunless Tanning Mousse

The Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Light Bronze Sunless Tanning Mousse has a gentle formula that works with the natural tone of your skin. The light bronze shade is best suited for fair or medium skin tones. It is also available in the deep bronze shade for those who want more intensity in their tan. This cruelty-free self-tanner has a tropical, fruity fragrance that transports you to mystic islands. After application, it takes only 60 seconds to dry.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Dihydroxyacetone, and Decyl glucoside

Skin Tone: Fair to Medium

Pros

  • Fast-drying
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Easy to apply
  • Weightless
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • May be sticky
  • Contains parabens

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4. Best Reef-Friendly: Sun Bum Browning Lotion

The Sun Bum Browning Lotion is formulated with organic ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil, argan oil, aloe vera, and green tea. These ingredients help in balancing the toning process by providing nourishment and moisture to your skin. Apply a little sunscreen before slathering on this browning lotion to keep your skin protected from UV rays. This cruelty-free self-tanner gives you a fast, deep tan without having to spend hours under the sun.

Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, Avocado oil, Argan oil, Aloe vera, and Green tea

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Smells good
  • Vegan
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Tends to transfer

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5. Best For All Skin Types: Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam is developed with a green-gray base to deliver a natural golden glow without giving a touch of orange tone. It uses color-guide technology and delivers a shade that is backed by skin care benefits. The self-tanner is infused with coconut, amino acids, and mandarin oil that provide hydration and firmness to your skin.

The combination of banana, cocoa, and papaya helps to even out skin imperfections and reduce pigmentation. The product also includes the antioxidant-rich mango and fig that help repair the signs of aging. The orange and lotus flowers in the tanner act as catalysts to reduce cellulite.

Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, Mandarin oil, Banana, Cocoa, Papaya, Mango, Fig, Orange, and Lotus flower

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Fast-drying
  • Non-sticky
  • Streak-free
  • Lightweight
  • Transfer-proof
  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

  • May not last long

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6. Best For Face And Body: Skinerals Natural Skin Science Californium Sunless Tanning Mousse

This tanning mouse from Skinerals gives you a healthy, natural glow and stays on for up to seven days. It gives a warm bronze glow that is perfect for people with pale skin. The non-greasy formula is safe for use on the face and the body.

This cruelty-free self-tanner contains aloe vera and glycerin to heal and moisturize your skin. It also contains natural antioxidants like fig, acai berry, etc. that help reduce blemishes and stretch marks. Each bottle can last for up to four to eight applications.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, Acai berry, Indian gooseberry, Glycerin, Fig extract, Goji berry extract, Green tea, and White tea extracts

Skin Tone: Fair

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Aerosol-free
  • Odor-free

Cons

  • Takes time to dry

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7. Best Fragrant: Existing Beauty Bronze Tan Dark Self Tanning Mousse & Moisturizer

The Existing Beauty Bronze Tan Dark Self Tanning Mousse & Moisturizer is enriched with aloe vera, glycerin, and jojoba oil that ensure even and smooth application. The cutting-edge formula is made with color-guide technology that blends seamlessly and without any streaks. The true tanned shade develops after 24 hours of application and lasts up to 5-7 days. This salon-quality formula has a pleasing vanilla scent.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, Glycerin, and Jojoba oil

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • Salon-quality
  • Safe for all ages
  • Long-lasting
  • Fast-drying

Cons

  • Not easy to apply

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8. Best For Sensitive Skin: Botanic Tree Organic Cosmetic Self Tanner Lotion

The Botanic Tree Organic Cosmetic Self Tanner Lotion is powered by natural ingredients to give you a gorgeous and natural-looking tan. It is formulated with shea butter, jojoba oil, apricot, and avocado that help in enhancing the hydration of your skin. It also contains rosemary, passion fruit, and moringa to help nourish and enrich your skin. The non-staining lotion gives a perfect bronze shade and has a gorgeous vanilla scent.

Key Ingredients: Apricot, Grapeseed, Passion fruit, Moringa, Linseed, Coconut, Avocado, Vanilla, Rosemary, Arnica flower, Avocado, and Jojoba oil

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Non-staining
  • Non-greasy
  • Paraben-free
  • Oil-free
  • Chemical-free
  • Suits sensitive skin

Cons

  • Uneven tanning

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9. Best Nourishing: Naturena Organic Skincare Ultra Premium Self Tanning Mousse

The Naturena Organic Skincare Ultra Premium Self Tanning Mousse uses an advanced color complex with the goodness of nourishing oils, such as jojoba, grapeseed, coconut, avocado, and argan, to give you a flawless, sun-kissed tan. The color is visible instantly, but it also deepens for a few hours. This bronzing mousse contains coconut water that boosts the hydration of your skin. It can be used for all skin tones and for any age group.

Key Ingredients: Argan oil, Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil, Coconut oil, and Avocado oil

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Streak-free
  • No orange tone
  • Nice fragrance
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • GMP certified

Cons

  • Faint color
  • Takes time to dry

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10. Best Mess-Free: Tanologist Express Tan Self Tan Water

This unique spray gives you a quick, mess-free tan and a natural glow. The quick application formula allows you to attain a deeper shade as you spray more layers on your skin. The cruelty-free self-tanner is infused with three nourishing fruits – pink grapefruit, goji berry, and juniper – that make your skin soft and supple. The non-clogging formula gives you a streak-free finish without causing any dryness. This product is available in dark, medium, and light shades.

Key Ingredients: Pink grapefruit, Goji berry, and Juniper

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Toxin-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Easy to apply
  • No streaks
  • No smell
  • Vegan
  • Fast-drying
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • May be sticky

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11. Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tan Foaming Water

The Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tan Foaming gives you an iconic golden glow. It contains hyaluronic acid that hydrates your skin and vitamin C that helps in enhancing its radiance. It also contains vitamin E that helps rejuvenate your skin and enhances the beauty of the bronzing effect. The formula dries quickly on your skin and gives effective results in just 6 hours. It can be reapplied after an hour of application to get a deeper shade.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E

Skin Tone: Light and Medium

Pros

  • Fast-drying
  • Fragrance-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Dye-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • May dry your skin

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12. Caribbean Sol Beach Colours Natural Self Tanner

This self-tanner from Caribbean Sol is packed with moisturizing ingredients and natural DHA that help produce a natural-looking tan. It contains shea butter, aloe vera, cucumber, vitamin E, and mandarin oil that moisturize your skin. The squalene in the formula helps reduce the signs of aging.

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, DHA, Shea butter, Squalene oil, Cucumber, Mandarin oil, and Vitamin E

Skin Tone: Fair to Dark

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free

Cons

None

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13. Tanceuticals Color Correct Self Tanning Body Mousse

The Tanceuticals Color Correct Self Tanning Body Mousse gives you a natural tan that blends easily and dries quickly. Once applied, it can last up to seven days. It is formulated with body-loving ingredients like pomegranate, açai berry, and argan oil that help in improving the quality of your skin. The product is infused with a fresh coconut scent.

Key Ingredients: Açai berry, Pomegranate extract, and Argan oil

Skin Tone: All

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Pleasant scent
  • Propylene glycol-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Expensive

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A self-tanning formula can give you a sun-kissed glow without ever have to step out in the sun, preventing damage by the UV rays. However, to get the best benefits, you have to choose the best formula. The following are certain factors to consider before buying a self-tanner.

How To Choose The Best Cruelty-Free Self-Tanner

  • Type: Self-tanners may come in different forms – sprays, lotions, mousses, serums, gels, etc. Depending on your skin type, choose the formula that will complement its needs. For example, lotions and oils are best for people with dry skin. Oil-free mists are good for oily skin. For fast action and to cover the hard-to-reach areas, go for a spray formula.
  • Ingredients: Tanning formulae can often contain toxic elements. Hence, it is essential to take a careful look at the ingredients list to make sure that there are no elements that are drying or pro-aging or may potentially cause allergic reactions, sensitivity, etc. The ones with organic ingredients and moisturizing properties are your best bet.
  • Shade: Depending on your skin tone and the shade you desire to achieve, make sure that you pick the right shade of tanner. You can also get buildable shades if you choose to experiment a little.
  • Cruelty-Free: Always look for the logo of Leaping Bunny or PETA before you buy a cruelty-free product. A product that merely claims to be cruelty-free but does not have any logo is likely to not have met all the conditions required to attain the seal of approval.

All the products in our list above are chosen to give you a natural glow without leaving any streaks. They are formulated with skin-loving ingredients that nourish your skin while imparting a healthy glow to it. If you are comfortable with lotions, go for the Sun Bum Browning Lotion as it gives you a deep tan with moisturizing benefits. For more choices, browse our list and get your best cruelty-free self-tanning product today.

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Baishali has a master’s degree in English and is an associate editor. She specializes in makeup and fashion and reviews products that fall under these categories. Prior to this, she worked with a digital marketing company in Kolkata where she wrote stories on travel, beauty, and home décor. When she is not working, Baishali loves reading and having intense discussions over a cup of tea.