15 Best Drugstore Self-Tanners To Achieve A Natural Glow – 2022

Get tanned easily at home without burning a hole in your pocket with the right tools at hand.

By Vaishnavi Kothuri, Certified Skin Care Coach
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If all you’ve ever wanted is a sun-kissed look and a gorgeous, even tan, you don’t have to shell out money and travel to the nearest beach destination. Instead, you can just buy the best drugstore self-tanner and achieve a stunning bronze shade right at the comfort of your home! Self-tanners are an ingenious invention that you can spray or moisturize yourself with to get the tan you need. Moreover, drugstore options allow you to do this without burning a hole in your pocket! Just scroll through our list and get that beach tan all year round without a single ounce of effort.

Top Picks
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Best For Natural Finish:Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse
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Best Streak-Free:L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes
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Best Easy-To-Apply:Neutrogena Micromist Airbrush Sunless Spray
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Best Non-Comedogenic:L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum
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Best Vegan Formula:St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
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Best Transfer-Resistant:Sally Hansen AirBrush Legs Light Glow
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Best Nourishing:Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Daily Moisturizer
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Best Organic:Beauty By Earth Self Tanner
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Best Anti-Aging:Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner Formula 12
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Best Hydrating:Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion
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Best Drugstore Self-Tanners To Achieve A Natural Glow

1. Best For Natural Finish:Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse

When the beach is miles away, and the sun refuses to show its face, this is the tanner you turn to. It instantly creates a natural tan that no one will believe you got from a bottle. It truly is a genie in a bottle as this air mousse works with your skin tone to create a tan that will best suit you. It has a tinted formula to help guide you and is super light and fresh. The color develops within an hour, and the tanner has a pleasant smell to it. It is available in light and deep bronze so you can take your pick. To get a better understanding of the product, you can check out this video on YouTube.

Pros

  • Airy light mousse
  • Color develops in just 60 minutes of applying it

Cons

  • Wash your hands after using it as it pigments your hands

2. Best Streak-Free:L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes

This convenient and easy-to-use tanner is about to become your new best friend! They come as individually wrapped towelettes, which means you can tan while on-the-go. They render a very natural bronze, which does not look like you fake-tanned at all. These towelettes are travel-friendly, and will give you a streak-free tan. Check out the review of this product for more information.

Pros

  • Travel-friendly individually wrapped towelettes
  • Imparts a naturally-tanned look

Cons

  • This product contains alpha hydroxy acid that may increase the sensitivity of your skin to the sun.

3. Best Easy-To-Apply:Neutrogena Micromist Airbrush Sunless Spray

Do you want a professional tan? Then this is the tanning spray you need. This self-tanner gives your skin a professional airbrushed tan. By just spraying this tanner on, you will get a gorgeous glowing tan that is two shades darker than your skin tone. You no longer have to deal with the messiness of rubbing the tanner on and getting it on your hands. The ultra-fine mist gives you even coverage and a gorgeous tan all over your body. It is alcohol-free, comes infused with witch hazel to soothe your skin and is non-comedogenic and will not block up your pores. If you want to know more about the benefits of this product, check out this quick review on YouTube.

Pros

  • Easy hands-free experience
  • Non-comedogenic and soothing to the skin

Cons

  • Has a strong scent

4. Best Non-Comedogenic:L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum

For a long-lasting, smooth, natural-looking tan, this is the serum you turn to. This luxurious golden serum delivers a gorgeous beachy tan that can last for upto two weeks. The serum glides over your skin and dries quickly, leaving it looking perfectly sun-kissed. The serum is lightweight and won’t clog up your pores. This product is excellent value for money.

Pros

  • Gives your skin a streak-free tan
  • Lightweight, long-lasting serum

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

5. Best Vegan Formula:St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse

If you’ve been craving an ultra even tan, then this velvety mousse tanner is what your bathroom cabinet lacks. You can choose how dark you want your tan when using this tanner. It develops in an hour, and the longer you keep it on, the darker it gets. It is made using a vegan-friendly formula and has a mood-boosting fragrance. It is quick-drying, non-sticky, and evenly fades without staining your clothes.

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly formula
  • Mood-boosting fragrance
  • Quick-drying and non-sticky

Cons

  • More expensive than other tanners

6. Best Transfer-Resistant:Sally Hansen AirBrush Legs Light Glow

If you’re looking for a tanner with great coverage, then this is the one for you. It effectively covers freckles, veins, and imperfections. What’s more, it even stimulates microcirculation in the legs for healthier and firmer looking calves and feet. Enriched with Palmaria extract, this tanner gives you an irresistible airbrushed look. With five shades to choose from, picking the right one for you was never easier!

Pros

  • Transfer-resistant and waterproof
  • Great coverage

Cons

  • May need to be touched up after first application

7. Best Nourishing:Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Daily Moisturizer

For balanced tanning and firmer skin, trust this self-tanner. In just 7 days, you will notice that your skin has a natural-looking glow to it. That’s not all; the appearance of your cellulite would have also diminished. It is made from a blend of vitamin E and antioxidants that will help nourish your skin. The collagen and elastin in the product will also impart a smoother look.

Pros

  • Nourishes skin
  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite

Cons

  • Hands must be washed properly after application as it may leave behind some color

8. Best Organic:Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

Welcome perfectly sun-kissed skin by incorporating this tanner into your beauty regimen. It is made from organic and natural ingredients and is vegan-friendly, which means that it is great for your skin and the environment. This tanner contains organic shea butter, coconut oil, and Japanese green tea that will make your skin feel pampered and nourished. With its buildable formula, you can reapply the lotion every other day to get a gradual sun-kissed look.

Pros

  • Organic and natural ingredients
  • The tan is buildable, which means that you can reapply to get the shade you desire
  • Vegan-friendly

Cons

  • The cream is not tinted, so it’s hard to make out where you have applied the product

9. Best Anti-Aging:Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner Formula 12

When you build a tan, it looks more natural, and that’s what you can attain with this self-tanner. It is made from natural ingredients such as citrus and aloe that help develop color and tints. It is formulated with exclusive anti-aging properties that moisturize and replenish your skin. For an authentic tan, this is the tanner you need right now.

Pros

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Moisturizes and hydrates skin

Cons

  • Color doesn’t last long

10. Best Hydrating:Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion

Powered by botanicals, this self-tanner is non-streaking and super hydrating. It has a quick-absorb formula meaning that you will see a gentle tan on your skin in three hours. It is free from parabens and phthalates and is gentle on your skin. If you’re looking to pamper your skin while also tanning it, then this natural tanner is your best bet. With hydrating shea butter, moisturizing almond oil, and safflower oil, your skin is bound to feel nourished and look vibrant.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Free from harmful chemicals

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

11. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

Are you looking for an instant glow? Try this lightweight mousse tanner out. In just 60 seconds, it renders to your skin a gorgeous glow, and in about 4 hours, it develops into a long-lasting tan that lasts upto 10 days. It is made from a vegan-friendly formula that imparts a glowy streak-free tan that will fade evenly.

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly formula
  • Long-lasting tan

Cons

  • Transfers onto clothes

12. Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self-Tan Liquid

This fast-absorbing formulated tanner is just what you need if you’re in a hurry and desperately in need of a tan. While sitting out in the sun eats up time and exposes you to the harmful UV rays, this tropical scented fake tan dries fast and gives you a glowy, sunkissed look in about 4-5 hours. You can either apply it in the morning and go about your day as usual or include it in your nighttime routine and lounge around in bed. It comes with a color guide and professional mitt for easy and hassle-free application.

Pros

  • Comes with a professional mitt
  • Fast-absorbing formula

Cons

  • Strong tropical scent

13. Banana Boat Summer Color Self Tanning

With this tinted lotion, it is summer all year long! This self-tanning lotion contains aloe vera and vitamin E extract, so your skin looks and feels great. It is oil-free and streak-free, so you won’t have to worry about patchy tans. Its Self Adjusting Color colors your skin with a rich and luscious tan. This reef-friendly tanner is used without oxybenzone and octinoxate, and so you’re not harming the environment by using this tanner.

Pros

  • Moisturizes and nourishes skin
  • Streak-free and eco-friendly product

Cons

  • Takes some time for the color to develop

14. L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk

This hydrating tanning lotion will gradually deliver to your skin, a bronzy glow, making it look like you just came back from the tropics. It is formulated with vitamin E that will soften and nourish your skin. It is perfect for first-time self-tanners as it renders a streak-free glow and is easy to spread over the body.

Pros

  • Easy to spread and streak-free
  • Formulated with vitamin E

Cons

  • Delivers a subtle tan

15. Sun Bum Natural Browning Lotion

This self-tanner is one of the best-kept secrets of the beauty world. It renders a fast, deep tan that will leave you looking radiant and sun-kissed. Made from a water-resistant formula that is reef-friendly, this self-tanner is infused with the goodness of aloe vera, Kona coffee plant extract, marula, argan, coconut, and avocado oil.

Pros

  • Infused with the goodness of natural ingredients
  • Reef-friendly

Cons

  • Must be rubbed in thoroughly to avoid brown patches

Nowadays, achieving the perfect, sun-kissed glow is easy with the best drugstore self-tanners. With these products in hand, you don’t have to expose yourself to the sun’s harmful rays to get an exotic tanned look. Quality self-tanners are now available at your local drugstore and online. You can spray or moisturize yourself with these drugstore tanners without burning a hole in your pocket. They don’t have a sticky formula and do not leave your skin streaky or orange. These products will impart a naturally tanned shade that looks like a perfect, sun-kissed glow.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Vaishnavi Kothuri, the author, loves to write about all things related to skin care and reviewing new products in the domain. She conducted thorough research and checked a host of reliable user reviews to help her readers land the best drugstore self-tanners. These products help you get a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow in no time in the comfort of your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do self-tanners last?

Self-tanners typically last anywhere between 5 to 10 days, depending on your skin’s cycle.

Do self-tanners wash off?

If you shower soon after applying a self-tanner, then it will wash off. Most tanners tend to fade in a few days.

Is self-tanner good for your skin?

Yes, skin-friendly formulas that are non-toxic are good for your skin. But, some self-tanners contain DHA, which may make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

How long does self-tanner take to work?

Self-tanners take roughly 6-10 hours to dry and work. The DHA present in them takes time to react on the upper layer of the skin, so it is a slightly lengthy process.

Is there a self-tanner that does not turn you orange?

Yes. The St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse will not turn your complexion orange. Instead, the vegan formula offers a golden brownish even tan.

Do I moisturize before self-tanning?

No, it is best not to moisturize before self tanning. Although moisturization is essential to create a barrier between your skin and the tanning formula, it can lead to uneven application of the tanner. Therefore, apply a moisturizer 24 hours before using a self-tanner. You can also choose a self-tanner with nourishing properties

How to use self-tanner?

•  Follow the pointers given below to use a self tanner for the best results.
•  Exfoliate the skin with a washcloth. Invest more time in exfoliating the elbows and knees.
Let the skin dry completely.
•  Apply the self-tanner in sections. Then, massage the formula in circular motions and spread it evenly.
•  Extend the tanner from your wrist to your hands and from your ankles to your feet for a more natural look.
•  Let the tan dry completely. Wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid staining or rubbing off the tan.
•  Apply a water-resistant sunscreen with high SPF.

How to remove self-tanner?

•  Apart from self-tanner remover mousse, there are other ways to remove self-tanner. These are:
•  Apply baby oil and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a washcloth to wipe away the tan gently.
•  Sugar scrubs of exfoliating mitts are highly effective in removing self-tanner. Rub the exfoliants onto the skin in circular motions to scrape away the tanner.
•  Apply a depilatory cream and let it sit for a few minutes. Rub it off later.
•  Use whitening toothpaste or vinegar for removing tanner from small areas as they can dry out skin if used for larger sections.

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Vaishnavi is a techie-turned-content writer and a certified skin care coach. She did her postgraduation from Vignan Institute of Technology... more

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