16 Best Instant Self-Tanners Available In 2021

Written by Baishali Bhattacharya
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No time to hit the beach this summer but still want that bronze tone? No problem. Here’s a way you can get that tan without exposing yourself to the harmful UV rays of the sun – self-tanner.

Self-tanners can replicate the beach tan without giving a streaky orange tinge. However, self-tanning can be a bit tricky, and you definitely need the right product to avoid disasters. To make your life easier, we have shortlisted the 16 best instant self-tanners that are reviewed by experts and loved by users. Scroll down and check them out!

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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Best Glow: Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam
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Best Odorless: St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse
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Best Fast-Drying: Jergens Natural Glow Sunless Tanning Mousse
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Best Vegan: B Tan Love At First Tan
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Best 3-in-1: St.Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
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Best Revitalizing: Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion
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Best For Even Application: L'Oreal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Mist
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Best Hydrating: Bronze Tan Self Tanning Mousse 1 Hour Express Dark
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Best Affordable: St. Moriz Professional Self-Tanning Mousse- Dark
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Best Toxin-Free: Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam and Self tanning Mitt Applicator kit
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16 Best Instant Self Tanners Available In 2021

1. Best Glow: Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

The Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is enriched with aloe vera and coconut oil that nourish the skin and impart a natural scent. It is suitable for people with olive skin tones who prefer a darker glow. This lightweight tanning foam will give you the sun-kissed tan of Bondi beach and make your skin glow.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to apply
  • Long-lasting
  • Pleasant coconut scent
  • Streak-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

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2. Best Odorless: St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

If you are looking for a natural tan, the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse is your best bet. It is a golden-colored tanning mousse that is streak-free and blends seamlessly with your skin tone. It works well for first-time tan users and gives your skin the glow and the tone you would love. This instant self-tanner is lightweight, non-sticky, and lasts up to 10 days. The formula is odorless and does not stain your hands or clothes.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Non-sticky
  • Lightweight
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Vegan
  • Odorless

Cons

  • Expensive

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3. Best Fast-Drying: Jergens Natural Glow Sunless Tanning Mousse

What do you do if you have to go for one of those impromptu parties and you have only a few minutes to get ready? The Jergens Natural Glow Sunless Tanning Mousse is your bae! It gives you bronze skin tone in just 60 seconds.

Although the color appears immediately, it lasts for a few days and peaks at 24 hours. Simply pump it on your hand and apply it evenly to your face and body to achieve flawless, glowing skin. If you want a darker tone, use it again the next day. Apply a moisturizer daily to maintain the glow.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Pleasant tropical fragrance
  • Streak-free
  • Fast-drying
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Fades after a shower

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4. Best Vegan: B Tan Love At First Tan

The B Tan Love At First Tan has a dark violet base that knocks off the orange tinge and gives your skin a dark glow. It is perfect for first-time tanners. It settles on your skin with a natural finish and without any nasty artificial tan odor. You can even get a darker shade of tan if you leave it on for 4+ hours. It is the perfect way to look outdoorsy without stepping out in the sun.

Pros

  • Fast-drying
  • Odorless
  • Streak-free
  • No orange tinge
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Might make the skin dry

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5. Best 3-in-1: St.Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse

The St.Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse has a 3-in-1 formula that can control the intensity of your tan. If you leave it on for 1 hour, you get a light tan; for 2 hours, you get a medium tan; and for 3 hours, you a get glorious dark tan. The product gives a natural-looking, streak-free finish that is also long-lasting. It also enhances skin hydration and acts as a good moisturizer.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Quick-drying
  • 3-in-one formula
  • Non-sticky
  • Pleasing fragrance
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Expensive

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6. Best Revitalizing: Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion

The Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion provides the best tan with its natural blend of ingredients. It enhances your skin’s elasticity, making it look and feel smooth and flawless. The formula contains vitamin C, vitamin E, and aloe vera that nourish and protect your skin. This product blends easily into the skin and is streak-free. You will get the desired sun-kissed, tanned look as early as 3 hours after application.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • No foul odor
  • Paraben-free
  • Streak-free

Cons

  • Watery consistency

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7. Best For Even Application: L’Oreal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Mist

The L’Oreal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Mist is formulated with vitamin E and gentle alpha hydroxy acid that smoothen the skin and provides a natural-looking tan. You will see your skin achieving a darker tone within one hour of applying it. The angled spray applicator makes it easy to spray on the hard-to-reach areas. If you want to achieve darker shades, continue using the product daily until you get the desired shade.

Pros

  • Even application
  • Streak-free
  • Quick-drying
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Might stain your sheets

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8. Best Hydrating: Bronze Tan Self Tanning Mousse 1 Hour Express Dark

This self-tanning mousse gives you gorgeous bronze-toned skin without the risk of sunspots, wrinkles, or sunburns. It is formulated with natural ingredients that hydrate and moisturize your skin, making it beautiful and glowing. You can keep it on for 30 minutes to 2 hours to get the desired tan shade. The tan initially fades after a shower but darkens and settles into its true shade the next day and lasts up to 5 to 6 days. The formula is infused with vanilla extract that makes your skin fragrant and gives it a refreshing feel.

Pros

  • Delicious scent
  • Easy to use
  • Fast-drying
  • Easy to blend
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Fades splotchy

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9. Best Affordable: St. Moriz Professional Self-Tanning Mousse- Dark

The St. Moriz Professional Self-Tanning Mousse is formulated with olive milk and vitamin E that moisturize the skin, giving it a luxurious and luminous finish. It provides instant bronzed complexion in about 4 to 6 hours, which could last for days. It is suitable for people who want to get a deep tan. This easy-to-use golden mousse blends seamlessly on your skin without any streaks or orange tint.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to apply
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Streak-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Might stain the sheets

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10. Best Toxin-Free: Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam and Self tanning Mitt Applicator kit

The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam is an anti-aging, anti-cellulite, self-tanning foam that hydrates the skin and makes it firm. It has a green-gray base that gives you a golden tan without any orange tinge.

This foam comes in three shades – medium that is a subtle glow, dark, also known as vacay bronze, and ultra-dark, a deep rich tan. It is enriched with the goodness of coconuts that hydrate the skin. Ingredients like mango, cocoa, and fig are powerful antioxidants that protect the skin from UV damage. The tropical mango and guava fragrance refreshes your senses.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good fragrance
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Toxin-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Not for sensitive skin

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11. Miami Gorgeous LaPlaya Glow Self Tanning Mousse

The Miami Gorgeous LaPlaya Glow Self Tanning Mousse gives you a Brazilian goddess glow without an orange tinge. It is infused with argan oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and olive oil that help you achieve a natural, streak-free tan color. The elderflower extract in the formula provides nourishment and makes the skin smooth. The mousse is also infused with vitamins A, C, D, and E that fight free radicals and prevent skin damage.

Pros

  • Odorless
  • Streak-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Might stain hands and sheets

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12. Botanic Tree Self Tanner

The Botanic Tree Self Tanner has a plant-based, organic composition that makes it a safe way to get a bronze complexion without going out in the sun and being exposed to its UV rays. It gives you a natural-looking tan without the orange tinge. This streak-free lotion is fast-absorbing and stain-free. It is infused with shea butter and fruit extracts that hydrate, nourish, refresh, and rejuvenate your skin.

Pros

  • 100% organic
  • Streak-free
  • Non-toxic
  • Quick-drying
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Thick consistency

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13. Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Self-Tanner

The Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Self-Tanner has a 360-degree nozzle that makes it easy to apply it even in the hard-to-reach areas. It develops the final tan shade in just 3 to 5 hours. This instant self-tanner has a pleasing fragrance.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Dries quickly
  • No orange streaks

Cons

  • Might stain the sheets

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14. Norvell Venetian Self-Tanning Mousse

The Norvell Venetian Self-Tanning Mousse is lightweight, can produce instant tan, and last for a long time. With a blend of brown and violet bronzers, it replicates the skin colors found on the beaches of the European Riviera. Its innovative formula produces a deeper, darker shade without an orange tinge. It is infused with botanical and essential extracts that fight aging and hydrate, soothe, and protect the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • No orange streak

Cons

  • Sticky

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15. St. Moriz Professional Self-Tanning Mousse and Applicator Mitt Set – Medium

The St. Moriz Professional Self-Tanning Mousse moisturizes the skin, giving it a luxurious, luminous finish. It is enriched with vitamin E and olive milk that produce a streak-free, long-lasting golden tan. The velvety applicator mitt in the pack ensures an even, streak-free application of the mousse. It is made of soft material and feels great on the skin. It is also machine washable and reusable.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Salon-tested
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Lightweight
  • Suits all skin types
  • Value for money
  • Dries fast
  • Streak-free

Cons

  • Clumps while applying

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16. Tanceuticals CC Self Tanning Body Mousse – Dark

The Tanceuticals CC Self Tanning Body Mousse offers a gorgeous, natural-looking, streak-free tan without exposure to the sun or tanning beds. It is enriched with organic and healthy cosmeceuticals – like argan oil, pomegranate, and acai berry – that improve the skin’s quality by providing moisturization and nourishment. The scent of coconut oil knocks off the tanner smell and makes tanning a pleasing experience. The effect of this tanning mousse lasts for 6 to 7 days.

Pros

  • Organic
  • Long-lasting
  • Non-sticky
  • Pleasant coconut scent
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

None

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While most of these products come with a set of instructions on how to use them, it is advisable to know the basic steps involved in using an instant self-tanner to save yourself from a tan blunder.

How To Use An Instant Self-Tanner

  • Exfoliation: This is the first step in self-tanning. Use an exfoliant of good quality to remove the dead cells. Pay special attention to the elbows, knees, ankles, and feet, where the skin is thick.
  • Drying: Make sure your skin is dry before the application of the tanner so that it spreads evenly. Use it before moisturizing your skin.
  • Use Hand/Applicator Mitt: Use your hands or an applicator mitt (to prevent staining your hands) to spread the tanning formula evenly by massaging in a circular motion.
  • Wash Your Hands: If you have used your hands, wash them immediately after application to avoid orange stains.
  • Wait: Wait for the self-tanning product to dry before you put on your clothes. Avoid getting wet or sweating for the next 3 hours until the tan stabilizes.
  • Sunscreen And Moisturizer: Protect your skin with sunscreen and moisturize it regularly to maintain the tan.

A good tan goes a long way. You might know the best brands and how to use the product, but choosing the perfect product that is meant for your skin is another task. Scroll down to the next section for pointers.

How To Choose The Best Instant Tanners

Here are some factors you should consider before you invest in an instant self-tanner:

  • Type: Instant self-tanners come in the form of lotions, mousses, mists, serums, oils, gels, etc. If you have dry skin, lotions and oils would be the best option. Mousses also work well, but they don’t last long. Mist sprays are convenient for tanning the hard-to-reach areas.
  • Ingredients: Many tanners use chemical ingredients. Thankfully, most of the brands we have mentioned above use organic ingredients that are sulfate- and phthalate-free. Go through the ingredients list and pick the one that is safest for your skin. Also, look for one with an inbuilt moisturizer or an anti-aging formula that will add vigor to your skin.
  • Shade: Self-tanners are primarily meant for light skin tones. If you already have a dark skin tone, look for a dark or an ultra-dark option.
  • Reviews: Go through the reviews written by people who have already used the product. That should help you rule out sticky, streaky picks.

As per dermatologists, too much exposure to sun rays could damage your skin and accelerate aging. Hence, it would be a safer option to get a self-tanner and prevent your exposure to harmful radiation. Most of the products mentioned above are organic, plant-based, and healthy for your skin. Several of them also provide instant, long-lasting tan and nourishment, leaving your skin flawless and glowing. Choose any of them and be comfortable in your own skin, just a few shades darker!

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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.