7 Best Self Tanners For Beginners That Give Your Perfect, Streak-Free Glow

If you have never done self-tanning before, these products are the best to start with.

Reviewed by Whitney Rae Alexander, Professional Makeup Artist Whitney Rae Alexander Whitney Rae AlexanderProfessional Makeup Artist facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English) Baishali Bhattacharya MA (English) linkedin_icon
Edited by , MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijita De MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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A self-tanner is a specially formulated cosmetic product that can provide a sun-kissed glow with even coverage, without needing you to go out into the sun. Self-tanners also come with certain SPF values, and the best self-tanner for beginners should cover your skin surface with a bronze color. You can use these tanning agents from the comfort of your home without having to spend your time and money at a salon.

If you are a rookie and looking for the best self-tanner, you are at the correct place. Here, we have compiled a list of the 7 ideal self-tanners that can be used smoothly to achieve a statement-making, sun-kissed appearance. Check them out below!

Top Picks
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Best Overall:Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Lotion
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Best Hydrating Formula:Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer – Fair To Medium Skin Tones
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Best Fast-Absorbing:Botanic Tree Self Tanner
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Best For Sensitive Skin:Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion – Dark
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Best Gluten-Free:Miami Gorgeous LaPlaya Glow Self Tanning Mousse
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Best Lightweight:Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam – Dark
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Best Non-Sticky:Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam – Medium
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7 Best Long Lasting Self Tanners For Beginners

1. Best Overall:Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Lotion

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Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Lotion Image: Golden Star Beauty

Indulge in a luxurious golden bronze tan with this self-tanner lotion by Golden Star Beauty! The non-sticky formula features a blend of lush organic oils like argan oil, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil, which soothes and nourishes your skin. Besides, intense hydrating agents like hyaluronic acid and organic aloe vera moisturize, prevent early signs of aging, and soothe redness and inflammation. Unlike regular tanners, this tanning lotion does not clog your pores nor leaves an orangish tint on your skin. Plus, the buildable tanning cream absorbs quickly without staining your clothes for streak-free results. Reviewers love the reusable soft tanning mitt that is provided with this lotion for precise application.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.77 x 1.77 x 7.28 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces.

Pros
  •  Easy to use
  •  Non-sticky formula
  •  Lightweight
  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  Hydrating formula
  •  Transfer-proof
  •  Quick drying
  •  Comes with free tanning mitt

Cons
  •  Overpowering smell

2. Best Hydrating Formula:Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer – Fair To Medium Skin Tones

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Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer Image: Jergens
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Achieve a natural-looking and flawless glow with this daily tanning moisturizer by Jergens! The formula delivers light bronze pigments, which gradually enhance and deepen to provide a streak-free color. It is infused with elastin, collagen, and green tea that miraculously reduces the appearance of cellulite within seven days. Antioxidants and coconut water boost hydration while leaving behind a light and sweet scent, making it good for all skin types.

Skin Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.1 x 7.8 inches | Weight: 7.5 Ounces

Pros
  •  Streak-free application
  •  Hydrating formula
  •  Smooth look
  •  Reduces cellulite
  •  Natural-looking color
  •  Hides scars
  •  Smells good
  •  Easy to apply
  •  Transfer-proof
  •  Dermatologist-tested
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Refreshing fragrance

Cons

None

3. Best Fast-Absorbing:Botanic Tree Self Tanner

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Get salon-like results at the comfort of your home with this amazing plant-based self-tanner by Botanic Tree! The organic tanning lotion gives you a beautiful, bronzed complexion without turning orange. Its quick-absorbing formula does not stain your clothes or leave dark spots on your towels and sheets. The formula is infused with rosemary, grapeseed, and passion fruit extract to soothe inflammation and redness. Linseed and moringa help fade wrinkles and fine lines while adding glow to your face. Plus, the richness of shea butter adds a dose of hydration to your skin.

Skin Type: All, Combination | Product Dimensions: 2 x 3 x 6.8 inches | Weight: 6 Ounces

Pros
  •  Hydrating formula
  •  Less curing time
  •  Even application
  •  Transfer-proof
  •  Tames irritation
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Vegan
  •  SLS-free

Cons
  •  Can cause acne

protip_icon ProTip
Dilute the self-tanner with a thin layer of body lotion on top of it when applying it around the elbows, knees, and ankles due to the greater absorption power of these areas.

4. Best For Sensitive Skin:Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion – Dark

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Sun Laboratories Ultra Dark Self Tanning Lotion Image: Sun Laboratories By Giesee

Say goodbye to fake-looking orange skin with this natural tanning lotion by Sun Laboratories. This formula is infused with vitamin C, vitamin A, and aloe vera, brightening the skin and preventing inflammation. Plus, the formula is free from any smelly odors or harsh chemicals, making it safe for sensitive skin. It sets instantly and gradually enhances your natural skin tone within three hours for a long-lasting golden glow. The shade Dark is suitable for olive to medium skin tones.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 4 x 8 inches | Weight: 9.6 Ounces

Pros
  •  Mild formula
  •  Prevents premature aging
  •  Soothes skin
  • Suitable for face and body
  •  Less curing time
  •  Quick-drying
  •  Streak-free
  •  Paraben-free

Cons
  •  Runny texture
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 4,312 Amazon users have vouched for this amazing product.

5. Best Gluten-Free:Miami Gorgeous LaPlaya Glow Self Tanning Mousse

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Miami Gorgeous LaPlaya Glow Self Tanning Mousse Image: Miami Gorgeous

This gluten-free, self-tanning mousse by Miami Gorgeous provides you with a natural-looking bronze color. It is infused with a blend of vitamin E, vitamin C, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and Elderflower extract that soften and nourish your skin. Vitamin C brightens your skin, while vitamin E shields your skin from free radical damage. Antioxidant-rich coconut oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil hydrate the skin and enhance cell turnover rate. The formula absorbs instantly into your skin and leaves behind a non-streaky, non-orangish, and beachy tan. The product is not tested on animals, which makes it ideal for people who are seeking cruelty-free self-tanning choices.

Skin Type: Sensitive, all

Pros
  •  Quick drying
  •  Induces a natural shine
  •  Hydrating formula
  •  Easy to use
  •  Affordable price
  •  Long lasting results
  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Paraben-free
  •  Gluten-free
  •  Fragrance-free
  •  Comes with money-back guarantee

Cons
  •  Runny texture
  •  Can cause skin allergies

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Apply the self-tanning mousse on your completely dry skin to spread the tan evenly throughout the body.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

There are more than 1,784 Amazon reviews attesting to the quality of the product and endorsing its value.

6. Best Lightweight:Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam – Dark

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Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam Image: Bondi Sands

Home-based tanning treatments can sometimes disappoint you as it does not give the quality finish that salons offer. But that’s not the case with this self-tanning foam by Bondi Sands! Its unique formula gives you the ultimate salon-quality bronzed glow! The form is lightweight, easy to apply, and gives a seamless and flawless finish with every use. The formula is infused with coconut and aloe vera extracts, which enrich the color and deeply moisturize your skin.

Product Dimensions: 1.77 x 1.77 x 8.54 inches | Weight: 9.88 Ounces

Pros
  •  Non-comedogenic
  •  Hydrating formula
  •  Transfer-proof
  •  Quick drying

Cons
  •  Slight unpleasant scent

7. Best Non-Sticky:Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam – Medium

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Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam Image: Coco & Eve

Get 100% natural and glowing tan and skin care benefits with this bronzing foam by Coco Eve! It transforms your skin to a beachy golden tone, without blotches, orange tones, or nasty streaks. The lightweight moist dries quickly and develops in just two hours, and gives you a long-lasting tan. It is infused with coconut extracts and amino acids that blur stretch marks and pigmentation while hydrating your skin. Plus, the natural antioxidants in banana, fig, cocoa, and papaya extracts reverse the signs of aging. According to online reviews, this bronzer comes with a tempting tropical guava and mango fragrance that is simply breathtaking! Moreover, ethically conscious consumers are obsessed with this tanner as it does not undergo any heinous animal testing.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.89 x 1.89 x 7.72 inches | Weight: 6.35 Ounces.

Pros
  •  Hydrating formula
  •  Non-sticky
  •  Lightweight
  •  Long-lasting
  •  Blush pigmentation
  •  Streak-free
  •  Cruelty l-free
  •  Vegan

Cons
  •  Expensive

protip_icon ProTip
Apply the self-tanning cream in an air-conditioned room to avoid sweating till the tan sets perfectly on the body. Sweat can slide your tan right off after application.

A self-tanner would be an ideal pick to achieve a lovely bronze glow effortlessly. But, being a beginner, it feels overwhelming to find the right product from the endless options available in the market. Besides, the right tone, it is also essential to look up for the best product that will preserve your skin health. Here are a few things that you should remember before making a decision.

How To Select The Best Self-Tanners For Beginners

  • Skin Type And Ingredients

Before trying out any cosmetic product, it is necessary to consider your skin type. Some products tend to dry out the skin, while some cause skin rashes or allergies. For dry skin, look for moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and argan oil in the product. For oily skin types, look for non-greasy, oil-free self-tanners. Be extra careful in case of sensitive skin types. Make sure to opt for mild, hypoallergenic self-tanners to avoid allergies, breakouts, or other skin issues.

  • Formulation

Cosmetic products like tanners often tend to cause various skin issues. Hence, it would be safe to pick a product that is enriched with organic extracts. No matter what your skin type is, expertly crafted tanners infused with herbal extracts or natural ingredients are generally safer for beginners to achieve a flawless glow without any side effects. Moreover, it would be an added benefit if the product has an SPF formula and offers buildable coverage.

  • Additional Features
  1. Hydration: Applying a self-tanner and keeping it on for a long duration may lead to dryness. Hence, look out for products that come with hyaluronic acid and organic aloe vera to ensure intense moisturizing benefits.
  2. Fast-Absorbing: For a perfect bronzed complexion, it is also necessary that the product blends well and does not leave blotches or nasty streaks. Opt for a product that ensures fast absorption and is non-staining.
  3. Lightweight And Non-Sticky: For a long-lasting tanned glow, choose a product that does not feel sticky or leaves an orange tone. Hence, choose a buildable tanning cream that feels light on the skin and provides a non-sticky moisturizing effect.
  4. Non-comedogenic: While applying a tan that stays on for long hours there might be a high chance of skin issues if you do not apply the right product. Choose non-comedogenic self-tanning lotions that blend well and do not clog pores to cause breakouts.

Self-tanners are the easiest way to get the golden glow without sun damage. But how to get streak-free results? Here is a guide that can help you.

How To Use Self-Tanners For A Long-Lasting Finish?

Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to use a self-tanner to achieve exceptional results:

  •  To ensure a long-lasting and streak-free finish, the very first thing to do is exfoliate! You can use a loofah in the shower or a gentle washcloth to exfoliate, paying extra attention to the thicker areas like knees, elbows, and ankles.
  •  Dry yourself completely and put on a thin layer of moisturizer along with SPF!
  •  Apply a liberal amount of self-tanner in sections in long vertical strokes starting from your legs, gradually moving upwards.
  •  Once you are done, gently buff your knees, elbows, and ankles with a damp cloth and wash your hands with warm water and gentle soap.
  •  Let the self-tanner dry for about 10 minutes, and you are done. The self-tanners take around 8 to 12 hours to develop into a rich, golden glow.

Infographic: Dos And Don’ts Of Using A Self Tanner

Self-tanning has become a popular method for achieving a sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of UV exposure. Self-tanning products come in various forms, including lotions, sprays, and mousses, and can be applied at home or at a salon. However, following the basic dos and don’ts is essential to achieve the best results. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

Dos And Don'ts Of Using A Self Tanner (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

If you’re too lazy to visit the salon yet craving for a sun-kissed look, self-tanners are the right choice for you! Many self-tanners in our list have non-sticky formulae that use natural ingredients, including argan oil, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil, which soothes and nourishes your skin. The Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Lotion is a great product that provides smooth tanning sans uneven patches, while the Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer promises long-lasting tan as well as hydrated skin. The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam is another excellent option that allows for an effortless tanning experience. Some of these self-tanners also come with hydrating agents, which moisturize your skin and soothe redness. These tanners can hide scars, tame irritation, and dry quickly. Avoid tanners with runny textures as they are often prone to spillage. Moreover, it is recommended to conduct a patch test before using any of these tanning products to avoid allergic reactions.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Baishali Bhattacharya, is certified in makeup artistry and has a keen interest in experimenting with different makeup products. After thorough research and going through numerous reviews and feedback on multiple forums, she has curated a list of the best self-tanners for beginners. You can use these from the comforts of your home without having to spend your time and money at a salon. In addition, these products are easy to use, and cruelty-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you self-tan?

Your skin sloughs of dead skin cells every day, and a new layer of skin is formed every 35 to 45 days. When the dead skin wears off, the fake tan also wears off as well. Thus, applying a self-tanner every 3 to 5 days to maintain the tone.

Can I sleep with a self-tanner on?

You can sleep with a transfer-proof self-tanner. Leaving the tanner overnight can also help the color to develop fully!

Do self-tanners age your skin?

Self-tanner promote oxidation on the surface of your skin, causing oxidative stress and cause signs of aging. But self-tanning is not as harmful as exposing your skin to UVA and UVB rays.

Does self-tanner rub off on sheets?

Not all self-tanner rubs off on sheets, but few of them can transfer due to sweat, as the sweat lifts the pigments of your skin and transfers it onto other surfaces.

Do you put self-tanner on wet or dry skin?

Always apply self-tanner on dry skin.

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Whitney Rae Alexander
Whitney Rae AlexanderProfessional Makeup Artist
Whitney is a professional makeup artist with more than 17 years of experience. She began her professional journey at the cosmetic counters of Macy’s Herald Square and Sephora. Her skills were further honed at the Makeup Forever Academy in New York and subsequently, Whitney collaborated with esteemed brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Makeup Forever Pro Studio NYC, and Too Faced Cosmetics and notable platforms, such as Viacom, Skitch, VICELAND, Centric, Google, BET/BET Digital, People TV, and the NBA 2K League.

Read full bio of Whitney Rae Alexander