11 Best Self-Tanners For The Face That Give You A Sun-Kissed Look – 2023

Achieve a sun-kissed look without going in the sun with effective products.

Reviewed by Pam Daman, Beauty/Aesthetic Therapist Pam Daman Pam DamanBeauty/Aesthetic Therapist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Kirtana Divakar MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 3 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 4 years
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Are you looking for the best self-tanner for your face? We have exactly what you need.

Everyone likes flaunting a sun-kissed look, and honestly, that is something that looks ravishing in Instagram photos! But to take the cat out of the bag, no one can get that perfect tan by lying in the sun alone! It will not be even tone for starters, and there are places where it won’t reach you no matter how hard you try. Self-tanners are the harmless and efficient options to go for. They give you a quick and complete glow without having to depend on anything else. We know your hesitation in using tanners loaded with harmful chemicals, so we have something that gives you a smooth look without any inorganic ingredients. Here are the 11 highest-rated tanners that give you the perfect shade of tan so that you look radiant whenever you please.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Lightweight:Jergens Natural Glow face Moisturizer And Self-TannerPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Anti-Aging:Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Facial SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Transfer-Proof:St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing WaterPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For All Skin Types:Beauty By Earth Self Face TannerPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Non-Comedogenic:Tanceuticals Self Tanning Face LotionPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Cruelty-Free:Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops - Light/MediumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Long-Lasting:Norvell Venetian Self Tanning Mist For FacePrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Non-Sticky:L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Facial DropsPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Streak-Free:Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self-Tanner For FacePrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Buildable Formula:Clarins Self Tanning Radiance Plus Golden Glow BoosterPrice on Amazon

11 Best Self Tanners For Effortlessly Tanned Skin In No Time!

1. Best Lightweight:Jergens Natural Glow face Moisturizer And Self-Tanner

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4.4
Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer For Face, SPF 20 Image: Jergens

This face moisturizer/self-tanner for the face gives a natural-looking glow that is right for the summer skin you are looking for. It is lightweight, oil-free, and is formulated to deliver flawless color to your skin in a jiffy. It keeps your skin hydrated and protects you from the sun, making it quite the package. The dermatologist-tested formula works for fair to medium skin tones and enhances your hue, delivering the perfect summer glow. Applying this oil-free face self tanner once a day can enhance your skin tone to make sure you get a natural glow. What makes it unique is that it is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation which makes it a perfect facial self-tanner to use.

Product Dimensions: 1.43 x 2.5 x 5.61 inches | Weight: 2 Ounces

Pros
  • No unflattering streaks
  • Does not cause breakouts
  • Easy to apply and quick results
  • Smells good
  • Doubles as a moisturizer
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons
  • It may not offer a long-lasting tan.
protip_icon Pro Tip
For a flawless self-tan, make sure that there are no harsh lines. So, try to match your face’s shade with your neck and chest. Blend seamlessly to make you look like you have been soaking up the sun lately
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 1,803 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

2. Best Anti-Aging:Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Facial Serum

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4.1
Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Facial Serum Image: Golden Star Beauty

This self-tanner for the face provides you with visible results of a luxurious golden bronze tan. For you natural beauty lovers, this one’s for you. It is made under strict quality controls and is organic. This clinically-tested self-tanner contains avocado oil, oenothera biennis oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, and rose hips oil. In addition to delivering the color, it comes with DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which triggers sunless tanning. It is one of the best sunless tanners for the face and is not tested on animals. It also nourishes and rejuvenates your skin tone. Definitely, an easy and healthy way to achieve a sun-kissed tan!

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.38 x 1.38 x 4.33 inches | Weight: 0.16 Ounces

Pros
  • No fake tan smell
  • Leaves no streaks
  • Clinically-tested
  • No oily-feeling
  • Anti-aging
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Gluten-free

Cons
  • May turn the face a little orange in some cases
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received 1,648 reviews on Amazon and is a popular choice among shoppers.

3. Best Transfer-Proof:St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water

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4.3
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Image: St Tropez

This self-tanner is tropically scented which can be used all year round. The tanning mist is infused with 100% natural tanning actives, hyaluronic acid, and non-pore blocking skincare ingredients that refresh and revive your skin. It includes hibiscus extract known for its antioxidant properties and green mandarin water. You will notice that the formula adapts to your skin tone to give you visible results of an instant sunkissed glow. It is perfect to use instead of makeup for a post-holiday glow! This video will give you more insights into the product.

Skin Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 5.7 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Tropically scented
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • No streaks and no transfer
  • Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free

Cons
  • Not recommended for combination or oily skin
protip_icon Pro Tip
For those aiming for a darker tan, opt for lotion or foam self-tanners that give out a dramatic bronze glow. Rub a small amount over the face gently in a circular motion by using an application mitt.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 664 customers have given the product positive reviews on Amazon.

Jergens Natural Glow face Moisturizer And Self-Tanner
Best Lightweight
Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Facial Serum
Best Anti-Aging
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water
Best Transfer-Proof
Dimensions 1.43 x 2.5 x 5.61 inches 1.38 x 1.38 x 4.33 inches 1.6 x 1.6 x 5.7 inches
Weight 2 Ounces 0.16 Ounces 4 Ounces.
Skin Type- Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal Dry
Rating
Reviews1,8031,648664
Price$10.49$28.99$28.05

4. Best For All Skin Types:Beauty By Earth Self Face Tanner

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4.2

One of the best gradual face tanners for saying hello to sun-kissed skin, it takes you from ‘meh’ to ‘marvelous’ in just a few minutes. The dermatologically-tested product is made from carefully chosen ingredients like organic aloe vera, shea butter, extracts such as Japanese green tea, pomegranate, and witch hazel extract, and DHA. It uses high-quality and nourishing ingredients to create a tanner that doesn’t expose your body to any harm. This safe, natural tan will give your face the best glow possible. Perfect, isn’t it? To make an informed decision before buying, you can check out this video.

Skin Type: All, Fair, Light, Medium, Sensitive

Pros
  • No streaks, no orange color, blotches, or dark spots
  • Vegan and cruelty-free sunless tanning lotion
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Paraben-free
  • No phthalates
  • No chemical-based active ingredients
  • No dyes

Cons
  • Might clog pores

5. Best Non-Comedogenic:Tanceuticals Self Tanning Face Lotion

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4.2

This self-tanner has been highly rated for the face and neck and is not tested on animals. The luxurious self-tanning lotion will give you a natural tan look you are looking for. It contains vitamin E, argan oil, acai berry extract, and pomegranate extract. The formula will last for 5-7 days on average so it gives you the look that you got back from a vacation. It is organic, safe, doesn’t clog pores, and gives a flawless sunless tan. It is one of the best face self tanners for acne-prone skin. The self-tanner is thick in consistency and keeps you moisturized, sounds like a must-have product on your list, doesn’t it? What makes it better is that there is no artificial coloring used, so say NO to stains when you use this!

Skin Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.75 x 4.75 inches | Weight: 0.64 Ounces

Pros
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Does not cause acne
  • Blends and dries quickly
  • Paraben-free

Cons
  • Contains fragrance

6. Best Cruelty-Free:Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops – Light/Medium

With the Triple Tan Technology, this is definitely one of the best self-tanners for the face. It is a blend of organic tanning actives that make your skin tone look radiant and hydrated. It is formulated with raspberry seed oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E, nourishing your skin while not requiring you to sit under the sun for hours. It is recommended to apply a greater amount of the self-tanning drops for a deeper glow if that’s what you aim for. It works with the highest quality, natural tanning actives (DHA) grown in the South of France to complement your skin. What better way to tan your skin!

Skin Type: Sensitive

Pros
  • Cruelty-free
  • Toxin-free
  • Leaves your skin looking hydrated and nourished
  • No streaks
  • No smell
  • Develops a radiant glow in 2-4 hours

Cons
  • Might clog pores

7. Best Long-Lasting:Norvell Venetian Self Tanning Mist For Face

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Norvell Venetian Sunless Self Tanning Mist for Face Image: Norvell Venetian

Norvell has crafted this Venetian Mist for the face for a long-lasting tan, and it is not tested on animals. It is formulated with natural color complex and organic ingredients such as tomato fruit extract, cranberry fruit extract, aloe leaf juice, and vitamin E. it helps create a deep, sun-kissed radiance. A tropical paradise look in minutes, who would have thought? The Venetian Mist contains a blend of instant and long-lasting bronzers composed of violet and brown tones. The ordonone technology used in this mist eliminates sunless tanning odor, what a relief. One special element is the Vio-7 which is a unique blend of anti-orange bronzer pigments to counter the orange tone so you don’t look like a cheeto!

Product Dimensions: 5.25 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 2 Ounces

Pros
  • Gluten-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Travel friendly
  • TSA approved

Cons
  • Some may find the pump too stiff to spray.

8. Best Non-Sticky:L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Facial Drops

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4.2

This is one of the best self-tanners for the face to achieve a healthy and beautiful glow and it can be an effortless addition to your makeup regimen. As highlighted by reviewers, this clear, dermatologist-tested serum is non-sticky and, when mixed with moisturizer, it makes your skin smooth in just one use. It is recommended to use 5-7 drops for a sun-kissed glow and 8-10 drops for a deeper bronze glow. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid to make your skin look well-rested and hydrated throughout the day. What more do we need than a flawless bronze glow that makes us look confident and sexy?

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.43 x 2.02 x 5.72 inches | Weight: 4.97 Ounces.

Pros
  • Fragrance-free
  • Works for all skin types
  • Transfer resistant
  • Streak-free

Cons
  • May not offer a deep tan
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 3,664 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

9. Best Streak-Free:Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self-Tanner For Face

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4.4
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Intense Glow for Face: for Dull Skin Lacking Radiance & Glow, (20 Towelettes) Image: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare

These self-tanner towelettes are highly recommended to achieve healthy skin with a bronzed glow. It provides a streak-free, natural tan that develops within 3-4 hours which is quick and easy. This formula is enriched with vitamin D to exfoliate and provide anti-aging benefits. This anti-aging face self tanner tightens your pores and eliminates blackheads, making it a versatile self-tanner. After just one use, your skin will be smooth as butter. It is one of the best face self tanners for dry skin. There are 20 towelettes in a single pack to help you get the perfect kind of sun-kissed glow. It is subtle which makes it look like you’ve sat in the sun for an hour while just sunbathing at home, 1 towelette at a time.

Skin Type: Dry | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 3 x 3 inches | Weight: 2.4 Ounces

Pros
  • 100% fragrance-free
  • Easy to apply
  • Doesn’t dry the skin
  • Works for all skin types
  • Long-lasting color

Cons
  • Some may find the towelettes a bit greasy.

10. Best Buildable Formula:Clarins Self Tanning Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster

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4.2
Clarins Self Tanning Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster Image: Clarins

The Clarins Self Tanning Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster brightens the skin. The self-tanning drops are highly buildable and produce a natural-looking tan. It is infused with natural ingredients such as glycerine and aloe vera that hydrate the skin and make it look youthful. Plus, it is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. This face self tanners for sensitive skin leaves a beautiful golden tone on your skin and is incredibly long-lasting.

Skin Type: All, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.18 x 1.18 x 3.94 inches | Weight: 0.7 Ounces.

Pros
  • Hydrating
  • Natural Ingredients
  • Long-lasting
  • Adds glow
  • Streak-free

Cons

None

11. Best For Glow:Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

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Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops Image: Isle Of Paradise

The Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops is enriched with the goodness of natural, skin-loving ingredients that promise to leave you with a healthy glow. It is laden with nourishing ingredients such as grapefruit, chia seeds, and avocado oil that hydrate the skin for a just-back-from-the-beach look. Not to mention, it helps reduce redness and gives an even complexion. This formula is not tested on animals and offers a long-lasting tan without staining your clothes.

Skin Type: Normal

Pros
  • Nourishing
  • Long-lasting
  • Color corrects
  • Streak-free
  • Natural ingredients
  • Odorless
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Travel-Friendly

Cons
  • May give a slight orangish tint to the skin

We have reached the end of our list of top 10 highly recommended self-tanners for face. Some might be hits and misses, based on several reviewers’ experiences. Finding the right self-tanner for the face can be quite the task, hope we made it easier. And to make it easier, here’s a little buying guide!

How To Choose The Right Self Tanner For Face

  • Type

Self-tanners come in various forms such as lotions or mousses. It could even be wipes, drops, or sticks. Each has pros and cons so it might befuddle us to think which one is better. Lotions take time to soak in which can be tricky. The positive aspect of it is that it moisturizes your skin, making it smooth as butter. The next type is mousses which create a visible layer so you have an idea of what you are applying. They are lightweight and tend to dry faster but hold on, they might not be as moisturizing as lotions.

Self-tanning moisturizers have a lower concentration of DHA so they will gradually build a sun-kissed glow with daily use. Tanning towelettes are sheets that have to be unfolded and swiped across the face to provide an even glow. It makes it look like you have gone on a vacation so you can be stress-free.

  • DHA content

The active ingredient in sunless tanning products is the color additive dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Whenever you apply a product that has DHA, it reacts with our dead cells to temporarily darken the skin and stimulate a tan. It wears off after a few days. If you wish to try a product that has DHA, there are options. You might have to choose a product that contains added antioxidants.

  • Fragrance

Though DHA has a certain odor, there are some products available to mask the smell. They do that by adding a fragrance whereas some leave a knowing smell behind. Finding the best self-tan for the face might be overwhelming, don’t worry. If you want to avoid DHA, you can opt for a wash-off product. Some products can reduce the smell or disguise it in the product. It is trial-and-error testing to find a product with the right scent for you. And more often than not, the label of the product will leave clues as to whether the product has a certain smell.

Are you confused and overwhelmed thinking about how to apply self-tanner to your face? There are a lot of steps before you get the bronzed glow, and here’s how you follow them.

How To Apply Self Tanner For Face

  • Step 1- Before you apply the self-tanner to the face, you have to cleanse your face. Make sure you use a facial cleanser that can remove your makeup and cleanses your skin from dirt and impurities. Use micellar water-soaked cotton to clean your skin. Now it is time for step 2.
  • Step 2- If you want to have a bronze glow, you need to scrub your skin. It is an important step before application. Exfoliate your skin to get rid of the dead skin cells. They can cause the self-tanner to go on streaky. Use scrubs that can take away the dead cells from the skin’s surface. After this, grab a cotton pad and gently dab it over your face- there you go, you have a bright, radiant face ready to get the tan on.
  • Step 3- After you finish exfoliating, you need to apply a moisturizer to create a smooth base for the self-tanner. Find a moisturizer that can provide a long-lasting effect on the tan you are looking for. It is recommended to use a water-based moisturizer and apply it over your face and neck. This would help to nourish your skin so it doesn’t look dry.
  • Step 4- Find the best self-tanner for the face that works for you. To apply, pump it directly into your palms and apply it evenly to your face after you have finished moisturizing. Make sure you apply the self-tanner past your jawline and onto your neckline. If you don’t, it will make your tan look fake. You have to wait for the tan to dry and then get on to dressing up and applying makeup. If you use it daily, you will get the bronzed glow you are looking for.

Infographic: Dos And Don’ts Of Applying Self-Tanner To The Face

Self-tanning your face requires a little mastery of the art and a lot of precautions for a successful and natural-looking application. You need to follow certain dos and don’ts to achieve a flawless, sun-kissed glow without mishaps or streaks. Check out the infographic below to rock a beautiful tan.

Dos And Don'ts Of Applying Self-Tanner To The Face (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for that perfect glow tan for your face, just using bronzers might not be enough. You need to get your hands on the best professional-grade self-tanners for the perfect sun-kissed glow. These tanners are harmless and efficient in giving you the desired tanned look. Their formulations have improved vastly, and you can test them on your face without any worries. The Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer And Self-Tanner helps you achieve the most natural-looking tan, while the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water is perfect to get the hydrated glow on the skin. You can also try the Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops – Light/Medium to achieve softer-looking, nourished skin. The products listed in this article do not leave any streaks on application, are free from synthetic preservatives, and are enriched with natural ingredients. Consider the type, DHA content, and fragrance while choosing the best self-tanners for the face. We recommend you always apply the self-tanner past your jawline and onto your neckline to create an even-toned look.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this post, Kirtana Divakar, is a skin care enthusiast. She conducted thorough research to shortlist the best self tanners for face. She has checked user reviews and feedback on multiple trusted online platforms before preparing the list. The products included in the list are safe for the skin and provide even results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to remove self-tanner for the face?

If you wish to remove the self-tanner, you must gently exfoliate with a sponge, loofah, or towel. It will be quite the task to remove the tan but if you soak the sponge in warm water, take a shower, or swim, it can remove the tan quicker. Another effective remedy would be to apply lemon juice to lighten the skin.

Does self-tanning clog your pores?

Some self-tanners contain harsh chemicals which can irritate your skin, making it oilier. This leads to breakouts by blocking pores.

How long should we leave self-tanner on our face?

To get the best results, be sure to leave the self-tanner for at least 6-10 hours. Even 2-3 hours work in some cases. Be sure to know what works for you.

Is it good to mix self-tanner with moisturizer for the face?

Mixing self-tanner with moisturizer dilutes the formula a bit so the results can end up being subtle. If you have applied the lotion, you can see your skin looking smooth for an even application. This results in no streaks and a natural glow.

Does self-tanner age your skin?

Yes, prolonged and excessive use of self-tanner can increase oxidative stress on your skin and lead to enlarged skin pores and the appearance of wrinkles.

Does fake tan on the face cause blackheads?

Yes, excessive use of fake tan can enlarge your pores, accumulate more dirt, and form blackheads.

Can I put a face self-tanner on my neck?

Yes, a face tanner is meant for the face and the neck. Apply the product evenly to your skin to get a smooth, streak-free, glowing tanned look.

Can you mix self-tanner with moisturizer?

Yes. If your self-tanner is not moisturizing enough, mixing it with moisturizer is an excellent idea to keep your skin hydrated and achieve a streak-free, even-looking tan.


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Pam Daman

Pam DamanBeauty/Aesthetic Therapist

Pam Daman is a beauty/aesthetic therapist with over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry. She is also the Beauty & Holistic Director of the National Beauty Training Academy. Pam has worked in further education colleges and leading UK beauty institutes specializing in NVQ levels, as well as specialist programs to suit individual needs. She specializes in laser hair...read full bio