There’s no reason to risk sun damage when you can get a healthy, UV-damage-free tan in just a few hours with a self-tanner. The best sunless tanning products give a deep bronze glow to the skin that lasts for days. Unlike the splotchy, bright orange fake tans of the early to mid 2000s, today’s sunless tanning products are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
Self-tanners come in many different forms—from mists to lotions to serums and towelettes—making it easy to apply and maintain your faux glow all summer long. If you’re ready to get a vacation-worthy tan without taking any time off work, we’ve compiled the best sunless tanning products to help you get glowing.
This mousse is great if you’re short on time but you want to look like you’ve just returned from a relaxing tropical getaway. The olive base helps provide a natural-looking tan in as little as two hours and lasts up to a week. If you exfoliate and moisturize properly before application you can avoid any tan lines.
Express tanning formulas deliver a superior tan in minimal time. This fast-acting mousse gives you a light tan in as little as 60 minutes or a deep, dark tan in three hours. The results last up to a week, and the tan fades nicely without flaking off or leaving splotches.
Say goodbye to sticky self-tanning formulas with this water mousse. The translucent dye-free water dispenses as an airy foam that spreads smoothly for even, colorless application that transforms into a medium and deep color in just a few hours. The coconut water and fresh tropical passion fruit essence are a bonus.
If you’re trying to look like you’ve just spent the last two weeks on a beach vacation, try the Revolution Beauty Whipped Tanning Mousse in Ultra Dark for the ultimate sun-kissed bronzed look. Formulated with vitamin E, the caramel guide color ensures a streak-free tanned glow that fully develops within four to six hours and lasts up to one week.
Self-tanning can be intimidating, and if you’re not ready for a mousse, we suggest starting with a tanning mist. The color develops over the span of a few hours, so a few spritzes on your face at night are all you need to wake up with that perfect sun-kissed glow.
This quick-absorbing oil is infused with 100% pure argan oil, coconut water, and aloe for a luxurious, natural-looking tan that develops after four to eight hours. The best part? It even comes with a plush mitt to ensure no-fuss, streak-free application.
These booster drops make it easy to get a safe summer glow. Add a few drops to your normal face moisturizer, serum, or face oil for a natural-looking bronzing effect.
Made with skin-loving natural ingredients like pink grapefruit, goji berry, and juniper, these drops were specially formulated to minimize the chance of breakouts. Mix a few drops into your moisturizer for a custom glow without the mess of a mousse or spray. Use one drop for a light tan or more to up the bronze factor.
If you want to achieve that smooth, even-toned, airbrushed bronze finish without the full commitment of a self-tanning mousse, this temporary makeup spray will give you an instant tan that truly makes your legs look photoshopped. It’s great for evening out your skin tone, covering a bruise, or hiding freckles, veins, and even scars.
Ditch the bronzing mitt with this aerosol self-tanning solution. The 360-degree spray technology makes it easy to get your back without having to contort your body like a circus act or call a friend for assistance. Spray lightly and evenly in a continuous, sweeping movement for complete, even coverage. The color will continue to darken for up to eight hours, so you can customize your tan to fit your skin tone.
Spray tan fanatics, this one is for you. This at-home airbrush kit provides a buildable golden glow that lasts up to one week or longer. Touching up your fake tan is easy with this handy dandy machine: Just point, shoot, and spray. The precise micro-fine mist ensures every inch of skin is coated evenly in the clear, naturally-derived botanical tanning formula—without any mess, streaks, or stripes.
This Australian-made gradual tanning lotion is surprisingly effective at providing a believable, buildable bronze while deeply moisturizing your skin with ingredients including cocoa, hemp, and green tea extract. Use every day to develop a consistent color or as needed to achieve your desired level of glow.
Gradual tanning lotions provide a hint of color every day, which can help extend the life of your fake tan. Use alone for a light to medium tan or use in conjunction with a more concentrated sunless tanning product (like a mousse) to make it last longer and hide any streaks or patches.
Exfoliation is the key to a smooth, streak-free fake tan. These Glow Pads from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare kill two birds with one stone, exfoliating the skin with alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids while also delivering an odorless, non-streaky color. The acid exfoliation helps to tighten pores, eliminate blackheads, and help fade existing sunspots for an even glow.
Change up your skin-care routine for the summer by incorporating this lightweight, gradual sunless tan face serum. Ideal for dry, dull skin, this serum uses dihydroxyacetone derived from sugar beet to lightly deepen the skin’s tone while hyaluronic acid helps keep skin soft and supple. Use it daily to build and maintain your glow year-round.
The secret to applying a foolproof fake tan is to use a blending brush to buff self-tanning mousse or spray into the skin. The dense bristles provide more control and even coverage, especially in and around those harder-to-reach areas of your face and body, ensuring a streak-free tan.