12 Self-Tanners That Won’t Send Your Skin Into Panic Mode

Self-tanning amateurs and pros alike know that between awkward streaks, dry patches, and breakouts, self-tanners for your face are notoriously problematic. As much as you want your face to be as effortlessly tanned as the rest of your body, using the same formula for both is likely to lead to disaster.

Luckily, you don't have to make your body mousse a multipurpose product to get a radiant glow on your face. There are tons of skin-friendly self-tanners out there — from mix-in drops and peel pads to translucent face mists — that won't trigger an angry pimple or leave behind orange marks. Just so you don't have to browse every page of Google for the best of the best, we've found 'em for you.


Ahead, 12 of the best face self-tanners to try ASAP.

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Infused with antioxidants and self-tanning hero ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) — the colourless chemical that reacts with the amino acids in your skin to produce a temporary pigment — this bronzing water not only tans the skin within four to eight hours, but is the perfect topper to your makeup in the morning. You'll be glowing long after you wash it off.
St. Tropez St.Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist 80ml, $22.00 $18.50 Buy
Build up a gradual tan that lasts weeks by adding these glow-boosting drops to your nighttime moisturiser. By morning, you'll look like you just spent your weekend at the beach instead of on the couch rewatching Game of Thrones.
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face, $20.00 Buy
Want an instant tan without the stress of upkeep? Spritz this shimmery mist all over your face (and body, too) for a temporary glow.
By Terry Tea to Tan Face and Body, $58.00 Buy
Skip the gradual tanner for this antioxidant-packed bronzing concentrate if you're looking for a glow that'll rinse off at the end of the day.
Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Antipollution Sunshine Drops, $30.00 Buy
If you want to maintain an even tan on your face, you have to cut out products from your skin-care routine that may cause premature fading, like vitamin C serums. Luckily, if colour correction is your main priority, these mix-in oil drops address skin discolouration (think: redness or sallow texture) while gradually bronzing the skin. Just add anywhere from one to 12 drops to your moisturiser (the more drops, the deeper the tan) before smoothing over your face and chest. Be aware, however, that all three formulas contain coconut oil, so consider an alternative tanning solution if the hydrating hero doesn't work for you.
Isle Of Paradise Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops Light 30ml, $19.95 Buy
The name says it all: This is a self-tanner that works while you sleep and offers hydrating benefits thanks to a concoction of oils, including argan, marula, and jojoba. After cleansing and exfoliating your skin at night, drop an entire pipette of the translucent oil into your palm and massage in.
Tan-Luxe Sleep Oil, $34.00 Buy
Leave this DHA-spiked sheet mask on for five to 15 minutes, depending on your preferred tan intensity (five minutes for a light glow, 10 minutes for a medium tan, and 15 minutes for a dark bronze). Wake up to a bright and radiant tan — and applaud your stain-free pillowcase.
St. Tropez St.Tropez Self Tan Express Face Sheet Masks, $15.00 $10.00 Buy
Completely clear, this lends skin a subtle colour without soaking through to your pillowcase. You'll want to skip the foundation.
Bali Body Face Tan Water, $25.95 Buy
The prospect of a perfect tan hinges on regular exfoliation. Just in case you're too lazy to split that up into two separate steps, these glow pads combine the scrubbing and tanning all into one.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Intense Glow, $34.00 Buy
This self-tan, skincare hybrid moisturises as it bronzes and won't leave your silk pillowcase all grubby.
James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face, $25.00 Buy
A few drops added to your nighttime moisturiser results in a subtle, healthy glow. Organic coconut and avocado oils also soften skin and help to reduce any patchiness.
Sienna X Sleep Gradual Tanning Drops, $19.99 $13.31 Buy
Green People's gradual tanning moisturiser is vegan, cruelty-free, and has been awarded a host of certifications such as the 'Fairly Traded' and 'Certified Organic Ingredients' badges. What's not to like?
Green People Gradual Tan Moisturiser 50ml, $17.50 Buy
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