18 Self Tanners With Seriously Glowing Reviews

Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top-reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.

If you've been inside for upwards of a month, you might be asking yourself some dangerous beauty questions, including: "Should I cut bangs?" "How bad can I really be at coloring my own hair?" and "Am I going to regret waxing my bikini line?"


But there's one DIY beauty treatment that has maximum pay-off with minimal risk: at-home self tanning. Unlike past iterations of the stuff, the newest generation of bronzing mousses, sprays, and lotions are nearly impossible to screw up, won't turn you orange, and will even spare your white sheets in the process. After one application, you'll be glowing — which can do wonders for your mood, believe us. We've rounded up the top-reviewed options, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

M-61 Hydraboost Body Butter Gradual Tan

The Self Tanner With Skin-Care Benefits

This vegan body butter gets you a subtle glow – and is reportedly a favorite of former Bachelor contestant Hannah Ann Sluss.

The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 13 reviews on Bluemercury

Reviewers Say: "This is by far my favorite tanner. I love how it’s gradual and subtle so I don’t have to wear a tanning mitt to apply it. I’ve used it twice so far and it hasn’t left any streaks or any orange tan. It makes my skin glow. I use the regular body butter beforehand to moisturize. It doesn’t leave any tanner on my clothing which is a plus. Definitely worth the money!" — Rachhh, Bluemercury Reviewer
m-61 Hydraboost Body Butter Gradual Tan, $34.00 Buy

Tarte Brazilliance PLUS+ self tanner

The Moisturizing Self Tanner

Tarte might be best known for its makeup, but as it turns out, they also make a pretty excellent self-tanner, too. Come for the radiant glow that builds in four hours, stay for the hydrating aloe-infused formula that won't make your skin feel itchy or dry.

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 242 reviews on Tarte Cosmetics

Reviewers Say: "I’m a natural redhead with fair-light neutral skin and this self tanner works perfectly. Completely streak free and moisturizing enough that it doesn’t stick to knees and elbows. Only needs to be reapplied weekly and is the most natural color I have found." — Isabel M, Tarte Reviewer
Tarte Brazilliance™ PLUS+ self tanner, $39.00 Buy

Australian Gold Instant Bronzer Spray Gel Sunscreen SPF 30

The SPF Self Tanner

Fans love Australian Gold's self-tanning gel because of the built-in SPF 30 and under-$10 price tag.

The Hype: 4.9 out of 5 stars and 583 reviews on Ulta Beauty

Reviewers Say: “Australian Gold spray gel is ALL I use. I am a flight attendant and travel quite often and this is a must-pack for me. Not only does it work like magic and give me the best bronze tan, I never burn, and it smells magical!” — yogameetstravel, Ulta Reviewer
Australian Gold Instant Bronzer Spray Gel Sunscreen SPF 30, $9.99 Buy

Tan-Luxe Illuminating Gradual Tan Lotion

The Subtle Self Tanner

Whether you're just dipping your toes into the world of self tanners or simply prefer a natural-looking finish, Tan Luxe's The Gradual is the MVP for a believable glow.

The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 44 reviews on Sephora

Reviewers Say: “I am very pale and every sunless tanner I have used has made me orange, been streaky, smelled awful, and hasn’t lasted very long. This stuff is like the holy grail of sunless tanners. It don’t look orange. It doesn’t smell bad at all. And is super easy to apply. It dries quickly so I normally put it on right before I go to bed and wake up with a nice golden glow. I bought a mitt to apply it with and got better, more even results than applying by hand. My husband even was wondering if it would work on him. Can’t recommend this enough!” — BetseyC, Sephora Reviewer
Tan-Luxe THE GRADUAL Illuminating Gradual Tan Lotion, $33.00 Buy

Loving Tan 2 HR Express Self Tanning Mousse Dark

The Pro-Approved Self Tanner

The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 338 reviews on Ulta Beauty

Reviewers Say: "Literally the best tanning solution ever. I am a professional spray tanner and love giving people that beautiful, natural-looking tan, but if you need something fast that looks natural and is going to last, I would definitely buy this. I've never had any problems with it and it doesn't streak at all. Best ever." — Lala, Ulta Beauty Reviewer

Loving Tan 2 HR Express Self Tanning Mousse Dark, $39.95 Buy

Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum

The Self Tanner For Your Face

The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars and 1,266 reviews on Ulta Beauty

Reviewers Say: "Remember the scene in Elf when Buddy storms into the board room, throws his hat in the air and states, "I'm in Love, I'm in Love and I don't care who knows it!" That is how I feel about this face tanner." — Kris, Ulta Beauty reviewer
Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum, $54.00 Buy

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad

The Five-Second Self Tanner

Dr. Dennis Gross's easy-to-use tan towelettes are convenient, quick, and contain good-for-you ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and willow bark extract to exfoliate and brighten skin.

The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars and 149 reviews on Nordstrom

Reviewers Say: “I tried a few face tanning products; this is probably the best one. It didn’t turn out orange, and there were no streaks. Oh, and it didn’t make me break out which is huge!!” — Tanka, Nordstrom Reviewer
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Glow Pad™ for Face, $38.00 Buy

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

The Fancy-Pants Self Tanner

Your bathroom cabinet just got way chicer with Clarins' lightweight bronzing gel — the dreamy texture alone will make you genuinely look forward to getting your fake tan on.

The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 834 reviews on Sephora

Reviewers Say: “I have been searching for the perfect self tanner out there. This just might be it. The color is absolutely flawless; it makes my skin look like I have been sunbathing when I haven't. It doesn't look orange and looks so real. I was stunned. I put it on before bed and was impressed with how quick this product dries and then I woke up with a beautiful tan. This is now my go to tanner. Might have to check out the other Clarins tanning products as well. So in love!” — RunBeauty12, Sephora Reviewer
Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel, $40.00 Buy

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

The Foaming Self Tanner

It's no wonder St. Tropez's iconic tanning mousse has won over legions of fans; the bestselling product doesn't have That Weird Fake Tan Smell, lasts up to a week, and works on just about everyone. Check, check, and check.

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 3,050 reviews on Amazon

Reviewers Say: “So many tanners; so few that are actually great, but this one is. Great natural-looking tan (with no orange overtones) and most importantly — this does not have that self tanner smell. It fades evenly — not blotchy at all. And lasts 5-7 days easily. This is the best there is and I've tried other expensive brands. I always come back to this.” — Vespucci, Amazon Reviewer
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $42.00 Buy

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner

The Vegan Self Tanner

We live for an indie find, and Beauty By Earth's sleeper hit hasn't been lost on the more than 3,000 folks who have reviewed it on Amazon. Even better: Botanical ingredients like organic aloe vera leaf juice, shea butter, and green tea extract make it extra gentle on skin.

The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars and 5,811 reviews on Amazon

Reviewers Say: “Hands down, the best self-tanner out there. I've tried them all — don't waste your money on anything else. This is the most natural-looking tan I've ever seen. It works gradually, which I love, and is buildable, so if you feel like you want a little more color, just apply some more. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! The first time I applied it, I used too much — and I was so bummed that I had wasted the product! I learned the next time. And when you put it on, it will seem like you're rubbing and rubbing and it's not absorbing into your skin - this is actually the thing I love most about the product. You have time to apply it and actually SEE where it's going. You'll get the most even tan ever! And it's so moisturizing! I can't say enough...I don't write many reviews - but I had to with this.” — Sharon Clausen, Amazon Reviewer
Beauty by Earth Self Tanner with Organic & Natural Ingredients, $30.99 Buy

Sephora Collection Tinted Self-Tanning Body Mist

The Airbrush-In-A-Can Self Tanner

Sephora's in-house brand, Sephora Collection, is the best kept secret of the beauty mega-retailer. In addition to being wildly affordable, virtually all of their products are just as good as the pricey stuff — this under-$20 tanning mist being one of many prime examples.

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 968 reviews on Sephora

Reviewers Say: “I couldn't make it through a summer without this stuff, it's just the best tanner I've ever used! Never streaks, very natural look. The spray is nice if you're doing your own back ...and it's cheap.” — itsizzi, Sephora Reviewer
Sephora Collection Tinted Self-Tanning Body Mist, $18.00 Buy

Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Self Tanner

Isle of Paradise's Self Tanning Drops come in three shades for a variety of skin tones. You can mix them into your favorite moisturizer for a DIY glow. Oh, and did we mention they're 100% vegan and organic?

The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 826 reviews on Sephora

Reviwers Say: “Love this concept! I love being able to add these drops to my normal skincare routine in the morning or at night. The scent is pleasant and doesn't trigger those "self tanner" ptsd thoughts. I normally use 3 drops, about twice per week, to give me a natural looking glow. BEWARE OF ORANGE HANDS!! You'll need to wash your hands at least twice after applying to avoid a pretty intense color transfer onto your hands. (Insider tip: Warm up your moisturizer in both hands before adding the drops to mix. This will create a bit more of a barrier to skin on your palms)” — SaritaGatita, Sephora Reviewer
Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops, $29.00 Buy

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

The Instagram Filter Self Tanner

Ready for your closeup? Vita Liberata's Body Blur gets you HD-camera ready thanks to light-reflecting particles that instantly minimize any lines or bumps and boost your natural glow.

The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars and 419 reviews on Amazon

Reviewers Say: “This evens out my skin and hides the little discolorations. Great for exposed skin in the summer, giving a nice, airbrushed look.” — LL, Amazon Reviewer
Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish, $45.00 Buy

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse

The Drugstore G.O.A.T. Self Tanner

We can't promise you'll magically transform into spokesperson Eva Longoria, but L'Oréal's Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse does make you look pretty dang glowy and gorgeous post-application. (Reviewers also love that it smells like a beach vacay in a bottle.)

The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 972 reviews on Target

Reviewers Say: “Goes on so smooth and evenly since it is the water-based mousse. No streaks and not "Oompa Loompa orange." Leaves skin smelling coconut-y for quite a while and feeling a little sticky but definitely better than the thickness of a self tanning lotion. I applied two coats in the morning after showering/exfoliating and saw results in 5-6 hours. I'm hoping the tan lasts.” — Alyssa, Target Reviewer
L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse, $11.99 Buy

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

The Not-a-Self-Tanner Self Tanner

As the name suggests, Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs creates the illusion of sheer stockings by misting a sheer wash of bronze tint on your skin.

The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 384 reviews on Walmart

Reviewers Say: “This gives you exactly what is describes — an airbrushed look. It does not make your legs look very tan (I use it on my legs) but it gives you that subtle smoothness and evenness and brightness. I am fair skinned and it evens out my veins and skin tone and makes my legs look sexy!” — therealctine, Walmart Reviewer
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup, $10.98 Buy

Jergens Natural Glow +Firming Daily Moisturizer for Body

The Intro to Self Tanner

We love how Jergens' Natural Glow body lotion instantly hydrates and firms skin while allowing you to gradually build up your tan to your desired level — and at a drugstore price point.

The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars and 2,144 reviews on Amazon

Reviewers Say: “This is the only self tanner I will use. I'm generally in a hurry, and I've never had a problem with streakiness with this Jergens tanner. It imparts color gradually, so it's easy enough to stop when you're satisfied. Once I've reached that point, instead of applying daily, I'll use it a couple of times a week. I really like that it doesn't have a strong chemical smell to it. Another plus is that I've never had a problem with it discoloring my clothing or, if used at night, my sheets. Overall, I think this is a great self tanner.” — D. Marsh, Amazon Reviewer
Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Body Lotion, $10.99 $8.28 Buy

Fake Bake Flawless Self Tan Liquid

The Impossible-To-Mess-Up Self Tanner

Fake Bake's fluid-like texture feels like nothing on skin, but leaves behind the most realistic, transfer-proof, bronze glow.

The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 609 reviews on Ulta Beauty

Reviewers Say: “I have tried them all — some are better than others, but this is the best! Besides the color, the most important thing to me is that self tanners dry quickly and never be greasy or sticky. This is neither. By the time I'm done applying it, it's dry, and with no stickiness whatsoever. The color is very natural and I can't say anything negative about this, except that I wish I had tried it a long time ago. I'm throwing out all my other self tanners that I thought were good because this is the only one I will ever buy again!!!!!” — Heather, Ulta Beauty Reviewer
Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid, $26.60 Buy

Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Sun Care Sunscreen Lotion

The Beachy Self Tanner

We'll preface this by saying that if you're going outside, double up with an actual sunscreen since SPF 4 won't shield you from a whole lot. However, there's nothing quite like Hawaiian Tropic's fan-favorite lotion, which imparts a subtle bronze tint on skin.

The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 269 reviews on Amazon

Reviewers Say: “I can always tell when someone is using Hawaiian Tropic products, that amazing scent is just so distinct! Takes me back to Hawaii every time. I can literally detect it from a mile away. This particular product doesn't have enough SPF to fully protect you from the sun, however it's a great base if you're looking to get a nice tan. I like to use it when I'm out and about in the sun, (going to the park or running errands outdoors), I would be cautious using it alone if you're planning on sunbathing for an extended period of time. Tan=awesome, melanoma=not so much.” — James Moat, Amazon Reviewer
Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Protective Dark Tanning Sun Care Lotion, $9.99 $8.99 Buy
Load more...