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 skid 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, 13 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.
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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.
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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.
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Oils are great, but prone to streaking if you're not careful. Luckily, this overnight mask exists for self-tanning beginners who don't want to miss a spot with a slippery oil, but still want to wake up with a just-got-back-from-somewhere tan.
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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.
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Completely clear, this lends skin a subtle colour without soaking through to your pillowcase. You'll want to skip the foundation.
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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.
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This self-tan, skincare hybrid moisturises as it bronzes and won't leave your silk pillowcase all grubby.
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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.