12 Best Self Tanners of 2024, Tested by Experts


Self-tanning has become increasingly popular as a safe alternative to sunbathing for achieving a tan glow. With the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds well-known, self-tanners offer a convenient and effective way to achieve a bronzed look without the risk of skin damage.

The market for self-tanning products has exploded in recent years, with a wide variety of options available. From sprays and gels to mousses and drops, there is something for everyone. However, with so many choices, finding the best self-tanner can be overwhelming.

That’s where our panel of experts comes in. We have tested and evaluated numerous self-tanning products to bring you the 12 best self tanners of 2024. Our experts include consumer testers who have put these products to the test in real-life scenarios, as well as dermatologists and tanning specialists who provide their professional expertise.

When selecting the best self tanners, our panel considered several key criteria:

  1. Application Ease: We looked for products that are easy to apply, ensuring a seamless tanning experience.
  2. Texture: The texture of a self-tanner is crucial, as it should be lightweight and non-greasy for easy absorption into the skin.
  3. Scent: One common drawback of self-tanners is the strong odor they often emit. We sought out products that minimize this issue and offer pleasant scents.
  4. Messiness: Some self-tanners can leave behind residue or transfer onto clothes and sheets. We aimed to identify products that minimize staining potential.
  5. Color Look: Achieving a natural-looking tan is essential. We evaluated how well each product delivers a bronzed glow without any orange undertones.
  6. Evenness: Streaks are a common problem with self-tanners. We assessed how well each product spreads for a streak-free finish.
  7. Depth: Different individuals have different preferences when it comes to the intensity of their tan. We considered how well each product allows for customization in achieving the desired depth.
  8. Feel: Self-tanners should feel comfortable on the skin, with quick absorption and a non-sticky formula.
  9. Fade Duration: Lastly, we looked at how well each self-tanner fades over time, ensuring an even and gradual transition.

By evaluating these criteria, our panel has identified the top 12 self tanners of 2024. In the following sections, we will delve into each product’s unique features, application methods, and performance to help you find the perfect self-tanner for your needs.

1. Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tanning Drops

Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tanning Drops are a standout product in the market of self-tanning drops. These drops offer a convenient and customizable way to achieve a natural-looking tan without the need for sun exposure. Here are some key points to consider about this product:


Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tanning Drops are formulated with high-quality ingredients that deliver a beautiful tan while nourishing and hydrating the skin. The drops can be mixed with your favorite moisturizer or serum to create a custom tanning solution. This versatility allows you to control the intensity of your tan and target specific areas of your body.

Application Method:

One of the major advantages of these self-tanning drops is their easy application method. Simply mix a few drops with your preferred skincare product and apply it evenly to your face or body. The drops blend seamlessly, ensuring a streak-free and natural-looking tan. The precise dropper applicator allows for accurate dosage, preventing waste or uneven distribution.

Texture Evaluation:

Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tanning Drops have a lightweight texture that glides smoothly onto the skin. The formula is non-greasy, which ensures quick absorption without leaving any residue behind. This feature makes it suitable for all skin types, including oily or sensitive skin.

Scent Assessment:

Unlike traditional self-tanners that often have a strong chemical odor, these drops have a pleasant scent that is subtle and refreshing. The brand has made efforts to minimize the typical smell associated with self-tanners, providing a more enjoyable tanning experience.

Staining Potential Testing:

During our evaluation process, we tested these drops for any potential staining on clothes and sheets. We found that when used as directed and allowed ample time to dry before dressing, there were no significant issues with transfer or staining, unlike some other self-tanning drops available in the market.

Incorporating Bondi Sands Pure Self-Tanning Drops into your tanning routine can help you achieve a natural-looking tan with ease. The customizable nature of these drops allows you to tailor your tan to your preferences and target specific areas, similar to other popular self-tanner brands. The lightweight and non-greasy formula ensures a seamless application, while the pleasant scent adds to the overall experience. Additionally, the drops have been tested for staining potential and proved to be reliable in that regard – an important factor to consider as some users have expressed concerns about staining their bed linens and towels with other self-tanning products.

2. Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan Mousse

Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan Mousse offers a unique formulation as a quick-drying mousse, providing a convenient tanning experience for users. When applying the mousse, it’s important to consider the level of messiness and any potential residue left behind. The evaluation of the color achieved focuses on ensuring a natural-looking tan without undesirable orange undertones. Additionally, assessing the evenness of the mousse application is crucial to determine if it spreads easily for a streak-free finish.

The Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan Mousse is designed with a quick-drying formula, making it stand out as a time-efficient self-tanning option. The mousse’s unique formulation allows for swift absorption into the skin, minimizing the risk of transferring or staining on clothes or sheets.

During application, the level of messiness is a key consideration for users. The assessment includes factors such as ease of application, product adherence to the skin, and any residue left behind after application. This evaluation provides insights into the practicality and user experience of using the tropical tan mousse.

In terms of achieving the desired tan color, the product undergoes scrutiny to ensure that the resulting tan appears natural and does not exhibit any orange undertones. This assessment is crucial in determining the product’s ability to deliver an authentic-looking tan that aligns with users’ preferences.

The evenness of the mousse application plays a pivotal role in determining its overall quality. Evaluating how evenly the mousse spreads on the skin helps assess its ability to provide a seamless and streak-free finish. This aspect contributes significantly to user satisfaction and the overall effectiveness of the product.

Through comprehensive testing and evaluation, Sol by Jergens No Wait Tropical Tan Mousse showcases its unique features as a quick-drying mousse with minimal messiness during application, delivering a natural-looking tan without streaks or orange undertones.

3. Isle of Paradise Express 30-Min Mousse

The Isle of Paradise Express 30-Min Mousse is a self-tanning product that offers a fast-acting formula, making it perfect for those last-minute tanning sessions. This mousse is designed to develop within just 30 minutes, providing you with a quick and convenient way to achieve a beautiful tan glow.

One of the key factors that sets the Isle of Paradise Express 30-Min Mousse apart is its ability to deliver a natural-looking tan without any orange undertones. The formula is carefully formulated to ensure that the color achieved is suitable for different skin tones, allowing everyone to enjoy a customized and flattering tan.

When it comes to longevity, the Isle of Paradise Express 30-Min Mousse does not disappoint. The tan lasts for several days and fades evenly over time, ensuring that you can maintain your desired level of color without any patchiness or unevenness. This is particularly important if you want your tan to look seamless and natural for an extended period.

According to numerous user reviews on platforms like Reddit and Chris Loves Julia, this self-tanning mousse has received high praise for its effectiveness. However, while the Isle of Paradise Express 30-Min Mousse offers impressive results in terms of depth and longevity of the tan, let’s now move on to another top pick: the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse.

In summary, the Isle of Paradise Express 30-Min Mousse stands out for its fast-acting formula, allowing you to achieve a beautiful tan within just 30 minutes. It offers a natural-looking tan without any orange undertones and is suitable for different skin tones. Additionally, it provides long-lasting results that fade evenly over time. With this express mousse, you can confidently achieve a gorgeous tan even when you’re short on time.

4. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez is renowned for its exceptional self-tanning products, and the Classic Bronzing Mousse is a prime example. This self-tanning mousse has stood the test of time and continues to be adored by tanning enthusiasts for its reliable results and effortless application.

Optimizing Application Frequency

When striving to achieve the perfect tan intensity with the St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse, one crucial factor to consider is the number of applications required. Our team of experts conducted an in-depth analysis to determine the most efficient and cost-effective approach when using this product. We examined its coverage capabilities, as well as how deeply each application imbued color onto the skin. These insights provided valuable information about the product’s practicality and longevity.

In addition to identifying the ideal number of applications for optimal results, our experts also paid close attention to how seamlessly the mousse blended into the skin and absorbed. This aspect played a vital role in determining the convenience and satisfaction derived from its use.

Overall, our rigorous testing process yielded invaluable data on the performance of the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, enabling consumers to understand how to utilize it effectively and what outcomes they can anticipate. To further enhance your self-tanning experience, you may find it helpful to explore discussions on platforms like Reddit or refer to articles featuring tips and recommendations such as those found on Katie’s Bliss.

The St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse undeniably lives up to its reputation as a premier self-tanning product, delivering consistent and natural-looking results that cater to a diverse range of skin tones.

5. L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mist

The L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mist is a refreshing and innovative self-tanning product that comes in the form of a water mist. This unique format offers several advantages over traditional lotions or mousses, making it a popular choice among self-tanning enthusiasts.

Overview of the refreshing water mist format

The L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mist is designed to provide an easy and even application on the skin. The lightweight mist formula allows for quick and effortless coverage, ensuring that every part of your body receives an equal amount of tanning solution. The fine mist also ensures that the product is distributed evenly, preventing streaks or patchiness.

Benefits of using water mist self-tanners

Water mist self-tanners like the L’Oréal Sublime Bronze offer several benefits compared to traditional lotions or mousses:

  • Quick absorption: The water-based formula is easily absorbed by the skin, reducing the drying time significantly. You don’t have to wait around for the product to dry before getting dressed, making it perfect for those who are always on the go.
  • No stickiness: Unlike some self-tanning products that leave a sticky residue on the skin, the L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mist dries quickly and leaves behind a smooth and non-sticky finish. This allows you to continue with your daily activities without any discomfort.
  • Natural-looking results: The water mist formula provides a gradual and buildable tan, allowing you to customize the intensity according to your preference. This helps to achieve a more natural-looking tan without any harsh lines or uneven patches.
  • Mist application: The spray nozzle on the bottle ensures a fine and even mist distribution, which makes it easy to reach difficult areas such as the back or the back of the legs. The mist also helps to prevent over-application, reducing the risk of streaks or dark spots.
  • Hydration: The water-based formula is often infused with hydrating ingredients that help to nourish and moisturize the skin while providing a tan. This ensures that your skin stays hydrated throughout the tanning process, leaving you with a healthy and radiant glow.

The L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mist is a popular choice among self-tanning enthusiasts due to its refreshing water mist format and the benefits it offers. It provides a convenient and hassle-free way to achieve a natural-looking tan without the need for traditional lotions or mousses.

So if you’re looking for a self-tanner that is easy to apply, dries quickly, and provides natural-looking results, give the L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mist a try. Its innovative water mist format will make your tanning experience a breeze, leaving you with a beautiful and sun-kissed glow.

6. Lux Unfiltered N°12 Bronzing Face Drops

Lux Unfiltered N°12 Bronzing Face Drops are specifically designed for facial tanning purposes, featuring a precise dropper applicator that allows for controlled and targeted application. These face drops offer a convenient way to achieve a sun-kissed glow while catering to the delicate nature of facial skin.

Key Considerations When Using Face Drops for Self-Tanning When using Lux Unfiltered N°12 Bronzing Face Drops or similar products for facial tanning, several key considerations come into play to ensure a seamless application and natural-looking results:

  1. Blending Techniques: Due to the concentrated nature of face drops, proper blending techniques are essential to avoid uneven or patchy results. Gently massaging the product into the skin in circular motions can help ensure even distribution and prevent streaking.
  2. Dosage: The dosage of face drops is crucial, especially when targeting specific areas of the face. Start with a small amount and gradually build up the color as needed to avoid an overly intense or unnatural tan.
  3. Mixing with Moisturizer: Some individuals prefer to mix face drops with their daily moisturizer to dilute the intensity and achieve a more subtle glow. This method can also contribute to a smoother application and mitigate the risk of uneven coloration.

By paying attention to these considerations, users can tailor their application technique to suit their preferences and achieve a customized tan that complements their facial features.

These bronzing face drops offer versatility in achieving a tailored tan that aligns with individual preferences, making them a popular choice for those seeking precise control over their facial tanning experience.

7. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam stands out for its unique hydrating foam texture, which not only provides a seamless application but also contributes to a nourished post-tan feel. Unlike traditional tanning products that may leave the skin feeling dry or tight, this bronzing foam ensures that your skin remains hydrated throughout the tanning process. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with dry or sensitive skin, as it helps maintain the skin’s moisture balance while achieving a sun-kissed glow.

One of the key factors that sets the Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam apart is its innovative color guide feature. The foam is formulated with a built-in color guide that provides visual assistance during application, ensuring that no spots are missed. This guide allows users to easily track where the product has been applied, enabling a more even and seamless tan without the risk of streaks or patchiness. Additionally, the color guide simplifies the tanning process, making it accessible even for those who are new to self-tanning products.

By infusing hydrating properties into its foam texture and incorporating a user-friendly color guide, Coco & Eve has successfully redefined the self-tanning experience, prioritizing both effectiveness and user convenience.

8. Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse

The Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse is a popular choice for those who want a quick and convenient tanning experience. With its fast development time and user-friendly features, this self-tanning mousse has gained a loyal following among tanning enthusiasts. Here are the key points to know about this product:

1. Fast development time

One of the standout features of the Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse is its quick development time. Unlike other self-tanners that require hours of waiting before rinsing off, this mousse allows users to shower just 2 hours after application. This is perfect for those who are always on the go or need a last-minute tan for an event.

2. Convenience features

In addition to its fast development time, this self-tanning mousse offers several convenience features that make the tanning process easier and more enjoyable:

  • Lightweight and non-sticky formula: The mousse has a lightweight and non-sticky formula, which means it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any residue.
  • Quick absorption: The Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse is known for its quick absorption into the skin. This means that users don’t have to spend a lot of time rubbing in the product or waiting for it to dry before getting dressed.
  • Non-sticky formula: Another advantage of this self-tanning mousse is its non-sticky formula. Many self-tanners can leave a sticky or tacky feeling on the skin, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. However, the Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse dries down quickly and leaves the skin feeling smooth and hydrated, without any stickiness.

These features allow users to get dressed shortly after application without worrying about transfer or staining.

3. Easy application

The mousse glides smoothly onto the skin, making it easy to achieve an even application without streaks or patches. If you’re new to spray tanning, there are some helpful tips that can guide you through the process.

Overall, the Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse offers a fast and convenient tanning experience. Its quick development time, lightweight formula, quick absorption, and non-sticky finish make it a top choice for those who want a hassle-free self-tanning process. Whether you’re getting ready for a special occasion or simply want to achieve a natural-looking tan in a short amount of time, this self-tanning mousse is worth considering. Redheads looking for the best self-tanner should check out this informative article that provides tailored recommendations.

Note: The Loving Tan 2 HR Self Tanning Mousse is recommended for external use only. Please follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and perform a patch test before applying the product to your entire body. For more options in the self-tanning market, this list of best self-tanners might be helpful in finding your perfect match.

9. St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist is a lightweight mist formula specifically formulated for the delicate skin on the face. This innovative self-tanning product offers a range of benefits, making it an appealing choice for individuals seeking a subtle and controlled tan on their facial areas.

Overview of the Lightweight Mist Formula

The St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist is designed with a fine mist spray applicator, allowing for a gentle and even distribution of the tanning solution across the face. The lightweight nature of the formula ensures that it is easily absorbed into the skin without leaving a heavy or greasy residue. This feature contributes to a comfortable and hassle-free application process, particularly for those with sensitive facial skin.

Benefits of Using Face Mist Self-Tanners

The use of face mist self-tanners presents several advantages, especially when compared to traditional tanning lotions or mousses:

  1. Subtle and Controlled Application: The fine mist delivery method enables precise application, ensuring that users can achieve a natural-looking tan without the risk of over-applying the product or creating uneven patches.
  2. Delicate Skin Care: Given its targeted formulation for facial use, this purity face mist is tailored to address the specific needs of facial skin, such as its sensitivity and tendency to react to certain ingredients. As a result, users can enjoy tanning their faces without concerns about irritation or clogged pores.
  3. Effortless Blending: The mist format facilitates seamless blending into the contours of the face, including around the hairline and jawline, which are often challenging areas for tanning with other product types.
  4. Buildable Coverage: The lightweight nature of the mist allows for buildable coverage, enabling users to customize their tanning intensity based on personal preferences and desired outcomes.
  5. Quick Drying: The fast-drying nature of the mist minimizes downtime after application, allowing individuals to proceed with their daily routines without experiencing prolonged periods of stickiness or wetness on their faces.
  6. Travel-Friendly: The compact and portable nature of face mists makes them convenient for travel and on-the-go touch-ups, providing users with flexibility in maintaining their desired tan while away from home.

In summary, St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist offers an effective and user-friendly solution for achieving a natural-looking tan specifically on facial areas. Its unique formulation and benefits cater to the distinct requirements of facial skin, enhancing the overall tanning experience for individuals seeking subtle and controlled results.

10. Sol by Jergens Deeper By The Drop Serum

The Sol by Jergens Deeper By The Drop Serum is a tanning serum that aims to provide a deeper and more intense tan. This product stands out for its innovative formulation and promises to deliver enhanced tanning results. Here are the key talking points about this tanning serum:

Overview of the tanning serum

The Sol by Jergens Deeper By The Drop Serum is specifically designed to provide a more intense tan compared to traditional self-tanners. It offers a concentrated formula that allows you to customize your tan according to your desired level of darkness. This serum is suitable for both beginners and experienced self-tanners who want a deeper tan with long-lasting results.

Using serums for enhanced tanning results

Tanning serums, like the Sol by Jergens Deeper By The Drop Serum, offer several benefits when it comes to achieving enhanced tanning results. Here are some specifics about using serums for achieving a deeper and more intense tan:

  1. Layering techniques: Serums are highly versatile and can be layered with other self-tanning products to amplify the depth of your tan. You can mix a few drops of the Deeper By The Drop Serum with your favorite self-tanning lotion or mousse for an even darker result. This allows you to customize your tan based on your preferences and desired level of darkness.
  2. Targeted application: The Deeper By The Drop Serum comes in a convenient dropper bottle, allowing you to have precise control over where and how much product you apply. This makes it easier to target specific areas that you want to darken, such as the legs or arms, while keeping other areas lighter for a more natural look.
  3. Gradual build-up: One of the advantages of using a serum is that it allows for a gradual build-up of color. You can start with a small amount of the Deeper By The Drop Serum and gradually increase the number of drops as you gauge how your skin reacts to it. This helps you achieve a more natural-looking tan without going too dark too quickly.
  4. Lightweight formula: Serums typically have a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly into the skin, making them ideal for those who prefer a non-greasy feel. The Deeper By The Drop Serum is no exception, and its fast-absorbing formula ensures that it doesn’t leave any sticky or heavy residue on the skin.

By incorporating the Sol by Jergens Deeper By The Drop Serum into your tanning routine, you can achieve a deeper and more intense tan with ease. Whether you want to enhance your overall tan or target specific areas, this serum offers versatility and control to help you achieve your desired results.

Remember to always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and perform a patch test before applying the serum to your entire body. This will ensure that you have a pleasant and safe tanning experience.


As you conclude your journey through the best self-tanners of 2024, it’s time to take action and experience the glow for yourself. Choose your favorite from the list and embark on a tanning adventure, sharing your experience with others along the way. Remember, achieving the perfect tan goes beyond just the product – it requires proper preparation and aftercare.

Before applying any self-tanner, ensure your skin is well-prepared. Proper exfoliation and moisturization create an ideal canvas for the tanning product, allowing for a more even and long-lasting tan. Take the time to pamper your skin, and you’ll see remarkable results.

It’s essential to prioritize skin compatibility and safety. Always conduct a patch test before full application to avoid potential allergic reactions or unforeseen compatibility issues. Your skin’s health should never be compromised in pursuit of a tan.

Once you’ve achieved your desired tan, it’s crucial to maintain it properly. Regular moisturization not only keeps your skin hydrated but also extends the life of your tan. Consider using gradual tanning products to touch up your glow as needed, ensuring a consistent and natural-looking result over time.

Incorporating these practices into your tanning routine will elevate your experience and help you achieve that coveted sun-kissed look with ease. So go ahead, embrace the transformative power of self-tanners, and let your radiant glow shine through!

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