best self-tanners

The 13 Best Tanning Lotions for a Bronze Summer Glow

We promise you won’t wind up orange or streaky.

By: Hannah Baxter

Pack up those puffer coats and bust out your cutoff shorts (or at least a modest cropped jean) because the temperatures are *finally* taking a turn. And if you dig a safe bronze glow (though we love pale skin just as much!), self-tanner has come a long way. You no longer have to fear telltale streaks, unpleasant aromas, or a bizarrely orange hue. Still, we recommend doing a patch test before you apply any of these formulas, and always scrub your hands with soap after application (or use a tanning mitt to apply). Whether you want a hint of color or a just-back-from-Tahiti glow, these are the 13 best tanning lotions we’ve found this year.


Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam: Our new favorite spray foam has aloe vera and coconut to mask the scent of the extra DHA (the chemical that actually gives you your tan). It’s also super moisturizing.

St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse: A cult favorite for good reason: You can’t really go wrong with St. Tropez. A natural-looking bronze, and the best tanning mitt on the market.

Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer: This lotion—which also has SPF 20—can be used every day for a buildable, subtle tan. It’s basically foolproof.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad For Body: You should always exfoliate before applying self-tanner, and this handy towelette from Dr. Dennis Gross conveniently combines the two for super-fast application.

Tan-luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops: These tanning drops are an Instagram sensation, and we’re happy to report they really do work! Stay tuned for a more thorough review of the brand’s new body tanning oil.

Supergoop! Healthy Glow Sunless Tan Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40: A self-tanner that’s perfect for sensitive skin, and has SPF? A match made in heaven.

La Mer Face & Body Gradual Tan: For the truly luxurious self-tan experience, you can’t go wrong with La Mer.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster: With a formula for both body and face, we swear by this Clarins self-tanner. Just add three to four drops to your moisturizer, and apply as usual.

Lancôme Flash Bronzer Tinted Self-Tanning Gel: This gel has light-reflecting micro pearls, so your glow reaches otherworldly levels ASAP.

Tarte Brazilliance PLUS Self Tanner: A vegan and hypoallergenic self-tanner that delivers an even, golden color every time.

Vita Liberata pHenomenal Tan Mousse: After four to eight hours, this clear mousse develops into a gorgeous, sun-kissed glow that’s sure to make all your friends jealous.

Tan Towel Full Body Tanning Towelette Set: A super-fast-drying tan towel that won’t stain your sheets and is great for travel. No leaky bottles here.

COOLA Sunless Tan Dry Body Oil Mist: COOLA packed a ton of antioxidants and argan oil into this moisturizing formula, and better yet, the mist is almost effortless to apply.

Part of the series: