Just in case your dermatologist, mom, or like, anyone with basic UV-ray knowledge hasn’t lectured you enough, we’re about to be real honest with you: Even after you’ve found your match made in sunscreen heaven, it’s still incredibly dangerous (see: dumb) to veg out in the sun. Yep, it doesn’t matter how good your pasty-as-hell legs would look after a few hours in the sun, ‘cause sun bathing can cause wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer, which one in five Americans will develop in their lifetime. But don’t worry, you don’t have to look like a ghost all summer long—because the beauty industry is currently flooded with top-notch self-tanning products that, unlike the orange-skin-inducing formulas you used in high school, *actually* leave your skin with pretty, glowing color.
And if you’re a straight-up self-tanner hater, we hate to break it to you, but you’ve probably just been applying it wrong—or rather, too hesitantly. The biggest misconception with self-tanning products is that the formula’s pigment is in your control, when actually, it’s pre-determined. Think of self-tanners like lipstick: No matter how many or how few coats you apply, you’re more or less getting the same color—so smearing a small dollop of product across your entire body is only going to result in uneven, streaky color.
And after sifting through all eight billion self-tanners on the market right now, we weeded out any formulas with false promises or ridiculously high price points to find the absolute seven best, most easy-to-use products that are safe enough to slather across your entire body—all for less than $20. Including subtle, gradual tans for newbies and hydrating mists that’ll coat even your hardest-to-reach areas, these seven self-tanners are so damn good that you’ll forget you got it indoors and sans sun.