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Self-tanning is a tricky beast, and we’re totally down to experiment when it comes to bronzing our body. But when it comes to our money-makers, we’re not messing around. We want the best self-tanner for our face without a trial-and-error process.
Even if you’re a self-tanner pro, getting a natural glow on your face can get a little iffy. If you have dry skin, they can stick to the dry patches in the most unfortunate way. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, some self-tanners might clog pores and cause breakouts. And if you have sensitive skin, the chemicals and fragrances in some self-tanners might cause an inflamed flare-up. And that’s not even mentioning the hazards of ending up with an orange or streaky face!
That’s why we humbly suggest considering investing in a self-tanner solely for your face this summer. After all, you’re keeping out of the sun and slathering on that SPF 30 every day (right?). From mix-in drops to refreshing mists and traditional lotions, here are the best options.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad
Exfoliation and bronzing in one? We’ll take two boxes please! This multitasker contains alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids for sloughing away dead skin cells, as well as encapsulated DHA for time-released color and soy protein to give it a more natural hue.
$38 at Sephora
Vita Liberata Phenomenal Organic Tan Infused Cloths
These easy-to-use cloths are infused with organic botanicals for hydration, advoganic technology for color and a quick-dry feel for a tan that lasts up to 10 days.
$25-$39 at Vita Liberata
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops
These vegan-friendly and cruelty-free drops are available in three color-correcting options which should be mixed with moisturizer to achieve a natural, streak-free glow.
$28 at Beauty Bay
Pacifica Coconut Glow Mineral Bronzing Face Shade
This water-resistant lotion infused with SPF 30 adds natural-looking color and hydration so you needn’t sit out in the sun for a tan.
$16 at Ulta
St. Tropez Bronzing Water Face Mist
This brand is in the upper-echelon of tanning products and the face mist is a must-try. Simply use alone or as a setting spray over makeup and watch your complexion get gradually glowier.
$30 at Sephora
TAN-LUXE The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
Already have a favorite moisturizer, serum or face oil? Don’t ditch it; instead, add a few drops, and it’ll transform into a self-tan sans streaks and smells. So easy!
$49 at Ulta
COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum
If you have particularly uneven and/or dry skin or are looking for something that’ll help tighten up your skin, look no further than this product. COOLA’s sunless tan serum is also an anti-aging serum, thanks to its antioxidant-rich blend of argan oil, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and plant stem cell cultures.
$54 at Sephora
Supergoop! Healthy Glow Sunless Tan
What’s so great about this tanner is it has sunscreen (SPF 40) built in—packed with aloe juice, vitamin E, and vitamin B5—to protect your skin from the sun as it gives you a gradual, healthy glow. Just spray on, rub in, and go.
$38 at Sephora
Tanwise Self-Tanning Face Gel
Even if you’re not on a budget, you owe it to yourself to try this self-tanning face gel. The light gel consistency is easy to blend into the skin and dries quickly. Plus, it gives a sheer-but-buildable tint with no tell-tale streaks. The color is perfect, too: just the right bronze shade, with no hint of orange.
$6.99 at Sally Beauty
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Face Moisturizer SPF 20
If you’re looking to switch to a daily moisturizer for your face that will give you a nice glow for the summer, look no further. Use this every day to hydrate your skin while adding a natural tint of color. It even has SPF 20 to help protect your face from the sun.
$7.99 at Amazon
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster
Clarins is kind of the old-school standard when it comes to self-tanning, and their Radiance-Plus is pretty awesome. Just add a couple drops to your daily moisturizer to add a subtle warmth to your complexion.
$32 at Sephora
James Read BB Tan Pen
James Read’s tan pen takes contouring to a whole new level—the handy applicator lets you totally create a chiseled complexion that sticks with you 24/7. In addition to the sun-kissed glow, you’ll also find skincare and anti-aging benefits thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid and algae extract.
$30 at Dermstore
TanTowel Self-Tan Anti-Aging Towelette
If you’re not into the mess and fuss of tanning lotions, you’ll love the ease of these tanning towels. They’re also perfect for traveling. You can use one quick-drying towel a few times a week for a gradual tan, or use several in quick succession for a deeper, faster tan. Not only do these towels deliver a natural tan, but they also hydrate and exfoliate the skin for a truly healthy glow.
$30 (for 15-count) at Amazon
Dior Bronze Self Tanning Jelly Gradual Glow (Face)
This jelly self-tanner promises a natural glow after four weeks of use. It leaves the skin radiant thanks to its dual skin-perfecting and self-tanning action.
$38 at Dior
Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
Drunk Elephant’s Sunshine Drops work for all types of skin. It is a serum that immediately replenishes the delicate balance that supports a healthy barrier function of skin – like sunshine’s bronzy color, delivered without the damage.
$36 at Sephora
La Mer The Face and Body Gradual Tan
This lightweight lotion builds a natural, sun-touched glow. The product is quick-absorbing for an even, perfectly natural-looking boost of radiance, bringing a healthy look all year around.
$100 at Bloomingdale’s
Bronze Glow Self Tanning Glow by Morning Gradual Tan Drops
Ulta’s Bronze Self Tanning Tan Drops gradually build a bronze, glowing complexion without leaving you looking orange. Just add them to your nightly moisturizer for a subtle glow by morning.
$8.79 at Ulta
Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water
This clear tanning water foams into a thick, hydrating mousse that sinks right into skin when applied. The clear color of this product assures there’s absolutely no residue or transfer to clothing or sheets.
$39 at Goop