Besides the well-known fact that self-tanning is a healthier alternative to roasting your skin in the sun, if you’re already on-board with at-home faux tanning, you know that it also offers a slew of off-label uses, from hiding skin imperfection to creating subtle contour. Unfortunately, finding self-tanning lotions that won’t leave you looking like a straight-up tangerine isn’t exactly a fool-proof feat. Aside from the risk of turning orange, you also have to worry about streaking, stained hands, ankles and feet, and the lingering B.O.-like odor that so many fake bronzing products are known for.
Regardless of your skin tone, the chance of screwing up self-tanner is definitely a major possibility—especially if you’re a newbie—and the apprehension to try it at home is 100 percent understandable. Sure, you can always head to your local tanning salon for a spray tan, but this beauty habit can be pretty expensive to maintain. Rest assured, it’s totally possible to get even, natural-looking results from the comfort of your own home—it just takes the right formula and a bit of practice.
We’ve rounded up some of the best self-tanner formulated with natural and shade adjusting pigments to prevent this all too common summer beauty disaster from forcing you to call in sick for work or canceling on your Hinge date out of sheer embarrassment.
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1. B Beauty Self-Tanning Lotion
This organic and non-toxic self-tanning lotion is infused with skin-loving ingredients (including shea butter and green tea) to hydrate the skin and increase the wear time of your faux glow.
2. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Tanner
This easy-to-apply self-tanning formula is designed to allow for a super-precise application while drying down into a transfer-proof formula in just a minute or two. It also has a refreshing citrus scent, so you won’t smell musty for hours after you apply it.
3. Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion
This all-natural bronzing lotion is designed for darker skin tones and gives you an ultra-deep tan without having to risk sun damage. The neutral-toned formula also never looks orange or overly warm.