Momtrends MVP’S: The Best Self Tanner


The best thing I ever did for my skin was give up tanning in my early twenties. Sure, a golden glow was and still is covetable, but it wasn’t enough motivation for me to risk the danger that comes with too much sun exposure. Thankfully, I came to my senses about tanning fairly early on. And the fact that self-tanner formulas seem to get better every year doesn’t hurt either. I have zero regrets.

I mean, let’s think about what we get from tanning. Sure, Vitamin D is good for us, but we can get that by being outside in small doses. We don’t need to bake on the beach for hours. The skin cancer risk alone is enough to dissuade me from tanning, but I can live without the sun damage too. I may not look like I’m twenty-five, but my skin also doesn’t look its age and that is because I protect it.

Why Sunless Tanning is a Must

My first step to a safe sunless glow is sunscreen. And the next step is, you guessed it, a self-tanner. They are so much more natural-looking than they used to be. I’m not after a cartoony orange look any more than you are my friends. I just want to look sun-kissed, especially when the weather starts to heat up.

It may sound like a pipe dream, but I have found that a natural-looking tan is not too much to ask for after all. It is quite achievable! You just have to find the right self-tanner for you. And that depends on how deep you want to go with your color, if you’re ok with a slow build or if you want to see results immediately, etc.

Don’t worry. I’ve got your back! In today’s edition of Momtrends MVP’s, I am going to share a slew of self-tanners, so hopefully, everyone can find one that fits their needs! We are going to cover sunless tanners for the face AND the body. Some people prefer to use bronzer on their face and tanner on their body and others want color everywhere, so I tried to speak to both camps with my picks.

Now that we know which products are highlighted in today’s beauty Momtrends MVP’s, why don’t you take a quick look at our last edition, simple makeup must-haves, if you missed it! You fellow Zoom frequent users will appreciate these easy tips for how to put together a simple, daytime-ready look.

Okay, since you’re all caught up on our latest beauty product recommendations, I think we can move on to the best sunless tanners out there...

The Best Self Tanners Tanners in 2021

Best Face Self Tanner: St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

St. Tropez knows self-tanners, that’s for sure. So it would stand to reason that their sunless tanner face mist is top-notch too. The color is buildable, so if you want a slight glow or a deeper tan, you have options. Plus, it mists on which means it’s more mess-free than other self-tanners. And you get a healthy dose of hydration to boot!

Best Self Tanner Oil: Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self Tanning Body Oil

Josie Maran makes one of my all-time favorite facial oils and now their self-tanning body oil has landed on my must-haves list too! This body oil absorbs like a dream and will give you the ultimate glow thanks to the natural DHA blend. If subtle, natural-looking color is your goal, this oil is for you! And you will have it after just one application.

Best Mousse Self Tanner: SOL by Jergens Sunless Tanning Water Mousse

This self-tanning marvel not only wins my vote for best mousse but also my best drugstore tanner as well. We all know how strong the scent can be with self-tanners, especially budget-friendly options. Happily, that is not the case with SOL and it seriously delivers in the color department. You can choose between medium and deep. Make no mistake, the medium will still give you quite a noticeable glow minus streaks.

Best Self Tanner Wipes: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad

If you’re a convenience girl, it doesn’t get much more convenient than these tanning towelettes. You can apply tanner to your entire body in mere minutes with these wipes. And the color develops pretty darn fast. I’m talking within the hour. So, without having to go through a messy application process, you have a tan very quickly indeed.

Best Self Tanner Drops: Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

If you want a product that you can easily use on your face and/or body, self-tanning drops are it. You can add a few drops to your moisturizer for your face and then add a few drops to your body lotion too. I love this one because it helps cancel out any redness you may have in your skin. Plus, you can customize your color with ease. Simply play around with just how many drops to give yourself the color you want!

Best Gel Self Tanner: Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel

My least favorite part about applying self-tanner is waiting for it to dry. If you’re like-minded, a self-tanner gel might be the tanning product for you. Clarins makes one that absorbs immediately and dries much faster than many formulas. It’s another buildable tanner, and you can apply it more often for a deeper tan. I’m a fan of the every other day schedule myself.

Best Self Tanner Lotion: Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Tinted Lotion

Some of you may prefer a classic self-tanning lotion. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that. They are quite effective. My current favorite is reasonably priced and fabulously effective. It’s doesn’t develop as fast as some self-tanners, but the result is worth it. It does dry in seconds even if it takes 4-8 hours to see your tan.

Best Self Tanner Serum: Tan-Luxe Super Glow Self-Tan Serum

Hyaluronic acid has long been one of my go-to anti-aging ingredients and I love that this serum contains it and a self-tanner so you can both treat your skin and tan it at the same time! Did I mention that it is also vegan and free of that strong scent I mentioned earlier? It does so much, this gradual tanner is perfect for anyone who likes a streamlined beauty routine!

Now that you have all the self-tanner options you could possibly need, I leave you with this. Do not forget to exfoliate before you venture into self-tanning and always remember to wash your hands so as to avoid the dreaded orange palms. Haha! Happy tanning...

As always, stay tuned for our next Beauty Momtrends MVPs list…

Momtrends MVP's is a non-sponsored series. Brands must meet our strict standards to be included. When naming winners we take several factors into account, including expense, convenience, and style.

We make our picks annually based on editors' research. In some instances, we may request and receive samples so that we can more thoroughly assess products. Our opinions are our own, and our goal is to help our community of moms make more informed decisions on everything from baby gear to beauty products to vacation destinations and more. We scour the abundant options and painstakingly hand-pick our favorites, so you don't have to. Our hope is that our most valuable players become your most valued purchases.
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