Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The Hit List

What’s the Best Self-Tanner…?

What brand/product wins this category? What makes it so fabulous?

Thanks to Hilana for today’s topic!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

64 thoughts on “The Hit List: Best Self-Tanner

  1. Emily

    I love the St. Tropez tanning lotion and mousse! Smells great and doesn’t streak. Most importantly it gives you a truly bronze color, not that gross orange tint. Five stars!

    • I’ve heard about St. Tropez from Kandee Johnson on youtube..I’m thinking about giving it a try because I just recently have decided to give up tanning for good.

      • Brooke

        I stopped tanning too b/c I had to have a melanoma removed=( I also tried the st. tropez and it turned me orange and the smell was not pleasant. Plus it was a little pricey. I am also pretty fair…you might have better results if you are already tanned. I love jergens natural glow….completely natural color and dries quick, under $10!=)

    • livnzoe

      i want to try this one!!

    • Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to give that one a try one of these days. I always love to find great new products.

  2. Tiffany

    Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance – because it doesn’t smell horrible!

  3. I really don’t St. Tropez and it’s hype let me down. It fades in patches and you have to use SO MUCH of it. (2 pumps for 1 arm, 2 pumps for your calve, 2 pumps for upper thigh, and so on) so an 8 oz. bottle barely lasts and it’s a whopping $40. I do like that it doesn’t smell as bad as most self tanners, but I also noticed it fades very fast. I applied it 3 times per week.

    My favorite is (surprisingly, a cheaper product) Bath & Body Works Strike Gold self tanner. It doesn’t make me orange at all, doesn’t streak, is easy to apply, and I don’t have to wear gloves; it doesn’t stain my hands. I usually just wipe them with a baby wipe after applying the self-tanner and they blend in perfectly with the rest of my body. It’s only $15 too and they always have buy 2, get 1 free.

  4. Dani

    Lancome Flash Bronzer and Tan Towel Plus

  5. kayleigh

    Jergen’s Natural Glow in Light to Medium. It can take even the palest skin (NC10!) and bring it to a nice warm glow. Not orange or streaky, and you can see a change in skin color in only 4 days! After 7 days skin is sunkissed. You can also use it on the face and you won’t break out. Bonus, it’s only about $10!

  6. Nina

    I am very paile and the only self-tanner I can use in my face withoute it looking yellow/muddy/streaky is the Dior self tanner (for face).

    Even the lightest Jonhson & Johnson show up & streaks on the rest of my body :S

  7. Ani_BEE

    Honestly never had luck with self tanner. Look into airbrush systems or a Spray Booths at a locally tanning salon if you want as good finish.

  8. Vanessa S

    I havent found a good self tanner yet….i am very pale and i have tried maybe a doxen different brands and nothing :( so far i stick to tanning beds and spray tans.

  9. (2 pumps for 1 arm, 2 pumps for your calve, 2 pumps for upper thigh, and so on) so an 8 oz. bottle barely lasts and it’s a whopping $40.

  10. Caelin

    Xen-Tan! Amazing, noticeable colour that looks natural because it has olive undertones instead of orange undertones, and it smells like marzipan..yummy :)

  11. helen

    The best self-tanner that i’ve found (and i’ve tried many) is from Clarins. It comes in a jar and it’s the best for overall colour. Not too light/dark, no streaks, no orange. The best application tip that i was given (to avoid streaks) is to mix one part body moisturizer to two parts self-tanner. It works! (but not necessary with the Clarins product).

  12. raquel

    Xen-Tan Dark Lotion, no questions asked! Sooooo good!

  13. Natalie

    Kardashian Glamour Tan for me! I love how easy it is to apply, the dark, rich, NATURAL (never orange!) color it gives me, and if you accidentally streak, it’s super easy to fix. I put a bit over a patchy area on my neck, drove 1 hour to an event down the shore, and voila! It was gone. I finally found a self tanner I love!

  14. emily

    My best is Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe

  15. The only thing I ever had any luck with were the color-depositing products from True Blue Spa sold at Bath and Body Works… The “color developing” products never develop on me :( I once got criticized by a gang of my coworkers for not using a self tanner after I’d been using one of those drugstore “gradual tan” products religiously for about a month! I’ve basically given up on being tan and embraced being glowy in direct sunlight, since I refuse to actually get tan in the sun, and the fake stuff is so hit or miss.

  16. Hannah D.

    St. Tropez bronzing mousse! Love this stuff so much! No streaks and such a beautiful natural bronze color. I always get asked if I just came back from vacation whenever I put it on!

  17. Almay bare it all ! ^^

  18. Kalex

    I have completely given up self-tanning products. I’ve tried dozens, watched tutorials on how to use them, and wasted so much time and money for sub-par results. This year I’m embracing my German and Irish, pale, freckled skin!

  19. amber

    Sun labs best thing ever.

  20. monika-luiza

    Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow Face, hands down! in the summer I even use it instead of foundation/tinted moisturizer. No organge patches, just plain beautiful, lightly tanned skin with a glow to die for.
    Big plus: it smells divine

  21. Kayla Rachelle

    Victoria’s Secret Beach Sexy. It has the most GORGEOUS shimmer, so it contributes to your glow, and it’s great for going out. Plus, it keeps you tan for WEEKS! The only thing is, if you don’t blend it enough, it tends to get streaky.

    • Lorna

      i use victoria’s secret bronzing products too. they work well enough but i’ve been wanting to try the guerlain bronzing products for some time now.

      • pilar

        VS BeachSexy works sooo well!!!!! and it smells really good too! Self-tanner scent is usually pretty stinky, but this one is really nice! Hubby approved. :)

  22. I LOVE Sunlabs self-tanner. Similar to Xen-Tan in both application and result. It’s olive based and doesn’t go orange or streak my pale (nw20) skin. Also, it develops quickly and doesn’t stain clothes. I’ve only been able to order it online, but they do offer sales periodically so it’s a little cheaper than Xen-Tan or St. Tropez.

  23. Maya C

    I’m not 100% sure of the brand… I think Hawaiian Tropic, but I know I got it at Walmart for like $6 and it is awesome! I’m fairly tan naturally, and I have very olive skin, so most tanners give me more of an orange look than a tan look. This one didn’t do that at all. It smells pretty nice too.

  24. Karo

    Clarins Self Tanning Intant Gel. Hands down. Best ever.

  25. katherine

    I love Kate Sommeville’s Towelettes. Lasting color. I am warm toned but pale and I like the color. Expensive but I don’t self tan that often.

  26. Hannah

    I love the Jergens foam self tanner… even though I’m pretty light in winter (NC20) I still get the medium/dark shade and it works great. I don’t get streaks, and it doesn’t make me look orange :)

  27. Isabella

    Xen Tan Dark Lotion & Deep Bronze Luxe and Dior Bronze for face!

  28. Lucie

    Eh, never tried a self tanner before and don’t plan to. I think people look best sporting their natural skintones!

  29. Jennie P

    I lovvve the Neutrogena aerosol spray. Never a streak to be found. You do not need to rub it in and complete drying in under 10 minutes !

  30. Shirley

    Jergen’s Natural Glow! It’s cheap, it doesn’t look orange, and it doesn’t stain anything.

  31. Alison

    MOR used to do a body bronzing moisturiser that smelled lovely and looked really natural. Apart from that I don’t think I’ve ever been one to use self tanners. I have naturally olive skin anyway.

  32. Jessica FB

    Bare Minerals Faux Tan (liquid not the powder). This is the only tanner I will use! It doesn’t smell bad and the color really last a long time. Excellent product!

  33. Chelsea

    Kiehl’s has the most amazing self-tanner. It’s light and creamy, so it’s easy to get an even application, and it doesn’t stink (very important!). I use it to take the glare off my uber-white legs.

    • Clara

      I agree! The Kiehl’s doesn’t smell bad, very even easy application, and dries very quickly. I think I just talked myself into going & getting a bottle!

  34. Norvell Sunless Lotion with Bronzers and Norvell Sunless Spray with Bronzers.
    The lotion is my favorite, it doesn’t smell, doesn’t streak and there isn’t a hint of orange in the color. Just make sure you wash your hands really well afterwards. The spray is also really good, but I have to get my boyfriend to it. If you have someone else spray you, it looks just like you went to the salon and lasts 8 days.

  35. Tina

    Clarins by far!

  36. Eleanor

    Loccitane Self-Tanning Sunshine Veil for the Face, perfect for very pale skin and I have never been able to use fake tan as every single one goes bright orange (even st tropez, xen tan, mt moriz and all the most popular ones) this is the only tanner that doesn’t streak or make me orange! Also no breakouts

  37. zeldamarie

    I’m kind of late on this, but I have some general comments about self-tanner that I hope some people will find useful (I worked at a tanning salon as an airbrush tan tech through all four years of college, so I feel like kind of a know-it-all on the subject, so apologies if this is too verbose).

    Getting an “orangey” faux tan is always caused by the same thing – dry skin. The active ingredient in all self-tanners is the same: dihydroxyacetone, aka DHA. It’s always going to react the same way with your skin to turn it brown regardless of the product you’re using – it’s a chemical reaction, not a dye, so it doesn’t come in different shades (unless you’re talking about bronzer, which is different).

    The orange effect happens when you have an extra layer of dry/dead skin cells sitting on top of your skin, because they reflect light differently than moisturized healthy skin. The reason why some products seem to produce more orangey results is usually because they have some kind of secondary ingredient that’s drying out your skin.

    So long story short, if you want to avoid getting an orange tan, first make sure you exfoliate beforehand to remove any dead skin (everyone probably knows this already). Afterward though, it’s equally important to keep your skin moisturized throughout the duration of your self-tan, otherwise you run the risk of it turning orange. Make sure you wait an appropriate amount of time between applying the tanner and moisturizing your skin though, otherwise you can get streaks. The easiest thing to do is use a self-tanner that contains moisturizing ingredients, and always avoid self-tanners that contain drying ingredients, like alcohol.

    As for my favorite products, I’d probably have to go with Clinique’s Self Sun Daily Moisturizer and Too Faced’s Tanning Bed in a Tube.

  38. Heather

    xentan hands down!! πŸ˜€

  39. Bianca

    No thanks. I prefer to stay my natural skin color.

  40. Mackenzie

    I am in LOVE with the dark self-tanner from Beautisol. It has the color guide that makes the application process so easy. The resulting color on me was amazing, deep, dark and natural. They also provide application gloves and starburst!

    • Kim

      I am pretty pale and every self tanner I ever use makes me have an orangey tint. Thanks for all of your suggestions I can’t wait to try some. What is the best face self tanner that y’all would recommend for someone with paleish skin?

      • Brooke

        I am very fair also. St Tropez turned me orange and its expensive. I love jergens natural glow…wont break out your face and one coat of the one for fair skin is juuust enought for me. No orange and under $10!

  41. Amie C.

    After wasting a bunch of money on the expensive brands, I tried Banana Boat’s UltraMist Summer Color Self Tanning Mist and I LOVE it. It’s available at WalMart pretty much year round for about $8. It works best if you get right out of the shower and use a good all-over moisturizer first. If your skin is dry, the spray will make you look a little streaky. Once your skin has soaked up the moisturizer a bit…usually within about 5 minutes…hold the can 6 to 8 inches away and spray. The mist comes out really fine, but it doesn’t go all over the place. It has a faint smell, but if you use a good-smelling moisturizer first, it totally covers it up. Once I finish, I CAREFULLY blot / dab my knees, ankles & elbows with a towel. It takes a few minutes to dry, but once it does, it gives you a great bronze glow that’s not orange-y at all, and it doesn’t get all over your hands!! The color only lasts 3 or 4 days, but if you start using it on Monday, you’ll look like you just got back from the beach by Friday. The only downside is that I only get 4 or 5 uses out of one can…more if I only spray my legs. But it’s $8….so I buy a couple of them at a time.

  42. Bonnie

    I have spent a fortune on self-tanners. The #1 best one ive used is Clarins Delicious self tanning cream. Never streaked and didn’t flake off. My second favorite is xen tan. I have only tried Luxe. Amazing when i first used it,but after a couple days it comes off horribly.the other side of my elbows were pale white while everything else was olive toned.So you have to apply it more to those areas after scrubbing. Both have a dark color and and not orange.Applies well on feet,elbows,etc. Both are pricy.You get what you pay for!

  43. alexa l.m.

    best self tanner is sun sauce lotion. you can only buy it online-never found it in a store-it’s great-natural looking dark tan-use it in conjunction with versa spa system.

  44. Meghan Lynne

    Marcelle I-bronze self tanning cloths are amazing :) Give a really nice color. Reasonable price 17 bucks for 15 towelettes