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Get a sun-kissed glow without leaving the house — 27 self-tanners that'll do the trick

Achieve a flawless tan without stepping foot in the sun.
TODAY Illustration / Sephora / Target / Tarte
/ Source: TODAY

Aside from breaking out your favorite summer dresses and seasonal accessories, one of the best parts of warmer weather is the glow you get from a tan after hours spent poolside or at the beach. However, you don’t necessarily have to go in the sun to get the perfect glow. Instead of exposing your skin to potentially harmful UV rays, consider a self-tanner.

A great self-tanner is key to bringing that sun-kissed glow to the surface without going outside — and they've come a long way from the orange, streaky options.

Luckily, some of the best self-tanners (even for fair skin) can be found at your local drugstore or pharmacy, so you don't have to worry about shelling out a ton of money.

In an effort to help you find the best affordable self-tanner, we rounded up several great options that the internet's raving over.

Best body self-tanners, according to shoppers

Skinerals Californium Sunless Tanning Mousse

Touting a green-based solution to counteract the orange-looking tan that can occur with other self-tanners, this sunless tanning mousse works best when applied at night, followed by a shower in the morning, according to the brand's instructions. It can be used on both the face and body and is ideal for lighter skin tones to achieve a healthy glow that lasts up to seven days.

Vita Liberata Fabulous Gradual Tanning Lotion

Once applied, this tanning lotion does its work over the course of four to eight hours.

"After working at a tanning salon and trying many self tanners, this is by far my favorite gradual self tanner," wrote one recent Amazon reviewer. "It doesn't look orange, and I don't mind the smell. Better than any other popular brands I've tried."

b.tan tanned AF Self-Tanned Mousse

Currently Amazon's bestselling body self-tanner, the tongue-in-cheek name of this pick isn't the only thing that's delivering smiles to shoppers. For starters, it's formulated with clean, sustainably sourced ingredients and strives to deliver a deep tan within an hour, according to the brand.

"This is the self tanner you thought didn't exist. It has virtually no scent, dries fast into a gorgeous brown tan, uses no UV rays, and lasts up to 5 days... why have you people been hiding this??" one verified Amazon shopper raved about this tanning mouse — and with 12,700+ other verified shoppers giving it five stars, we have a feeling they're onto something.

Neutrogena Micromist Airbrush Sunless Tanning Spray

The Neutrogena Micromist Airbrush Sunless Tanning Spray gives you a natural, glowy tan right in the comfort of your own home. Aside from drying evenly and quickly, this mist tanner is a great choice for sensitive skin since its oil-free, witch hazel-loaded formula won't clog your pores.

Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer for Body

Shoppers absolutely love the gradual results of this Jergens body moisturizer, but they're not the only ones who feel that way. One former Shop TODAY editor has been using this self-tanner for over a decade and hasn't looked back since.

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Self-Tanning Towelettes

L'Oreal Paris's one-use towlettes have over 4,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon, plus a near-perfect average for how easy it is to use while you're on the move. Shoppers find that it's simple to apply and leaves a rich, streak-free color that looks like you've spent several hours under the sun.

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

"I have been using false tan for 30 years and this is by far the best ever false tan," one shopper said about this innovative self-tanner from Coco & Eve and it's clear to see why, based on the benefits the brand proclaims. Aside from utilizing natural nutrients that blurs imperfections and Cellushape Technology that improves signs of aging, it was also developed with a green-gray base for a more natural glow. Its beachy Balinese mango and guava aroma is also hard to resist!

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer

Give your skin a natural sun-kissed essence with this top-rated moisturizer from Jergens. The affordable self-tanning product has earned over 11,000 verified five-star ratings over time thanks to its soothing properties and sheer, streak-free finish.

Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands' self-tanning foam is lightweight and enriched with aloe vera and coconut to provide a streak-free tan. Plus, with over 18,700 verified five-star ratings, many people seem to swear by this easy-to-use pick.

“I'm absolutely in love with this product. This tan gives you the most natural-looking color — such a deep golden brown,” said one reviewer. Others commented on the smell of the product. “The smell is divine. Not just while applying but days after there is no tanner smell, just coconut,” said another person.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Light Glow

Planning to show off your gams for your next night out? This Sally Hansen self-tanner is another great airbrush option that can give your legs a literal glow-up in just seconds.

"It seriously has given me so much confidence to show my legs and arms. I am super pale because I do not want wrinkles (so SPF all the way baby!). This stuff makes me feel sun-kissed and beautiful!" shared one recent Amazon reviewer who gave it a perfect five stars.

Australian Gold Continuous Spray Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer

You should never have to sacrifice sun protection for a tan and you won't have to with this spray sunscreen from Australian Gold. It's made with a caramel bronzer that will instantly leave you looking sun-kissed. Made with natural ingredients like vitamin C and tea tree oil, and without oxybenzone or gluten, this 2-in-1 sunscreen and bronzer is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

St. Moriz Professional Instant Dark Self Tanning Mousse

Infused with olive milk and vitamin E, this lightweight tanning mousse is perfect for achieving that summer glow all year long. Whether you're trying it for the first time or well-versed in the world of self-tanning, this mousse is easy to apply (and remove), and is suitable for every skin type.

L'Oréal Paris Skincare Sublime Hydrating Self-Tanning Mousse

The L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanner is currently Amazon’s Choice for body self-tanners. It comes in a lightweight water formula that disappears into your skin for an easy application. Simply apply the mousse and allow four to eight hours for the color to fully develop before showering and rinsing off the product. If you want a longer-lasting tan, apply the tanner up to three times within 12 to 24 hours.

Beauty by Earth Self-Tanner

Earning 12,000+ five-star ratings at Amazon, along with near-perfect averages at retailers like Walmart and Target, Beauty by Earth's self-tanner is clearly a crowd-pleaser. Loaded with aloe vera, shea butter and other hydrating ingredients, this sunless tanning lotion works overtime to leave your skin glowing and smooth.

Tanologist Express Tan Mousse

Available in three adaptable shades, this water-to-foam, vitamin-infused mousse leaves you with a flawless, fast-drying bronze glow. "This is so amazing and gives my skin so much color! I've stopped using foundation and use this instead!" added one Ulta shopper who gave it five stars.

Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion

If you’re looking for a clean self-tanning option, the Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion may be the option for you. The formula is 100 percent vegetarian and is free of gluten, parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances.

The brand uses a formula powered by botanicals that is non-streaking and quick to absorb. The product is created with nourishing shea butter, sweet almond oil and safflower oil to hydrate skin while providing a deep, natural-looking tan without exposure to harmful UV rays.

Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse

Jergens's body mousse is another beloved product from the brand with 8,800+ verified five-star ratings on Amazon. Many customers with fair skin were impressed with the glow this tanner gave them without giving them an orange tint. The mousse formula is also tinted, so you can see where you’ve applied it and it dries in just 60 seconds.

Sol by Jergens Sunless Tanning Medium Water Mousse

Infused with coconut water, self-tanning agents from natural sugars and a passionfruit essence, using this cruelty-free tanning mousse is almost as good as embarking on a beach vacation. One Target reviewer even exclaimed that they "never had such a natural looking, steak free, even, easy tan!"

Tarte Brazilliance Plus+ Self-Tanner

"I have tried many self tanners over the years. This knocks them all out of the park," an Ulta shopper said about Tarte's tinted bronze gel. Beyond helping users fake the perfect vacation tan, it's formulated with natural exfoliators and "skinvigorating" ingredients like squalane, vitamin E and citric acid.

Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid & Professional Mitt

We can’t get enough of Fake Bake's self-tanning kit. One Shop TODAY contributor also loves this tanner for its natural ingredients and flawless results.

One of the main ingredients in this tanner is dihydroxyacetone, which is made from plant sources like sugar cane and sugar beets. Another unique aspect of this tanner is that it doesn’t contain moisturizer, which helps the formula absorb quicker.

Best facial self-tanners, according to shoppers

Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops

Currently an Amazon bestseller in facial self tanners, these self-tanning drops boast benefits like minimizing imperfections, cancelling redness, evening out skin tone and acting as semi-permanent makeup. One verified five-star reviewer said they only use a few drops mixed in with their moisturizer to wake up with a "nice glow" and that it didn't irritate their acne-prone skin.

Bondi Sands PURE Self Tanning Sleep Mask

This mask from Bondi Sands does all of the work while you sleep so you can wake up with glowing, sun-kissed skin. The brand declares it gentle enough to be suitable for sensitive skin and it features a plethora of eye-catching ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E.

OleHenriksen Banana Bright Sun-Kissed Face Primer

For a subtle and gradual sun-kissed look, this face primer from OleHenriksen gets the job done. It's made with vitamin C to provide a brightening effect and help improve makeup wear, according to the brand's description.

"I love the natural glow this gives me! This applies so nicely and works great alone or under make up," wrote one Sephora reviewer.

St. Moriz Facial Tan Boosting Serum Tanning Drops

Whether you're looking for a subtle kiss of sun or a deeper tan, these made-to-measure serum drops have got you covered. As an added bonus, it's also fragrance-free and non-abrasive, making this facial self-tanner suitable for sensitive skin types.

Tanologist Self Tanner Drops

This self-tanning option from Tanologist is not only small enough to throw into your travel carry-on, it also allows you to personalize your glow-up. The dermatologist-approved formula — made with skin-friendly ingredients like goji berry and pink grapefruit — was designed to be mixed with your favorite moisturizer. The more drops you add, the more sun-kissed you'll be!

St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Water Purity Face Mist

"Every year I try the newest /latest/greatest self tanner, in the hopes I will find the perfect one, every year, I find something that comes close, but not quite. THIS IS EVERYTHING!" an Ulta shopper teased about St. Tropez's facial mist — and it seems many others agree with this feeling! Along with giving your skin an instant hydration boost thanks to the included hyaluronic acid, it's also infused with natural tanning actives and a tropic-scented, antioxidant-loaded hibiscus extract.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water

New to self-tanning or have a paler skin tone? This clean spritz from Isle of Paradise — made with a combination of color-correcting actives, coconut, chia seed and avocado oils — will provide a subtle, easy glow.

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