Whether you’re headed off to a beach vacation, prepping for summer, or you just feel the need for a little color, a self tanner is the ideal solution to warm up your natural skin tone. On that topic, if your likes include getting a healthy-looking glow and saving a few bucks without sacrificing quality, the below affordable drugstore self tanners are for you!
If you are new to the world of self tanners, we highly recommend you watch a few tutorials on how to best apply the product to avoid streaks, stained hands, and blotchy patches. To help you get started, we recommend you first shower, shave, and exfoliate, focusing on areas that are typically rough or dry. Then apply a moisturizing lotion to your hands, elbows, knees, ankles, and feet, allowing it to completely absorb into your skin before applying your self-tanning lotion. This helps to keep those dry areas of your skin hydrated so your self tanner absorbs evenly. Next, apply the lotion, serum, or foam evenly over your entire body. Rub in the product using your hands or a mitt if you prefer. Finally, use a facial cleansing towelette to remove the product from the palm of your hands. Allow the product to dry and develop for a few hours before showering again or jumping into a pool—even better if you apply the lotion before bed, allowing for maximum drying time.
Now that you know how to use a self tanner, we recommend you shop our list of the best drugstore self-tanners below. To make our selections we used our algorithm, which is unique to Rank & Style, to comb through all the products out there on the web and bring you the Top 10 drugstore self tanners according to sales, expert editorial picks, and glowing user reviews so you can shop this list with confidence. Opening image: @jergensUS
Did you like our 10 Best Drugstore Self Tanners? Check out our 10 Best Moisturizing Body Washes for more top-ranked finds!
February 14, 2019
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner
WHY YOU NEED IT: This anti-aging formula gives you a sun-kissed glow and hydrated skin all year round.
USERS SAID: “This sunless tanner is by, far, THE BEST product on the market!!! I have tried so many tanners and have been embarrassed by the streaks, missed areas, sparkly sheen, smell, etc., but Tan Physics doesn't have any of that. It covers and tans beautifully! [...]”
Sun Bum Sunless Self Tanning Towelette
BEST FOR: Tan and hydrated skin without the sun
ABOUT THE BRAND: “We take surf breaks. We bring our dogs and kids to work. We want our company to make a difference. We want our lives to matter. We make products the way we like them. And we hope you like them too. Trust The Bum.”
Alba Botanica Sunless Tanning Lotion
WHAT IT DOES: Safflower oil, shea butter, and sweet almond oil moisturize skin while botanicals gently give you a natural-looking tan within three hours.
USERS SAID: “I am a very fair skinned woman in my early 50's, and use this product daily. This self tanner gives you a very natural, even tone. I use it daily on my arms. I love the scent, it's not over powering. It keeps my dry skin moisturized all day.”
Beauty by Earth Self Tanner
LOVED FOR: The vegan and organic formula
WHY YOU NEED IT: Whether you’re headed to the beach (or want to look like you were just there), this self tanner will give you a healthy and natural bronze without harmful chemicals or spending too much time in the sun.
L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Body Towelettes
COMPLETE THE LOOK: Keep your tan going strong by hydrating your skin with a top-ranked moisturizer.
HELPFUL TIP: Apply daily until you get the shade you love, then apply once or twice each week to maintain that gorgeous glow.
Fake Bake Self Tanning Liquid Solution
WHAT IT DOES: Works with your skin’s unique makeup to give you a long-lasting tan without any orange tint or streaks
ABOUT THE BRAND: “We go through an extremely rigorous selection process to ensure we use only the best botanical extracts and state-of-the-art technology in our labs to make our Fake Bake products while also maintaining clean and environmentally-safe storage facilities for our products as well.”
Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion
LOVED FOR: Enriched with nourishing vitamin E and calming aloe vera extract for soft and beautiful skin.
COMPLETE THE LOOK: Show off your tan in a new bralette, since both are meant to be seen!
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Spray
USERS SAID: “Never tried leg makeup before now, but I’m sold on this stuff!! I stopped wearing capris a few years ago because my legs had so many “age” spots and assorted other marks and were so white...However, when I put this stuff on, it tanned my legs AND covered all my various marks quite a bit, too. Now I wear shorter styles and skirts all the time.”
HELPFUL TIP: Exfoliate your skin regularly with a stimulating dry brush to get the best results from this self tanner.
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse
BEST FOR: A natural-looking bronze, even when summer is months away
LOVED FOR: Airy and soft mousse melts into your skin (and dries within 60 seconds!) for a tan that mimics the golden effects of the sun.
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