My Picks for the Best Self Tanners

Summer is nearly here, which means a lot of sun and skin. We all want that a gorgeous glowing tan, but if you care about your health and your skin, direct tanning in the sun or in a tanning bed is not an option. So, what’s the next best thing? A great self tanner. I have been using self tanners for years, and I’ve pretty much tried them all. Through my trial (and sometimes streaky orange error), I’ve found the ones that work best.  So, here are my picks for the best self tanners.

Special Occasion Tan – The Perfect Glow: St. Tropez Self Tan ($35, 4oz, Sephora)

In my humble opinion, St. Tropez tanner is the best on the market, hands down. Not only does it give the perfect glowing tan but it DOES NOT SMELL. The company uses a special technology that removes the chemical smell that most tanners have and somehow actually smells good, like a light floral perfume. The reason I call this a “special occasion tanner” is because it requires some time and effort to get right and it is a bit more expensive than other brands. If you use this tanner, this is the process you must follow to get phenomenal results:

  1. Shower and exfoliate
  2. Apply moisturizer to your entire body, let dry
  3. Smooth on your entire body with tanner. Pay special care not to apply too much to knees and elbows
  4. Use a blow dryer on warm setting to set and dry (you will notice at this point the tan does not look perfect, which is why step 5 in necessary)
  5. Wait 4 hours and rinse off in shower for 1-2 minutes

As you can see, this is a bit of a process but the results are worth it and the tan lasts about 5 days. I use this tanner for special events, vacations and any other time I want to look especially fabulous.

Best for Everyday Use: Banana Boat Everyday Glow Sun Dial Adjustable Color, ($10, 6.7oz, Amazon)

This is my second favorite tanner and the one I use most often for a few reasons:

  • You can pick the color, from light to dark
  • It is easy to apply and does not streak
  • The color shades are very nice – with no trace of orange
  • The smell, while no St. Tropez, is not bad

I apply this every other day as my base tan and moisturizer. Its better than the other daily tanners out there because you get a bit more color and the shades are much nicer and more natural looking. With this tanner, you do not need to go through the 5 step St. Tropez system – just simply choose your color and apply.

Easy, On-the-Go Tan: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad, ($32, 20 towelettes, Sephora)

Tan towels are a relatively new trend in self tanning. I like these for certain circumstances, but this would not be my go to for regular use. Here’s why: there never tends to be enough tanner on one towel for the entire body and it’s hard to tell where you have applied the product. That being said, I like to keep Dr. Gross’s tan towels in my bag for “pale leg emergencies” and to quickly swipe on for a little added glow before leaving the house. The color in these is very subtle and looks very natural.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These tanners are designed for use on your body and neck only, not your face. You don’t want to mess with body tanners on your face because they are not designed to be sensitive enough for your much more delicate facial tissue. To get a tan face, use a darker shade of foundation (we like Laura Gellar’s Phenomenal Foundation in Medium) and use a bronzer.

Do you have any favorite tanners that I have not listed here? If so, please share below!

*note, Vasseur Skincare is in no way affiliated with any of these products or companies*

6 thoughts on “My Picks for the Best Self Tanners”

  1. I haven’t tried this product might have to give it a try. Tip: Make sure you exfoliate before applying self tanner this will help you avoid spots and streaks.

  2. I agree exfoliating is so important. I recently lost weight so self tanning is great now that I can wear shorts again and not feel bad.

    1. Should I get a spray tan if I wear white clothes?Okay so I’m mixed and only out in the sun duirng the Summer, I’m on the swim team and we have an indoor pool for the other seasons, and I’m actually pretty pale for a mixed chick right now I’m in my schools Beauty Review, so excited, and it’s Friday the 9th of April 2010 and my dress is mostly white with dark pink floral branch designs. My birthday is the 7th of April 2010 and I as well want to look nice and tan for then. I was thinking light medium maybe, but anyway..My mom is afraid it will flake off on my dress duirng the beauty review! Is there a brand I could get online that doesn’t rub off on clothes? Or that’s really good? Thanks in advance! ❤

  3. This will help achieve a uniform appearance since self-tanners grab on to dry surface skin cells, and you may have more dead, thickened skin cells in certain areas.
    Your friends and family will notice, but the tan is still natural looking and definitely not orange.
    The excuses the parents give for entering their children are always the same but the real underlying reason is clear.

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