5 of the Greatest Self-Tanners on the Market

Skin cancer is no joke, and the best way to prevent it is to use great sunscreen (or avoid the sun). Self-tanners can give you bronzed skin.
sunless tanner feature

It is one of life’s cruel ironies that a beautiful, golden tan makes you look healthy, yet few things are worse for your skin than soaking up the sun. The deep lines, dry skin, discoloration, and loss of elasticity can age you faster than your lack of understanding of TikTok trends. If vanity alone isn’t enough reason for you to shun the sun, consider that you are putting yourself at risk for skin cancer, including the deadly malignant melanoma, even if you don’t burn. The Skin Cancer Foundation says, “Even if you are tan or your skin type is dark, and your skin does not redden, the sun can cause cellular damage that can lead to cancer.”

Rather than chancing it by baking in the sun, try faking it with a sunless tanner. Gone are the days of stinky, streaky, orange formulations. Today’s self-tanners are available in a wide range of shades, textures, and formulations that nourish the skin while giving it that back-from-the-beach, sun-kissed look. The following five easy-to-use self-tanners make it easy to give yourself a glow-up by providing realistic color with quick, long-lasting results. Get ready to glow, girls!

Top Tanners on the Market for Mature Women

St. Tropez Self-Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse

While you can’t go wrong with any of the self-tanners from the folks at St. Tropez, if you are new to the game, the Self-Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse is an excellent place to start. We love the lotion to mousse texture and the natural guide color that lets you see exactly where you’ve put it. Although it takes the color about eight hours to fully develop, it dries to the touch almost instantly for a golden glow that fades evenly without streaking. Ease of application and natural-looking color aside, this silky soft mousse has skin-soothing and hydrating ingredients that keep you looking and feeling radiant.

Coola Sunless Tan Firming Lotion

If you can’t tone it, tan it, or use this rich, creamy, organic lotion and do both simultaneously! The Coola Sunless Tan Firming Lotion gives your skin a beautiful glow and offers immediate tightening and toning thanks to a combination of shea butter and caffeine. There is no guide color, but the subtle results make it ideal for those who want to dip their toes in the self-tanning waters without going full island bronze. As a bonus, it leaves a natural piña colada scent that will transport you to tropical locations, even if you’re just in your bathroom.

Tan-Luxe Express Tanning Water

This writer has been a HUGE fan of Tan-Luxe since discovering it a few years ago. It’s more like a skincare line with self-tanning ingredients versus a self-tanner with skincare ingredients. In fact, I rarely go without adding a couple of drops of The Face to my daily moisturizer for a hint of healthy color. For a head-to-toe glow, however,  try the Express Tanning Water. This ultra-hydrating formula goes on clear and gives you that sun-kissed sheen in just 30 minutes. Vitamin C brightens and evens out the skin, while hyaluronic acids plump it up, and skin barrier-boosting ingredients help it retain moisture and stay hydrated for up to 48 hours.

SOL by Jergens Medium Water Mousse Self Tanner

One of the first names in body lotions is also one of the more affordable sunless tanning options. Jergens SOL line of self-tanning products delivers natural-looking results for about half the price of other brands. Infused with coconut water and a light, tropical scent, this long-lasting formula works with your skin tone to develop into your perfect shade in just a few hours. Made with natural sugars and free from dyes, it’s an excellent solution for your skin and your wallet.

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

Anti-cellulite, anti-aging, and golden glow—need we say more? This unique airy foam with a lightly tropical scent delivers a medium, dark, or super dark color using the company’s Cellushape™ formula that tightens and tones while tanning. Easy to use, the color guide shows you exactly where you’ve applied it, and two hours later, it gives you an even, golden tan that lasts.

Regardless of which self-tanner you choose, it’s only as good as its application. For the best results, always patch test an area first to check the color and to watch for skin irritation. Before applying your self-tanner, make sure you exfoliate and shave. Use a mitt to spread the formula if possible, and pay close attention to areas like elbows, knees, and wrists. If using your hands, make sure you wash them thoroughly afterward so you don’t have tell-tale bronze palms. Moisturize daily to extend the life of your tan, and reapply the color as needed. Finally, remember that a self-tanner does not offer protection from the sun. Use your SPF daily to avoid those damaging rays. With the right product and technique, you can enjoy the healthy look of a tan without the unhealthy side effects.

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