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7 Best Self Tanners For Beginners

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Being beautifully tanned is common in the summer! But why wait for summer when you can get that glow any time of year? Say hello to the self-tanners. 

If you are new to self-tanners, they can be intimidating. What if you apply it incorrectly? You don’t want the Orange Goblin look! What if you get a streaky and uneven tan?

In this article, we’ll look at the best self tanners for beginners. Let’s start off with the best: Bondi Sands Foam Self Tanner.


Best Self Tanners for Beginners

Name
Top Choice!
Bondi Sands Foam
Runner Up
Jergens Wet Skin Lotion
Budget Pick
Gold Star Kit
Preview
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 7.04 oz/200 mL
Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion, Self Tanner for Medium to Deep Skin Tone, Sunless Tanning Wet Skin Lotion for Gradual, Flawless Color, 7.5 Ounce (Packaging May Vary)
Self Tanner Lotion with Tanning Mitt - Sunless Tanning Lotion with Organic Oils Gradual Body Bronzer for Light or Medium Tan 8.0 fl.oz …
Price on Amazon
$15.60
$12.48
$29.85
Top Choice!
Name
Bondi Sands Foam
Preview
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 7.04 oz/200 mL
Price on Amazon
$15.60
View on Amazon
Runner Up
Name
Jergens Wet Skin Lotion
Preview
Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion, Self Tanner for Medium to Deep Skin Tone, Sunless Tanning Wet Skin Lotion for Gradual, Flawless Color, 7.5 Ounce (Packaging May Vary)
Price on Amazon
$12.48
View on Amazon
Budget Pick
Name
Gold Star Kit
Preview
Self Tanner Lotion with Tanning Mitt - Sunless Tanning Lotion with Organic Oils Gradual Body Bronzer for Light or Medium Tan 8.0 fl.oz …
Price on Amazon
$29.85
View on Amazon

Our Top Pick: Bondi Sands Foam Self Tanner 

Bondi Sands Foam Self Tanner

Of all the self-tanners available today, the top spot belongs to the Bondi Sands Foam Self Tanner. This comes in a foam or mousse formula, which is easy to spread evenly on the skin. 

The formula of this product is great because it doesn’t produce streaks. Beginners won’t get disappointed with their tan as long as proper preparation, application, and maintenance are done.  

It’s also great for beginners because it gives you instant color. That can also help you better identify which areas you’ve already covered.

Although foam or mousse-type self-tanners dry pretty quickly, some found that this product feels sticky to their skin. 

Bondi Sands Foam Self Tanner

However, even with that sticky feeling, many happily use it because of the results it produces plus the scent it has. Additionally, it contains aloe vera and coconut, which are both great and nourishing for the skin. 

There are also 3 different shades to choose from, and you can build up your color.

Manufacturers say that you can shower after one hour or up to 6 hours after the product has dried. 

Another great thing about this product is the availability of a small, travel-sized bottle. That makes it a good product for beginners who are trying out different self-tanners.

This is the best self tanner for beginners. See our full review here.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Comes in different shades
  • Smooth and lightweight
  • Available in travel size
  • Streak-free tan
  • Coconut Scent
Sale
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 7.04 oz/200 mL
  • Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is a...
  • Our unique, salon quality formula is...
  • Using a mitt, apply foam using long,...

Our Runner Up Pick:Jergens Wet Skin Tanning Lotion 

Jergens Wet Skin Tanning Lotion

For our runner-up choice, we pick the Jergens Wet Skin Tanning Lotion. Unlike our top choice that instantly adds color to your skin, this doesn’t. It is a clear formula and you apply it on wet skin right after you shower. 

It is a quick-drying formula. You don’t have to wait for a long time before you can wear your clothes. Additionally, you don’t need to rinse it off after application.

For best results, make sure to tie your hair or wrap it in a towel so that streaks of water don’t run through your body after applying the lotion.

This is great for beginners because it gradually deepens your color.

The tan can be too subtle for some but some also loved the gradual tan that they develop out of using it. The tan is buildable but there are two variants available; light to medium and a medium to tan variant. 

Jergens Wet Skin Tanning Lotion

Apart from deepening your skin tone, this product also helps moisturize your skin. It is a great moisturizer that adds subtle color to your skin the more you use it.

Plus, it is an affordable product too.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Gradual and buildable tan
  • No need to rinse
  • Fast-drying formula
  • Fresh scent
  • Tan doesn’t transfer on clothes
Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion, Self Tanner for Medium to Deep Skin Tone, Sunless Tanning Wet Skin Lotion for Gradual, Flawless Color, 7.5 Ounce (Packaging May Vary)
  • FLAWLESS SELF TANNER - Create a flawless...
  • SUNLESS LOTION TANNER - Our Jergens...
  • EASY, FAST-DRYING APPLICATION - For use...
  • FRESH SCENTED SUNLESS TANNING - Jergens...
  • GRADUAL SUNLESS TANNING - Jergens...

Best Budget: Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Set 

Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Set

As beginners to self tanners, we understand the requirement of not breaking the bank just to get that golden glow. For that reason, the Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Set would be a good choice for you. This set already comes with the tanning lotion and tanning mitt.

The tanning mitt helps prevent you from having that orange or very dark palm, which is a common mistake for beginners. This tanning lotion applies clear so you won’t have bronzers all over your clothing or sheets. 

The tan you develop is buildable and you can apply it in 1-3 consecutive days to build up to the deep shade that you want. Some think that the tan fades fast but on the upside, it fades evenly. 

Golden Star Beauty Self Tanner Set

It is also non-streaky and doesn’t make the skin orange, however, there are still some who say they developed orange skin due to this. 

It doesn’t produce the orange tan that others may produce. Additionally, the active ingredient comes from natural sources like sugar cane. There are also other nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, olive oil, aloe vera, and argan oil that help with moisturization.

This product is proudly made in the USA and is certified organic. It’s more expensive than other products on the list, but it includes the mitt, which is crucial if you’ve never sunless-tanned before.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Affordable set
  • Buildable tan
  • Certified organic
  • Made in the US
  • Transfer resistant
Self Tanner Lotion with Tanning Mitt - Sunless Tanning Lotion with Organic Oils Gradual Body Bronzer for Light or Medium Tan 8.0 fl.oz …
  • 🌟COMPROMISE FOR NOTHING ELSE THAN THE...
  • ✅TANNING MITT INCLUDED FOR EASY AND...
  • 🤩MAKE YOUR BODY LOOK STUNNING AND...
  • ✅PERFECT SELF TANNER FOR EVERYONE: Our...

Best For Body And Face: Skinerals Self Tanner 

Skinerals Self Tanner

When you tan your body, you shouldn’t forget about your face too! The Skinerals Self Tanner is a great product to use for both the body and the face.

It is made of natural, organic, and safe ingredients that can be used even by those with sensitive skin. 

This self-tanner is in a whipped mousse form that spreads easily and dries up fast.  It won’t transfer color to your clothing or your sheets. It produces a natural-looking glow that’s perfect for beginners at self tanning. 

The ingredients used for this self tanner are all-natural and organic, making it safe for all to use. It also contains antioxidants that can help even out your skin tone and reduce blemishes or stretch marks.

This can help improve the appearance of your skin while making you tan. 

Skinerals Self Tanner

It produces an even tan without the streaks or the unpleasant orange color. Additionally, it smells good, unlike others that have a funky odor

The tan you get out of this product is also buildable.

Some think that it takes too many applications to buildup to the tan they want but others loved it because they don’t go too dark too quickly. 

Key Features at a Glance

  • Suitable for face and body
  • Doesn’t turn skin orange
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Non-sticky formula
  • Doesn’t transfer

Best Lightweight Self Tanner: St Tropez Bronzing Mousse 

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse

The best self tanner for beginners looking for a lightweight one is the St Tropez Bronzing Mousse. St Tropez is popular for the quality of its tanning products. This one in mousse form is lightweight and very easy to apply. 

The tinted formula helps beginners to see if they have properly applied the product to their skin. It gives beginners confidence about applying the product in the right places.

The product dries up quickly too and doesn’t transfer to clothes or bedsheets when completely dry.

Additionally, this product adapts to your unique skin tone so you don’t get confused about selecting the right shade.

Plus, it also has hydrating ingredients like Jojoba oil to moisturize the skin and make the tan last longer for up to 10 days. 

St Tropez Bronzing Mousse

Most customers loved this product because of the good-looking tan they get out of it. It isn’t orange at all and it creates a natural-looking tan for them.

However, some preferred the other brands because it was a bit too pricey for them. 

Key Features at a Glance

  • Lightweight formula
  • Hydrating and non-sticky
  • Tinted Self Tanner
  • Results last for up to 10 days
  • Easy to blend mousse
Sale
St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, Vegan Self Tanner for a Sunkissed Glow, Lightweight, 100% Natural Self Tanning Active, 8 Fl Oz
  • Our most iconic, fool proof and...
  • Long-lasting, lightweight and 100% clean...
  • Use our tan Applicator Mitt for trusted...

Important Features To Consider

Lotion Vs Mousse

Self tanners come in various forms. Both the lotion and mousse form are great for beginners because they are easy to spread. 

Some would prefer the lotion because they tend to feel more moisturizing. Others would prefer the mousse form because it dries up easily. Either form is great. It’s just a matter of preference.

Different Shade Vs One Shade For All

Some self tanners come in different shades while others only offer one shade for all. Most of the time, it would be best to select those that are formulated for all skin tones. That helps beginners avoid choosing the wrong product, especially if they don’t have an idea of how deep they want their tan to be. 

Some of those made for all skin tones may not provide a deep tan unless you reapply them again. This could also be a good thing because you can better control how deep you want your tan to be. 

Selecting those that offer a deeper shade will depend on your preference. However, as beginners, it is best to get the lighter shades if you are very light. That also prevents you from having an unnatural-looking tan. 

You want to be sure you leave the tanner on for the appropriate time before washing it off.

Tinted Vs Clear

Self tanners can be tinted or clear. Tinted ones help you easily identify which areas of the skin already have the product. 

Some tinted ones contain bronzers that give your skin an instant sunkissed glow. However, take note that this washes off after you shower. 

Clear self tanners are also great. Although it can be more difficult to see where the product is already applied, such self tanners won’t transfer color to your sheets or clothing. 

Accessories Included

One common mistake beginners do while applying self-tanners is not using tanning mitts. Due to too much DHA on the palms, it could tan darker than the rest of the body. Worse is when it turns into an orange color. 

That’s why it would be best for beginners to get products that come in a set or kit. Tanning mitts are essential and additional items like an exfoliating glove are a bonus. 

If you get advanced, you can try applying tanner without a mitt.

Scent

Self tanners have that distinct scent. That is the scent of the active ingredient working and producing the tan. However, some self tanners can mask that scent with the fragrance they use for their products. 

Additionally, self tanners that smell nice are more enjoyable to apply rather than those that smell like nothing or those that are pungent. When you enjoy applying self tanners, you don’t rush the application and you end up with a more even tan.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you apply self tanners?

Proper application of self tanners can help you achieve a better-looking tan. You can do that by making sure you exfoliate first before applying the self tanners. Depending on the product use, you can apply it in either dry or wet skin. 

It is best to apply in sections and start from the bottom up. Moisturizer can be applied to the elbows, knees, wrist, and ankles to prevent them from being too dark. Also, use your applicator mitt to avoid staining the hands. 

Let the product completely dry and let it soak on your skin for a couple of hours before taking a shower. This helps make sure the tan develops. You can reapply the self tanner daily until you achieve a deeper tan.

Does the tan still deepen after you shower?

You should let the self tanner soak on your skin for a few hours before you shower. That helps the active ingredient get access to your skin. After you shower, the bronzers or tint will be washed off. 

However, the tan you get may not be final, it could still deepen so it is best to wait for 24 hours before deciding to reapply the product to darken your tan. 

How often should you self tan?

The tan you get out of self tanners can last for up to 7-10 days. That would depend on how you prepare your skin, apply the self tanner, and take care of your tan. 

If you haven’t reached your desired tan, you can reapply the product after 24-48 hours. Once you’ve gotten to the deeper tan you prefer, you can reapply the self tanner after a week. 


Other Products We Reviewed

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner 

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner

The Beauty by Earth Self Tanner is another product we reviewed. This is also a good one because it is made of organic and natural products. The DHA is derived from natural ingredients, unlike others that are chemically made.

Apart from tanning your skin and giving it a natural glow, the ingredients also help improve your skin. Such nourishing ingredients include shea butter and aloe vera. 

The tan you get out of this product is also buildable. So just reapply if you want a deeper tan to develop. This also applies clear so it may be more difficult for beginners to know where the product is already applied to. That said, we really like it. See our review here.

Key Features at a Glance

  • Organic and natural
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Buildable tan

Bronze Tan Self Tanner 

Bronze Tan Self Tanner

We’ve also reviewed the Bronze Tan Self Tanner. This product is also good and selected because of the lovely vanilla scent it has. You can also use this if you are in a rush to get tan because you only need at least an hour to achieve the dark tan. 

However, many were disappointed because the tan washes off after the first shower. That’s because it is tinted and for the full color to fully develop, you need to wait for about 24 hours. Some also needed to reapply to deepen the tan produced. 

It comes in an airy mousse form so it dries up real fast. For some, that’s great because they can now wear clothes. However, some found that it dries too fast and if you aren’t fast enough with the application, it can create streaks. 

Key Features at a Glance

  • Provides instant tan
  • Vanilla scent
  • Quick-drying

Conclusion

Even beginners at using self tanners can achieve a beautiful sunkissed glow. That would depend on properly applying the products. However, the self tanner used also plays a major factor in the result. 

The best self tanner for beginners is the Bondi Sands Foam Self Tanner. This is in a mousse form, which is very easy to spread and apply. The two shades available both produce a streak-free and non-orange tan.

In second place Jergens Wet Skin Tanning Lotion. This produces a more subtle but buildable tan than that of our top pick and is applied on wet skin right after you shower. 

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