Face tanning waters are the best way to fake glowing skin
Glow forth, friends
By Team BEAUTYcrew
September 21 2021
You know the feeling when you’ve finished fake tanning your body and then you get to your face and kind of freak out? Yep, we've all been there. Self-tanning your face is a tricky beast even compared to your body; there's a lot of ways it can go wrong and far fewer ways to hide it if it does.
Enter face tanning waters, created specifically for your delicate complexion. Unlike other face tans on the market, these tanning waters usually have non-comedogenic formulas, meaning they won’t clog your pores or exacerbate breakouts, plus, most tanning waters also have a heap of moisturising properties (it is water, after all!), so they won't leave dry skin feeling tight and flaky after application either (or leave colour clinging to said dry spots; never fun).
Another pro? Tanning waters don't contain any kind of guide colour (it’s exactly like water, so it’s colourless), so they are suitable for all skin tones, won’t stain your sheets or clothes or warrant any confused looks if you have to duck outside post-application – hallelujah.
While we’d still recommend exfoliating your skin beforehand, the application process is super easy; face tan waters work basically like tanning toners. You just use a cotton pad to sweep the formula over your face in circular motions after cleansing, or spritz it on like a regular spray if your favourite formula comes with a nozzle. Our one tip? Cover your hairline if you're a blonde; you don't want your tresses getting a tan...
Here are some of our favourite self-tanning face waters that not only give you a beautiful glow, but also nourish your complexion while they work...
Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water
There are heaps of reasons to love this homegrown Aussie gem. Not only is it formulated with natural and certified organic ingredients, and totally free from harsh chemicals and nasties, but it also *actually* protects your skin, making it look healthy and radiant both in the faux glow and natural glow departments. It heroes vitamin C, a brilliant brightener that stimulates the production of collagen and helps protect the skin from environmental damage, as well as skin-soothing aloe vera and glycerine to hydrate and protect skin against water loss. Full marks.
$39.95 at Myer
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
This ultra-lightweight mist is a cult-favourite for good reason. Suitable for all skin types, its refreshing formula gives you a flawless glow, while also helping to improve uneven skin tone, dullness and dryness with one spritz. It's 100 per cent natural and vegan-friendly, too, and is infused with ingredients like tropical hibiscus flower extract (which is known for its antioxidant properties) and green mandarin water for a scent and look that both scream 'fresh-from-an-island-vacay' (wishful thinking, huh?).
$24.49 at Chemist Warehouse
Sephora Gradual Self-Tanning Face Water
This fast-drying, non-sticky formula delivers an ultra-natural gradual golden glow, while still offering the ability to easily build-up intensity to achieve a deeper tan. It made waves among tan lovers for its tendency to leave skin both soothed and streak-free, while also being heralded for the true bronze colour it imparts (which yes, thankfully is the opposite of orange).
$20.99 at Chemist Warehouse
James Read Tan H2O Tan Mist Face
Loaded with conditioning coconut oil, this cooling mist makes it a total breeze to refresh your face's faux colour. Yep, the James Read Tan H2O Tan Mist Face is a nourishing no-fuss formula that drenches skin in glow without feeling sticky, and the antioxidant-rich lemon and rosemary combo inside the water keeps your face looking plump, fresh and dewy for days. Oh and it also happens to work well as a colour-reviving makeup setting spray...
$39.36 at Revolve
MineTan Rose Illuminating Facial Tan Mist
This sweet-smelling water mist has done the impossible; not only has it taken the pain out of tanning your face, but it's created a rose-scented ritual we actually look forward to. The formula works to restore radiance (hi, vit-C), soothe skin (shoutout to rose water) and give the gift of a golden glow all while delivering a dose of hydration that helps to lock your colour in for longer (that's all you, rosehip oil).
$14.99 at MineTan
Zuii Certified Organic Flora Gradual Face Tan Water
If 100 per cent vegan, cruelty-free and organic is your thing, here’s another goodie for you. Zuii Certified Organic Flora Gradual Face Tan Water features a combination of natural ingredients such as lichen, moss and fern extracts that work to deliver a burst of hydration and a boost in collagen production. This organic self tan is also formulated with cucumber, witch hazel extract and bulbine leaf juice to increase the elasticity of the skin, while simultaneously enhancing the depth and glow of your tan.
$24.99 at Nourished Life