Face tanning waters are the new way to fake glowing skin
Glow forth, friends
Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / May 21 2019
You know the feeling when you’ve just finished fake tanning your body and then you get to your face and kind of freak out? Because, SAME.
Self-tanning your face is a tricky beast and unlike bronzing your body, there’s a lot more that can go wrong.
That’s because most face tanning products on the market (be it cream, mousse or foam) can dry the hell out of your skin, and more often than not, the formula can end up sticking to flaky patches on your face, making you look like a total leper.
Some self-tanning formulas are also a nightmare for oily or acne-prone skin and can cheekily clog your pores and cause breakouts. And, if you have sensitive skin, say hello to irritation and flare-ups caused by all the chemicals and fragrances found in most self-tanning products.
Ugh, the struggles we face.
Before you decide to just completely skip this whole step altogether and embrace a ‘floating’ face, there’s actually is a quicker, easier and kinder solution you’ve probably never tried - and it could completely change your fake tanning routine.
Think you’ve used all the self-tanning beauty products under the sun? What if we told you there was a facial self-tanner out there that looks and feels like water, doesn’t smell, and won’t ruin your complexion OR your bed sheets?
There are now a range of fake tanning waters created specifically for your face, and they offer everything we’ve ever needed, plus more.
Unlike other self-tanning products on the market, these tanning waters usually have non-comedogenic formulas, meaning they won’t clog your pores and exacerbate breakouts. Most tanning waters have a heap of moisturising properties (it is water, after all!), so they won't leave dry skin feeling tight and flaky after application.
And because our faces fade much quicker than the rest of our body, they’re also a super convenient way to top up your tan and up-keep that natural glow (it’s an easy way to perk up your winter skin, especially when your limbs aren’t on show!).
Unlike other formulas for your face, tanning waters are not formulated with a guide colour (it’s exactly like water, so it’s colourless), so they are suitable for all skin tones and you don’t have to risk ending up with those dreaded streaks or stripes. Plus, it won’t stain your sheets or clothes – huzzah!
While we’d still recommend exfoliating your skin beforehand, the application process is *SO* easy (it's basically like a tanning toner). You just apply it to your skin like you would your usual facial toner, using a cotton pad to sweep the formula over your face in circular motions after cleansing.
While facial tanning waters are generally super lightweight and fast-absorbing, we recommend waiting at least an hour before applying serums or night creams. Just make sure to wash your hands afterward and you’re good to go! You can then re-apply over consecutive nights to build your desired depth of colour.
Here are some of our favourite self-tanning face waters that not only give you a beautiful glow, but also offer a HEAP of skin-loving ingredients that’ll improve your complexion at the same time!
Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water
There are SO many reasons to love this homegrown Australian gem! Not only is it formulated with natural and certified organic ingredients, and is free from harsh chemicals and nasties, but it also *actually* protects your skin, making it look healthy and radiant. Its hero ingredient is vitamin C, a hardworking anti-ageing ingredient that both stimulates the production of collagen and helps protect the skin from environmental damage. Eco Tan Face Tan Water also contains skin-soothing aloe vera and glycerine to hydrate and protect skin from water loss. Full marks, Eco Tan.
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 boost the level of collagen in the skin. This organic self tan is also formulated with cucumber, witch hazel extract and bulbine leaf juice to increase the elasticity of the skin, while enhancing the glow of your tan.
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, this unique formula gives you a flawless glow, while also helping to improve uneven skin tone, dullness and dryness with one spritz. St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist is 100 per cent natural and vegan-friendly, and it is infused with ingredients like tropical hibiscus flower extract (which is known for its antioxidant properties) and green mandarin water for the most amazing tropical scent.
Sephora Gradual Self-Tanning Face Water
This fast-drying, non-sticky formula delivers a gradual ultra-natural golden glow, and you can easily build-up the intensity to achieve a deeper tan. It's also received some positive customer reviews on the Sephora website, with one reviewer impressed with its long-lasting effect, revealing it lasted her between three to four days without any top-up.
James Read H20 Tan Drops Face
James Read’s water-based formula works with your daily skin care routine to deliver radiant, glowing skin. Enriched with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, the gradual tan drops can be added to moisturiser, serum or foundation (rather than using it like a toner) to give you that youthful radiance without streaking or clogging pores. Want to go a little deeper on the tan front? Simply increase how many drops you add to your products.
Now you have your face tanner sorted, how about one for your body? Check out 13 of the best new fake tans that’ll make you want to replace your go-to.
What do you think of facial tanning water? Have you tried any of these products before? Let us know in the comment section below.
Main image credit: @josephinskriver
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.