The best self-tanning products for a streak-free glow-up that never fails
By Team BEAUTYcrew
March 01 2024
Life is always good when you’ve got a gorgeous (fake) tan in tow. A sunless tan is not just safer than the real thing, but the bottled kind of bronze is often so much more flattering (no red undertones!) and flawless (see ya tan lines!).
However, finding your go-to faux glow formula can be a long and orange road fraught with streaks, bad smells and a lot of wasted cash.
So, to make sure you're getting gorgeous golden results every single time (because let's be real, applying isn't particularly fun; you want the results to be worth it), we've rounded up the very best tanning formulas across the board...
Unreal Skin Self Tanning Cream
In an ideal world we would forgo the sticky and streaky feeling that fake tan brings, oh wait...what's that...you can? Unreal Skin has done it yet again with a self tanning cream that does not disappoint. Take back your Thursday nights with this easy-to-use glowing formula. No transfer, no smell just lightweight smooth goodness. Better again, apply in the morning and wear to work - no one will know!
Luna Bronze Total Eclipse Tanning Mousse
Finding the ultimate natural-looking sunless tan is no easy feat, but somehow Luna Bronze has delivered once again. Crafted with 98% certified organic and naturally derived ingredients, this formula has been designed to leave you looking and feeling your best. With a radiant glow delivered in three short hours, and hydrated silky smooth skin a promise, your next tanning night is set to be smooth sailing. Plus, forget the fake tan headache! Using a natural oil blend of lemon, myrtle, orange blossom, and mandarin, a spa style treatment is guaranteed.
$44.95 from Luna Bronze
Frank Body Glycolic Body Scrub
You may be thinking, hmmm...that's not a self tanning product, but that's where perspective comes into play. Whether you are a Thursday night tanning fanatic, or maybe partial to a monthly mousse, preparing the skin with a quality scrub is guaranteed to make for an impressive glow. Plus, with active ingredients to the likes of glycolic and lactic acid, watch as your skin appears brighter and clear of spots.
$28 from Frank Body
Ambre Luxe Bronzing Foam
There’s nothing worse than going to the effort of fake tanning only to be left with a dull, matte colour. Ambre Luxe Bronzing Foam’s formula combats dullness with antioxidant-rich marula oil, carrot seed oil, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to nourish, hydrate and restore radiance for a smooth application and glowy results.
$29.95 at Healthy Life
Luna Bronze Illume Bronze Tanning Water
Blending seamlessly into night time or morning skincare, the Illume Bronze Tanning water is packed with the best-of-the-best to deliver you the much sought after sun kissed glow. In just six to eight hours, this lightweight water gives skin a dark bronze hue that still (somehow) looks natural. Plus, containing a topical cocktail of sodium hyaluronate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, your skin will be left feeling hydrated and nourished all day long.
$39.95 at Luna Bronze
Body Blendz Face & Body Gradual Tanning Anti-Cellulite Lotion
Toss this in your beach bag for a natural (and safe) beachside glow. Whether you dial it up or down, you can personalise the glow level to suit your tanning toned look. Not only does this unique lotion moisturise and serve all your glowing needs, but its complex of botanical extracts and enzymes assist with calming and smoothing the appearance of skin.
$24.99 from Body Blendz
Luna Bronze Glow Gradual Tanning Moisturiser
If it's a cooler colour you're craving, this is your guy. Designed to flatter fairer skin, it adds a golden wash of colour without going glow-TT. Don't get us wrong, this gradual tanner will certainly give you a gorgeous glow, but just one that looks more natural. Another perk? Its fragrance-free status; consider that iffy fake tan odour a thing of the past.
$33.95 from Luna Bronze
Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Foam
The original Liquid Gold Dry Oil built itself quite a loyal following, so it's no surprise that this quick-dry, long-lasting foamy formula is just as beloved. And just like its predecessor, the Liquid Gold Foam requires no rinsing after application, so you can just apply and let the tan develop into a beautifully golden shade. That’s it; you're good to glow.
$24.95 at Adore Beauty
Tan-Luxe The Body Self Tanner
If you're fair and find that most fake tan formulas end up looking streaky and orange on your limbs no matter what, give these innovative drops a try. Made to be mixed with your body moisturiser, they'll provide a glorious natural-looking colour that's less 'tan in a can' and more 'yes I've been getting a good dose of vitamin D lately'. Plus the 4 out of 5 star rating from over 140 reviews on Sephora strongly suggests it's well worth it.
$32 at Sephora
James Read Tan Coconut Water Tan Mist Body
Our friend James Read is no stranger to tanning innovations, but this formula brings together two of our favourite things: foolproof tanning and easy hydration. The lightweight veil of the Coconut Water Tan Mist dries pretty quickly post-spritz, and the colour slowly develops into a natural, warm colour, while hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and coconut water work behind the scenes to hydrate, soften and replenish skin (hence prolonging your tan!). What more could you want?
$62.10 at REVOLVE
Natio Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion
Natio has always had a strong reputation for delivering quality natural products at budget-friendly prices, and the Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion is no exception; it's definitely our favourite for more realistic results. Use it daily in place of your regular moisturiser for limbs that feel delightfully soft, and – after a few days – look a touch more golden and glowy. Just don’t forget to wash your hands after each application; while you may not notice a difference after one day, a few days of layering could leave you with some pretty bronzed palms...
$16.95 at Myer
MineTan My Moroccan Self Tan Foam
Looking to add a little extra colour to a naturally darker complexion? Try the MineTan My Moroccan Self Tan Foam – it's a super deep tan shade loaded with antioxidant-rich argan oil and replenishing botanicals to keep the skin as moisturised as it is bronzed. The hydrating blend is a blessing, too. It's not for the fainthearted or the fair-skinned, but the rich hue is heavenly.
$22.95 (usually $29.99) at Oz Hair & Beauty