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7 Best Self-Tanners For Beginners (With Step-By-Step Guide)

How to choose the right self-tanner? The answer is not as simple as you may think. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to pick just one that suits your needs! Whether you are looking for a product that will give you a subtle glow or an intense color, there is something for everyone on this list.

We have compiled 7 of the best self tanners for beginners and included expert advice on how to use them safely. Read on below to find out which ones made our list!

What are the Best Self-Tanners For Beginners

When it comes to using fake tanning products, you’ll need to determine what type of product works best for your skin. You can’t just buy the first thing you see and expect good results every time.

As a general rule, fake tanners that you apply with your hands will give you better results than products designed for airbrush tanning.

To find the best fake tanning product for your skin type and desired coloration, consult an expert at a beauty or health and wellness store and ask her to make a recommendation.

Here are our top pick products you can start with:

1. Miami Gorgeous Self Tanning Mousse

This is another highly popular product that has a lot of great reviews.

You’ll see that several of the most beginner-friendly self-tanners are also some of the most popular and well-received self-tanners. Another explanation for this may be that because these items are simple to use and highly fool-proof, the outcomes are very consistent.

If you use a self-tanner and get streaks, blotches, or an odd color on several occasions, you will not purchase that product again or provide it a high rating.

2. St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse

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10/20/2022 12:16 am GMT

Let’s talk about another one of my favorite self-tanners, and the one I was using the most until I recently switched to Beauty By Earth.

You’ve likely heard of St. Tropez if you know much about self-tanner (which, given the material you’re reading, seems unlikely). For a long time, they’ve been the most popular product in the self-tanning industry. They’re not only effective; they’re also easy to use and inexpensive.

St. Tropez has been producing some of the best quality self-tanners for a long time, and they are always in demand.

I found that this self-tanner is incredibly simple to use and that the shade always looked natural.

It dries fast since it is a mousse, allowing you to easily control the tone and hue of your tan. Remember that the darker a self-tanning DHA product sits on the skin, the longer it will take to develop, but it may also be more difficult to manage.

This product is paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free and only contains naturally derived DHA.

The original version, which comes in a lighter color, may also be purchased.

If you go to the Amazon listing, you’ll notice that they recommend a package deal. If you’re new to it, I propose that you give this a shot. You’ll get the St. Tropez self-tanner, an application mitt, and their daily moisturizer in order to achieve a natural tan. The two-in-one self tanning mitt is ideal for keeping a tan going for a long time. If you only want to tan for a special occasion, at the very least get a good self-tanning mitt.

3. Vita Liberate Long Lasting Sunless Tanning Mousse

Vita Liberate is a higher-end self-tanner that boasts excellent results without the need to use dangerous, environmentally harmful chemicals. It is also simple to use, and it results in a beautiful tan that is rather forgiving.

It’s really long-lasting, so you won’t have to apply it every day! It’s odorless, and it only contains natural and organic components, which I adore.

It also has a moisturizing feature, which aids in the retention of your tan, its more even fading, and an incredible skin feeling.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most user-friendly self-tanners on the market today.

Alright, now that we’ve covered the best self-tanning and fake tan products for beginners, let’s talk about how to use them correctly!

4. Beauty By Earth Organic Self-Tanner

Alright, let’s get down to business and start with my current favorite self-tanning product in the world, by Beauty By Earth. This stuff is not only one of the most popular, and highest-rated self-tanners on Amazon, but it’s also incredibly easy to apply.

This is a popular selection among my other “best of” lists. That is in large part due to the fact that it is an excellent product, but also because it is 100% organic, paraben-free, and chemical-free.

The most common reason why people use self-tanning products is to safeguard their skin from sunburns, early aging, and skin cancer risk associated with UV radiation from tanning beds and the sun. However, if you use a self-tanning product with chemicals that is only one step ahead of your last effort, you’re going backward instead of forward.

The kit comes with everything you need for an easy self-tanner application that will last all day, including:

  • Mitts to protect your hands and face during the process.
  • Exfoliator mitts which help remove dead skin cells from outdated formulas or harsh scrubbing agents like soap.
  • Self tanning lotion in three shades of light brown–perfect if don’t want anything too dark.

5. ArtNaturals Organic Soleil Sunless Self Tanning Lotion

This is another popular self-tanner that’s one of the more easy-to-use kits on the market.

This is a basic self-tanning lotion that’s simple to use and provides a beautiful even color.

Sweet almond oil, safflower oil, and jojoba seed oil make up the lotion, which has a delicious scent and leaves the skin very smooth.

The mitt is one of the best parts of this kit since it’s a fantastic self-tanning mitt. It also comes with a face glove, which is great because it allows you to apply both lotions and sunless tanner at once. This is a tiny version of the mitt you use to apply self-tanner to your face when you have only two fingers inside it. Preventing the tanning lotion from getting on your fingers will help you get a more uniform looking tan.

This is a big bottle, so it should last you a long time and give you plenty of opportunity to practice until you achieve the golden tan that suits your needs.

6. Face Tanner – Self Tan Serum

MAKE YOUR FACE GLOW WITH A BEAUTIFUL TAN: This wonderful self tanner for the face will give you a beautiful golden bronze hue. It’s a great self-tanner for men. It leaves your face looking dark and tan, with no fake tan scent or streaked appearance. Unlike many self tanners, it does not make your skin orange. There’s no greasy after feel, and the fade is great. All you need is the greatest facial sunless tanner on the market, which will give you a stunning appearance that will catch everyone’s attention!

Aside from providing your skin with an incredible natural sun-kissed tan, this sunless tanner also moisturizes, nourishes, and revitalizes your complexion! The revolutionary face tanner has anti-aging and deeply hydrating and revitalizing benefits. It’s a natural astringent that works to slow down skin aging, boost skin tone and suppleness. It’s non- comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or give you acne.

From now on, achieving an even, gorgeous tan face will be simple for you!

7. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse

SELF-TANNER WITH NO FRECKLES – Create a flawless, fast tan with smooth, natural-looking color for beautiful skin and blended color for fair to medium skin. To match the effects of the sun, this light-weight, airy tanning mousse recreates them.

Develop your tone in minutes, and watch it deepen in only a few hours for steak-free results. Use the following day to achieve deeper color. Jergens Natural Glow Mousse provides an island vacation with its tropical, fruity scent.

This self tanning mousse is tinted for precise application and dries in just 60 seconds when applied by hand or with a sunless tanning mitt.

How Long Will the Tan Last?

A self-tan usually lasts for about five to 10 days depending on your skin type. However, it should be noted that everyone’s skin will tan at different rates, depending on how their skin reacts with the product.

If your skin tans quickly, it means that you probably have a base tan already and are simply trying to deepen it. This may cause you to experience very dark coloration in less time than if you were trying to build up pigmentation from no tan at all.

On the other hand, if your skin tans slowly, you’ll need to be patient. It may take up to three or four days before you see any color at all. If you want the tanning effect to last as long as possible, make sure to exfoliate daily and moisturize afterward — this will keep dead skin cells from building up on your skin and will help prolong your fake tan.

What are the Benefits of Self-Tanning?

Using self-tanning products provides many benefits, including:

  • Allows you to achieve a sunless glow without spending hours in the sun
  • Does not require UV light or ozone-depleting chemicals
  • Virtually eliminates your chances of developing skin cancer
  • Prevents premature aging and wrinkling from exposure to UV light
  • Can be used on all skin types if the right products are selected

Achieving a Natural Look with Fake Tan Products

It is possible to achieve a natural look by using fake tanning products. However, most self-tanners contain DHA (dihydroxyacetone) and will temporarily darken the color of your skin.

This makes it easy for you to end up with a splotchy or unevenly-colored body if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve tried using a self-tanning product before and were disappointed by the results, keep in mind that these products are not all the same. You’ll need to determine which type of fake tanning product works best for your skin before you can expect good results.

What are the Dangers Associated With Fake Tan Products?

While self-tanners are generally considered safe, it is possible to be allergic to the ingredients in certain products. Always do a patch test before you begin using a self-tanning product.

Make sure to avoid sprays that contain propellants, as these have been known to cause death if inhaled. Also, be careful not to let any of the spray come into contact with your eyes or mucous membranes.

If you experience a burning sensation on your skin after applying fake tanning products, rinse the area with cold water immediately. If irritation continues, consult your doctor.

Individuals who are sensitive to DHA should avoid using self-tanning products containing this ingredient. Those who are more likely to be allergic include people with asthma or strawberry allergies.

If you experience any sort of reaction following application of a self-tanning product, remove the product immediately and rinse with cool water.

To prevent further irritation, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer to your skin. The areas where you applied self-tanner should be dry before you go to bed; if they are not, this could cause irritation as well.

What is the Right Type of Fake Tan Product for You?

You’ll have to experiment with different types of fake tanning products to find out which ones work the best. Here are some of the most popular options:

Self-Tanners – Self-tanners are available in lotions, creams, gels and sprays. These products contain DHA and come in a variety of shades.

Spray Tans – These products are available in spray form, and are much easier to control than lotions or creams. They usually contain very small amounts of DHA, so they will not result in extreme coloration. Instead, you should expect your skin to have a natural sun-kissed glow.

Airbrush Tanning – If you want to look like you’ve just come back from a day at the beach, airbrush tanning might be your best option. The color created by this type of fake tan tends to be particularly even and long lasting.   

A Brief Guide To Self-Tanning for Starters

If you keep up with beauty trends, then you’ve likely heard of self-tanners. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba swear by them, not to mention models like Miranda Kerr (who infamously said she never leaves the house without SPF on her face).

But for some, tanning still carries a negative connotation—it’s the perfect example of the “fake it ’til you make it” beauty attitude. Know what? We say, fake it! But if you’re going to go through the motions, please do so correctly.

Here’s a list of all the things you need to do when applying self-tanner.  If you’ve never used self-tanners, pay attention!

1. Exfoliate –  This is huge. Exfoliating sloughs off dead skin cells, revealing the fresh layer underneath. The result? A much smoother surface to which the fake tan can adhere. Self-tanners will work more effectively (and last longer) if you’ve exfoliated first.

You  need to exfoliate because  when the dead cells are on your skin they create a barrier to the self-tanner.

The chemical reaction produces a fake tan that appears to be natural. However, if DHA comes into contact with extra dead skin cells, it will produce a haphazard and uneven color.

What you want to do before applying self-tanner is exfoliate your entire body. This provides you a smooth and uniform surface on which to apply the product.

2. Wax and Shave –  You want to remove any and all hair before you apply the self-tanner. Hair will absorb the color of the tan, so it will appear dull and streaky if you leave it on your skin.

Waxing  and shaving are both great options for removing hair from delicate parts of your body such as eyebrows, face, bikini line or legs.

So, if you wait 24 hours before applying your self-tanner to allow your skin enough time to heal, you won’t have micro-cuts or redness.

You should also avoid shaving or waxing just after applying fake tanner. As we previously stated, the color produced by DHA exists only on the outer layer of your skin. Shaving or waxing will simply remove the outer layer of your tan, making it appear blotchy. This is a typical blunder I encounter with beginners.

3. Moisturize –  I know, this seems like a no-brainer. But it’s much trickier than you’d think.

When moisturizing after you shave and before you tan,  do not use an oil-based product as the DHA in self-tanner will react with the oil and produce stains on your skin that resemble those of old scars.

What you want to do is use a non-oil based moisturizer after you shave.  A good product to try is body lotion, which will nourish your skin without blocking the tanner’s effectiveness.

Another trick for keeping your fake tan looking fresh is to hydrate with vitamin E or aloe vera gel . This will also help with any dryness, while nourishing the tan so it lasts.

4. Apply your self tanner – This is your most critical step. But if you do it right, you’ll be glowing with gorgeous color, and no tell-tale stains on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet (though please remember to wash those areas after applying). There is a proper way to apply your self tanner, and most people get it wrong. How many times have you seen streaks on the ankles or wrists?

To avoid this, do not use your hands to rub in self-tanner—you’ll just end up with blotches.  Whether you’re using a tanning lotion, mousse, foaming gel or spray (our preferred method), apply it with a mitt. These are great because the mitt’s texture makes it easy to glide around your contours, guaranteeing an even application.

You also want to make sure you’re applying in appropriate places . For example, don’t apply self-tanner on dry skin or immediately after shaving—again, that will lead to streaks.

5. Wash your hands/shower and cleanup – After you’re done tanning, it is important to clean your palms and feet. If not, fake tan will sit on top of your skin and stain your palms brown. Use a regular bar of soap to wash your hands. For the soles of feet, use a pumice stone to scrub off any excess self-tanner and then clean with regular soap and water.

For the shower cleanup, it is good practice to have a designated ‘fake tan’ shower mat that you can leave in your shower for

You want to make sure you wash up thoroughly after applying the product,  particularly in the creases of your elbows, knees, wrists and ankles.


Self-tanning products are everywhere! You can buy them at department stores, drug stores, and even online. But how do you know which kind is the right one for you? This article will explain what different types of self-tanners there are available.

Before you purchase a tanning product, it’s important to determine the type of self-tanner you want. Different types will have different results, and knowing your expectations can help guide you in the right direction.

If you’re expecting a healthy glow that fades gradually over a few days, then a gradual tanner may work best for you. On the other hand, if you would like a darker look that lasts a month or more, then a regular self-tanner might be the way to go.

7 Best Self-Tanners For Beginners (With Step-By-Step Guide)