We all know that too much sun can damage your skin, but let's be real, who doesn't like a bit of a glow? The good news is that faux tans have come a long way in recent years, and the best spray tan solutions provide natural-looking color (think: no streaks or orange shades) and are great for a summer sheen without long-lasting consequences.
When it comes to choosing a solution, it's important to consider how deep you want your tan. The best way to do this is to consider your skin's natural undertones and pick a complementary spray tan solution. There are tons of options ranging from solutions with pink undertones, to bronze undertones or even violet. That way, it's easier to layer the solution to create a truly seamless and gorgeous tan. Keep in mind that you will need a separate spray tanning kit with a handheld spray gun in order to apply most of these products — the picks include links to kits that work for them.
You might also want to double check that your favorite spray tan solution is as close to nature as possible. The best modern tanning formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and free of chemicals and preservatives like parabens and artificial fragrances. Some are even infused with moisturizing and soothing ingredients like aloe vera and coconut. You may even want to supplement your solution with a sunless tanning lotion to offset any uneven patches.
With so many options out there, it's not always easy to find the best tanning solution for you. Here are a few excellent picks to help you find your perfect match.
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1. The Best Value
If you plan to tan regularly, this budget-friendly tanning solution is an excellent option. Not only is it affordable, but it comes in a 32-ounce bottle, which is more than enough solution for multiple tanning sessions. It's also completely safe to use all on skin types. This organic formula is free of parabens and fragrances and made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients that won't irritate your skin. It's infused with aloe vera, which soothes skin while also helping the DHA, or tanning agents, to seep deeper into the layers of skin. Plus, it comes in both lighter and darker options to choose from. One layer is all you need and you will begin to notice your tan develop within one to four hours after an application. This version has olive undertones, but you can also opt for the brand's LUXE Violet No. 9 formula if you prefer violet undertones.
You'll need an applicator with this product. Reviewers confirm that it is compatible with any HVLP or airbrush spray tan gun like this relatively affordable option.
Reviewers absolutely rave about this solution, with one shopper writing, "I have been using this solution since I started doing spray tans myself. I have tried other brands, some times they work but other times they come out runny or splotchy. It always comes out with a perfect tan when I use Sjolie! Since I am vegan, I am very cautious of products that I buy, I appreciate that this is vegan, not tested on animals, PETA verified and even organic. I will continue to buy with Sjolie for many more years to come!"
2. The Best Splurge
Reviewers agree that this high-quality spray tan solution is well worth the splurge. For one, it's infused with quality DHA that won't turn your skin orange or leave it streaky or blotchy. This paraben and fragrance-free solution also features natural enzymes that repair your skin's barrier to lock in moisture and keep your tan radiant for longer. Although this solution is 34-ounces, it's so effective that users find they end up using less in the long run. The color begins to develop two to four hours after an application and final results show up 18 to 24 hours later. According to the manufacturer, this formula "blends with all skin tones" so it works with all undertones.
This product requires a spray gun for application. This Norvell Sunless Kit includes a spray tan airbrush machine that helps you apply flawless color every time.
Novices and professionals alike rave about this solution. One reviewer writes, "I absolutely love the Norvell Venetian!! I am a professional spray tan artist and only use Norvell products. The Venetian has violet and brown undertones that makes your spray look very natural, just came back from the Caribbean [b]ronzed. Definitely recommend!"
3. The Best Self-Tanner That Doesn't Require A Kit
If you aren't ready to go all-in on a spray tan kit, this sunless tanning solution literally has you covered. It's different than other sunless tanners because this one actually foams up right out of the bottle, making it way easier to smooth over skin without leaving behind any streaks. It also features soothing coconut and aloe vera to moisturize and seal in the tanning agents, leaving your skin silky soft and radiant. The vegan and cruelty-free formula takes about six to eight hours to develop after an application. It comes in three shades. The product featured is ideal for a darker complexion or those who prefer a darker glow, but there are also light/medium and ultra dark options from the brand.
The manufacturer doesn't specify the undertone of this formula, but many reviewers confirm it provides an olive tone.
Reviewers can't say enough good things about this easy-to-use tanner, with one reviewer writing, "I'm absolutely amazed with this product! I am [tanning] for years now and I have tried every single tanning product out there from Saint Tropez to Loving Tan to fake bake which was my last resort till I tried Bondi Sands tanning foam. I'm absolutely in love with this product, this tan gives you the most natural looking color. Such a deep golden brown."
You May Also Need: This Mitt For Streak-Free Application
Whether you're applying a spray tan or sunless foam, this applicator mitt is a must. It's made from a super soft fabric that works to flawlessly blend and buff skin, leaving it with a sun-kissed, airbrushed look. This mitt works wonders to smooth out any potential streaks when using foams and lotions, but it's also great for quickly wiping down and blending any leftover spray tan mist.
Reviewers agree that this mitt is a sunless tanning essential. One reviewer writes, "This mitt was great & easy to use with my sunless foam tanner! I just applied the tanner to my body and was able to evenly massage it onto my skin without worrying about tanning my hands/palms in the process. Clean-up was also a cinch; I just used some dish detergent to gently hand wash & wring and let the mitt dry for next use. A definite MUST HAVE for self-tanner application!"