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7 best self-tanners to get a beach-bronzed glow at home

Being deprived of the pool or the beach means most of us have gone from glowing bronzed goddesses to pale, vitamin-D deprived pillows in a manner of months given that tanning is no longer an option.

Even tanning studios are out of the question at a time where beauty services have been suspended across the island. For those of us accustomed to being as tan as Malibu Barbie round the clock, self-tanners have become the ultimate solution.

best self-tanner
Good times. (Photo credit: William Rouse/Unsplash)

The self-tanning market has evolved dramatically since the days where one pump too many takes you from Xena to Oompa Loompa. Apart from formulas looking more natural and blending seamlessly into skin, self-tanners these days come in a whole host of formats for you to choose from.

No longer confined to mousses or lotions, modern self-tanners have expanded into mists, waters, wipes, or in-shower treatments that tan you gradually, rather than in an instant.

Since it looks like being naturally tan is out of the question unless you’re willing to broil under the sun on your balcony (if you have one, even), we round up some of the best self-tanners on the market to achieve tans of every level. To help prolong these tans, we also have a series of tips here.

Hero and featured images: Tarutoa and William Rouse/Unsplash

Dr Dennis Gross may be known for intensive, derma-grade skincare, but the brand has also branched out into self-tanner with its Alpha Beta® Intense Glow Pad Self-Tanner. Meant to help your face achieve a similar tan hue to the rest of your body, these are single-pack towelettes that you wipe across your face, like a cotton pad, to give you a subtle glow. Use daily to build on the tan or every few days for maintenance.


Coco & Eve’s self-tanner was such a hit for the brand that it sold out multiply on its release. Loved for being a super-lightweight formula that takes just a couple of hours to dry, the self-tanner also helps even out your skin tone by blurring hyperpigmentation, giving the appearance of an overall even tan. It also smells like mango and guava, living up to its motto of being your summer holiday in a bottle.


NIP + FAB’s buildable tan mist is a thing of wonder. Spritz it on, marvel at the streak-free finish, and wear it throughout the day as the colour gradually deepens to your desired tan level. Once you are as bronzed as you’d like, pop into the shower and wash it all off, and marvel in how simple it all was.


Bondi Sands is a self-tanner brand that does not play around. Its self-tanning foam lets you apply every Bondi babes’ sun-kissed dreams to your skin and achieve that same glow. Fans love it for being long-lasting and easy to apply, and the fact that it also hydrates the skin with use thanks to aloe vera and coconut oil in its formula.


Self-tanner has levelled up so much that drops are now available to turn your day-to-day skin and bodycare regimen into an instant tanning session. These drops from Isle of Paradise are simple enough to use: the number of drops in your moisturiser equals to how tan you want to be, and the frequency of use helps intensify the tan as well. Beyond the fact that it is a nifty little product, the formula is also non-staining, given that it relies on natural tanning actives rather than artificial pigments, so you can rest easy that your sheets and clothes won’t be compromised after using the self-tanner.


Water that can make you tan? We’d think you were lying if Tan Luxe hadn’t made such a name for itself with its tanning water. Applied as an ultra-fine mist to the skin, this vitamin-fortified, hydrating, odourless water utilises natural actives to give you a tan. Given that the solution is clear, this is completely transfer-free as well. It can also double as a topper to refresh an existing tan or be used as a makeup setting spray. We love a multitasker.


Props to Skinny Tan for having one of the most long-lasting tanning mousses on the market. Apply, let it sit for six hours or overnight, wash it off and marvel as the hue stays put for up to two weeks. The self-tanner can be used on your face and body, so make sure you exfoliate and moisturise all bases before application to ensure an even result.


Beatrice Bowers

Features Editor

Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.

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