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Glow for the Gold: The 16 Best Self-Tanners

The weather in Chicago has been wildly fluctuating between blazing ’80s and chilly ’60s. On those ’80s days, tights are out of the question. But after a really long, cold winter, I’ve noticed my skin is looking a little ghostly. So I’ve selfishly been investigating self-tanners.

Sunless tanners have come a long way. The market has grown substantially now that many people are trying to avoid excess sun exposure, and the products keep improving. There are some fantastic options that won’t make your skin streaky or orange. However, there are so many products available that it’s a little overwhelming. I did the research and found 16 self-tanners that repeatedly show up on “Best Self-Tanners” lists, have fantastic reviews, are best-sellers, and/or have something unique to offer, like an all-natural formula. I can’t wait to try some of these!

  • 16 Best Self-Tanners 1 of 17
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  • Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel $35 2 of 17
    01-hbz-best-self-tanner-clarins-instant-gel-lgn

    This award-winning gel tanner is a favorite because the bronze gel absorbs quickly and produces a streak-free tan.

    Available at Clarins.

  • St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse $42 3 of 17
    02-tt-ms240

    This best-selling tanning mousse contains the brand's Aromaguard, which blocks the self-tanner smell by up to 70%.

    Found on St. Tropez.

  • Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer $9.99 4 of 17
    03-450

    This affordable daily moisturizer tans skin over time without odor or risk of streaking.

    Pick it up at Walgreens.

  • Tarte Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face and Body Self Tanner $37 5 of 17
    04-s1514926-main-Lhero

    This smart sunless tanner is infused with skin-replenishing maracuja oil and comes with a mitt to ensure an easy application.

    Get it at Sephora.

  • Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion $11.89 6 of 17
    05-500

    Chemical-adverse moms and dads will appreciate this gradual self-tanning lotion that uses a sugar cane derivative to deepen skin tone.

    Learn more at Drugstore.

  • Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow Body $35 7 of 17
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    This highly rated best-seller works with your skin's pH to create a perfect bronze tan.

    Available at Sephora.

  • Tan Towel Self-Tan Towelettes $24 8 of 17
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    Tan towels have been around since 1998 and get consistently great reviews. They are ultra-convenient and great to take on vacation.

    Found on Tan Towel.

  • Clinique Self-Sun Face Tinted Lotion $22 9 of 17
    08-_5792827

    This highly rated tinted lotion will give your face an immediate glow while your tan develops.

    Get it at Nordstrom.

  • Guerlain Terrcotta Sunless Self-Tanning Gel $52 10 of 17
    09_7680484

    This luxurious self-tanner is tinted to provide an instant bronze and moisturizes with organic Argan oil.

    Found on Saks Fifth Avenue.

  • Xen-Tan Perfect Blend $45 11 of 17
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    This clever product lets you select the level of tan you desire with a twist of a dial. Perfect for families of mixed heritage, like mine!

    Available at Neiman Marcus.

  • Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion $6.15 12 of 17
    11-500

    This bargain buy is consistently well reviewed. It's enriched with moisturizers vitamin E and aloe and creates a natural-looking tan.

    Buy it on Drugstore.

  • Lorac SelfTANtalizer Body Bronzing Gradual Self-Tanner $34 13 of 17
    12-selfTANtalizerANDMitt-medium

    This vanilla-scented self-tanner comes with an applicator mitt for easy application. It also contains anti-aging ingredients camu camu, maracuja, and pomegranate seed oils to keep skin moisturized and healthy.

    Get it at Lorac.

  • Philosophy Here Comes the Sun Instant Self-Tanner $14 14 of 17
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    This streak-free formula contains amino acids for firm and toned skin and provides a natural, sun-kissed glow.

    Available at Philosophy.

  • Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse $54 15 of 17
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    This luxury self-tanner claims to have no tell-tale self-tanning smell and imparts a long-lasting, deep tan with no streaks. As impossible as it seems, the reviews back up these claims.

    Read all about it at Sephora.

  • Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Golden Perfection $30 16 of 17
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    Get a natural-looking, sun-kissed tan with this tried-and-true favorite.

    Available at Nordstrom.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads $18 17 of 17
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    These amazing little pads exfoliate and tan in one step. As an additional bonus, they contain antioxidants and Vitamin D.

    Found on Sephora.

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