Best Drugstore Self Tanner

Posted by Jake Duncan on

Alright so I get it. I used to be one of those girls that swore I’d never use fake self tanners, yada yada

And then at some point, I kinda decided-well why not? I just feel GOOD when I’m tan! Idk why. And if I can be a little bronze without the harmful rays from the sun, then that sounds like a pretty good deal to me! 

Now I’m not by any means saying you “need” to use a self tanner, but if you want to try one out- then DO IT! 

Personally, I love them. 

There are about a million different self tanners out there, all claiming to be the best, and it gets overwhelming FAST when you try to pick one. Annnnnd I’m cheap. So I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on the crazy expensive ones! 

So Imma' save you a little time. Here’s my guide to drugstore self tanners- which ones I liked, and which ones I didn't.

I'll start out with my not-so-favorite ones.  

#7 Australian Gold Instant Sunless Tanning Spray

This is the only spray tanner I’ve tried- annnnd I think I didn’t love it. 

Image result for australian gold instant sunless spray

The Good

-I like the color on this one! It’s a little more orange toned, but it still looked natural to me!

-Its a spray! So it was nice for harder to reach areas. 

The Bad: 

-Its a spray, so it’s MESSY. You have to stand in your shower to do it and there will be orange everywhere. 

-It comes off easy. I wore a white shirt a day or two after I put this on, and my shirt got wet and the tan ended up coming off and staining my shirt :( RIP shirt. 

-This might just be me and my sensitive skin, but I noticed if I sprayed this on after I shaved it would sting my legs a little bit?...

#6 Malibu Tan Hemp Skin Firming & Bronzing Body Moisturizer

Definitely beginner friendly, but maybe too subtle.

Image result for Malibu Tan Hemp Skin Firming & Bronzing Body Moisturizer

The Good

-Easy to use since it’s just a lotion and a gradual tan! 

-Moisturizing! My skin really did feel good after using this one. 

The Bad: 

-Little to no color difference with this one. There might have been a very subtle bronze, but not enough of a difference for me to keep using it. 


#5 Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion

Affordable and good color! But not very long lasting. 

Image result for banana boat summer color self tanner

The Good: 

-Easy to use lotion consistency

-Darker color, so I looked noticeably more tan!

The Bad: 

-Faded REALLY uneven and blotchy- not a good look!

-Comes off fast; I sat with my feet in the pool while wearing this one and it washed off my feet so I had this awkward fake tan line on my shins lol.


#4 Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

This one is a really great one if you’re new to self tanning and you just want to dip your toes in. 

The Good:

-Easy to use! You just put it on like a regular body lotion and it gives you color as you use it over several days- so simple and easy to work into your routine!

-Gradual Color, so you can build up or stop when you get to a color you like!

The Bad:

-This one is pretty light colored-it will definitely give you a little bronze, but not too much! This might be good for some people, but I want a little more color!

-It can go on uneven/get patchy! Since you don’t see the tan right away, sometimes it can go on heavy in some spots and you won’t know until later when you have orange splotches lol. But if you’re careful this can be avoided!

#3 St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse

A little more complex to use, but great color!

Image result for St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse

The Good:

-Really great color on this one. It looks natural but is a nice, darker color! 

-Fades Even

The Bad: 

-Kind of a process to use. You have to put it on, let it sit overnight, and then rinse off in the morning-which wouldn’t be bad except this one comes off on clothes and sheets BAD. My poor white sheets didn’t stand a chance. 

#2 Jergens Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse

Overall, super happy with this one. One of my favorites!

Image result for Jergens Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse

The Good

-Nice natural, but more noticeable color!

-Doesn’t come off on sheets or clothes!

The Bad: 

-A little harder to use; you’ll want to use a tanning mitt and be careful not to miss any spots!

-Lasts for a few days, but visibly fades with each shower.  

#1 MineTan Absolute X40 Self Tan Foam

I just started using this one but so far, I love it. I think I like it just a *smidge* better than jergens, but jergens is a lot cheaper so it’s a pretty close call!

Image result for MineTan Absolute X40 Self Tan Foam

The Good: 

-REALLY great color! By far the most natural looking tan I’ve ever used. 

-Doesn’t come off on clothes or sheets!! I wasn so happy about this.

-Fades even and lasts about a week!

The Bad: 

-The most expensive product on here. Figures. 

-When you first put it on its looks kinda gray?...which I was really worried about at first. But it does turn into a warmer color after a few hours!!



Hopefully this helps your journey to finding the best self tanner! And hopefully it saves you a little $$$ (& bad tans) along the way. 




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