Editors handpick every product that we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page.

The 26 Best Self-Tanners That Will Never, Ever Streak

Bronze up dull, dry skin.

Nose, Lip, Eye, Eyebrow, Headgear, Beauty, Organ, Fashion, Neck, Eyelash,
Getty Images

Raise your hand if you've felt personally victimized by a self-tanner. Same. It seems like no matter what formula you slather (or spray, or wipe) on, you will inevitably be left with weird streaks, blotches, and patches that scream, "HEY! This tan is fake!" But it's not your fault (well, it might be a little bit your fault)—self-tanners are finicky beasts that require a bit of patience, some trial and error, and, most importantly, a really good formula, whether it's in the form of drops, serums, wipes, or a cream. Summer is here, and I know you want to lay out. But save yourself and your skin from harmful UV rays and opt for a faux glow. We promise, your hours of tanning are not worth the wrinkles or worse, the melanoma.

Below you'll find the truly excellent self-tanners that, as long as you follow the basic instructions and tips outlined below, won't leave you looking like an orange, streaky mess—which means you'll be free to spend your time doing something other than Googling "how to remove self-tanner." And, hey, even if you hate the results (but trust us; you won't), self-tanners fade after a week anyway, so the commitment level here is pretty low. Best of all, brands are releasing high-tech, advanced formulas that are specifically made to give you a gorgeous glow that people won't be able to tell is fake. Get ready for the bronzed skin of your dreams.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
This Efficient Superstar
Brazilliance 2 HR Express Deep Foaming Self-Tanner
Tarte Cosmetics dermstore.com

This foaming tanner develops in just two hours, so you don't have to go to bed wondering what your tan will look like. With eco-friendly and hydrating ingredients, you'll know that your smooth, tan legs didn't come at the expense of the environment. 

This Color-Correcting Tanning Mist
Self-Tanning Water
Courtesy of Isle of Paradise
Isle of Paradise sephora.com

This user-friendly spray pump makes applying this feel like a breeze. Expect a glowy tan to appear four to six hours afterwards. Even better? Brighter skin. This organic blend is formulated with color-correcting actives that are clinically proven to even your skin tone. Nothing's worse than a spotty tan—you'll never have to worry about missing a spot with this.  

This Beginner-Level Tanner
Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk
Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris
L’Oréal Paris lorealparisusa.com

Think of this little bottle of lightweight lotion as a gradual self-tanner on steroids. Like most gradual tanners, it’s diluted enough that it’s virtually impossible to mess up, but unlike most gradual tanners, you’ll actually be able to see a noticeable (and very realistic) glow after just one use. 

This Lightweight Formula
Organic Sunless Tan Luminizing Body Serum
COOLA ulta.com

Want to stay away from thick, heavy lotions, lest you look like a grease ball? This is the one for you. This serum goes on light, moisturizes while it gently bronzes, and will build up to a natural, non-streaky tan—in short, it does the job.

This Light-As-Air Lotion
Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion Body Lotion
St. Tropez Tanning Essentials sephora.com

Sometimes, a slow and steady tan leading up to vacation is your best bet for longevity. A subtle bronzed finish is exactly what this light-as-air lotion will do, which is the best fake it 'til you make it to the beach approach. Plus, the delightful watermelon scent screams sun is coming.  

The Crowd Favorite
Self Tanner
Beauty by Earth amazon.com

This tanner has almost 12,000 rave reviews on Amazon, thanks to its natural tone and lasting hue.  

This SPF-Infused Self-Tanner Spray
Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF 40
Supergoop! nordstrom.com

Vow to avoid that fake tan look that took over the early 2000s at all costs. Opt for more subtle self-tanners that bring out your skin's inner-glow. On those especially sluggish days when you look like you'd rather stay in bed and you need a boost, lean on this tanning mist. It will enhance your skin's natural glow while protecting it from harmful UV rays with a hefty dose of SPF 40. Think of it as a mist that will give your face and body an extra pep in its step in the glow department.  

The Dry Skin Dream
Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum
Courtesy of TAN-LUXE
Tane-Luxe sephora.com

If your go-to self tanner tends to get stuck on those dry flakes by your nose (any everywhere else) this hydrating option kills two birds with one stone. Its gradual color tans the face little by little so you can capture the perfect shade, while hyaluronic acid gives skin an extra moisturizing boost for a bouncier complexion. 

The Temporary Glow
Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish
Courtesy of Vita Liberata
Vita Liberata ulta.com

Need a boost of warmth for an event tonight, but don't want it to stick around? This rinse-off formula crates a flawless, 'just got back from an island' glow that only comes off when you shower. 

The Mess-Free Water
H20 Tan Mist Face
Courtesy of James Read Tan
James Read Tan dermstore.com
$20.80 (20% off)

If you usually end up with bronze handprints all over your sink mid-tan, put down the glove and pick up the bottle. This spray nozzle makes distributing the water-based liquid all over the body a breeze, and it's got hydrating rose water and coconut oil in it to boot. 

The Luxe Lotion
Glam Glow
Omorovicza Neiman Marcus

This citrus-scented lotion treats skin while it gives it a gradual glow. Plum almond oil improves elasticity while apple pectin makes skin more supple.  

The Personal Tanning Booth
Air Device
Courtesy of Temptu
Temptu temptu.com

Meet the handheld version of your typical tanning salon, minus the possibility of catastrophe. Simply insert the pods into the lightweight, cordless machine for an even airbrushed tan on-the-go.

For Quick All-Over Results
Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse
L'Oreal Paris lorealparisusa.com

For experienced self-tanners, this bronzing mousse offers quick, impactful results like no other. The lightweight formula spreads easily, doesn’t streak, and leaves skin nicely hydrated. Also, the coconut scent transports you right to the beach.

For Foolproof Color
Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse
St. Tropez sephora.com

With this hydrating gel, you can alternate your glow to suit your mood: subtle for brunch, extra for the beach. The gel formula is easy to apply and spread. Plus, it’s tinted, so you know exactly what real estate you’ve already covered, for a consistent end result.

For the Girl-On-the-Go
Click & Glow
James Read Tan revolve.com

Whatever your destination, this click-and-go pen is easy to use and transport. Layer it with your favorite all-over tanner of choice. It’s perfect for fixing up awkward tan lines, correcting missed spots, or just dabbing here and there as your summer color fades.

For A Streak-Free Glow
Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster
CLARINS nordstrom.com

These booster drops should be mixed with your moisturizer of choice for a youthful, glowy tan. They fade as naturally as a natural tan would, but without the harmful UV rays. This product lasts for days so you don't have to worry about packing it for vacation for a re-up.

The Streak Cheat
Self-Tanning Mousse
Bali Body ulta.com

Streaks are a dead giveaway, and a mousse makes application that much easier. And it dries quickly, so you won't be staining your couch or favorite sweatpants.  

The Firming Foam
Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam
Coco & Eve ulta.com

This weightless, easy-to-spread formula actually treats the skin while it absorbs. It helps hydrate and plump the skin so your bikini looks that much cuter.

For A Natural Glow
Self Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care
Sisley Paris nordstrom.com

This supremely hydrating body treatment imparts believable sun-kissed color that makes it look like you spent an afternoon lying by the pool (with appropriate sunblock; the shade payoff is extremely natural). Because it’s so nourishing, it can also soothe your parched skin after you’ve actually been at the beach.

The Skincare Option
Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum
TAN-LUXE sephora.com

This self-tanning serum does for your body what skincare does for your face. Hyaluronic acid traps in moisture so you don't get any of those dry, patchy tanned areas. Caffeine in this serum helps firm your skin, so you can leave your house feeling toned and tan.

For a One-Night Stand
Glow Away Bronzing Coconut Body Stick
Marc Jacobs Beauty sephora.com

If you’re unsure of how glowy you want to get (and for how long), this body bronzer takes the guesswork out. It’ll leave you with a gorgeous sunned look that stays put all day (and doesn’t transfer) but washes away with makeup wipes or your favorite shower gel.

The Priceless Addition
Instant Solutions Tanning Drops
Trish McEvoy nordstrom.com

For the girl who already has her perfect lotion picked out, these tanning drops can be added to transform any product into a tanning lotion. Whether you have a cream, an oil, or a serum that you like best, this product lets you keep your faves in rotation but adds a natural-looking glow.

The Man's Choice
Bronzing Gel
Tom Ford tomford.com

This bronzing gel was formulated for men, but can be enjoyed by anyone. It leaves an incredibly natural glow, making it look like you just sat by the pool for a few minutes without SPF. You can use it all over for a full-body and face tan, or just in a few areas for a tailored look.

These Powerful Glow Pads
Skincare Alpha Beta Gradual Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Face
Dr. Dennis Gross nordstrom.com

If the airport might as well be your second home, pack a few of these trusty glow pads in your bag if bulking up your suitcase with another beauty product just isn't feasible. These mini dosed towelettes might look small, but they pack a mighty punch full of exfoliating alpha beta ingredients that have major anti-aging benefits. Besides that, the obvious does occur: smooth this all over desired areas, wash your hands, then wait for a gradual glow to appear in two to three hours.  

This Super-Fast Spray Tan
Tahitian Tan Mist
South Seas Skincare dermstore.com

Some spray-tans-in-a-can feel wet and uneven when you apply them, but this formula is fast-absorbing, lightweight, and leaves you with a completely even finish. It also dries down on contact, so you won't need to worry about leaving part of your tan on your furniture. Just make sure to stand outside or in your shower when you spray it on—or you'll be left with gold walls and floors. 

These Low-Lift Tanning Towelettes
Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette Classic 10 Count
Tan Towel amazon.com
$24.00 (17% off)

I know the idea of rubbing a wipe soaked with self-tanner all over your body sounds like a recipe for a messy, streak-filled disaster, but these low-maintenance towels are shockingly good at their job. Not only do they gently buff away dry patches as you wipe them on (dry patches = the ultimate enemy of a smooth tan), but—added bonus—their tea tree oil–infused formula will fight breakouts each time you use them.  

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below