(Beauty Report Card)

These Editor-Approved Self Tanners Are Virtually Foolproof

Instant glow.

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best self-tanners
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Join me in a circle of trust for a moment — there’s something I must confess. For a brief time in college, perhaps one single summer, I am ashamed to admit that I indeed had a membership to a tanning salon. Every day after work, I’d skip on down to the facility, slather myself in foul-smelling goop, and bake for 10 minutes in the bed. Truly, I consider the nasolabial folds I developed in my late 20s as getting off easy — I’ve definitely been scared straight. And really, when you think about the best self tanners out there, the idea of torturing your skin to simulate the effects of sun damage is even more laughable. It’s so easy to get that exact same fresh-from-vacation feel without the major, massive risks. I do love how a tan looks with my coloring and features, but it’s not worth sacrificing my health over. Fortunately, no one has to.

Not long after quitting the beds, I learned about the art of the self tan. For years now, the top formulas don’t ever come close to that dipped-in-orange stereotype that’s plagued the DIY method for years. For more serious occasions and events, I see a professional. But week to week, you’ll catch me in my bathroom with a spongey mitt and one of these at-home tanners. I have to ask my husband for help on my mid-back, but otherwise, there’s virtually no difference between a pro airbrush job and my Thursday night routine.

Below, explore my very favorite self tanners ever made, all thoroughly tested, vetted, and editor-approved. No orange streaks here, friends.