Despite how great a beach vacation glow looks, the fact remains that baking in the sun is nowhere near good for your skin in the long run. With that knowledge widely accepted, the good news is that the beauty industry has dialed up efforts to develop sunless tanning methods that give you glowing results, without all the risk. And the best thing about the latest generation of self-tan products? They don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, thanks to drugstore brands’ affordable iterations. If you’re looking for streak-free, fresh-from-the-tropics color, these are the best cheap self-tanners to try.
Summer's definitely the season of showing off a bit more skin, and nothing complements a slinky dress or denim cutoff shorts quite like a natural-looking dose of sun-kissed bronze. And sure, you could shell out for a professional to airbrush bronze pigment across your body or pay big bucks for the top-rated luxury self-tanners at Sephora — but why not pick up a lower-priced product that promises the same results during your next trip to the drugstore?
As it turns out, budget-friendly bronzers are easier to come by than ever before, and some of the highest-rated drugstore buys will run you under $15 at checkout (a fraction of the cost compared to higher-end self-tanning products or, you know, the potential for life-threatening damage that sunbathing can cause). And based on their glowing reviews, there's no reason why you shouldn't try these cheaper alternatives this season.
Ulta Beauty's under-$15 offerings include highly rated options like St. Moriz's Instant Self-Tanning Mousse, $12.99, which is loved for its quick-dry, no-transfer formula that fades evenly. And over at Walgreens you can get your hands on Jergens' popular Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse, $10.69, which has a 4.3-star rating and reviews that rave about the mousse's long-lasting results and light, barely noticeable scent.
Keep scrolling to shop these and more of the best sunless tanners to add to your stash — all beloved by fans and $15 or less.
If you're on the hunt for sun protection with temporary color, look to Australian Gold's easy-to-use Continuous Spray Sunscreen With Instant Bronzer. You can buy the product with either SPF 15 or SPF 30, depending on your protection preference, and you'll be left with what many reviewers describe as a pretty bronze shade.
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