Unless you were lucky enough to escape somewhere warm over the holidays, you're likely feeling at a loss for glow at this point in the season. And while you can slather yourself with skin care products that promise a lit-from-within look, it's the honest truth that they can only get you so far. So, if you've officially reached the point where you need something to get you through to spring, turn to the best self tanners for your face to perk your complexion right up.
Self tanners are the best solution for getting a summery glow — especially considering laying out in the sun or baking in a tanning bed does way more harm than good — but it's not necessarily suggested to use the same product from head to toe. While your go-to tanning lotion works wonders on creating natural, even color on the rest of your body, there are specifically-formulated options better suited for applying to your face.
One of the benefits of a self tanner with a face-centric formula? They tend to be packed with additional skin-loving ingredients that further support a healthy glow. Case in point, Coola's Gradual Tan Face Serum, $54 at Ulta. Not only will the serum, which has over 400 five-star reviews, help you gradually build a gorgeous glow, but it'll also protect your skin from damage with a healthy dose of antioxidants and moisture-rich hyaluronic acid.
Another reason you don't want to rely on your typical tanning lotion for your face is that you can't control the amount of color — which sometimes leads to a look that's a touch too tan. It makes sense then, that many of the most-loved face tanning products come in liquid form, with a dropper applicator that allows you to customize how much color you build. Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face, $32 at bluemercury, is highly-rated for how easy it is to use. Just mix a few drops into your daily moisturizer until you've developed the glow you're after. TAN-LUXE's Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, $49, work similarly and have gained tons of five-star ratings for the simple application and super-glowy results.
If you'd simply prefer an all-in-one product that gets you glowing from head to toe, luxe skincare brands like La Mer and Kate Somerville have developed do-it-all self tanners that shoppers have deemed worthy of trying. La Mer's luxurious gradual tan lotion, $100, has a near-perfect rating at Nordstrom that makes it sound deserving of the splurgy price-tag, and Kate Somerville's easy-to-use self tanning towelettes, $48, is one of the most-loved tanning products on Ulta's site for achieving a realistic glow.
As it turns out, achieving a gorgeous glow is absolutely possible — even in the dead of winter. And with products that are specifically made for your face, you can be sure that you end up with exactly the kind of summery shade you're after, every time. Shop some of the top-rated face tanning products at your favorite beauty retailers, below.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Intense Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Face
Transform dull skin with just a few swipes of this self-tanning face pad with over 300 five-star reviews.
TAN-LUXE THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
Customize just how much glow you want on your face by adding a few drops into your daily moisturizer until you've built the color you're after.
Kate Somerville Somerville360 Face and Body Self Tanning Towelettes
Users love these all-over tanning pads for creating such realistic color — they promise to leave your face looking glowy, not orange.
Coola Gradual Tan Face Serum
Not only are these self-tanning face drops your secret to a great glow, but they're also packed with antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients. Over 400 five-star reviews praise it for its glow-getting powers.
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist
Instead of mousse, lotions, or drops, this product lets you apply a dose of sunny glow via a lightweight micro-mist. Reviewers say it gets you summer-like color.
Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer 2 oz (Fair/Medium)
An affordable option for getting summer glow, this Jergens face moisturizer receives praise for how easy it is to use.
La Mer Soleil de La Mer The Face & Body Gradual Tan Lotion
As you'd expect from a luxe brand like La Mer, this rich yet fast-absorbing lotion gives an all-over glow that reviewers say builds gradually.
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face
With a 98 percent natural formula, these bronzing drops are a great way to get a summer glow.
James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan Face
This face tanning mask has a five-star rating on Dermstore for being super-easy to use. Just apply it at night (the formula won't stain your pillow) and wake up to a summery glow.