The 9 Best Self Tanners For A Believable Faux Glow, Even If You're Vampire-Level Pasty

393787 04: Bottles of Coppertone and Banana Boat suntan lotion lay on the blanket of a sun worshiper August 28, 2001 at the beach on Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

With the advent of summer sun and a few vacation days stored away for that tropical getaway you've been planning, craving a healthy glow is simply part of the deal. But with new studies published each day on the dangers of unprotected exposure to the sun, it's not exactly shrewd to lie out without a hefty coating of sunscreen. 

However, even devout sun worshippers know that the key to a modern summer tan is the right lotion, spray, moisturizer or mousse. For those who crave sun-kissed color without UV damage, here are the nine best tried-and-true self-tanners on the market. Just remember to throw some sunscreen on top if it isn't included in the formula, and you'll be set for whichever beach, park, or rooftop garden is next on your list.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster

Clarins’ Glow Booster offers an unusual take on self tanner, albeit an incredibly effective one. After adding a few drops of Glow Booster to your moisturizer over the course of a week, your skin will achieve a lightly sun-kissed look.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, $47, Amazon

Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face and Body Self Tanner

As far as self-tanners go, Tarte has all of its bases covered with its Brazilliance formula. Not only is the tanner easy to apply thanks to a mitt, but the color is a believable shade of cocoa.

Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face and Body Self Tanner, $50, Amazon

Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Bronzing Spray

If ease and speed of use is what you’re looking for in a tanner, this spray by body drench is your new best friend. After a quick spray-down, your skin tone will warm up over the course of several hours, leaving behind a customized tan and a delicious scent.

Body Drench Quick Tan Instant Bronzing Spray, $10, Amazon

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Glow Daily Body Moisturizer + Natural Skin Tone Enhancer

L’Oreal’s daily tanning moisturizer formula provides a subtler effect than the brand’s spray–perfect for those who want a light, believable tint.

L’Oreal Paris Sublime Glow Daily Body Moisturizer + Natural Skin Tone Enhancer, $14, Amazon

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez’s Bronzing Mousse is an industry favorite for an excellent reason: It works wonders on even the most pasty, wintery skin, giving every complexion a tropical glow sans streaking.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $26, Amazon

Victoria's Secret Self Tanning Tinted Spray

Victoria’s Secret’s new self tanning spray delivers on its promise for a sexy glow, and its 360 degree nozzle makes application a snap.

Victoria’s Secret Beach Sexy Self Tanning Tinted Spray, $50, Amazon

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

Jergens’ Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer works in much the same fashion as L’Oreal’s version, but this formula includes SPF 20 and Vitamin E for a hydrated and protected visage. 

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, $8, Amazon

Hampton Sun SPF 8 Continuous Mist Sunscreen with Bronzer

Anything that makes life a bit simpler gets my vote of approval, and this sunscreen-bronzer combination does exactly that. It’s easy to throw on self-tanner and forget that you need sunscreen as well, but this handy formula performs both functions in one go.

Hampton Sun SPF 8 Continuous Mist Sunscreen with Bronzer, $32, Amazon

Xen-Tan Dark Lotion

After hearing rave reviews of this lotion from a formerly loyal fan of another brand’s self tanner, I decided to see what the fuss was about. And the results (a deep, natural-looking tan with zero splotchiness or streaks) speaks for themselves.

Xen-Tan Dark Lotion, $56, Amazon