There’s really no denying that a subtle, golden glow can improve the appearance of our winter-ravaged bare arms and legs. Of course, now that we’re aware of just how dangerous the sun and its UV rays can be, baking pool- or beach-side or laying out in the yard for a quick bronzing boost to achieve that glow, just isn’t as an option anymore.
So, what does that leave us with then? The self-tanner.
We know, we know—self-tanners can be pretty intimidating, not to mention, sometimes, plain disastrous. But when used correctly, they’re truly a blessing in disguise.
We rounded up 10 self-tanners that won’t turn you orange or result in blotchy regret, including some of the most innovative new launches and a couple longtime fan favorites.
Your guide to self-tanners that don’t totally suck, below.
*Please note, with all self-tanners, you must follow the directions. Not using a mitt when it suggests using a mitt will most likely result in orange hands, no matter how great the product truly is.
James Read, Coconut Water Tan Mist, $31, available soon at Net-A-Porter.
This refreshing self-tanner body mist has already launched in the U.K. and is coming to the U.S. this month—and it’s worth getting excited over. The amino acids in the coconut water, as well as hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, help quench your skin pre-tan while the formula works to give you a flawlessly golden (and buildable) tan within three to five hours.
SUPERGOOP!, Healthy Glow Sunless Tan Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF40, $38, available at Sephora.
Not only does this two-in-one formula allow you to build a natural-looking and long-lasting tan easily (the light spray application allows for a mitt-free experience and no orange streaking), it also offers much-needed protection from harmful UV rays with its SPF 40 formula.
Tan-Luxe, Instant Hero, $33, launches 4/16/2017 at Sephora.
This miracle cream is truly a hero. Perfect for commitment-phobes, this instant bronzing formula is infused with vitamins B, C, E, aloe vera, and caffeine to tan, tone, and blur instantly, with a bronzy sheen that removes easily with soap and water.
COOLA, Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion, $46, available at Ulta.
This buildable self-tanner applies like a luxurious body lotion, with a subtle tropical (but not offensive) scent that instantly transports you to the beach. Not only is the formula Eco-Certified Cosmos Organic, but it’s also infused with green caffeine, alaria asculenta seaweed, and pea extract to help tighten and tone the skin.
St. Tropez, Self Tan Extra Dark Bronzing Mousse, $45, available at Sephora.
For those who want a deeper, more intense tan (or for those with darker skin tones looking for a more vibrant glow), cult-favorite St. Tropez just launched its new Extra Dark Mousse, which can help you achieve the color payoff you want in as little as four hours.
Minetan, Micellar Pre-Shower Foaming Self Tan, $34.95, available at Ulta.
Now look, everyone loves micellar water, so when we saw that Minetan launched a pre-shower tanning foam containing it, we naturally were curious. The formula draws impurities from your skin whilst developing a tan, giving you a hydrated, even finish—in as little as 10 minutes.
Bali Body, Shimmering Body Oil, $29.95, available at Bali Body.
Okay, so maybe you’re not looking to take the full plunge into self-tanning. That's okay! This new shimmering body oil from Bali Body leaves the subtlest hint of a bronze tint along with the prettiest sheen, stain-free.
Suntegrity, 5 in 1 Natural Self-Tanner, $36, available at Suntegrity.
A natural beauty favorite, Suntegrity’s self-tanner formula uses Vegetan, an eco-certified source of DHA (the active ingredient that promotes skin cells to change in color to create a tanning effect) from sugar beets.
Tarte, Limited-Edition Glow With The Faux Foaming Self-Tanner with Mitt, $39, available at Tarte.
This easy-to-use foam formula applies evenly with a mitt for a streak-free and instantly visible color. Its scent is also super-refreshing and pleasant, unlike the heavier coconut-banana fragrances so many self-tanners boast.
Kate Somerville, Somerville360 Tanning Towelettes, $48, available at Sephora.
I mean, is it even surprising that this product is on this list? These towelettes make it possible to get a mess-free instant tan while on the go and are beloved by everyone who uses them.