These highly-rated self-tanning lotions, mousses, and liquids deliver natural-looking results, and don't leave behind unflattering orange streaks or splotches.

By and Kathleen Mulpeter /
March 26, 2017
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Credit: Photos: Courtesy of

This story originally appeared on on January 18th, 2019.

By now, you better know that tanning is dangerous. Exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays boosts your risk of skin cancer, and studies suggest that people who use tanning beds triple their risk of melanoma.

That said, we get it: sometimes you still want that bronzed, just-back-from-the-beach glow (minus the skin cancer risk, of course). That's why there are hundreds of skin-safe self-tanning options out there that can take you from pale and pasty to sunny and summery in minutes. But as anyone who's ever wound up with streaky, orange skin can attest, not all of these products are created equal.

To the rescue: Amazon. Why test out dozens of tanning lotions, liquids, and mousses yourself when you can trust the thousands of reviewers to do the work for you? Each of these highly rated products has racked up a 5-star rating of at least 50% (if not more). Pick one that suits your preferred price range and application method, and get ready to glow all summer.

Fake Bake Flawless

The details: A self-tanning liquid that's applied using a mitt for an even, bronzed glow.
5-star review percentage: 69%
What the reviews say:

"The color guard in combination with the mitt makes sure I get every single square inch of my body, no streaks. It dried in minutes, and I was able to dress quickly. The liquid develops into a wonderful brown (not orange!) color, and it was even and believable." —Glynis

"A total winner!" —Alex

"Fake Bake has been amazing. It stays on and looks natural. I also use this on my face, with no issues with creams, make-up, looking natural, and staying even." —Diane

To buy: $13;

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

The details: It's not cheap, but this self-tanning tinted mousse from St. Tropez delivers beautiful, streak-free results and dries in just 60 seconds.
5-star review percentage: 68%
What the reviews say:

"St. Tropez is the first self tanner that ever looked like a REAL natural tan on me." —Tea

"This stuff is outstanding. I've tried every self tanning product ever and this is my permanent go-to. It's SO quick and easy to apply." —CaitlinKH

"This tanner is the best I have found, and I have tried many. It is long lasting, and fades well. Once you get the hang of how to apply it you will be very happy with the results." —meohmy

To buy: $42;

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Body Towelettes

The details: A 6-pack of bronzing towelettes that impart a natural, medium-tan shade to your entire body. Even better? They dry quickly.
5-star review percentage: 63%
What the reviews say:

"This is my fab tanning towelette. It's easy to put on and doesn't make you look orange. Beautiful glow!" —C.C.

"My favorite self tanner! And I've tried a bunch! I'm a redhead - pale, but no freckles. This is a great color for me. Not too dark, not orange, just subtle bronze." —StickySteph

"I love these self tanning wipes! I start tanning my legs with them 2 days before an event and my legs look great!" —TT

To buy: $9;

Jergens Natural Flow Firming Moisturizer

The details: A self-tanning moisturizer that also claims to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Results intensify over time (in other words, no stress about overdoing it on first use).
5-star review percentage: 51%​​​​​​​
What the reviews say:

"This stuff is good. I like it, and will continue to order/use it. I find the smell isn't strong or bothersome (even though I use it every other day, I can't actually think of what it smells like)." —E.Dean

"This is the best tanning product out there. Noticeable color after 2 uses. Smells great and goes on easy. Plus it makes your skin super soft. This does not leave you looking orange or fake tanned, it really is a natural glow." —Colton Halbach

"This is a great product. I like that it is a gradual tanner and does not have a harsh smell and does not turn orange if used properly." —Leslie Handley

To buy: $9;

NIVEA Sun-Kissed Radiance Fair to Medium Skin Gradual Tanner & Body Lotion

The details: A budget-friendly self-tanning lotion that also packs in plenty of hydration, thanks to skin-saving ingredients like grapeseed oil.​​​​​​​
5-star review percentage: 60%​​​​​​​
What the reviews say:

"I love this lotion. I'm very pale and it's hard for me to get a beautiful and natural looking tan. I don't like using most tanning products because my skin looks orange, not natural. But this lotion is very nice." —Sveta

"I have tried 4 or 5 different bronzing lotions on my pale Irish skin, and this is the only one I tried that doesn't leave streaks or any blotchy darker spots." —Courtney S.

"This product allows me to have a healthy glow to my skin without risking sun damage. I can achieve the perfect color in 3 days of applying, I then do not apply until I see the color start to fade. It leaves my skin super soft and glowing." —Brenda Belle Chute

To buy: $7;

Banana Boat Self-Tanning Lotion

The details: A "self-adjusting" self-tanning lotion that works for all skin tones.​​​​​​​
5-star review percentage: 68%​​​​​​​
What the reviews say:

"This is the best self-tanning product I've found, especially for the price. It's easy to use, provides good coverage, and has a pleasant scent." —Joya

"This self-tanning lotion leaves a natural looking tan. People always tell me how nice my tan is. I have tried other brands and this one is superior. I have used it for over 2 years." —Lisa M. Simpson

"This is by far the BEST tanning lotion!! Doesn't streak, beautiful color, no gross smell, and looks natural. It's also very easy to apply!! I now only use this brand and will never turn back!" —Audree Holdaway

To buy: $17;