The ultimate buzzkill to finding a facial self-tanner that delivers a seemingly perfect, natural-looking glow is realizing how drying it is after a few applications. Those flakes in the corner of your nose and random ash patches pop up so quick, you don’t realize they’re there until you’re taking off your makeup at the end of a long day. It’s there that you confirm a lack of setting spray isn’t to blame for the uneven, bumpy finish you thought you were just imagining. Okay, so maybe your situation isn’t that dramatic, but nonetheless, I think the best self-tanners for dry skin should be the only option for getting glowy.
Though the primary goal of a self-tanner is to bronze and brighten the skin, a lot of the most talked-about formulas can also leave you high and dry, depending on your skin type. In my experience, I’ve found the most effective and visually gratifying options to be formulas enriched with nourishing ingredients that boost moisture retention and strengthen the skin barrier without causing breakouts or inflammation.
Some of my favorites include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin E and a slew of extracted oils—almond being my top pick. The gamut of options also offers a variety of textures, from soothing gels to SPF-infused serums to light-as-air mousse. Ahead are just a handful of top-notch formulas that dry skin types consider the holy grail of hydrating self-tanners. Slather on any of these and you’ll want to stock up fast.
Avene Moisturizing Self-Tanning Silky Gel
This lightweight gel provides multiple layers of moisture via nourishing glycerin, restorative triglycerides, and a patented form of antioxidant-rich vitamin E.
Golden Star Beauty Self-Tanner for Face
This Amazon top-seller is renowned for its non-streaky, natural-looking formula enriched with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, vitamin B5, and multiple oil extracts.
Vichy Moisturizing Self-Tanning Milk
Prepare to fall in love with this gradual tanner that properly hydrates all skin types with a formula rich in vitamin E and Vichy volcanic water.
Versa Spa Hydrating Sunless Self-Tanning Water Mousse
Eco-certified DHA delivers natural-looking color while green and brown marine algae promote firmness and boost collagen production for a healthy-looking, nourished glow.
Coola Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum
If you like your self-tanner with a side of wrinkle-fighting benefits, slather on this bronzing serum to reap the benefits of hyaluronic acid, Centella Asiatica, and Chlorella Vulgaris extract.
Sol by Jergens Sunless Tanning Water Mousse
This newbie is a tanning formula derived from natural sugars and infused with hydrating coconut water and glycerin.
Tan-Luxe Super Glow
Shoppers can’t get enough of this superfood-rich hyaluronic serum, boosted with water, glycerin, multiple fruit oils, and plenty of plant extracts.
Supergoop! Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF 40
Get more bang for your buck with this two-in-one transfer-free and fragrance-free self tanner that also provides broad spectrum UV protection.
Sisley Paris Self-Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Care
The botanical ingredients in this gradual bronzing formula not only provide a more natural-looking glow but boost moisture and provide antioxidant protection too.
KORRES Age-Defying Greek Goddess Tanning + Skin Perfecting Face & Body Serum
My co-worker declares this beach-inspired formula the “best smelling self-tanner she’s ever smelled.” And she can’t be the only one who feels that way because it’s already sold out, but don’t fret—it’ll be back in stock on June 2.
Omorovicza Glam Glow
This citrus-scented face and body self-tanner is made with Plum Almond Oil to boost elasticity and tone, as well as Apple Pectin for increasing hydration.
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