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The Ultimate Guide to Self Tanner – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Self Tanning

January 11 /2022

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The Best Self Tanners

  • The Best Self Tanners of 2022
  • Self Tanners Recommended by Beauty Bloggers
  • The Self Tanner Everyone is Buzzing about: Beauty by Earth
  • 10 of the Best Sunless Tanners for Summer
  • The Best Self Tanner

Applying Self Tanner

Self Tanner Frequently Asked Questions

Self Tanner Ingredients

  • Worst ingredients commonly found in self tanners
  • Hydrating ingredients you want in your self tanner
  • What is DHA

Self Tanner Results


The Best Self Tanners - 2022

If you’re not caught up with just how much we love self tanning around here, let us remind you again babe! We love to glow, and we live for finding new and safe ways to get our bronze on all year ‘round. And while we might adore our BBE self tanners the most (ok, guilty), there are other gems out there that we think also deserve some serious props. If you’re obsessed with being a glowing goddess as much as we are, check out 20 of the best self tanners out there, right now.

Beauty by Earth – Self Tanner (the OG, must-have self tanner to have in your bathroom vanity at all times)

Image of the BBE Self Tanner Basics Bundle

You already know that this one is a keeper. Safe for even the most sensitive babes, this vegan self tanner is still blowing up the internet 6 years later . . . For real, you make us blush guys! We will always make our self tanner with the best vegan, and organic ingredients out there. Oh and, we guarantee we will never be responsible for making you look like Cheeto. Nope. Just streak-free, glowing self-tans around here, baby.

Why Beauty by Earth’s Self Tanner Lotion is Queen

  • BEAUTIFUL GLOW: Our self tanner transforms your skin from pale to a natural glow. Transforms even the most fair skin from “meh” to “marvelous” without any of those nasty streaks, orange color, blotches, or dark spots.
  • CRUELTY-FREE: This baby is certified Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free! That means no animals were harmed in the making of this beauty.
  • ZERO DYES or Harsh Chemicals: Perfect alternative to brands that sell chemical filled tanners containing artificial colorants and fragrances among other toxic ingredients. Instead this tanner is filled with ingredients like organic aloe vera, shea butter, extracts and DHA. This vegan sunless tanning lotion is also certified cruelty free.
  • NO ORANGE: If you have sensitive skin or are just plain pale, this is for you. Men, women and even teens use our tanning cream and look like they have just returned from travel a beachy vacation spot.
  • LOVE IT OR MONEY BACK: We know you’re gonna love what our self tanning moisturizer can do. Your satisfaction is our promise to you.

Isle of Paradise – Self Tanning Water

A self tanning water? Who would have thought? We love this product for how easy it is to apply, and how evenly it goes on. What’s more, it’s easy to layer up with it if you decide you need just a little more bronzy goodness after your results develop. Plus, if thick creams aren’t your jam, this Isle of Paradise gem is an excellent alternative.

Image of 3 bottles of the Isle of Paradise self-tanning water.

St-Tropez – Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion Body Lotion (that was a mouthful)

Not only does this stuff smell delicious, it is the perfect self tanning option for the babe who is a rookie in the glow game. Because this product gives you a gradual glow, you don’t have to worry about waking up in the morning looking all kinds of wild. Simply apply this bad boy as you would your regular body moisturizer, and watch your tan appear at a rate you can totally deal with.

Image of the St-Tropez gradual tan watermelon infusion lotion.

L’Oreal – Sublime Bronze Self Tanner

Old school but good school, we’ve all tried a L’Oreal self tanner at some point in our lives! But hey, the results speak for themselves and we love how lightweight this lotion is. Moreover, l’Oreal offers this product in a small range of shades, so you can be in control of just how tanned you get!

Image of the L'Oreal sublime bronze cream.

Coco & Eve – Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

A self tanner that helps reduce the appearance of cellulite? Sign us up, honey. Formulated with CellushapeTM to help hydrate and firm your skin, Coco & Eve’s bronzing foam is high up on our list of favorites. On top of that, it’s vegan and only contains natural DHA, or as they like to say “no nasties”. Yep, we can definitely get behind that.

Image of the results of the Coco & Eve self tanner on different skin tones.

Dr. Dennis Gross – Alpha Beta Gradual Glow Pad Self-Tanner (a.k.a. the best self tanning cloths for your face)

Ok this little self tanning invention is one we think every busy girl needs. Let’s face it. On some mornings, throwing on some concealer and mascara just won’t cut it. If you’re feeling (and looking) tired, a quick self tan on that pretty face can change your day for the better. Having these gradual glow pad self tanners on hand is a must when you need a quick pick me up, sans oompa loompa vibes.

Image of the Dr. Dennis Gross self-tanning pads.

Jergens – Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse

Talk about an easy to use, blendable formula that you can *conveniently* find at any drugstore. Not to mention, a super affordable option that works for rookies and pro self tanners alike. We love that Jergens continues to make this product in shades like “light tan” all the way to “deep bronze” so everyone can pick their perfect glow, easily.

Image of the Jergens natural glow mousse.

Bondi Sands – Pure Self Tan Water

Ok, we’ll admit it. This self tan water thing is pretty cool. Bondi Sands has also come out with their own version of this self tanner, and it delivers gorgeous results. On top of that, it is fragrance free and safe for sensitive skin. We also dig how they added Vitamins C & E to their formula to give your skin that extra bit of love it so deserves.

Image of the Bondi Sands Pure Gradual Tanning Lotion.

Tarte – Brazilliance PLUS+ Self Tanner

Check this bad boy out. Tarte’s Brazilliance PLUS+ Self Tanner sure packs the “plus” in its name. We’re talking a tinted bronze gel that not only steps your glow game way up, but that also exfoliates and nourishes your skin at the same time. What’s more, this self tanner leaves no icky smell behind which in our books, is a huge plus (pun totally intended).

Image of the Tarte brazilliance PLUS cream.

Clarins – Self Tanning Milk

If you’re looking for a little luxury in your life, why not incorporate it through your self tanner. Clarins’ self tanning milk is like a slice of heaven, for real. We love using this after a nighttime shower to hydrate, and wake up looking fab. This guy is packed with hydrating ingredients, and leaves a scent of figs behind. Suffice it to say, this is one of our fave classic self tanners that you can always count on for consistent results.

Image of the Clarins self tanning milk.

Coola – Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion

If you’re a sucker for any body lotion with the word “firming” in it, this one’s for you babe. And honestly, why not get your multitasking hat on and firm up while glowing up. That’s exactly what this next product on our list of the 20 best self tanners does. Coola’s sunless tan firming lotion has a pina colada sent that will have you feeling like you just stepped off the beach, and caffeine to help your skin look its firmest and best.

Image of the Coola sunless tan firming lotion.

Josie Maran – Argan Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil

The queen of argan oil, Josie Maran does it again with this liquid gold self tanning oil. And while some of us might not gravitate towards a body oil for tanning purposes, this product will have you rethinking your self tan habits! Ultra hydrating and scented like vanilla apricot, this stuff will take your tan to another level. Not to mention, the argan oil in this self tanner will leave your skin feeling smooth, and instantly nourished.

Image of the Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Oil.

Body Drench – Quick Tan Self Tan Dry Oil

And since we are on the topic of self tanning oils, this next option by Body Drench has to be mentioned. This dry oil instantly sinks into your skin, and provides some impressive results. Apply this to your gams if you’re showing them off, and you’ll get that glowy sheen effect that makes your legs look fab. Pro tip: we also love this stuff applied to your décolleté for an extra little something something on your next night out.

Image of the Body Drench dry oil.

Vita Liberata – Ten Minute Tan for Face & Body

Next up is this luxurious self tanner for babes on the go. And when they say ten minute tan, the babes at Vita Liberata were not playing. This self tanner gives an *almost* instant pick me up to the skin, and takes seconds to dry. Moreover, it provides a deep and rich shade of bronze that can quickly become addictive (we warned you!).

Image of the Vita Liberata ten minute tan product.

Alba Botanica – Sunless Tanner

Inexpensive, natural looking color in less than 3 hours? Yes, you heard that right. Alba Botanica’s sunless tanner made our list of the 20 best self tanners for good reason. It’s non-greasy, non-streaky, and will never break the bank. Oh and, it sure doesn’t hurt that it is cruelty free and formulated without nasty parabens. All and all, this easy to apply self tanner is a must-try for tanning rookies and veterans alike.

Image of the Alba Botanica sunless tanner.

Skin Authority – Sunless Tanner

If you’re looking for a self tanner that has Vitamins C, D, and E and exfoliating properties galore, this is it babe. We love Skin Authority’s formula for how hydrating it is, and how it delivers a dark and luxe hue of tan. Moreover, the results look natural and actually last. Let’s just say, this self tanner does not play babe, and it is totally worth the try.

Image of the sunless tanner by Skin Authority.

Elaluz – Overnight Facial Glow

If you want to wake up moisturized, glowing, and all kinds of fabulous, we definitely recommend giving the Elaluz overnight facial glow cream a try. Formulated with Brazillian skin conditioners such as cacay and babassu seed oils, your skin will drink this stuff up. What’s more, it provides a gradual glow so you don’t need to worry about not-so-natural-looking results.

Image of a woman using the Elaluz overnight facial glow cream.

Loving Tan – 2 Hour Express Tanning Mousse

Highly reviewed and highly popular, this 2 hour express tanning mousse from Loving Tan is a fave amongst self tanning junkies everywhere. Easy to apply, and ready to rinse off in just two hours – this product is just what you need before a night out on the town or when you simply need a little glow in your step. Fast, streak-free results? We’re into that.

Image of results from using the Loving Tan 2 hour express mousse.

Clinique – Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion

We had to include this classic go to lotion in our list of 20 of the best self tanners. Clinique’s self sun body tinted lotion was made to mimic a golden tan, and that it does. You’ll notice sun kissed results within a few hours of applying this product, and sensitive babes will love how non-irritating this formula is.

Image of the Clinique self sun body tinted lotion.

And last but certainly not least: BBE’s new Self Tanner Mousse

In our humble opinion, we saved the best for last beautiful. BBE’s new self tanner mousse is the vegan, result-delivering formula you’ve been waiting for. With the help of your trusted tanning mitt, this fluffy and lightweight mousse applies *so* evenly to your skin.

Image of the new BBE self tanner mousse.

What’s more, what makes this latest self tanning innovation from BBE stand out from the rest is none other than natural grape seed oil. It’s moisturizing, anti-aging, and will keep your glow lasting for longer. Trust us when we say, you’ll wanna add to cart on this one.


How to Create a Self Tanner Contour

Just when you thought the contour trend had calmed down, in comes another face sculpting hack that is taking the internet by storm. If you love the look of snatched cheeks and a chiseled nose, why not keep it going on long after you’ve washed off your makeup? Check out how you can create a natural-looking self-tanner contour, down below!

First thing’s first… You need a clean canvas.

Make sure your face is squeaky clean. That means no makeup, no moisturizers! If you have dry patches and don’t want your self-tanner to cling to them, apply a bit of moisturizer and wait at least 20 minutes for it to really sink into your skin before you move on to the self-tan contouring magic.

Image of a hand pumping out some of the BBE foaming face wash.

Pro tip: We recommend using a lightweight foaming wash that won’t leave any residue on your pretty face.

Line up all of your tools.

You’ll only need a few things, so don’t stress! We love using a flat kabuki brush, or any other tapered brush we typically reach for when contouring.

Image of a flat top kabuki makeup brush.

And of course, you’ll need the all-star natural face self-tanner.

Image of a happy BBE girl holding up her face self-tanner.

Time to contour!

Now comes the fun part. Contouring takes practice, and we definitely recommend figuring out your own contour preferences by first trying them out with makeup. Because hey, taking makeup off is a little simpler than getting rid of a self-tan, #amirite?

There are a few simple tricks you can use when contouring:

  1. Suck in your cheeks to see exactly where your cheekbones need contouring.
  2. For the illusion of a smaller forehead, take your contour up into your hairline.
  3. Slim out your nose by simply running your contour along both sides of it.

If you need a visual aid, YouTube is where it’s at babe! Trust us, it’s easy and you’ll be contouring like a pro in no time.

If you can, hit the hay.

We recommend doing this ritual at night so that your tan has the time it needs to set in. So settle in for a solid 6-8 hours, and let that self-tan contour work its wonders!

Wake up contoured and glowing baby.

The next morning, take a look at the beauty of your hard work! You can lightly rinse your face, but try to forego using a cleanser for this first wash. Apply some moisturizer, and carry on as you normally would!

Voilà, gorgeous! You’ve just mastered how to create a self-tan contour! Those cheekbones are looking pretty sculpted and glowy, if we do say so ourselves 😉


How to Get the Perfect Self Tan – Even During Winter!

If the sudden switch in weather has you wishing you were on an island (Fiji, Tahiti – any of these would do at this point), we feel you, babe. And although there are a *ton* of things we are going to deeply miss about summer (bye, long warm nights), a tan certainly isn’t one of them. You see, no matter what the season, we don’t believe in baking out in the sun’s harmful rays.

We do, however, believe in looking tanned and glowing no matter what the temperature is outside. Having the right products is one thing. But the tips to go along with them is what will make you graduate from being a rookie to a self tanning pro. Trust us, girlfriend. You’ll want to send this one to all of your friends. Here is everything you ever needed to know about how to get the perfect self tan – even during winter!

Image of a smiling woman using her BBE self tanner back applicator and her BBE self tanner lotion.

Prepping your skin is everything, no matter what the season.

Let’s be honest. The number one fear when it comes to giving yourself an at-home self tan is looking streaky and orange. And honestly, we totally sympathize with those concerns. So many self tanners do not apply evenly, are hard to blend out, and just have the wrong color pigmentation. That being said, we sorta changed the game when it comes to self tanning products. However, prepping your skin before you use these gems is still absolutely essential for your tan to be a glowing success.

Image of the BBE Peppermint Tea Tree Body Scrub.

In comes the stellar line-up of BBE body scrubs. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a coffee bean-loving babe or more of a lavender citrus goddess. Any of these body exfoliators will get rid of dry flakes. Thus, ensuring that your skin is ready for your self tanner application. And if you want to get your complexion glowing, opt for BBE’s facial scrub that will take care of prepping the skin on your cute face, too. Getting rid of dry flakes means that your self tanner will go on smoothy and that you’ll avoid those blotchy, undesirable results everyone screeches at.

Image of a woman using the BBE facial scrub in a bathroom setting.

We should also mention that not all exfoliators are created equal. Some of these guys can dry out your skin after using them, which is counterproductive to what you want, pre-self tan. BBE’s body scrubs get rid of dryness while infusing moisture back into your skin. Meaning, you’ll be completely self-tanner-ready when you hop out of the shower.

In the winter months, consider using a body wash that is infused with hydrating oils pre and post-self tanner application.

So you’ve got the exfoliating part down packed. Not to mention, you’re now pretty obsessed with the results that BBE scrubs deliver. We can’t blame ya, babe. However, if you want to get and preserve the perfect self tan even during winter, this next tip is vital.

Forget using body washes that strip your skin of the moisture it needs. Not only will this feel uncomfortable during the dry winter months, but it will also diminish how long your self tan lasts. Instead, opt for a body wash that is packed with nourishing essential oils. You know, something like BBE’s options, right here.

Image of BBE's lavender citrus body wash, perfect for preserving a self tan during the winter.

The right tools are always essential to getting the perfect self tan.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the 4th of July or Boxing Day, gorgeous. The right tools are always crucial to getting the self tan of your dreams – at home!

Think of these as investment pieces on your journey to becoming a pro self tanner. Hey, it’s the little things that will separate you from being an uneven-looking oompa loompa and a glowing tanned queen. Plus, you don’t have to wish you had a partner when you have a self tanner back applicator, #amirite? Nope. With one of these babies, you can get even results all over like the independent babe you are. In addition to that, using mitts to apply self tanner to the rest of your body and face will prevent the dreaded orange palms aftermath everyone dreads. On top of that, it will ensure that your products are evenly applied and perfectly blended.

Image of BBE's self tanner mitt collection.

Winter is the time to build your self tan.

If there’s one pro-tip you should take away from this How to Get the Perfect Self Tan – Even During Winter blog, it’s this next one. We all know that winter is a time where your skin might feel dryer. Therefore, layering up on self tanner can be an easy way to nourish your skin and keep your glow game strong.

But babe, not so fast. Not all self tanners are formulated with nourishing essential oils and ingredients that actually make your skin healthier. So before you go frantically looking for a cheap flight to Bora Bora (ps. there is no such thing), check out BBE’s lineup of luscious and moisturizing self tanners that will make winter seem a little less glum. Oh and, that are completely easy to re-apply and build as much as your heart desires!

The Self Tanner Lotion

Image of a woman holding the BBE Self Tanner lotion.

Beauty junkies have called this gem an amazing body moisturizer where the self tan part is just a plus. This bad boy is loaded with hydrating coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, and argan oil that all act as serious hydrators for your skin. During the winter months, we recommend re-applying this self tanner lotion every 2-3 days to keep your skin glowing and silky smooth.

The Self Tanning Water Bronzing Face & Body Mists

Image of the BBE Self Tanner Bronzing Water Face Mist.

Two words, babe: hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is a hydrating and anti-aging powerhouse. It will quite literally infuse your pores with the moisture they crave during the dry and cold winter months. What’s more, this mist is *way* easy to apply and to build up. Not to mention, the self tan results from this gem are quick and will have you glowing in just a few spritzes.

The Self Tanner Mousse

Formulated with nourishing grape seed oil, this is another self tanner you can count on for hydrating your skin during the winter season. Grape seed oil is known for its hydrating and anti-aging properties. Which is of course why we infused our self tanning mousse with it. We definitely recommend applying this formula with a handy self tanning mitt for the smoothest-looking results.

Image of the BBE self tanner mousse in full size and travel size.

Want to preserve your glow in the middle of winter? Check out these tips below.

Alright, babe. You’ve exfoliated, you’ve applied your self tanner (with all of the tools), and you’ve done your thing! Now, you have this fabulous glow that you’re worried about losing the minute you step out into that cold winter air. We get it. But there’s a reason why we always call ourselves your besties in beauty. It’s because we have all of the tea on how to fix your biggest beauty conundrums. And losing your self tan too quickly? Well, that’s certainly one of them.

Moisturize, moisturize, then moisturize some more.

After you’ve used the right nourishing body wash, you’ll want to *always* follow up your shower or bath with a moisturizer that will lock in all of that hydration. When it comes to your cute face, we recommend using the BBE Anti-Aging Cream. This fave is loaded with jojoba seed oil and aloe vera that work wonders for hydrating and protecting the skin. These ingredients help to keep skin soft and supple and will help your tan last a little longer.

Image of a woman applying the BBE anti-aging face cream, perfect for preserving a facial self tan during the winter.

Avoid excessively exfoliating or scrubbing your skin until you’re ready for another self tan application.

Here’s the thing, sis. We love exfoliating as much as the next babe. I mean, who can really resist those silky smooth results that come with a good body scrub? But the truth is that if you apply self tanner today and get to scrubbing tomorrow, your results will definitely fade – and quick!

Save that glorious exfoliating routine for the days where you plan on re-applying your self tanner. You can lightly scrub your skin with a loofah the rest of the time to keep your skin feeling clean and smooth. Just be sure to do so gently!

Image of two hands using the BBE exfoliating loofah.

The same goes for waxing, shaving, and other types of hair removal.

As in, do so before you apply your self tanner. Almost all forms of hair removal involve taking off a small surface layer of your skin. This will (you guessed it) also affect your self tan. A good rule of thumb is to do all things hair removal on the same day that you perform your exfoliating and prep routine. This way, you’ll be sure that you’re not compromising your self tan results in the days after application.

Ready to be a glowing goddess, no matter what the season?

Even if you’re feeling like a real-life popsicle the minute you step out your door, you can still *look* like you’ve just stepped off that beach in Tahiti. You know, the one that we mentioned at the beginning of this How to Get the Perfect Self Tan – Even During Winter blog.

With the right products that prioritize hydrating your skin, you’ve got this self tanner thing on lock, babe. Not to mention, you can make those glowing results last much longer by simply following the pro-tips above. We are serious when it comes to the self tanner game. No, seriously. There is plenty more where this article came from. From everything you ever wanted to know about sunless tanning to the problems every self tanning girl knows, we’ve got the total lowdown on this highly popular beauty topic, babe.

No matter what the season, we’re here to help you keep your glow game healthy and strong.


Self Tanner Frequently Asked Questions

Face Self Tanner Vs. Regular Self Tanner: What's the difference?

If you’ve dabbled in self tanner, you know how difficult it can be to get the perfect *non-orange* glow on your face. And because we think all of you should turn out bronze and beautiful when you use a self tanner, we can’t stress the importance of a facial self tanner enough! So if you haven’t heard of BBE’s self tanning goodness, buckle up girlfriend. We know what you’re wondering: Face Self Tanner vs. Regular Self Tanner… What’s the difference?

Image of a BBE girl holding up her favorite natural self-tanner!

Do I really need both self tanners?

We think so! Check this out. BBE’s face self tanner was formulated with the same amazing ingredients as our version for your body. However, our facial formula is lighter weight. What does that mean? Well, it means you can sleep easy knowing your self tanner won’t clog your pores, or cause breakouts. Oh and, you won’t have to stress about waking up screaming when you see yourself in the mirror.

We’ll admit that both formulas are super nourishing, clean, and non-streaking. But the truth is that once you use our facial self tanner for your face, you’ll totally notice a difference in how stunning your results are. A lighter-weight formula doesn’t only ensure you won’t break out, but it’s also easier to apply and blend. Your BBE body self tanner though? It can afford to be a little thicker and still look bomb.com when applied to those legs, babe!

Image of a woman using the mini facial mitt to apply self-tanner.

What other differences should I know about facial self tanning vs. body self tanning?

We also recommend using a “mini mitt” when applying your facial tanner. This ensures precision and helps you get right up into your hairline. You know, for the most natural looking results.

Want to know more about self tanning? We’ve got you covered on all that is natural and glowing. For real. From creating a self tan contour to everything else you need to know on sunless tanning: there is no self tan conundrum BBE can’t solve for ya.

And just like that, you’re all brushed up on what the difference is between face self tanner vs. regular self tanner, gorgeous!

Why Use Self Tanner on Darker Complexions?

We know what you’re thinking, babe. “Isn’t self tanner only good for pale, in serious need of sun, skin tones”? Well, the short answer is no! And while we agree that, for some of us, applying a coat before bed can have you waking up looking much less pasty, the reality is that self tanner does so much more than just darkening your skin tone. If you were blessed with a beautiful, deep and dark complexion, self tanner may not be high on your list of beauty product priorities. However, after reading this blog, you might just change your mind about this glowing essential, girlfriend. We’re going to let you in on a few hidden self tanner secrets that work wonders on darker complexions.

Why use self tanner if you have dark black or brown skin tones?

Blur and camouflage imperfections on any skin tone.

One of the reasons beauty junkies everywhere flock to self tanner, goes way beyond getting a darker skin tone. It’s also because it does a killer job of blurring out imperfections on the skin. The appearance of stretch marks and uneven skin tone can all be improved with this magical product. All you need is a quick pre-bedtime application! You’ll have stunning results by the time you wake up and run for your first cup of java. And this of course goes for darker complexions, too!

Many babes with darker complexions also reach for self tanner to get that real life filter effect. And if you use the right product (a.k.a. one from BBE’s lineup of organic self tanners), you can forget having a weird looking cast or orange tint to your skin. Nope, not around here. Just even, more radiant looking skin for the win.

So the next time you’re getting ready to pull out your beloved little black dress or plan on showing off your gams, add in a little something extra to your look. Consider using self tanner to make your skin look *flawless*, no matter the shade of your complexion!

With the help of self tanner, all complexions can get that little extra glow.

No matter your skin tone, applying self tanner will give you a gorgeous glow, babe. One that looks fab all on its own, or under your favorite makeup. What’s more, using a product that also nourishes your skin at the same time will guarantee to make your already stunning complexion look even better.

BBE’s facial self tanner is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that make *all* skin types look and feel their best. From soothing aloe vera to cranberry extract, we made this bad boy with the health of your skin in mind. What’s more, this bestseller can help cover up acne scars, eczema, veins, and can even out the look of any hyperpigmentation. And as if that list of benefits wasn’t enough, our facial self tanner was formulated to blend easily into the skin and dries within seconds. Making it *way* easy for even rookie self tanners to use.

So forget thinking that self tanner is a product designed to only darken your skin. The right self tanner can do so much more than that! Instead, think of it as an easy and safe way to have your skin looking vacation fresh in a cinch, sans expensive plane ticket or harmful UV rays.  

Image of the BBE self tanner, alongside a smiling woman with a beautiful dark complexion.

Sun kissed skin is for every babe.

That UV-free, safe tan we constantly rave about? Well babe, it’s for everyone. Darker complexion beauties who love that fresh off the beach look can use self tanner to mimic those glowing effects, all year ‘round.

If we’ve convinced you to give it a shot, *snaps for us* and for you, gorgeous! And if you’re slightly obsessed with the effects self tanner has on your skin? Well, 1) we totally feel you, and 2) consider these next few tips to make your glow last.

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Whether it’s the skin on your face or on your body, keeping it hydrated will ensure longer lasting self tan results. We especially love the BBE anti-aging cream to keep our glow game strong.
  2. Shower with lukewarm water, you know, instead of *steaming hot* water. This will help your tan fade less quickly.
  3. If you need to wax or shave, do so before your self tan application. This is because waxing and shaving can (you guessed it) strip off the look of your tan sooner than you want to.
Image of the BBE anti-aging cream, perfect for extending the self tan on any complexion.

A fresher complexion, no matter your skin tone.

If you’re a beautiful dark-skinned babe and have used a self tanner to elevate your glow game, let us know down below! We love how a good self tan makes us feel instantly refreshed and ready to conquer the day (or night!). Not to mention, how it gives us that extra pep in our glam step, e-v-e-r-y time!

Glowing complexions & margaritas for all!


Can I Self Tan While Pregnant?

You might be surprised to learn that we get this question quite a bit. Actually, like, a lot. And while we love answering each and every one of the inquiries you send us (seriously, we *live* to be your besties in all things natural beauty), we thought we’d dedicate an entire post to addressing this pressing question once and for all: Can I Self Tan While Pregnant?

The short answer is yes.

Here’s the good news, babe: even if you’re a little or a lot preggo – our self tanner is considered okay to use during pregnancy, but of course consult with a doctor or midwife if there is any concern.

Image of BBE self tanners, safe to use while pregnant!

This is mainly because the ingredients in our self tanner do not penetrate your skin, and instead only darken the surface of it.

Rubbing on a little self tanner before bed, though? That’s cool. In fact, it might even help your skin and self-confidence more than you think!

Don’t just use any self tanner though, mama.

If you’re going to use a self tanner (not only while pregnant but in general), why use anything less than a product that is packed with nourishing ingredients and that won’t leave you looking like you belong on a Willy Wonka set.

Image of BBE's self tanner mousse.

Lucky for you, BBE has *the* lineup of vegan self tanners that any rookie to seasoned at-home tanning junkie can love. From our beloved OG cream formula to our new mousse version, our self tanners are the perfect gift for any mama to be.

All of our self tanners are loaded with antioxidants and soothing aloe vera. Which essentially means that you won’t only be tanned and gorgeous. Your skin will also feel hydrated and nourished as well. You know, it’s basically like the ultimate multitasking body product you need during this hectic time, mama!

What’s more, any mom can feel good using BBE self tanner knowing it’s crafted with all vegan, plant-based ingredients, even our DHA is derived from Sugar Beets!

Image of a woman holding up the BBE self tanner cream.

BBE’s self tan options won’t leave you smelling, um, questionable, with subtle hints of coconut coming through, you’ll be sure to love this light scent! Seriously beautiful, this is the pick me up you’ve been waiting for while preggo! No downsides involved!  

Prioritize clean ingredients in your entire tanning routine.

If you’re considering giving yourself a natural sun kissed glow at home during pregnancy, it’s worth thinking about your entire self tan routine while you’re at it. Skin sensitivity naturally increases during pregnancy, therefore it is an important time to use ingredients that won’t cause irritation.

Opt for organic products to prep your skin, like BBE’s body scrubs. These babies will get rid of any dead skin, and make your skin feel ridiculously smooth. On top of that, you’ll be sure your skin is prepped and ready for that self tan application afterward. No blotchy spots, and no unevenness. Just glowing, natural results – we promise!

Image of BBE's Peppermint Tea Tree body scrub.

Pro tip: Invest in a facial scrub as well when it comes to curating the perfect at-home self tan routine. The same benefits mentioned above apply, but the delicate skin on your face deserves something special. Something like BBE’s superfruits & chlorophyll facial scrub, in fact.

Enjoy the confidence boost a little at-home self tan can give ‘ya.

Image of an ecard that reads "That moment when all of your friends are dieting & exercising and you're just pregnant like baby wants a cupcake".

There you have it. The answer to the *burning* question so many babes have had and will have: “Can I Self Tan While Pregnant?”

Let’s be real here, girlfriend. Moods and emotions can vary even on our best of days, let alone when you’re about to give birth to a tiny human. And sometimes, a little self tan can give you that extra bit of confidence you need to get through the day! Hey – you gotta do what you gotta do, boo.

Of course, before using any new products during your pregnancy you should always consult with your doctor. Once you’re in the clear, though? Click add to cart on the clean self tanner everyone and their mama is talking about (no pun intended).


Common Self Tanning Problems

We’ve got 99 problems… and we’ll admit that a few of them *sometimes* come from our slight addiction to natural self tanning. But hey, we think sun damage and harmful UV rays are a way bigger issue than the occasional orange palms. If you’re a babe who loves to get her glow on the natural way, you’ll totally relate to these problems every self tanning girl knows!

Image of a happy BBE girl holding up her natural self-tanner.

You’re always worried about your self tanner rubbing off on your sheets.

Especially if they’re white. You hop out of the shower. Rub on your self tanner, let it dry, and hope for the best as you get in between your sheets. But instead of worrying your pretty little head as you lay down to rest, you can opt for BBE’s self tanner that won’t transfer over to any fabrics. For real. Now, all you need to do is catch some Zzz’s and wake up a glowing goddess. Easy, right?

No matter how hard you try, you always seem to miss that one spot.

Even after years of experience, you sometimes feel a little inadequate in the self tan department. Don’t sweat it, babe. We’ve all been there. In fact, because we know how common of a problem this is, we went ahead and wrote a whole post on expert-level tips on how to apply self tanner to the hardest spots.@ashpearson96

Morning #onliners #fyp #tanproblems♬ Hey! What? – IamBannd

Click here, read away, and get ready to feel confident the next time you reach for that natural glow in a bottle.

Image of a woman talking on the phone, with the words "My life isn't perfect but my tan is".

You struggle with using your fave body exfoliator and being afraid to scrub off your tan.

Now this is self tanning girl problems 101! To exfoliate or not to exfoliate. Well, we get how tough this call can be. Especially when you have a deliciously addictive body scrub in your shower. You know, something like BBE’s vanilla coconut gem right here.

The truth is though, you definitely need to exfoliate before you self tan. And as a self tanning junkie, we know you already knew this. Don’t be afraid to scrub dead skin away again a week later. Yes, your tan will have faded, but it’s the perfect opportunity to touch up, re-apply, and keep your glow game up.

Image of the BBE peppermint tea tree body scrub.

Your makeup doesn’t always match your tan on the days you go overboard with the self tanning coats!

If you find yourself needing to apply a *little* more bronzer to get those cheekbones to match your new natural self tan – we feel that! And rest assured, this is one of the problems every self tanning girl knows.

Thankfully though, it’s an easy one to fix. First up, we totally recommend using a self tanner that is specially formulated for your face. Opt for an easy-to-blend, natural formula that will help you look even all over, like this one. Next up, if you love makeup as much as you love self tanning, make sure you have a clean bronzer on hand at all times. Adding a little bronzer to that pretty face will help blend your self tan, and make it look stunningly natural.  

The only time you wish you had a boyfriend is when you’re self tanning and need to reach your back (ok, and also when you need to bring the groceries in).

We know how much of a struggle it can be to get your self tan even and perfect on the areas you can reach. So we definitely feel you when it comes to reaching your back!@shazbrz

Tanning problems 🤷🏼‍♀️ ##tanning ##faketan ##successful ##butwhatabout♬ stop complaining – <3

But babe, every self tanning girl knows how to solve this one of many problems! You need to get yourself the ultimate buddy, the one who will never let you down: the self tanning back applicator.

Once you have one of these guys in your life, you can count on your back looking even and tanned – no boyfriend required.

Image of a woman using the BBE self-tanning back applicator.

And finally… you’re always a *little* paranoid to look in the mirror the morning after your nighttime self tanning routine.

You know exactly which feeling we’re talking about here. You exfoliated, and you did all the right prep. Last but certainly not least, you applied your self tanner. In the process, you blended so much that you lost track of time (seriously, how did that episode of Real Housewives end so soon?). Oh and, you invested in every applicator you needed to get the job done properly.

So you go to sleep (kinda stressing about your sheets) and hope for the self tanning gods to visit you within the next 8 hours. Then, you wake up and head to the mirror hoping that you’ve awoken looking like a stunning bronzed beauty instead of an Oompa Loompa.

Woman on beach towel with self tanner and mitt

… And luckily for you, you’re a BBE babe so you don’t wake up looking like one of the cast members from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Instead, you’re feeling yourself. What’s more, you know you have all the self tanning knowledge you need to kill the glow game. And trust us, girlfriend, you are killing it!

How do we know? Well, because you’re kind enough to send us your impressive before and after’s that we quite frankly, live for. Check them out for yourself, here.


How to Care for Self Tanning Mitts: Five Steps for Great Results

Wondering how to care for self tanning mitts? That makes sense! After all, summer is coming to a close. While we can all rejoice that sweater weather is right around the corner, it’s hard to keep that glow alive when the weather has you stuck indoors.
We all know that tanning beds are a recipe for increased cancer risk and premature skin aging. That’s why more and more people are relying on natural self tanner.
“But wait!” you say. “If I use self tanner won’t I end up looking like a streaky Oompa Loompa?” Not at all, my friend. At least not if you use self tanning mitts.

Why Self Tanning Mitts are a Game Changer

Self tanning mitts make it easy to achieve a flawless self tan. These mitts let you apply your self tanner evenly, helping you avoid streaks and discoloration. They’re a must if you want a professional looking tan (and to avoid those dreaded orange palms). Here’s a great video demonstrating how to apply self tanner using tanning mitts. 
Of course, learning how to care for self tanning mitts is crucial to get great results. Here are the five steps I follow to make sure my mitts stay in great shape.

Image of BBE's self tanner mitt collection.

How to Care for Self Tanning Mitts

Step One: Wash Your Mitts With Soap and Water After Each Use: Hand wash your mitts every time you use them. You don’t have to get fancy here: warm water and a mild soap is all it takes. I like to use baby soap for mine, but as long as it’s gentle most soaps will work just fine. Gently massage your mitts to remove any leftover tanner, then rinse thoroughly.


Step Two: Wring and Reshape Your Mitts: Gently wring out your mitts to remove any excess water. Let me emphasize gentle here: no need to wring hard enough to cause damage. Once they’re no longer dripping, reshape your mitts while they’re still damp.


Step Three: Let Your Mitts Air Dry: Once clean and reshaped, drape your mitt over a towel rod or place it standing straight up on your bathroom sink and let it air dry. You may want to put them in a less humid room than your bathroom for quicker drying.


Step Four: Avoid the Washer: As tempting as it might seem, never put your self tanning mitts in the washing machine! Not only can this damage your mitts, you also run the risk of getting self tanner on anything else you wash with them! Similarly, your dryer may shrink or damage your mitts. Hand care is the way to go.


Step Five: Replace When Necessary: With proper care, your mitts can stay in great shape for six months to a year. But don’t keep them for too long! Mitts that are damaged or worn are less able to deliver a natural-looking tan. Replace them as needed to get the best results.


Self Tanner Ingredients

What is DHA?

Imagine having a cream you could apply regularly that nourished your skin, was free of nasty ingredients, and that would have you waking up looking like a tanned, golden goddess. Or better yet, a lightweight mousse or spray that would make the world think you just got off a plane from Bali where you spent the last month basking in the sun and chilling in downward dog poses all day long. In case you didn’t already know, these heavenly products do exist, babe. And when you stop to think about it, it is pretty magical that a product can do so much – all without the harmful effects of the sun. Truthfully, this is largely due to one interesting and somewhat controversial ingredient called DHA. So what exactly is DHA? Well babe, let us fill you in on everything you ever wanted to know about self tanning’s most mysterious ingredient.

Image of a woman in the sun, wearing large metallic sunglasses.

Simply put, DHA is…

Dihydroxyacetone (also known as DHA) is an active ingredient derived by the fermentation of glycerol that is used in most self tanners to get you dark. We must admit that the way this ingredient works is definitely interesting. When applied, DHA reacts with dead cells in the surface layer of your skin and temporarily darkens it. As you probably already know, this usually wears off in a few days. At which point, you’re left wanting to self tan again (totally normal and understandable, we get it!). This is because your skin naturally sheds within 1-2 weeks, meaning your tan will naturally fade as well.

The downsides of this mysterious ingredient…

If the description above has you thinking that DHA is this fabulous little scientific beauty experiment you can have at home (along with the reward of a deep, dark tan), think again, babe.

As intriguing as this ingredient may sound, there are indeed some negative downsides to it when used in traditional forms. Even though the FDA hasn’t flagged the topical application of DHA as harmful, sensitive babes can attest that this isn’t always the case. And, if you tend to have dry skin, DHA can be irritating to it. On top of all of that, inhaling DHA (think aerosol spray tans) can cause serious harm to your respiratory system and increase risks for asthma. In fact, some research has even shown that this ingredient could increase your risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). All and all, we think we’d like to pass on all of that. And, we’re sure you would too.

The not so cute side effects some DHA can leave behind…

You’ve likely heard this one before. Many babes who know about traditional DHA associate it with orange palms and oompa loompa-like tanning results. And honestly, we can’t blame them for it. Finding a product with the right self tanning formula is no easy feat, and orange results are definitely a reality in some cases. But before you go writing off self tanner altogether or thinking you have no choice but to bake out in the sun to look glowing, hear us out, babe. We’re going to give you all of the insight you need on how to work around this not-so-stellar ingredient.  

Suffice it to say, there is a better alternative to traditional DHA that you can be sure won’t bother your precious skin or be harmful to your overall health. So now that we’ve answered that burning “what on earth is DHA?!” question, we’re ready to teach you a little more on this way popular topic. Because c’mon babe, we wouldn’t bring you a beauty conundrum without a beautiful solution.

The natural alternative to traditional DHA that will make you glow instead of cringe…

Babe, by now, you know us. When we find a nasty beauty gap, we like to fill it! With a safer, and more natural alternative (duh!). There is no denying how amazing a little self tanner can make you look and feel, so we had to create one (well actually, *a few*) that would be safe for sensitive babes, that would nourish and protect skin, oh and that would deliver Fiji beach worthy results.

So here’s what we did. If you check out our ingredient lists, you’ll notice that our self tanners contain “sugar beet derived DHA”. What you won’t notice, are parabens, sulfates, fillers, or any other nasty junk you wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole. At this point, you’re probably wondering what is sugar beet-derived DHA, and how is it different from regular old DHA?

Here’s the lowdown. Sugar beet derived DHA is widely considered non-toxic when applied to the skin yet will give you just as good a glow as the other stuff. We should also mention that self tanners that are made with this more natural version of DHA often come with a slew of other beneficial ingredients for your skin. Think moisturizing jojoba oil, coconut oil, and even aloe vera. What’s more, a *huge* bonus that comes with using the sugar beet version of DHA is that you’ll avoid smelling umm… not so cute after applying your self tanner. Any babe who has tried self tanning at home knows what we’re talking about here. And out of all of the self tanner problems out there, smelling like nasty ingredients has to be one of the worst.

But babe, you know we’ve got the solution for that. Check out the self tanners below that you’ll want in your life, pronto.

BBE’s lineup of self tanners has the DHA you want in your life.

If learning about the more natural version of DHA has you ready to bust out your self tanning mitt and go to town – we love that! Plus, you already know that we are obviously here for stepping your glow game up. You know, with our stellar lineup of self tanners that will make you ditch your old products and that will always leave your skin feeling (and smelling) like a dream.

Want to nourish the heck outta your skin and wake up looking like a glowing goddess?

Your wish is our command, gorgeous. We recommend none other than our original self tanner lotion formula. This gem is loaded with moisturizing coconut oil, acne fighting witch hazel, and calming aloe vera amongst a slew of other standout ingredients.

This self tanner won’t just give you a natural looking glow. It is a serious body moisturizer that will nourish your skin. And, that of course contains some of that glorious sugar beet derived DHA. Trust us babe, this is the self tanning lotion that rookies can use and that pros always have on hand.

Prefer to spritz your way to that luscious tan, instead? We’ve got you, babe.

Remember how we talked about how terrible regular DHA can make your self tanner smell? Not to mention, how long it lingers on your skin afterwards? Well, you already know that we couldn’t get behind that. And with this next gem, we seriously broke the mold.

This *super* easy to apply mist smells like a peppermint citrus paradise. Plus, this BBE custom formula is filled with natural, plant-based ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and cucumber extract. Let’s just say, the glowing results you’ll get 4-6 hours later are just an added bonus to the nourishment you’ll be giving that beautiful skin of yours with every spritz.

The options don’t end there, gorgeous. Nope. We’ve got a lot more where that came from.

Alright, in case you couldn’t already tell, it’s obvious that we love creating self tanners you can obsess over along with the help of sugar beet derived DHA. And our self tanning mousse? Well babe, it is just another glowing display of that.

If you want a self tanner that blends seamlessly and that feels light as a feather on your skin, look no further. As with the rest of our beloved self tanning products, we didn’t skimp on creating an ingredient list that will make your heart sing. We packed this mousse with vanilla and grapeseed extract that don’t just smell divine. More importantly, these guys also help to keep your skin young and beautiful while they’re at it.

When it comes to the precious skin on your face, BBE’s got exactly what you need.

When it comes to self tanning that cute face, we know that so many babes choose to reach for the same self tanner they use on their bodies. And while this isn’t exactly problematic, there is a better alternative.

BBE’s face self tanner was formulated with the same amazing ingredients as our version for your body. However, our facial formula is much lighter weight. What does that mean? Well, it means you can sleep easy knowing your self tanner won’t clog your pores, or cause breakouts. Oh and, you won’t have to stress about waking up screaming when you see yourself in the mirror. Because seriously, who has time for that when their main morning priority is getting that first latte in their system. Not you babe, no way.

Want to learn more about the differences between our regular self tanner and our face self tanner? Got you covered, girlfriend. Just click here.

There you have it, sis. You’re now an all-knowing DHA pro.

So the next time someone asks “what is DHA?”, you’ll be well equipped to answer. Because let’s be real, beauty junkies everywhere have asked themselves that question at some point or another. And if you want to know even more about how to get the perfect self tan at home? Babe, we have a ton of more info where this blog post came from. From contouring with self tanner to how to curate the perfect glowing routine, BBE seriously has you covered.

Now go on babe, get your glow on. You know, with some of that fabulous sugar beet derived DHA your skin will love.


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