The 15 Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin Cost as Little as $9

It's time to ditch the tanning bed and achieve a sun-kissed glow with a healthier alternative that doesn't involve UV rays—especially if you have light skin that burns easily. We've rounded up 15 of the best self tanners for fair skin you can use all year long, and they look totally natural. Streaky skin? We don't know her.

A woman in a bikini with tanned skin photo

The Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin

It's no secret that self tanning has come a long way over the past few years, and more people are starting to choose lotions, mists, and mousse over traditional tanning beds. Although this is a much healthier option as opposed to, say, skin cancer, it can be hard to achieve a natural-looking glow that's free of splotches and streaks, which is why there are different ways to apply self-tanner based on your skin tone.

For our fair-skinned ladies out there, you'll want to exfoliate before applying your daily body lotion and make sure to lather up your knees, elbows, feet, and hands a little extra to avoid a darker tan in those areas. When it comes time to apply self tanner to your face, we know this can be very intimidating, especially if you're a beginner. Luckily, we've got pro tips for that too.

Now that you've got the whole process down and know the secret to a flawless fake tan, it's time to choose your go-to product. We've rounded up a variety of options including Jergens Instant Sun Moisturizing Lotion and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads (these are amazing for anyone on the go) that are practically made for people with fair skin.

The Best Drugstore Option: Jergens Instant Sun Moisturizing Lotion

The Jergens Instant Sun self-tanning mousse is an affordable drugstore option hundreds of Target customers are backing with rave reviews. Many five-star reviewers say they love this product so much that it has been their go-to sunless tanner for years. Its lightweight, nonsticky formula is a huge win, but what they really love is the even shade of color left behind after just one application. And did we mention it dries after only 60 seconds? No more orange-stained bed sheets for you. ($12; target.com)

The Best for a Quick Natural Tan: Loving Tan Two-Hour Express Mousse

Loving Tan Express Two-Hour Self Tanner is great for anyone who wants an instant glow that looks like you spent all summer in the sun. A little goes a long way with this product so you need only a few pumps for an even application; don't forget to use an applicator mitt to avoid streaks. You'll see a slight tan right away, but for the best results you'll want to wait at least two hours (this is the perfect time to give yourself an at-home mani/pedi) to allow your tan to deepen before rinsing off in the shower. Reviewers say each tan lasts up to seven days and have made it part of their weekly beauty routine. ($40; ulta.com)

The Best for Anti-Aging: Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

If you're looking for a self tanner that does more than just give you a darker complexion, look no further. Coco and Eve's Sunny Bali Bronzing Foam might be a winner with its unique formula that provides a medium tan while using feel-good ingredients like raw virgin coconuts, fig, banana, amino acids, and more to help minimize cellulite and signs of aging. For a lighter tan you can rinse off in the shower after a few hours, but if you want a deeper shade it's recommended to sleep on it and shower in the morning. ($40; amazon.com)

The Best Self Tanning Spray: Coola Dry Oil Mist

Tanning lotion and mousse don't appeal to everyone, and sometimes making a trip to the salon for a spray tan just isn't an option. That's where Coola Tan comes in to save the day with its Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist. It's essential to exfoliate your skin before using this product to ensure an even application that lasts up to three days. Hold the bottle about four inches away from your skin, give yourself a quick spritz all around your body, rub it in, and wait six to eight hours before showering. Bonus: This self-tanner meets most TSA requirements, making it a great option for travel too, so don't forget to pack it before your next vacay. ($46; amazon.com)

The Best for a Gradual Tan: Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer

Natural tans don't happen overnight, and if you want to mimic the process of getting a sun-kissed look (without the sun, of course), it doesn't get much better than Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. Yes, you read that correctly: It acts as your everyday body lotion while giving you a gradual tan that appears over the course of several days. That way it's not obvious to your peers that you're actually rocking a fake tan. If you haven't noticed any color changes after a week, try applying it twice a day, once in the morning and at night. As if hundreds of glowing—pardon the pun—reviews aren't enough to try it out, this suntan in a bottle is less than $10. ($9; walmart.com)

The Best for Your Face: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad

Applying an even tan to your face usually isn't an easy task—until now. Any fears of having an orange, streaky face will disappear thanks to the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. One box includes 20 towelettes that are packed with vitamins and hydroxy acids to give you a tinted complexion while also helping reduce blackheads, acne scars, and more. Plus, they come presoaked for easy application and individually packaged so you don't have to worry about them drying out. ($38; dermstore.com)

The Best Self-Tanning Kit: Tarte Brazilliance Plus Self Tanner

More than 10,000 Sephora customers love this self tanning kit from Tarte so it shouldn't be a surprise to see it on our list. It comes with a 5.5-ounce bottle of product and a soft applicator mitt that's packaged in a cute mesh cinch bag. The scent-free formula is hypoallergenic, vegan, and dermatologist-tested so you can feel extra good about your purchase. For less than $40 you have everything you need to give yourself a smooth, even tan, making it ideal for beginners and experts alike. ($39; sephora.com)

The Best Self-Tan Towelettes: Tan Towel for Face and Bod

We've covered towelettes that are specifically for your face, but if you want a quick full-body glow, Tan Towel has you covered—literally. One box contains five towelettes that are about the size of a standard washcloth and are made for fair to medium skin tones. The application process is simple; all you do is wipe the towelette over your face and body and within four hours its concentrated formula will give you an even tan you won't be able to wait to show off. ($29; ulta.com)

The Best For Hydration: Josie Maran Argan Self Tanning Body Oil

Winter dryness is totally a thing, and thanks to Josie Maran's Argan Tanning Body Oil you no longer have to choose between tan or moisturized skin. Thanks to 100 percent argan oil that's infused with vitamins, green tea, coconut oil, and aloe vera, just one application of this rich formula gives you glowier, more hydrated skin that looks just as good as it feels. Avoid showering for at least four hours while the color fully develops. ($39; dermstore.com)

The Best for a Natural Glow: Isle of Paradise Color Correcting Self Tanning Mousse

Comparable to Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, Isle of Paradise tanning mousse is about as natural-looking as it gets but without the wait. Instead of using bronzer like most self-tanning formulas, this one is a water-based mousse with color-correcting technology that enhances your skin with a smooth, tinted complexion. One five-star reviewer says, "This is seriously the best self tanner I've ever used. The color looks so natural and everyone was commenting on how tan I was! The color lasts about a week and fades nicely." ($29; sephora.com)

The Best Splurge-Worthy Option: Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops

Great for all skin types, Tan-Luxe Illuminating Self-Tan Drops is one product Sephora shoppers say is totally worth the splurge, and we can see why: Its unique formula allows you to turn any of your favorite moisturizers, serums, or face oils into a self-tanning product. Simply mix one to four drops into your chosen skincare product and apply—yes, it's that easy. It's recommended to test a small patch of skin 24 hours before applying all over to make sure it's the color you want. The more drops you add the darker your skin will be. ($49; sephora.com)

The Best Organic Option: The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan

If you're in the market for a self tanner that's free of harsh chemicals and made with clean ingredients, consider your search over. The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan is a cream-based formula that uses sugar beets to give you a slight tan in three hours. One application lasts up to two days, but if you want it to last for the long haul just reapply every 48 hours. Add it to your cart while it's on sale for more than 50 percent off! ($21, usually $69; goop.com)

The Best for Sensitive Skin: Skinerals Californium Sunless Bronzer

For people with sensitive skin, it can be especially hard to find a self tanner that won't cause irritation. Literally thousands of Amazon shoppers (even those who claim they have sensitive skin) tried Skinerals Californium Sunless Bronzer and were not disappointed. Aside from the 1,700+ five-star reviews, it also gives your skin a tinted glow for up to seven days. Plus, it's made with 100 percent organic ingredients like lavender oil, vanilla bean extract, and shea butter. One satisfied reviewer says, "I have super sensitive skin associated with an immune disorder and I have no irritation whatsoever from the product! Highly recommend this!" ($26; amazon.com)

The Best Rated Option: Beauty by Earth Self Tanner

If you're someone who doesn't dare buy a new skincare product without looking at reviews first, you'll be happy to know the Beauty by Earth Self Tanner is an Amazon best-seller and has more than 4,000 positive reviews. This clean formula uses only natural ingredients such as shea butter, organic coconut oil, and Japanese green tea to be suitable for all skin types. Your sunless tan will last up to seven days and can be reapplied on an as-needed basis. The best part? No streaks or blotches. ($31; amazon.com)

The Best Overall: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

Can we get a drumroll, please? Earning the title as the best overall self tanner for fair skin is St. Tropez's Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. It provides a long-lasting, natural glow (up to 10 days) that fades well without leaving blotchy patches behind and even acts as a moisturizer for your skin. Thousands of reviewers love it for its outstanding results and easy-to-apply formula. One satisfied customer even dubs it as the "best investment they've ever made on Amazon." ($42; amazon.com)