The Best Self-Tanners in Clean Beauty

Beach season is coming and some of us have spent a littttle too much time inside these past few months (translucent skin, anyone?) Now that we’re grown and not into unhealthy sun-baking, self-tanning is our solution of choice. But we’ve also learned that many popular tanners contain harmful fragrances, toxic preservatives, and they test on animals. What’s a pale-ass bish to do?

Thankfully, clean, cruelty-free self tanners are growing in popularity, and we’ve tried quite a few. Here are our current favorites so far:

Supergoop Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF 40 $38 for 3.4 oz

When we found out Supergoop created a sunless tanner that was water resistant with SPF we knew we had to try it. Just like the name sounds, this brand makes pretty ~super~ sunscreen products, many of which we’ve tried before and loved. A little of this self-tanner goes a long way, and it comes in a spray so it’s easy to apply. It doesn’t feel greasy or take long to dry so you won’t have to walk around the house in the nude (unless you’re into that kind of thing – then by all means). The scent is not overwhelmingly self-tannery but you might notice it occasionally throughout the day. The biggest downside was that it did slightly stain the palms of our hands so you’ll want to wash them thoroughly after applying, or even better – use a mitt! This is the most expensive tanner on our list but since it doubles as a sunscreen, with think you’ll get your money’s worth.

Supergoop Healthy Glow, before and after!

Supergoop Healthy Glow, before and after!

NKD SKN Pre-shower gradual tanning lotion $19.99 for 6.76 oz

We love a gradual tanning lotion. Our years of using the potentially hella-toxic Jergen’s Natural Glow are proof of that. If you’re looking for a more subtle glow and can’t stand that tacky skin feeling you get after applying self tanner, this one is a good option. Just apply, wait, and rinse – your tan will keep developing even after you shower. The color is streak-free and very natural looking, but don’t expect to look like Ariana on the Sweetener cover overnight. NKD SKN recommends daily use to gradually build up the color. Little tip: Leave it on longer than 10 minutes before showering to maximize the single-day impact.

Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner $7.78 for 4 oz

For $7.78 (!!!!!) this is absolutely the most affordable non-toxic self tanner out there. If you’re a fan of tanning lotions as opposed to mousse or spray, this lil guy is for you. The lotion goes on totally clear at first but the color only takes a few hours to process, so you’ll definitely notice after one application. The only downsides are the usual tanning lotion pitfalls: you have to use quite a bit to cover your whole bod, and it’s a bit sticky for an hour or so until it dries. But the coloring is natural and buildable, and it doesn’t have that self-tanner stink! We love it. Alba Botanica is a drugstore brand, but this product is not easy to find in stores (Kathryn checked every CVS within a 6 mile radius last summer). Thankfully, you can buy it online from vitamin stores like

Isle of Paradise Tanning Water $28 for 6.76 oz

We’re kind of obsessed with this one! If you’ve never used a tanning “water” it can be a kind of magical experience, ie “how is this clear liquid turning me into a beach babe??” Well, it’s hard for us to say howww exactly, but the shit works. Just spray it all over your body, rub it in, and wait 4-6 hours for your tan to develop (we put it on before bed and saw a HUGE change by morning, with absolutely no sheet stains!) It’s made with avocado oil, coconut oil, chia seed oil and eucalyptus oil, so it’s basically a full-body moisturizer, too. Plus it smells good, and you don’t need much of it to cover your whole body. Little tip with this one: spraying it into our hands first instead of directly on our bodies helped us avoid missed spots and wasted product. We washed our hands thoroughly after and saw 0 orange stains. See? Magic.

Do you have a clean, cruelty free self-tanner you love? Hit us up @beautydummy on insta or email us at