The Best Self-Tanners for An Effortless Sun-Kissed Glow: How Ryan Gosling Got His ‘Barbie’ Bronze

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best self tanner
Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

As summer heats up, you don't have to live near a beach to achieve a sun-kissed complexion. Self-tanners can give you a year-round glow without harmful UV exposure. Whether you're hoping for a gorgeous barely-there blend or a total bronze, self-tanner has come a long way since the orange hues of the past. 

With new behind-the-scenes photos from the upcoming Barbie film featuring stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, we can't help but want to channel their glow this summer. Not everyone can pull off wearing head-to-toe hot pink while doling out unsurprisingly deep advice like Barbie and Ken. However, we can get a camera-ready tan just like the duo thanks to the movie's tanning expert Kimberley Nkosi who shared on Instagram the exact self-tanner she used on Gosling. 

Nkoski wrote in her Instagram caption that Isle of Paradise "ALWAYS in medium with a touch of dark to balance his under tone" was one of the go-to products to achieve Ryan’s golden glow. 


The best self-tanners come range from sprays and mists to lotions for both your face and body. When choosing the right self-tanner for you, it’s best to separate the face and body because the skin has different needs. Accessories like the Tarte Application Mitt can help with the application process. Remember, when it comes to applying self tanner, hydrated skin and a good moisturizer are essential.

Keep reading to get a streak-free, moisturized, and sun-kissed glow this summer. We've selected our favorite self-tanners for the perfect glow year-round. 

Best Self-Tanners Overall

Well-loved tanning line St Tropez's Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mist is indeed a classic product for achieving a natural glow. It's lightweight, oil-free and goes on evenly, plus the bottle lasts seemingly forever. Give it up to eight hours to develop into the perfect-for-you shade.


Clarins' Self Tanning Instant Gel is a mistake-proof self tanning gel for your face and body. With ingredients like aloe vera, you can keep your skin hydrated while you wait for the gradual sun-kissed glow to kick in. The gradual build makes this the perfect all-over self tanner for your body and face.


Develop a deeper tan in the span of one hour with this easy-to-use, user-friendly tanning mouse (which comes with a tan mitt) from B.tan. And since this product has a violet hue, it'll balance out the orange tones for a more realistic finish.


Best Self-Tanners for Face

The Dr Dennis Glow Pad Self Tanner adds a soft bronzed look to your face. Thanks to its anti-aging properties and hydrating ingredients, such as vitamin D and glycerin, these glow pads also act as a skincare treatment. 


The Tan Luxe Illuminating Self Tan Drops are perfect for giving your face and neck a dewy, glittery summer glow. This self tan formula is also hydrating, cruelty-free and ideal for every skin type (including sensitive skin). Since the formula is hydrating, it helps prevent uneven texture and overall streakiness. 



Use The Organic Pharmacy's self tanner for your face, your body or both! It's easy to use and claims to leave you with soft, hydrated skin — it's basically a fake tan and a moisturizer in one product. What more could you need?


The Clarins Golden Glow Booster for Face is a great buildable formula. You add a few drops to your moisturizer of choice, then apply it to your face for a gradual glowy look. Plus, this Clarins self tanning product contains aloe vera extract and glycerin to keep your face extra hydrated.



Best Self-Tanner Travel Companions

An Addison Rae fave, Bondi Sands GLO is perfect for an instant, one day touch up of glow.


Bondi's self-tanner is going viral on TikTok. The fast-acting, lightweight formula features Hyaluronic Acid for hydration, Vitamin C for radiance, and Vitamin E for rejuvenation.


The Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse isn't just a great fake sun tan in a bottle. It also acts as an anti-cellulite and anti-aging product. Plus, if you've always wanted to try the faux freckles beauty trend, Coco & Eve suggests using this self tanner mouse along with a fine-tipped brush or a freckle stencil to create some cute fake freckles on your face or shoulders. The Deluxe Travel Tan Kit is the perfect travel companion (it even comes with a travel pouch to carry everything in).


Best Self-Tanners for Sensitive Skin

Made for all skin types, as well as sensitive skin, the Supergoop Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF 40 is a great triple threat for all your summer adventures. This spray lotion gradually builds a sun-kissed glow while protecting you from UV rays. Plus, it's water-resistant, so you can enjoy the waves as soon as it dries.


This sunless tanner is a budget-friendly formula that gradually gives you an even bronzed look within three days (as long as you apply a light and even amount every day during those three days). Plus, the Jergens Natural Glow 3-Day Self Tanner Lotion contains hydrating ingredients, like vitamin E, to keep your skin looking healthy and moisturized.


This hydrating self tanning lotion has become a favorite on Amazon, with a 4.3-star rating based on 17,000 reviews. Customers love it for the natural ingredients and the effective finish.


Look tan and feel hydrated with this body treatment formulated with hyaluronic acid, caffeine and antioxidant-rich superfoods. Apply up to six pumps of the Tan Luxe Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self Tan Serum per body area, then massage into your skin with circular motions.


A mist opportunity! Bioderma's entire Photoderm line adapts to various skin types, and this moisturizing, self tanning mist was designed for sensitive skin. Simply spray on your skin and wait for your new summer-ready fake tan to appear. Although it's formulated specifically for sensitive skin, this Bioderma self tanner is also a great travel tanner (you know: thanks to its spray and wait application). 


The James Read Fool Proof Bronzing Mousse for the face and body gradually allows your self tan to come alive in 6-8 hours. And since this product is an easy-to-use foam, you won't have to worry about streaking — that's a win for us.


Best Self-Tanners for a Deep Tan

Get a deeper all-over tan with the Isle of Paradise Dark Self Tanning Drops. These color-correcting tanning drops build a gradual sun-kissed glow. And how many drops you use determines how deep your tan will be. 


The Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse has a lightweight formula that creates a natural-looking fake tan. It's perfect for anyone who wants to add a deeper bronzed glow to their skin. This formula also contains anti-aging ingredients, like coffee seed extract and pomegranate extract. 


Your sunless tan isn't complete without giving your face and neck a touch of bronze. The L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tan Drops will mix seamlessly into your daily moisturizer for a gradual glowy, bronzed look.


Use a self tanning mitt to apply the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam to achieve an effortlessly bronzed look, without spending hours in the sun. This tanning product is infused with aloe vera and coconut, which helps moisturize your skin to give you a streak-free self tan. 


Coola Sunless Tan Body Dry Oil Mist is a self tanner leaves zero mess and is streak-free. This body mist is organic and smells lovely like piña colada.  This product allows you to stay tan for 3 days, so it is short-acting yet looks lovely instantly.


The St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse is a full coverage self tanner that also helps treat skin dullness and uneven skin texture. Plus, this ultra-hydrating formula dries quickly, so you can keep up with all your summer adventures.



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