The 6 Best Self-Tanning Drops, According To Editors

No sun required.

Bustle editors' favorite self-tanning drops for a gorgeous radiance.

It may be too cold for a day at the beach, but you can achieve a flawlessly sun-kissed glow regardless of the temperature — and it doesn’t require leaving town or lying in the sun. All you need is to add some self-tanning drops into your pre-existing skin care routine.

Self-tanners can feel daunting, but self-tanning drops are great because they’re a concentrated form that you can customize to your liking. Simply add one or a few drops (depending on how bronze you’re looking to get) to your fave serum, lotion, SPF, or moisturizer, apply as you would normally, and enjoy a just-got-back-from-vacation glow after it activates (just like regular self-tanners).

Since these are blended with your skin care, you’re much less likely to be covered in streaks or deal with an orange face. (Been there.) While finding what works best for your skin can be a challenge, Bustle’s beauty editors have tried practically every product under the sun (get it? Tanning?) so you don’t have to guess. Below, see our picks of the best self-tanning drops you can buy.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


For A Gorgeous Radiance

“Anytime I'm feeling pasty, I reach for these tanning drops. A little goes a long way, so I only need about one or two drops mixed in with my favorite serum or moisturizer. I love how low effort it is and how the next morning I wake up looking a lot less ashy.” — Faith Xue, beauty director, BDG


For Lustrous Hydration

“Whind’s tanning drops give you a gradual and natural-looking tint with erythrulose, a botanical alternative to DHA (the active that’s used in most self-tanners). If you’re wary of the dramatically dark reveal some self-tanners can bring, this one’s a safe bet: It builds up slowly for a believable bronze. As an added bonus, I’ve found it doubles as a hydrating serum since it contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin.” — Rachel Lapidos, senior beauty & lifestyle editor


For Bronzed Brilliance

“I'm hesitant when testing self-tanning products on the face, but since this one is considered a skin-care-slash-makeup hybrid, I was intrigued. You simply apply it like you would a booster, and it instantly gives you a more even-looking complexion along with antioxidants and moisture thanks to vitamin C, sunflower seed oil, and rosehip. After regular use, I notice a subtle bronze that makes me look as though I spent a weekend at the beach. The best part is it doesn't turn your skin orange and it's not streaky, so it's pretty foolproof — hence why it's become my go-to in the midst of winter.” — Rachel Lapidos, senior beauty & lifestyle editor


For A Sun-Kissed Aesthetic

“I absolutely love these tanning drops. The consistency is so lightweight you barely notice it’s there, its natural formula is sensitive-skin friendly, and it’s easy to implement into your pre-existing routine. I simply mix a few drops in with my hydrating serum, and my complexion is instantly transformed as it gives me a healthy, lit-from-within radiance. You give off the illusion that you’ve been spending more time outside or sleeping 10 hours nightly, so the tan is subtle — not overwhelming. And that’s not even the best part: These drops are also formulated with glycerin and aloe, so they hydrate and soothe your skin while giving you a gorgeous glow.” — Danielle Sinay, beauty & wellness writer


For A Golden Glow

“I've gotten so many of my friends hooked on these drops, and for good reason: They're so easy to use, leave you looking naturally sun-kissed, and don't leave behind a fake-tan smell. Not only that, but your skin gets to soak in the nourishing benefits of antioxidant-rich raspberry seed oil, hydrating vitamin E, and aloe vera whenever you use it.” — Faith Xue, beauty director, BDG


The Drugstore Staple

“If you’re looking for an organically sun-kissed glow that simultaneously moisturizes your skin — at a super affordable price, no less — these are your drops. They’re non-sticky and fragrance-free, and they don’t just deliver a natural-looking bronze but are formulated with hyaluronic acid, which helps your skin draw in and retain moisture. Win/win!” — Danielle Sinay, beauty & wellness writer