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We all know about the dangers of exposing the skin to harmful UV rays in an effort to get a bronzed glow. Still, it's hard to let go of that desire for a year-round tan. That's why we're huge advocates of sunless tanners (aka self-tanners); they give you the natural-looking glow you're after without all the risks of premature aging.
There are many different types of self-tanners out there, including handy towelettes that you can take anywhere with you. Tanning wipes are great for touching up missed spots on spray tans, but they can also be used for a head-to-toe bronzed look all on their own.
Ahead, we researched the best tanning wipes to get your glow on.
Best Overall: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad
These tanning wipes for the face are one of the most beloved options out there. Not only will they give your face the beachy glow you want year-round, but unlike many other tanning formulas, they're packed with skincare heroes like vitamin D and exfoliating AHAs and BHAs to give your skin a healthy, radiant look from within. Microencapsulated DHA and soy proteins are included to give off an odorless, streak-free color that’s sure to last for days on end.
Best for Body: TanTowel Self-Tan Towelette
These award-winning towelettes are a breeze to use for your face and body. In one towel, you have enough self-tanner to get every inch of your body, sans streakiness or blotching. They’re large, so you’re definitely getting a bang for your buck, and it takes about 3-4 hours for the formula to fully activate into a natural, glistening glow. Plus, the more you use them, the more intense this buildable formula gets, making your tanning experience fully customizable.
Best Budget: Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Full-Body Towelettes
Need to tan on a budget? Then Jergen’s fan-favorite towelettes are your best option. They stand up to pricier picks via the impressive formula that works with your natural skin tone instead of against it, creating a more natural-looking appearance. Plus, each of these towelettes contains a top-notch blend of DHA and erythrulose to give off a subtle, buildable look without creating an orange color.
Best Drugstore: L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Towelettes
There’s a reason why these award-winning towelettes are so popular, and it’s not just for their price (but that’s definitely a plus). These tanning wipes glide smoothly for a streak-free, foolproof application in just one use. Plus, they also contain vitamin E and a mix of AHAs to deliver a refreshing boost of exfoliation and radiance to compliment your fresh, new tan. These towelettes also develop in as little as 2-4 hours, depending on the intensity you’re going for. They’re also compact enough to tuck in your bag when you’re on-the-go and in need of touch-ups.
Best Splurge: Kate Somerville Glow Duo Tanning Towels & ExfoliKate
These splurge-worthy towelettes from Kate Somerville deserve a spot in your self-tanning routine. Formulated with DHA and hydrating properties to give your skin a dewy, fresh, and golden glow in a few simple swipes, this set gives you exactly what you need for a smooth, Amazonian goddess-like finish. It includes a 2 oz. bottle of Kate Somerville’s best-selling exfoliator, ExfoliKate, plus eight full-sized Somerville360 Face and Body Self-Tanning Towelettes for creating a head-to-toe glow.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Comodynes Self-Tanning Towelettes
These towelettes are a cult-favorite of celebs (think Jennifer Aniston and Christina Applegate), and they’re also a great pick for more sensitive skin types. They’re dermatologically-tested, plus they use an all-natural formula that’s safe enough to use around the eyes.
Best Organic: Vita Liberata Tan-Infused Cloths
These tanning wipes are made out of all organic actives and are completely colorless, so not only are you treating your skin with nature’s best tanning options, but you also don't have to worry about color transfer. Plus, the actual wipes are biodegradable, just another reason why you can feel good about using them.
Runner-Up, Best Organic: Ibiza Sun Organic Self Tanner Towelettes
These self-tanning towelettes are as organic as organic gets: they’re totally free of parabens, and they’re formulated with organic DHAs such as aloe vera, sugar cane, and chamomile. They’re super hydrated, so they glide without streaks or blotchiness, and they dry in just a few minutes to help you get your glow on. Plus, they’re odorless, so you won’t smell like an artificial tanning product throughout the day—just wipe on, and you’re ready to go.
Best for Subtle Tan: M-61 Powerglow Peel Gradual Tan
If you’re in the mood for just a light kiss of (faux) sun, then opt for these mild wipes. They’ll give your face a fine tint in as little as one minute. Plus, they’re infused with skincare faves such as glycolic acid, vitamin K, and chamomile to give your skin an exfoliating and brightening treatment. If you’d like to build up your tint, simply break out another wipe out and get to work.
Best for Intense Tan: Comodynes Intensive and Fast Bronzing Towelette
Comodynes wipes are not only great for sensitive skin, but they also have an amazing option for a truly intensive result. These wipes may be tiny, but they contain an ultra-mighty formula that will make your skin a few shades tanner for a glow you can only find on the Golden Coast, but in only 2-3 hours. Plus, they won’t leave you looking bright orange.
Best Variety: HauteBronze Tan Towel Half Body Self Tan Towelettes
If you’re a naturally darker skin tone looking to lightly deepen your glow, or very fair and want to add a touch of tint to your natural color, these tanning wipes are your definite go-to. They have three color options for darker, medium, and fair skin tones, taking the guesswork out of finding the perfect tanning wipes for your tone. Plus, they’re streak-free and develop in as little as 2-4 hours (depending on the intensity you’d like), so they’re very simple and easy to use.