7 Self-Tanners That Work in 5 Minutes or Less

Updated 06/14/18
Product Disclosure

When the weather gets colder, it’s not exactly feasible to spend the weekend working on our tans. Thus, when we’re heading out for the evening, the absence of a bronze glow is ever obvious. The good news is we’ve discovered some incredible sunless tanners that deliver immediate color (since who really has “three to five days” for a gradual tan to develop, anyway?).  

Before we get to the products, it’s important to be aware of the prepping process for a perfect faux glow. Always remember to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate—rough, dry skin will absorb the tanning lotion in patches, making for a less-than-desirable look. Additionally, apply regular lotion on rough areas of skin, like knees, elbows, heels, etc., to provide a thin film so the self-tanner won’t absorb too deep and leave dark patches. Lastly, always remember to shave your legs first! Having stubble could make the application a bit tricky (as you can imagine).

Now, onto the products! Scroll through to see some of our favorite picks for yourself.

Jergens Jergens

It’s a cult classic for a reason. This mousse absorbs super fast, meaning quicker drying time and less color transfer onto clothing (the worst!).

Fake Bake Fake Bake

Get a salon-worthy spray tan right at home. This continuous allover tanning spray appears instantly and dries just as fast as it goes on.

Clarins Clarins

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel ($37)

If the “gel” aspect of this sunless tanner is giving you pause, rest assured that it’s oil free and fast drying with gorgeous back-from-the-beach results.

St. Moriz St. Moriz

This long-lasting mousse not only gives off a beautifully natural color but also smells good. A two-for-one? We’ll add that to our basket!

Sun Sun

While the color does take around three hours to completely develop, this lotion still develops a pre-bronze as soon as it’s applied to the skin. Apply it after showering, and by the time you’re out the door for your night on the town, you’ll be a bronzed beauty.

Tarte Tarte

The mitt isn’t even the most brilliant part of this product. It’s enriched with maracuja and vitamin C for firm, bright, and smooth skin, so not only are you getting an instant tan, but you’re getting essential skin benefits, too!

One Night Only Light-Medium
St. Tropez tropez

St. Tropez One Night Only ($16)

Transport yourself to the island in seconds. This streak-free lotion dries quickly and lasts 24 hours, perfect for a quick “night of” glow.

Which sunless tanner is your go-to? Tell us below!

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