7 of the Best Self-Tanners for Sensitive Skin That Deliver a Sun-Kissed Glow

By Tara | Updated: 08/01/2024

We all love the look of a healthy, sun-kissed glow. Using a self-tanner is the easiest and safest way to achieve it. However, those with sensitive skin types have to be cautious about the products they apply to their skin. If your skin is sensitive to certain chemicals, if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, you need a gentle self-tanner that won’t irritate your skin or cause redness and inflammation.

While there are so many self-tanners on the market right now, some are better than others. In this guide, we are listing down some of the best, streak-free and easy-to-use self-tanners that won’t cause skin irritation among users with sensitive to extra-sensitive skin.

Read on to see our top picks for the best self-tanner products, plus some helpful tips for self-tan prep.

7 of the Best Fake Tan Products for Sensitive Skin

Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water

Eco Tan Face Tan Water
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If you’re after bronze without the breakouts, try the highly-rated and best-selling Face Tan Water by Eco Tan.

One of the reasons this product is so loved by users is its ability to deliver a beautiful, subtle and natural-looking glow thanks to a formulation of natural and organic ingredients. These include natural hyaluronic acid and glycerine for hydration, vitamin C for anti-ageing benefits and fighting free radical damage and aloe vera for soothing irritated skin.

You can read my full review of Eco Tan Face Tan Water here.

Vichy Capital Soleil Moisturizing Self-Tanning Milk

Vichy Capital Idéal Soleil Moisturizing Self Tanner Milk

• Paraben-free

• Allergy-tested

• Antioxidant Vitamin E for hydration

• Non-greasy

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Lightweight yet hydrating, the Vichy Capital Soleil Moisturizing Self-Tanning Milk is a self-tanning lotion that gives a radiant, natural tanner that deepens progressively an hour after application. This beautifully formulated sunless tanner is enriched with vitamin E that softens and hydrates the skin. Although hydrating, it doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin. It just melts and sinks into the skin quickly and is easy to apply.

The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan

The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan
  • Unique DHA derived from sugar beet
  • Around 95 – 99% organic
  • Paraben-free, sulfate-free & cruelty-free

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One of my favourites from the brand is simply named the Self Tan which contains a unique Ecocert-approved DHA derived from sugar beets so the glow you get is incredibly balanced and natural-looking. If you have sensitive to extra sensitive skin then you will love this certified-organic product. Even beauty guru Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan!

Vita Liberta Body Blur

Vita Liberata Body Blur
  • Suitable for face and body
  • Contains Vitamin E for protection against free radicals
  • Shea Butter to repair and hydrate

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What I like most about the Vita Liberata Body Blur is its soothing, hydrating formula. It’s enriched with vitamin C and E as well as aloe vera to softly hydrate and condition the skin. The Vita Liberata Body Blur is also formulated with glycerin, which has anti-aging and healing properties.

While delivering a lovely, even glow, the Body Blur also conceals minor skin beauty imperfections, including cellulite, spider veins, and skin blemishes.

Sisley Self-Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care

Sisley Self Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care
  • Rapid-drying formula 
  • Streak-free and spread evenly
  • Contains chestnut extract & botanical glycerin 

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The Sisley Self-Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care is one of the brand’s most underrated products and though it’s expensive, it’s worth the splurge thanks to its luxurious and deliciously rich texture.

It combines the self-tanning action of DHA with erythrulose. These self-tanning molecules give a long-lasting, streak-free colour within an hour or two after application. The lotion is formulated with plant-derived ingredients – including wild pansy and chestnut extracts – that hydrate and condition the skin.

Botanic Tree Self Tanner + Pre Tan Exfoliator Set

Botanic Tree Self Tanner
  • 100% vegan and organic ingredients
  • Natural bronze colour (not orange!)
  • Streak-free and fast drying

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If you want a cruelty-free product that’s free from irritating, harsh chemicals/ingredients that you could barely pronounce then you will love the Botanic Tree Self Tanner + Pre Tan Exfoliator Set. This set is perfect for anyone with sensitive skin because the formula is mild, non-irritating, and free from harsh chemicals that could cause skin irritation. Once it dries, it gives a subtle tan that deepens more to a medium, natural-looking bronze that lasts for days.

Golden Star Sunless Tanning Lotion

Golden Star Sunless Tanning Oil
  • Contains hyaluronic acid to moisturise 
  • Dry oil – no stickiness!
  • Packed full of natural ingredients 

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This self-tanning oil is made with several natural ingredients like certified organic oils, including luxurious argan oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil that nourishes and softens the skin deeply. It’s also fortified with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera.

The Self Tanner Sunless Tanning Lotion is a dry-oil tanning product so it goes light on the skin but is surprisingly quick to absorb. The skin doesn’t feel grimy or sticky after application although you have to blend and give the product time to be absorbed fully by the skin. And once the application is done, the colour deepens to a fabulous holiday glow.

5 Tips for a Streak-Free, Sunless Tan

The secret to a glowing tan is proper prep. No matter how user-friendly or expensive your tanning product is, if you’re not preparing your skin before application, you’ll get blotchy, streaky results. Here are ways to get the perfect glow using any tanning product:


The skin sheds dead skin cells every 28 days and if you’re not exfoliating your body regularly, the flakes will pile up on the skin. When this happens, any product you apply on your skin will cling to the flakes, even your tanning lotion. So before applying a tanning product, buff your skin with a loofah or a bath lily, whatever works for you. The important thing to remember is to make sure that your skin has been exfoliated properly before using a self-tanner for streak-free results.


If you have dry skin, regular exfoliation may leave your skin extra parched. Applying an oil-free moisturiser before applying a self-tanner gives the skin an extra boost of hydration so your skin will look smoother after getting a fake tan. Applying an oil-free moisturiser all over the skin helps the product glide much easier. Also, the lotion protects certain parts of the body from soaking too much colour so you’ll get even colour all over.

Start from the Bottom

People apply bronzing products differently and in my experience, starting with your feet and then gradually working your way to the top is the best way to get an all-over bronze. I don’t get dark spots, weird lines and unsightly marks when I start from the bottom because I’m not bending down all the time to apply the product.

Correct Mistakes Immediately 

If you’re seeing streaks or unevenness as you apply the tanning product, don’t wait until the color develops before doing something about the mistake. Correct the mistake immediately so you don’t end up with a blotchy look. Once the color has developed, it will be hard to make any corrections, especially with some gradual tanning products.

Working with Your Skin Type

Getting a realistic, sun-kissed glow is easy to get if you are paying close attention to your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, use a formula that’s designed specifically for sensitive to extra sensitive skin. You don’t want rashes or inflammation to ruin a great tan! This tip also applies to anyone with acne-prone skin or those who suffer from rosacea or eczema.

It’s also worth noting that some tanning products are designed for the body, others should be applied on the face only so knowing the difference will help prevent breakouts. Always read the label, check the ingredients, and be sure that the product you are using is not laden with irritants that could cause adverse reactions.

If you have dry skin, opt for an emollient, hydrating tan formula but the texture should be quick-absorbing and lightweight. This way, the tanning product won’t sit uncomfortably on the skin. If you have oily skin, opt for tanning sprays, wipes, water or gel formulas. These formulas won’t clog the pores and are lightweight so they don’t leave a sticky film on the skin.

Wrap Up

Applying a tanning lotion may seem intimidating if you’re doing it for the first time but with the right product, you’ll get a lovely tanned appearance that gives the skin a healthy glow. And if you have reactive skin, our list of the best fake tan for sensitive skin in Australia are some of the highest-rated in the business so there’s no need to worry about flare-ups every time you get a fake tan! Do you love a sunless fake tan? What’s your favourite formula? Let us know in the comments section.

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Tara Lusk is the founder and creator of Beauty Space
Tara Lusk is a Sydney-based beauty enthusiast and the founder of Beauty Space. She launched the blog in 2018 to showcase the best beauty and skincare brands emerging from Australia, while also providing insider tips and tricks for hair and skincare. With a focus on tried-and-true products, Tara puts the latest cult products to the test to separate hype from substance.

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