Best Drugstore At-Home Self Tanners to Buy Now — $20 and Under

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A sunless tanning lotion is the best option to safely achieve a tan. Spending tons of time outdoors without the proper SPF protection isn’t worth it, people! There are three different ways to go about getting a perfect, bronzy glow: You can get it professionally done at a salon, go to a beauty store and pick up some professional-grade at-home products — or save big bucks by simply heading to your local drugstore!

DHA is the active ingredient used in self-tanners, both high-end and lower-end. Dihydroxyacetone is the full name of this coloring agent that gives your skin a tanned look. This may sound scary at first. But it’s important to note that while this is a chemical that technically combines with the amino acids in your skin, The Skin Cancer Foundation still qualifies this method as far safer than achieving any type of tan from a UV source.

Are Drugstore Self Tanners More Effective Than High-End Products

Absolutely not! There is no one product that’s definitively better or worse than the other. The great thing about drugstore products is that you don’t have to spend as much money in the trial-and-error process to discover your ideal self tanner pick. There are many things you should consider when shopping. For example, do you want a gradual tanner that’s easier to control or a fast-acting mousse that delivers color in eight hours or less? Do a patch test on one arm before you commit to any product. You’ll see what the color will look like and how your skin will react before committing to a full body application. To get a better sense of what you want to try and what you’re looking for, snag some help from our drugstore roundup that we’ve put together below!

11 Drugstore Self Tanners to Shop on a Budget

Jergens Natural Glo Face and Body Set


Jergens Natural Glam Face and Body Set
Amazon

This set is an amazing value. The set includes the popular face moisturizer as well as the body moisturizer. This will make sure that your skin glows from every angle! The body lotion is particularly fantastic because it’s also designed to help with skin firmness, which may improve the look of your cellulite!

Pros

  • Face and body duo
  • Super affordable
  • Top Amazon seller

Cons

  • Some shoppers don’t love the scent

It’s there!

Available at

L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse

L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse
Amazon

If you’re looking for a tan that develops faster than a gradual lotion, this one comes highly recommended by shoppers. It’s a colorless mousse which is fantastic, because once it dries, you can go to sleep without worrying about the product staining your PJs or sheets! In the morning, you’ll wake up with glowing tan skin.

Pros

  • Colorless mousse
  • Tan that lasts longer
  • Rich in nourishing ingredients

Cons

  • Some shoppers were too sensitive to color

It’s amazing!

Available at

Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer
Target

What we love about this gradual tanning lotion is that you apply it onto wet skin — right after you get out of the shower! This might be a great solution for those who find that regular moisturizers leave them with streaky results. Because your skin is already partially saturated with water, you don’t have to worry as much about a perfect application! This product is best left to air dry without towel patting.

Pros

  • Simple application
  • Intense Hydration

Cons

  • Some shoppers prefer dry skin formulas

It’s amazing!

Available at Target

SOL by Jergens Deep Water Muousse

SOL by Jergens Deep Water Mousse

SOL by Jergens Deep Water Muousse
Amazon

Jergens’ new line is for at-home tanning. Shoppers love this water mousse! It’s another clear formula which prevents fabric stain and transfer, plus you don’t have to wash this product off at all and leave it developing for up to 24 hours!

Pros

  • No wash-off solution
  • Colorless mousse
  • Huge potential color payoff

Cons

  • Color maintenance may require more frequent application.

It’s there!

Available at

Banana Boat Light/Medium Sunless Tanning – Twin Pack

Banana Boat Light:Medium Sunless Tanning - Twin Pack

Banana Boat Light/Medium Sunless Tanning – Twin Pack
Target

This gradual tanning cream adjusts to your skin’s color, so that you get the perfect bronzy tone and control your tan. The darker your skin will turn the more you apply it.

Pros

  • Suitable for must-have skin tones
  • Extremely mild scent

Cons

It’s there!

Available at Target

Neutrogena BuildAGlow Gradual Moisturizing Spray for Self-Tanning

Neutrogena BuildAGlow Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturizing Spray

Neutrogena BuildAGlow Gradual Skin-Tanning Moisturizing Spray
Target

This one sprays on, unlike other gradual self-tanners. This packaging helps you achieve a more even coating and allows you reach places you might not be able with your hands.

Pros

  • Spray tan-like mist application
  • Buildable color
  • Clean formula

Cons

It’s amazing!

Available at Target

b.tan Ultra Dark Self Tanner

b.tan Ultra Dark Self Tanner

b.tan Ultra Dark Self Tanner
Amazon

Need to be quick? The self-tanning process takes only one hour, and it leaves you with a gorgeous glow. You can leave it on for longer if you’re after a deeper, longer-lasting tan — but in a pinch, this stuff can seriously come to the rescue.

Pros

  • Super fast developing time
  • Best-selling formula
  • Zero scent

Cons

  • Some shoppers may need to leave it on longer to see the best results.

It’s amazing!

Available at

Hawaiian Tropic Sunless Mousse

Hawaiian Tropic Sunless Mousse

Hawaiian Tropic Sunless Chocolate Mousse
Target

This brand is known for their sun products’ intoxicating tropical scents, so we’re beyond happy that they created a self tanner with that vibe! You’ll actually feel transported to an island state of mind with this specific self tanner and leave with a soft sun-kissed glow.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Tropical scent

Cons

  • Some reviewers felt the color was too light

It’s there!

Available at Target

Sol by Jergens Deeper by The Drop Face and Body Serum

Sol By Jergens Deeper By The Drop Face and Body Serum

Sol by Jergens Deeper Through The Drop Face & Body Serum
Target

The most expensive self-tanner, however, is not the least expensive. This product does double duty. It’s a serum that you can apply inside moisturizers you already own for the face and body, plus control how deep your tan is with the number of drops that you use.

Pros

  • Customizable tan
  • All skin types are welcome

Cons

  • It takes practice to figure out how many drops you should use

It’s amazing!

Available at Target

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam
Amazon

This tanning mousse has been popular for many, many years in Australia, and it’s made a big enough splash in the US to land in drugstores! It’s remained as in-demand as it is for a reason — the color payoff is incredible, it lasts long and fades beautifully over time.

Pros

  • Beautiful deep color
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • After application, clothes may stain or transfer.

It’s there!

Available at

Tanologist Self Tan Mousse

Tanologist Self Tan Mousse

Tanologist Self Tan Mousse
Target

You can also use this tanning mousse to achieve a glowing complexion in a matter of minutes. For a deeper color, it’s best to leave it on overnight — but in two hours, you’ll be able to have a touch of sun-kissed color on your skin! We also love that it’s transparent so that if you are developing it during the day, you don’t have to worry about staining.

Pros

  • Clear formula
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Quick developing time

Cons

It’s there!

Available at Target

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This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team strives to highlight products that readers might find useful or interesting. This includes face masks, self-tanners and Lululemon style leggings. However, the selection of product and service is not intended to be an endorsement of Us Weekly or any celebrity mentioned.

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