Better Bronzing: 5 Organic and Natural Self-Tanners that Make Getting a Glow Even Safer

organic self tanner

Normally we would have blown through at least a few bottles of sunscreen by now, but with the constant rain and cloudiness this summer, we’ve been reaching for the self-tanner instead. Even if we aren’t busting out a bikini every weekend, we still want our limbs looking bronzed and healthy.

There is quite the range of self tanner options available that offer different finishes depending on your skin tone and the level of bronze you’re looking for. But what we’re fixated on right now is growing number of natural and organic tanners geared toward those of us who want to green our beauty routine.

While faux glow and all-natural products may not seem like the most obvious pairing, it’s one that makes sense. After all, if you’re avoiding damage from the sun, it’s just as important to avoid the harmful chemicals and additives that many self-tanners can contain. But before we share our paraben- and silicone-free picks, some self-tanning 101: don’t forget to exfoliate. We can’t stress enough how important it is to polish your skin before you apply any self tanner—it will be the difference between achieving a gorgeous golden versus blotchy butterscotch.

For a gradual tan, try Elemental Herbology Sun Kiss Self-Tanning Moisturizer ($41, This daily body moisturizer features nourishing watermelon seed oil, and macadamia and olive oils to keep skin protected from environmental damage. Plus, it has a fresh lavender scent.

True Natural Tropical Tanning Lotion ($24, is a gluten-free and vegan tanner that contains calming aloe vera, moisturizing cupuacu butter and antioxidants like pomegranate extract. It is also gentle enough to use daily for your face and body.

If a spray is easier for you to handle, try VitaTanz Tan Formula ($25,, a brand that swears by its motto: always brown, never orange. It’s infused with green tea extract to protect against free radical damage and a cocktail of minerals known for their anti-aging benefits like magnesium, copper and iron.

Santorini Sun Sunless Tanning Lotion ($30, is scented with sweet orange oil that naturally boosts your mood and illuminates your skin, and boasts inflammation quelling white tea extract. Like most self-tanners, it works best if you shower the next day and avoid water for at least six hours.

And finally, Chocolate Sun Absolute Sun Sunless Tanning Cream ($40, smells like its name, masking the smell of DHA (dihydroxy acetone), the active ingredient in self tanners. This version is derived from sugar beets and it reacts with your skin to turn it a shade darker, all without any of that eau de self tan. It also has a non-streak formula that lasts: “One application should keep you bronzed for about a week,” says Spirit Demerson of Spirit Beauty Lounge.