Factors in selecting the best self tanner

You deserve to have glowing skin year-round, but there’s something extra nice about having that sun-kissed look during the summer. Using a self-tanner... Factors in selecting the best self tanner

You deserve to have glowing skin year-round, but there’s something extra nice about having that sun-kissed look during the summer. Using a self-tanner is a convenient way to achieve that without the hazards of sun tanning or using tanning beds. However, with so many self-tanner options available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you.What factors should you consider when selecting the best self-tanner?

Benefits of self-tanner over sun and tanning beds

First, why are self-tanners the better option overlying out in the sun or in a tanning bed? 

Sunlight produces three main types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The rays that reach your skin are mostly UVA and some UVB, as the earth’s ozone layer absorbs the rest. Short-term exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburn, and longer UV exposure can cause leathery, wrinkled skin, dark spots and skin cancer.

Tanning beds are also a problem, as they use lamps that emit UV radiation. People who use tanning beds or booths have an increased risk of skin cancer, studies have found, including melanoma and squamous and basal cell skin cancers. 

If you’re looking for a tan you feel confident showing off, sunless self-tanners are the safer way to go.

How to select the best self-tanner

There are a variety of factors to consider when selecting the best self-tanner. Some of the most important ones include the type of self-tanner, ingredients, color, scent, and ease of use.

Types of self-tanner

There are a variety of forms of self-tanner, and the one that’s right for you will come down to personal preference.

Self-tanning drops: This concentrated form of self-tanner is used by mixing with body lotion or oil, then applying the mixture to your skin as you normally would. They’re a great option for people who want more control over the level of tan they receive.

Lotion: Sunless tanning lotion is a lotion that already has self-tanner mixed in, so you simply apply the lotion as you would any other lotion, just with extra care around dry areas of the skin. There are also versions of self-tanning lotion that are made specifically for your face’s sensitive skin.

Mousse: Mousse is a similar option to the lotion but is lighter and can be easier to spread over your skin. It also typically dries more quickly.

Gel: Self-tanner is also available in gel form, and is an easy-to-use option that dries fairly quickly.

Spray: Self-tanning sprays or mists are a great option if you have difficulty reaching areas of your back. They’re also convenient in that you don’t have to rub the self-tanner into your skin after spraying.

Towelettes: Made with self-tanner, these towelettes are used by wiping the towelette over your skin. They’re a convenient option for on-the-go tanning.


It’s important to know what’s in your self-tanner, especially since it’s being absorbed into your skin. Some self-tanners are made with dyes, and others include perfumes that can cause irritation. 

Instead, look for a self-tanner that’s free of dyes and added fragrances and perfumes, as well as an option that’s paraben-, sulfate- and phthalate-free. CLEANTAN is one example of such a self-tanner. Our plant-based formula is also non-toxic, cruelty-free, and provides a dose of antioxidants thanks to our TEATAN™ Complex.

What is dihydroxyacetone (DHA)? This color additive is common in self-tanners. It temporarily gives you that nice tan look by reacting with dead skin cells on the surface layer of skin. DHA is approved by the FDA for external application to the skin.


The best self-tanners make it easy to control your level of tan. When selecting a self-tanner, consider your current complexion as well as how dark you want your tan to be. For the best results, consider a gradual tan; meaning, if you currently have a light complexion, start with a self-tanner designed for light skin rather than jumping to the darkest tanning option available. If you have a darker complexion, use a darker self-tanner for more noticeable results. Most self-tanners will tell you right on the label the level of tan you’ll receive or which complexions they’ll work best with. The best self-tanners also give you natural-looking color rather than that telltale fake tan orange. 

With CLEANTAN, you can easily choose your level of tan by adjusting the amount of concentrate you use: more drops for a darker tan, or fewer drops for a lighter tan. Our formula includes plant-based pigments like cocoa powder, beetroot, squalane, and more, so you get a natural-looking tan you’ll love showing off.



Self-tanners have become known for their strong, unpleasant odor. However, there are options now that have a lighter scent. Other self-tanners are designed to smell like flowers, coconuts, or some other tropical scent. When looking for the best smelling self-tanner, pay attention to what it’s made to smell like as well as the ingredients. Synthetic fragrances and perfumes may cause skin irritation.

CLEANTAN offers a great tan without the smell. Our advanced formula neutralizes all offensive tanning odors and contains no synthetic fragrance. Instead, our TEATAN™ Complex smells like chai tea and dissipates quickly after application.

Ease of use

Different types of self-tanner require different application methods. When selecting the best self-tanner, think about which method is most convenient for you. For example, with sprays, you simply spray it on and wait for it to dry. With lotion, mousse, and gel, you simply spread the self-tanner in an even layer over your skin. No matter which type of self-tanner you choose, even application is the key to great results.

Self-tanner drops like CLEANTAN are easy to use. Simply add a few drops to your favorite moisturizers, body lotions, serums or oils, and apply to your skin. You can adjust the level of tan by increasing or decreasing the concentrate-to-mixer ratio. Give the mixture a few hours to develop, and you’ll be good to go! 


There’s a lot to think about when looking for the best self-tanner. By considering these factors, we know you’ll find the best option for you!

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