The Best Organic Self Tanning Creams and Lotions
Sometimes the sun is not our friend.
Yes, it feels good on our skin, and gives us a glorious bronze glow that the ladies love. Yet, it can also give us skin cancer.
The next best thing then is to get yourself a faux glow by using a self tanning cream.
Oh, wait. Those can also damage our skin and cause cancer, too?
What to do?
To get a fantastic tan without any bad side effects, all you need is a non-toxic self tanning cream. The best self tanning creams out there are also organic!
Yes, there are organic self tanning creams.
I'll review a few of the best organic self tanning lotions for you guys so you can safely get yourself looking like a bronzed Adonis.
Spoiler Alert! I'll say right up front that the best organic self tanning lotion out there is My Skin's Friend. I'll go into the details about what makes it so good as well as talk about some runners up for best organic self tanning creams a bit later in the article.
For now let's talk about the benefits and risks of tanning and why you should use a self tanning cream.
|My Skin's Friend Organic Sunless Indoor Tanning Lotion
|Beauty by Earth All Natural Self Tanning Cream
|Botanic Tree Organic Self Tanner Cream
|Rating: 4 Stars
|Rating: 4.3 Stars
|Rating: 5 Stars
|6.0 Ounces + 4.0 Ounces
Risks from suntanning
I think at this point in time, just about everybody knows that prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause skin cancer.
That isn't the only negative side effect you can get from getting too much sun.
Besides the obvious cancer risks, you can also end up with one of these side effects:
- Premature aging
- If you've ever seen an old person that looks like a Fendi bag, then chances are they spent too much time in the sun. They might not even be that old, they just look like it because of premature aging. UV rays break down the collagen and elastin fibers in healthy young skin and cause wrinkles and flappy skin. Even tanning beds used in excess will give you leathery looking skin
- Snow Blindness
- Eye damage from sun exposure is also called "snow blindness" since it mainly effects people who spend too much time on the slopes where the suns rays are reflected by the white snow. It also effects many people who spend too much time suntanning. It's basically a sunburn on your cornea. Your vision will be impacted if you end up with eye damage.
- Immune Suppression Symptom
- Overexposure to UV radiation may suppress proper functioning of the body’s immune system and the skin’s natural defenses. It could even lead to immunizations that you may have had not being as effective.
Then there is the less serious, but nonetheless annoying, sunburn. Staying out in the sun too long and getting sunburnt really sucks. Even if the UV rays from the sun didn't have more serious side effects, a painful sunburn is reason enough to be careful when suntanning.
Why you should use an organic self tanning lotion
If using a self tanning cream will keep you out of the harmful rays of the sun while still giving you a great tan, then that alone is reason enough to use one. Even a non-organic self tanning cream would be better than spending hours in the sun.
Since there are so many products out there that are non-toxic and organic, I don't see any reason to not use one. Many of them work just as well as traditional products and some even work better. The marketplace is full of natural hair products for men, and now you have plenty of choices in the self tanning cream department.
Some natural self tanning lotions also contain ingredients that are good for your skin. Doing double duty, they will leave your skin glowing and also healthier.
The best natural self tanning creams contain ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba and shea butter.
Many organic self tanning creams are also animal cruelty free. I like not feeling guilty about using a skin or tanning product that doesn't test on animals. Again, there is no good reason for these companies to test on animals. Choose a product that is not only natural, but doesn't have to kill or injure our furry friends just so you can look like a Greek god!
Having a healthy tan in the middle of winter is also a great way to lift your spirits if the overcast skies and gray environment has you feeling down. Seeing that tanned face smiling back at you in the mirror will have you forget that it will be months before you can get out in the sun.
Watch how much attention you get from friends and even strangers when you have a great tan in February!
Also, don't forget, No Tan Lines!
What to avoid in a self tanning cream
Using a skin product that has toxic ingredients is just a bad idea. Many non-organic tanning lotions and sprays contain:
- mineral oil - a petroleum by product that can cause sink irritation and clog pores
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate - a preservative that is also a skin and eye irritant that may contain formaldehyde
- Octyl stearate -an irritant and also comedogenic (blocks pores)
- Isopropyl myristate — also comedogenic and may bind to nitrates in the body... nitrates are carcinogenic.
- Artificial fragrances and colors - a lot of synthetic fragrances are made using petroleum and can cause a myriad of problems. Best to avoid
The main ingredient in any self tanning cream is DHA, or dihydroxyacetone. It is actually a type of sugar that reacts with the skin and turns it tan. It is contained in some organic self tanning creams, too. It isn't known to cause any skin problems but is harmful if breathed in or ingested. So aerosol self tanning sprays should be avoided since it is easier to breath in the DHA. A lotion that is rubbed onto the skin is best.
How to apply self tanning cream
Before you rub that lotion on, it is time to prep your skin. You should exfoliate before using a self tanning cream so you don't end up with a streaky, fake looking tan.
Once you have your skin soft, supple and the dead cells removed, it's time to apply the tanning cream.
There's no way to really know what color the tanning cream will leave your skin. No matter what depth of bronze it advertises, every skin type is different and the results will vary. Try doing a patch test before you commit the cream to your whole body.
In an area that won't be seen, apply a little patch, a couple of inches or so, to your skin and leave it there a few hours or overnight. Then you can see the difference between your pasty skin and the color of the newly tanned skin.
Does it look like you just got back from St. Tropez? Great.
Will it leave you orange like our new Commander-in-Chief? Toss it.
Use a self tanning mitt
A glove like the Tan Organic’s Luxury Application Glove will help you apply it evenly and with less streaks. Apply the indicated dose right onto the glove and gently rub into your skin.
Use circular motions and don't apply too much pressure. if you rub it in too hard it will look patchy and streaky.
Allow it to dry
The best time to apply your fake tan is at night. Take your time applying it and then let it dry. If your fake tanning cream is a non streaky, greaseless formula, then it won't stain your sheets. The next day your body should be transformed. Let it work while you sleep. As they say in those late night infomercials, Yes, it's that easy!
The next day apply an all natural moisturizer to your skin. The tanning cream can dry out your skin and end up looking dull. Using a moisturizer will help keep that glow going and keep your skin elastic and healthy in the process.
Be careful on your face
As I already mentioned earlier, the DHA that is in most self tanning creams is harmful if inhaled. So it goes without saying that it must be applied to the face with great care. Apply only small amounts and rub it in well with your fingers. Don't use the mitt for applying it to your face.
Don't shower right away
Wait at least a few hours to take a shower or go for a swim. You don't want the tan to disappear before you've had a chance to show it off. Besides, a runny, streaky tan won't score you any points if you're trying to impress!
The next day take a good look at your tan. If it looks patchy or there are some spots that you missed, this is the time to reapply some tanning cream to those areas. Don't forget to give it time to dry before you put some clothes on.
Don't forget sunscreen
Just because you now have the tan of your life doesn't mean you are immune to the UV rays of the sun. Make sure you use a good SPF sunscreen if you plan on going out. Having a base tan doesn't mean you won't get burnt.
If you find the color of the tan is just not working for you, then you can remove it with some sunless tan removal cream.
The Best Organic Self Tanning Lotion
- Contains no phenoxyethenol which ranks as the same toxicity level as methyl paraben
- Includes a handy guide to how best apply the tanning lotion
- Goes on clear without any dyes
- Doesn't streak or stain sheets or clothes
- Safe to use while pregnant
Fresh spring water, organic hand-filleted aloe vera, sugar extracted DHA, raspberry extracted erythrulose, certified organic jojoba esters, certified organic lecithin, bio-extracted wild crafted chaga mushroom, bio-extracted wild crafted frankincense, bio extracted water soluble certified organic cocoa, quaking aspen tree bark, bio-extracted horse radish root.
My Skin's Friend is a true all organic, all natural and harsh chemical free self tanning lotion.
It isn't just a feel good product because it is organic and cruelty-free, it also works awesome. It's one of the best sunless tanning creams on the market. Period. Not just the best organic self tanning cream.
The color is a light bronze. It isn't going to give you a deep mahogany tan. I personally think that's a good thing. Especially if you choose to use a tanning cream in the winter. It just doesn't look natural the way My Skin's Friend leaves your skin.
I love that it goes on clear so it won't stain your clothes or sheets. If you put it on at night then in the morning your sheets will be clean and your skin will be tanned.
It goes on easy as it's a misting spray. Just make sure you rub it in gently after you spray to get it nice and even. Make sure you wash your hands after applying as it will also tan the palms of your hands and under your fingernails.
The smell is actually pleasant. It's hard to describe except to say that it smells like summer. Using this sunless organic tanning cream in the winter really lifts the spirits when you smell it. Then having some tanned bits of flesh in the dead of winter can also help you beat the winter blues.
The best way to understand that this is a truly organic product is that it is safe to use when you are pregnant. To me, that is the biggest stamp of approval for this self tanning cream.
Best Organic Self Tanning Cream for Sensitive Skin
- Made with all natural and organic ingredients
- Non streaking and dye free
- Lasts 7 days
- Great for all skin types including sensitive skin
- Includes an exfoliating mitt, self tanning cream application mitt and a travel/storage bag
- Leave a rich, golden tan color
Water, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Organic Shea Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Organic Coconut Seed Oil, Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), Glycerin (Vegetable), Organic Japanese Green Tea Leaf Extract, Organic Pomegranate Extract, Organic Witch Hazel Extract, Organic Cranberry Fruit Extract, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Potassium Sorbate
This is an excellent self tanning cream that is formulated with natural and organic ingredients without parabens, dyes and all of the other toxic stuff. It gives you a great long lasting golden tan without streaking.
It won't stain your sheets or clothes as it is dye free.
The formula is meant to also leave your skin hydrated and healthy so it is an excellent choice for guys with sensitive skin. Aloe Vera and shea butter work to soften and moisturize your skin so after using the tanning cream you will notice how elastic your skin feels after.
Since it is safe for your skin you can apply multiple times if you are looking for a deeper, richer bronze. Just let it dry and then reapply. It takes 4-6 hours to fully work, though so I wouldn't lay it on too thick at first!
Runner Up for Best Organic Self Tanning Lotion
- 100% organic ingredients - 100% vegan - animal cruelty free
- No parabens or harsh chemicals
- Includes and organic exfoliant cream
- Goes on white so you can see immediately if you missed a spot
- Does not stain sheets or clothes
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Self Tanner- Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Dihydroxyacetone (Sugar Cane Derived) Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil Glycerin (Vegetable) Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) Oil Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil Organic Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil Organic Arnica Montana Flower Oil Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Organic Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil. Organic Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil Organic Passiflora Incarnata (Passionfruit) Seed Oil Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Pulp Oil Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract Leucidal Glyceryl Caprylate
This organic self tanning cream does a great job at giving you a natural looking tan. It is a true organic product and is also vegan and animal cruelty free.
I love the fact that it goes on white so you can see where you missed. Many other traditional tanning creams at least go on colored with dyes so you can see. But then those leave stains all over the place. You don't have to worry about that with this natural tanning cream.
One thing I don't like about it is that it takes a while to dry. If not for that then this would be a tie with the My Skin's Friend for best organic self tanning cream. It scores major points by including an organic exfoliating scrub, too! One less thing to buy is always nice in my book. Even better when it is a great product and organic to boot!
You'll get a nice light, golden colored tan that looks very natural. It is well balanced so even if you use a bit too much you won't turn orange.
Final Thoughts on Organic and Non-Toxic Self Tanning Creams and Lotions
As I write this article I am looking out of my window and seeing a gray sky, gray trees and gray buildings. Summer seems a long way off and my spirits are decidedly down. I need to level up my attitude and get my fake tan on. I am Italian so I don't need that much since I am naturally tan anyway, but I feel like a healthy glow will bring me out of the winter blues.
If you're feeling the same way, then let's do it!
Even if it isn't the middle of depressing winter when you read this, you can still benefit from a bronze look. Sometimes we are just too busy even in the summer to get out in the sun. Maybe you are afraid of getting too many UV rays or just have sensitive skin.
I did this review of organic self tanning creams to help make you aware that sunless tanning doesn't have to mean terrible smelling lotions and orange complexions. You can have a great tan anytime of the year and for whatever reason you want without using any toxic ingredients.