How Do Face Tanning Waters Work and Which Are The Best To Try

How Do Face Tanning Waters Work and Which Are The Best To Try
Image: Eco Tan Instagram
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Anyone who fake tans religiously will tell you that self-tan has come a long way. Long gone are the days of applying a streaky, orange coat. 

These days, tanning formulas are designed to be a hybrid between skincare and self-tanner, with skin health top of mind. Meaning they often contain a range of skincare actives and ingredients that help nourish your skin while you tan and won’t cause blocked pores. You can also self-tan products like face tanning water that you can add to your everyday moisturiser for a subtle glow. 

Tanning your face is a tricky beast, especially when compared to your body. A lot can go wrong and there are far fewer ways to cover it up when it does. Tanning waters also don’t contain any kind of guide colour (it’s exactly like water, so it’s colourless), so when it comes to tanning your face start slow and build the colour up. You can always apply a second coat. And always make sure your skin is completely cleansed (double cleanse if you have to) before applying. 

Ahead, we’ve rounded up 6 of the best face tanning waters so you can add one to your skincare routine. Glow on, you know you want to. 

Bondi Sands Pure Concentrated Self Tan Drops

best tanning water for face

Bondi Sands Pure Concentrated Self Tan Drops, $19.49

Bondi Sands new Pure Self Tanning Drops combines their iconic golden glow with skin-loving Hyaluronic Acid for hydration, Vitamin C for radiance and Vitamin E for repair. The level of tan is completely customisable, you simply add the desired amount of drops to your regular moisturiser and apply it as usual, within 6 hours you’ll be good to glow. The formula is suitable for all skin types, fragrance-free and dermatologically tested. 

Tan-Luxe The Face Self Tanner

best face tanning water

Tan-Luxe The Face Self Tanner, $59

Tan-Luxe’s face tanning water gives you the freedom to tailor your tan. Loaded with the highest quality, naturally derived tanning actives (DHA), it gives a natural-looking glow that complements your skin tone. It’s also formulated with skin-boosting properties of Raspberry Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, so your skin feels hydrated and nourished with every application. It also doesn’t smell strongly of fake tan, which is a huge win if, like me, you’re not a huge fan of the smell. 

Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water

Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water, $34.95

Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water is a non-comedogenic (read: won’t clog your pores), vegan gradual self-tanning water with non of the nasty stuff. Suitable for oily and blemish-prone skin types, this hard-working formula even helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Made with Vitamin C, it works to protect the skin against visible signs of ageing and helps protect your skin from environmental aggressors. 

Bali Body Face Tan Water

best face tanning water

Bali Body Face Tan Water, $29.95

The Bali Body’s Face Tan Water is a gradual face tanning water that provides a flawless, natural-looking glow to the face, neck and décolletage. Enriched with skin-loving, anti-ageing ingredients it works to tone and hydrate while giving you a good glow, sans sun. It’s natural, streak-free, 100% vegan and suitable for all skin types.

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist, $24.49

Achieve a natural-looking golden glow that lasts for days with just a few spritzes of Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist. This ultra-lightweight transparent mist is infused with 100% natural tanning agents, as well as antioxidants. It’s also got a fresh, tropical fragrance and no tell-tale self-tan smell.

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Gel

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Gel, $42.49

Like the above St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist, St Tropez’s lightweight gel-to-water formula develops into a natural, golden tan in just three hours. You don’t even need to rinse it off. The non-sticky, fast-absorbing gel also provides up to 72 hours of hydration, so your pores won’t feel clogged or tight. 

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