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5 Best Face Self-Tanners for Acne Prone Skin

If you want to avoid the skin damage that comes with exposure to UV rays but still want a healthy glow, then sunless tanning is the way to go. While there are many excellent self-tanners for the body, when it comes to your face, it’s a little more tricky since most of us deal with one skin concern or another, like acne prone skin.

Best face self-tanners for acne prone skin from L'Oreal, Jergens, Dr. Dennis Gross, St. Tropez and Sol by Jergens

So today, I will discuss the best face self-tanners for acne prone skin. If you have an acne prone skin type, then you know that finding the right facial self-tanner is essential since the wrong self tanning product can clog pores and make breakouts worse.

This best facial self-tanners for acne-prone skin post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

Best Face Self-Tanners for Acne Prone Skin

These self-tanners will give you a gorgeous, natural-looking fake tan. Plus, they won’t irritate or cause acne and breakouts.

1. L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops held by hand

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L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops are formulated to build a face tan by adding a few fragrance-free drops to your moisturizer until your desired shade is reached. Sublime Facial Drops have a serum in texture and are customizable, which is ideal for all skin tones.

Just add 5-7 drops of the self-tanning serum for a lighter glow, or add 8-10 drops for a deeper bronzey glow. You can use it daily until you reach your desired glow. If you have really pale skin or fair skin that struggles to find the right shade, these drops are an excellent choice because you can dial down the concentration to just a few drops and increase from there. (5 drops is plenty for my natural pale/light skin tone.)

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops opened with dropper

The drops are enriched with moisturizing glycerin and hydrating and plumping sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid). Sodium hyaluronate is a moisture-binding ingredient that acts like a sponge, helping the skin retain water.

Like all L’Oreal Sublime products, this self-tanner creates a natural-looking tan that avoids streakiness and unnatural orange tones. (I swear by their self-tanning towelettes for the body.)

Formulated for all skin types, including acne-prone skin, this non-sticky and non-greasy self-tanning serum gives your moisturizer a boost of hydration while tanning your skin. Super easy and very affordable!

2. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Intense Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Face

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self Tanner for Face box held by hand

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Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Intense Glow Pad Self-Tanner for Face is my pick for the best face self-tanner for acne prone skin. You get all the benefits of a self-tanner plus the acne-busting benefits of exfoliating acids, including salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid.

Microencapsulated DHA and soy proteins provide streak-free color without any odor. Active vitamin D provides natural-looking color and supports the effect of the vitamins and antioxidants in the formula.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self Tanner for Face - individual pad wrapped in foil held by fingers

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and lactic acid, and a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) in the form of salicylic acid gently exfoliate the skin by improving cell turnover and sweeping away dead skin cells for clearer skin. They exfoliate to reduce the look of enlarged pores, get rid of blackheads, and help fade sun spots and dark spots for a more even skin tone.

Vitamin E soothes and protects the skin from free radical damage with its antioxidant properties. Panthenol (pro-vitamin B-5) is a humectant that moisturizes and soothes the skin.

This is a pricier self-tanner for the face, but it’s worth it for the natural and healthy-looking radiance you get along with the improved skin clarity due to the chemical exfoliation.

3. St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

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St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist is formulated to provide a light to medium sunless tan without any streaking, transferring, and with no unpleasant self-tanner scent.

The spray is a very fine mist that instantly hydrates the skin. Once you spray your face and neck, just let it dry. There is no need to massage it into your skin to blend it in! You can use it under or over your makeup (as a primer and setting spray) or instead of your makeup for a beautiful, natural-looking glow.

This best-selling face tan water has an addictive tropical scent and feels very lightweight on the skin. I apply it after my skincare, and it works well overnight (color will develop within 4 to 8 hours). I wake to a subtle sunkissed complexion, and it doesn’t clog my pores or cause breakouts.

This St Tropez mist is goof-proof and quick and easy. Shake well and mist 5 to 6 pumps onto your face, neck, and décolletage. Just be sure to wait to dress until after you use the mist since the mist will spread to your décolletage area when you spray it on your neck.

4. SOL by Jergens Deeper by the Drop Self Tanning Drops for Face and Body

Sol by Jergens Sunless Tanning Serum held by hand

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Part of a new collection from Jergens that uses a tanning active derived from natural sugars, SOL by Jergens Deeper by the Drop Self Tanning Drops for Face and Body is another self-tanner you add to your favorite moisturizer for flawless customizable color.

You can use the oil-free formula with any moisturizer, including a moisturizer for acne prone or oily skin.

Sol by Jergens Sunless Tanning Serum opened with dropper

The more drops you apply, the deeper your color. Start with 3-6 drops for subtle color, use 7-10 drops for a medium shade, or 11-15 for a deep bronze tan.

You can also use these tanning drops on your body by mixing them with your favorite body moisturizer. Use year-round for that gorgeous summer glow.

Please note that there is added fragrance in these self-tanning drops.

5. Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Jergen Natural Glow Face Moisturizer Medium to Deep SPF 20

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Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen is one of the first effective face tanners on the market (it launched back in 2005) and continues to be a best seller today. It comes in two shades: Fair to Medium for fair skin or pale skin and Medium to Deep for darker skin tones.

This facial self-tanner also has broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen protection in the chemical form of avobenzone 1.25%, octisalate 5%, and octocrylene 1.1%.

Use it as your daily moisturizer in your morning skincare routine. Gently massage into your skin and around your hairline and jawline while avoiding your eyebrows. Give it several minutes to absorb.

This facial tanning lotion is oil-free, so it won’t clog pores. It is an affordable drugstore self-tanner that you can easily find. This sunless tanner is ideal for dry skin that is acne-prone as it moisturizes while it provides a gradual tan.

How To Apply Self Tanner To Your Face

When applying a self-tanner to your face, there are a few key things to keep in mind to avoid any tanning disasters. Make sure that your skin is clean and dry before applying any self-tanner. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and exfoliate dry or patchy skin.

Once your skin is clean, apply a light layer of self-tanner evenly across your face. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, as each type of self-tanner will be applied differently, be it tanning water spray, drops, pad, moisturizer, or mousse.

Be sure to avoid any areas that you don’t want to be tan, such as around your eyes or mouth. Depending on the formula, you can also use a makeup brush to apply the self-tanner for a more even application.

Once you have applied the self-tanner to your face, wait for it to dry completely. Otherwise, you run the risk of your self-tanner rubbing off on your clothes or bedding. You can also end up with an uneven tan or a streaking tan if you don’t allow it to dry.

If you are using your hands, be sure to wash them thoroughly after applying the self-tanner to your face. You don’t want to end up with brown or discolored hands or wrists!

By following these simple tips, you can achieve a beautiful, natural-looking face tan without any streaks, discoloration, or orange patches.

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

While you are self-tanning (and even when you aren’t self-tanning), be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Applying sunscreen as the last step of your morning skin care routine will help to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and prevent your self-tan from fading too quickly.

See my post on the best drugstore mineral sunscreens for some effective and affordable physical sunscreens.

Final Thoughts On The Best Face Self-Tanners for Acne Prone Skin

While Dr. Dennis Gross is my pick for the best face self tanner if you are prone to acne and breakouts, all of these formulas are great choices for most skin types including sensitive skin.

Remember to always test a small patch of skin before applying any self-tanner to your face, as some people can be sensitive to specific ingredients.

Do you have a favorite face self-tanner? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!