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10 Best Waterproof Self Tanner: Swim Without Worries

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
Updated
10 Best Waterproof Self Tanner Swim Without Worries

It’s that time of the year!

If you don’t want the burning sun to cook you alive, you can always pull out your self-tanner and still create that natural glow!

But won’t it wash off in the water?

Luckily, there are a lot of waterproof self-tanner brands out there, so you can enjoy a nice swim AND get that golden glow you’ve always wanted!

Let us walk you through some of the waterproof self-tanning products we found!

BEST BUDGET PICK

Budget Pick

Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen

BEST OVERALL

Best Overall

Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

BEST VALUE

Best Value

Touch of Hemp Self-Tanning Mousse

Waterproof Self Tanners for Your Hot Girl Summer

1. Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

Beauty By Earth’s self-tan is a hot new tanner for fair or pale skin or olive undertones.-Either way, the results speak for themselves!

Available in both spray form and lotion, this tanner is a quick-to-apply and fast-absorbing solution that will give you a natural tan in no time!

Toxin and dye-free, Beauty By Earth uses safe, all-natural and hydrating ingredients in the products.

And don’t worry; you will NOT turn orange! The people at Beauty By Earth CARE about their customers!

If you have sensitive skin, don’t worry! This product is safe and uses all-natural and healthy ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, and green tea leaf extract, to name a few.

You may have to wait a few hours before putting your clothes on, but your instant tan will be worth it!

Pros:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Fast and easy to apply

Cons:

  • Might have to wait a while before putting on your clothes

2. Touch of Hemp Premium Self-Tanning Mousse

Touch of Hemp Premium Self-Tanning Mousse

No, you won’t get high when you apply this tanner.

Touch of Hemp’s self-tanner mousse is an all-natural waterproof self-tanner that uses all organic ingredients, like hemp!

Hemp seed oil reduces lines and wrinkles; it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to heal scarring, acne, and dry skin. [R]

This self-tanner mousse lathers easily and lightly on the body, blending easily and drying up INSTANTLY!

Say goodbye to tan stains on clothes! To get an instant fake tan, you will have to apply it more than once to get the shade you want.

Its water-resistant properties let you keep that sunny honey tan even after a swim or shower! One HUGE plus is that it works as a tanner AND a moisturizer!

Stay hydrated and rock a gorgeous self-tan at the same time!

Pros:

  • Dries up quickly
  • Light lather on the body

Cons:

  • Results are not instant

3. Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer

Australian Gold Spray Gel Sunscreen with Instant Bronzer

If you plan on going for a swim, Australian Gold’s combination of water-resistant tanner and sunscreen is a great addition to your beach or pool bag!

You will not have to worry about dyes or alcohol as this self-tanner is infused with SAFE ingredients only and totally cruelty-free!

Australian Gold’s non-greasy and easy application will leave you feeling soft, moisturized, AND free from sunburn!

This self-tanner will leave you with that sunny honey glow in no time!

Enjoy the long-lasting effects of this water-resistant tanner! Go for a cool swim and leave all your worries about sunburn and dried-up skin at the door!

And the best part; is it’s totally AFFORDABLE!

Stay protected from the sun AND flaunt a dark tan while doing it!

Pros:

  • Non-greasy
  • Acts as a tanner and sunscreen
  • Super affordable

Cons:

  • The spray mechanism could be better

4. Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands is a great choice for a water-resistant self-tanner!

It only takes ONE quick application of this lightweight and colorless tanning foam to get a nice healthy, streak-free glow!

And don’t worry, you won’t look like an orange that’s been left out in the sun!

You can trust this tanning foam as it is infused with aloe vera and coconut oil, two natural ingredients that do WONDERS for the body!

This tanning foam isn’t exactly odorless, but the smell isn’t overpowering either! That fake tan smell will disappear in no time.

You will not have to worry about tan stains either since it dries quickly!

Easy to apply and with long-lasting effects, Bondi Sands self-tanner can do no wrong!

Pros:

  • Long-lasting
  • Lightweight application

Cons:

  • May have a slight smell
  • No instant dark tan

5. St. Tropez Self-Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez Self-Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

Leave it St. Tropez to drop a great waterproof self-tanner mousse for you!

This self-tanning mousse is a long-lasting tanner that does not dry out your skin and leaves it moisturized. It is easily absorbed and odorless as well!

Additionally, you can use this self-tanning mousse along with other makeup products (keep these to a minimum), and it will not stain your clothes or bedsheets.

Luckily, it is also non-sticky! Dries quickly, has no tan stains, and is non-sticky; PERFECT for leaving on overnight!

Because it is a St.Tropez product, expect it to be a little pricey, but it is a quality bronzing mousse that goes a long way!

This water-resistant self-tanning mousse lasts up to 10 days. You can bet that this waterproof self-tanner will leave you with a flawless finish!

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting
  • Odorless

Cons:

  • On the expensive side

6. Tanologist Insta Glow Instant Tan Illuminator

Tanologist Insta Glow Instant Tan Illuminator

When we say Insta Glow Instant Tan, we mean that plus more!

Tanologist’s Insta Glow self-tanner only takes SECONDS to dry and will leave you shining naturally and golden!

Use Insta Glow to moisturize yourself with its hydrating and non-comedogenic components! It blends lightly and seamlessly for all tones.

If you need to even out some uneven tones or cover some imperfections, Insta Glow can help with those too!

Tanologist’s Insta Glow is guaranteed to give you a tan specific to your conditions; fully customizable!

Feel confident and stay healthy in your instant tan!

Pros:

  • Light-reflecting nano-particles will leave you shining bright
  • Moisturizing and hydrating
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • For one-day use only

7. Sally Hansen Airbrush Sun Self-Tanner

Sally Hansen Airbrush Sun Self-Tanner

If you need your legs to be three shades darker or cover up some spots, look no further than Sally Hansen’s Airbrush self-tanner!

This product gives your legs an instant tan in time for beach season!

Sally Hansen’s leg tanner will leave your legs looking smooth and flawless while still looking natural!

And it’s all thanks to Vitamin K!

Vitamin K promotes wound-healing and reduces dark spots, stretch marks, and other imperfections you may want to conceal. [R]

You will LOOK and FEEL HEALTHIER in no time!

Get ready to hit the beach or chill by the poolside with this waterproof self-tanner!

Pros:

  • Odorless
  • Moisturizing
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • May leave stains

8. Skinerals Onyx Extra Dark Self Tanner

Skinerals Onyx Extra Dark Self Tanner

Get ready to get an instant tan with Skinerals Onyx!

Skinerals went out of their way to make self-tanning easy and safe without the sun’s harmful rays.

Upon application, you can enjoy glowing results in just a few hours! No more waiting days or weeks!

This tanning liquid is organic, vegan, and infused with vitamins, so you can be assured that no harmful chemicals or artificial ingredients were added.

Additionally, anyone with any skin type can apply this waterproof self-tanner! This tanner does not wash off in the shower or streak!

Did we mention that all it takes is ONE application?

That’s right! One application of this stuff, and you’re ready to head out and confidently show off your new self-tan!

Pros:

  • Instant results
  • Organic ingredients

Cons:

  • May have a slight scent

9. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse

Coco _ Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse

Another great waterproof self-tanner pick is brought to us by Coco & Eve!

Their self-bronzing mousse is ORGANIC and VEGAN and will give you a shiny bronze look after just a couple of hours.

It is recommended to leave this self-tanner mousse overnight to give it enough time to work its magic.

You will not get an instant tan, but the results will be worth the wait!

Don’t worry! As the product name suggests, the end result will leave you with a sunny honey glow!

You get the choice between a medium tan or a dark tan to give you a golden brown glisten!

Luckily, the mousse will not come off in the water, so you can enjoy a swim or take a shower and have nothing to worry about!

There are also no additional fragrances added, except for a little bit of coconut oil and cocoa!

Pros:

  • Non-sticky
  • Waterproof
  • Organic and vegan

Cons:

  • Results are not instant

10. Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid

Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid

This waterproof self-tanner is perfect for pale-skinned individuals! If you have pale skin and need a nice bronzing tan, look no further than Fake Bake’s tanning liquid!

Fake Bake’s formula assures a gorgeous dark tan to those with any skin color or type!

Just clean, exfoliate and moisturize, and you’re good to go!

You can also bet that there is no fake tan smell or risk of turning into a pumpkin. Let’s not forget the non-stickiness and fresh scents only!

The tanner itself has a hint of coconut oil smell, and the handy color guide helps you avoid streaking.

You can have up to 10 applications with just one bottle!

Pros:

  • Dries quickly
  • One battle lasts long
  • No smell

Cons:

  • The product might be too thick
  • Does not feel good on hands; best to use a mitt

How Can Self-Tanners Be Waterproof?

How Can Self-Tanners Be Waterproof-

Most self-tanning products are made with dihydroxyacetone or DHA. Don’t worry; it’s safe!

This compound reacts with amino acids in your cells, which leads to the production of melanoidin, which is specifically formulated to create those dark orange hues!

This allows the self-tanner to last longer than usual and does not wash off easily in water.

However, self-tanning products are NOT ENTIRELY waterproof; they will fade if you stay in water for too long, especially in chlorinated water.

What Ingredients Should I Look Out For?

What Ingredients Should I Look Out For-

Before you lather yourself in that tanning liquid, here are some ingredients to look out for to make sure your tanned skin stays healthy!

Good Ingredients

Natural Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)

As mentioned earlier, DHA is responsible for giving your that glowing finish once it reacts with your skin.

Luckily, it is also naturally sourced from plants, making it super healthy for your body!

You don’t even need to apply a lot of it! You only need a generous amount of DHA to give you a longer-lasting fake tan!

DHA can also be created synthetically, but you probably don’t want to risk applying the chemical version, so it is recommended to find plant-based DHA for the best results possible!

Vitamins C and E

Vitamins C and E are great agents to help with blemishes, dark spots, and fine lines.

These vitamins reduce the appearance of these blemishes, which ultimately results in a brighter, more glowy look!

Vitamin C helps with evening out your overall skin tone and is rich in antioxidants, which protect the skin from external factors and free radical damage. [R]

Meanwhile, vitamin E is great for moisturizing and prevents your skin from losing its much-needed moisture.

It can also help regenerate the dead cells, maintaining softness and protection from damage and UV rays. [R]

Hyaluronic Acid

As we all know, there is an ingredient called hyaluronic acid in most moisturizing and cleansing products, and it can be found in tanning products, too!

Hyaluronic acid is a compound that deeply penetrates the skin and supplies it with moisture.

You will lose moisture sometime during the tanning process, which is why it is important to moisturize BEFORE and AFTER tanning!

Peptides

Peptides are mostly found in creams, serums, and lotions, even food, but they can also be found in self-tanning products!

These powerful compounds help with elasticity by rebuilding collagen and elastin in the skin. Additionally, peptides are known for their anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.

There are two different types of peptide supplements: [R]

  • Collagen peptides, which benefit the skin and promote anti-aging and elasticity
  • And creatine peptides for building muscle mass.

Either way, peptides are an often overlooked compound in self-tanning products that can keep your skin looking healthy and flawless!

Aloe Vera

We’re all familiar with the health benefits of aloe vera. It is a great healing agent and can soothe many types of conditions, from acne to sunburn. [R]

Aloe is also known to have anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.

You can be assured that a self-tanner with this ingredient will give off some healthy and long-lasting effects and will help your fake tan last longer!

Shea Butter

Shea butter is found in almost all skincare products because of its amazing benefits.

This ingredient is great for moisturizing and maintaining your skin’s softness. It also has healing and anti-inflammatory properties, so you can bet your skin will remain healthy!

Ingredients to Avoid

Parabens

Anything ingredient ending with -parabens is not good for your self-tanner!

Parabens are mostly used to preserve the shelf-life of cosmetic products, but they do have bad effects on your body. [R]

These chemicals can cause hormonal imbalances, leading to several health problems, like cancer or unnaturally mimicking hormones.

This is our reminder to READ THE LABELS before purchasing a self-tanner.

Alcohol

Alcohol is great for keeping your hands clean but not a great addition to self-tanning products.

Excessive use of alcohol can cause your skin to dry up or become irritated. These effects could be the gateway to even worse effects, such as flaking, cracking, or bleeding.

Mineral Oil

This chemical is another big NO-NO! It comes from petroleum, which is already not a good component for any cosmetic product.

While mineral oil might take your skin look good, it will definitely do more harm than good.

Mineral oil can block the pores and does not get absorbed. Instead, it can cause acne breakouts, rashes, or itchiness.

If you see liquidum paraffinum, it’s probably mineral oil, so it’d be best to put it back on the shelf.

Artificial/Synthetic Ingredients or Dyes

Of course, you want your self-tanner to give you a nice tan in the most natural way possible!

Oftentimes, tanning manufacturers will combine natural dyes with artificial ones to give you the perfect golden look.

However, while this might make you look good, it can also damage your skin.

These dyes are derived from petrochemicals (which already don’t sound good) and can cause various problems like itching, redness, or swelling.

Some of these dyes to avoid are Para Red (CI 16220) and Benzene Ring (CI 17200), which are said to be cancerous and cause allergies when applied to the skin.

If you see those numbers, put the bottle back on the shelf!

Sunbathing vs. Self-Tanning

Sunbathing vs. Self-Tanning

If you don’t want to spend money or deal with self-tanning products that are going to expire anyway, you always resort to tanning the natural way, under the sun!

Then again, staying under the blazing sun can be quite uncomfortable for some, so self-tanning seems to be the way to go.

If you are not sure whether to suntan or self-tan, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of the two.

Pros of Sunbathing

Vitamin D

Exposure to the sun is a GREAT way to get some Vitamin D!

Also fittingly known as the sunshine vitamin, it is essential for maintaining healthy bones and boosting your immune system. [R]

Of course, too much sun will do you no good, so make sure to stay out for a limited time only.

Better Mental Health and Sleep

Research shows that sunlight helps release serotonin, reducing symptoms of depression. [R]

Sunbathing can also help improve your sleep schedule by maintaining your natural sleep cycle (or circadian rhythm).

Cons of Sunbathing

Sunburn

If this one isn’t obvious enough, prolonged exposure to the sun is a sure way to get sunburned.

And it’s not just sunburn!

This also includes wrinkling, rashes, heatstroke, or blistering. Going even longer can eventually lead to skin cancer.

Premature Aging

The sun’s UV rays can damage the skin’s uppermost layers and further break down elasticity and collagen.

This can cause your skin to become wrinkly, saggy, fragile, and less resilient to external elements. All these factors can lead to premature aging.

Pros of Self-Tanning

Cheap and Accessible

If you don’t want to tan under the sun, self-tanning mousse, lotions, and foams are the CHEAPEST form of sunless tanning compared to tanning beds or spray-on tanning.

They are also the easiest to find and access!

All it takes is a short trip to the store for a few bucks only, and your own self-tan is already within reach!

Apply it at Home

Once you have bought your self-tanner, all it takes is one application from the comfort of your own home!

A quick application at home definitely beats doing nothing for hours on a tanning bed or finding someone else to spray tanning liquid on you.

Safer to Use

As mentioned earlier, a self-tanner is a lot safer to use compared to exposing yourself to the harmful sun.

Not only are you safe from the sun, but a lot of self-tanning products have moisturizing and anti-aging properties.

Don’t think the sun can do that!

Cons of Self-Tanning

Putting on Other Products Can be Tricky

If you are not used to putting on self-tanner, what more if you add other products like lotion or sunscreen?

Adding multiple products on top of your self-tanner could result in an uneven tan or a possible reaction.

May Leave Stains

Self-tanning products can stain clothes or your towel if you apply too much or if not applied correctly.

It could also stain your hands or body, which can’t look good. This also means you could end up with an uneven tan.

How to Take Care of a Fake Tan

How to Take Care of a Fake Tan

Now that tanning season is about to start remember a few things to make sure your fake tan lasts longer and your skin is well-maintained and healthy!

Exfoliate Thoroughly

When doing your pre-tanning routine, remember to exfoliate!

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, leaving room for new, healthy, and fresher ones for your self-tanning lotions or mousses.

Applying a self-tanner onto a cleaner and healthier surface will allow it to last longer! Once your skin is thoroughly exfoliated, you can apply your self-tanner!

Apply Tanner 6-8 Hours Before Going into Water

Now that you have lathered yourself in tanning liquid, it is best to wait a little while before going to the pool, beach, or even showering.

This is mostly to give the DHA enough time to do its magic!

After applying the tanner, you do not want it to get washed off right away. Additionally, you will need to give the DHA a lot of time to absorb.

Giving it enough time to absorb will bring out the best effect possible!

If you plan to swim the next day, you can even apply your tanner before going to sleep!

Moisturize!

Moisturizing is very important to self-tanning and skincare in general!

As you go into the pool or beach, your skin will inevitably dry out after spending a lot of time in the water. Swimming for too long can also cause fake tans to fade more quickly!

To compensate for this, make sure to leave your skin fully moisturized to prevent your tan from drying out quickly.

Moisturizing will also add an extra layer of protection to your tan!

Try to Avoid Swimming in a Chlorinated Pool

If you have a choice between the beach or a swimming pool, the beach is the safer option.

Swimming pools are chlorinated and have a lot of other chemicals that can cause damage to your skin faster.

Don’t Swim or Stay Out in the Sun For Too Long

This reminder should be a given, whether you have a fake tan or not.

Swimming and exposure to the sun for extended periods of time can damage your skin, whether on the beach or in a swimming pool.

You don’t want to shrivel up!

Granted, you have the power of sunscreen and forms of protection, but those can only do so much.

Self-tanners and sunscreen do not have absolute protection from the sun’s harmful rays; while they can do their part in preventing sunburn or drying up, you should also do yours!

Additionally, when drying yourself with a towel, make sure to gently pat yourself off and not rub yourself dry.

Doing so may irritate the skin even further and could make your tan look ugly or unnatural!

Moisturize Again!

After taking a beating from the water or spending time under the sun, your skin will be thirsty and will need moisturizing again!

You will have to regenerate old cells, and moisturizing will prevent any future shedding and keep your skin hydrated after such activities.

Remember to moisturize regularly, even when not at the beach!

Winner Picks

Winner Picks

Budget Pick – Australian Gold Sunscreen and Bronzer

Australian Gold will give you that sunny honey glow plus MORE for a SUPER affordable price! For around $10, you can enjoy a smooth, sunny-honey tan AND protection from sunburn!

You don’t have to spend twice on sunscreen AND tanner! Being kissed by the sun has never been this cheap!

The Australian Gold team went all out to give you the best tanning experience WHILE saving some bucks!

Best Value – Touch of Hemp Bronzing Mousse

Who would’ve thought that one of the most valuable ingredients to have in tanner was hemp?

But it’s true!

Touch of Hemp’s self-tanner mousse provides a bunch of health benefits that you don’t even have to worry about skin while outdoors!

Say goodbye to other bronzing mousse brands, as this one is where it’s at; organic, all-natural, and healthy!

Best Overall – Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

If you want the simplest tanning experience, look no further than Beauty By Earth! This is the best self-tanner filled with all-natural ingredients, giving you a natural tan!

Keep your skin fully nourished without aggravating it!

Cruelty-free, customizable, gentle, and works quickly, this tanner should be your number one choice!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it; our top waterproof self-tanner picks!

Self-tanning has been one of the latest trends in the beauty industry without the sun’s harmful rays or the technology of tanning beds.

Whether you want a natural tan or a fake tan, it is important to tan responsibly! Treat your body well, and you are guaranteed to get the best results!

We wish you luck in finding the best waterproof self-tanner that will help you feel like your best self!

Happy (fake) tanning!