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How to Choose the Best Self-Tanning Product For Your Skin

Tanning Tips

How to Choose the Best Self-Tanning Product For Your Skin

How to Choose the Best Self-Tanning Product For Your Skin

Stuck in indecision when it comes to figuring out which fake tan is the best self-tanner for your skin?

Below we’ve compiled a list of skin types, conditions and lifestyle factors that can help indicate which self-tanner is the best fake tan product for you. Buckle up; some of these recommendations aren’t what you’d expect! 

For naturally lighter skin

Concerned that an at-home spray tan will be problematic for your beautifully fair skin? Girl, you are in the right place. Founder of Sontse, Jayde Houndalas, herself identified with this skin type, designing the Sontse range specifically with this exact kind of skin type in mind. Admitting that in her earlier days of sun-tanning, her skin would skip the whole ‘tan’ phase and go straight to a burn, she very quickly transitioned to a spray-on tanner, hoping it would do the trick.

Of course, for any fellow fake tan lovers out there, we all know that not all fake tan spray or self-tanning spray solutions are created equal. So, what’s our suggestion?

A tanning mist made for ultimate colour control.

Product suggestion:

Sontse. Sun Lit Face & Body Tan Mist

How it works for this skin type:

This gentle spray is made with a violet-based tone and a more lightweight formulation, which helps to give even coverage that is quite subtle and natural looking.

How to apply it:

First, moisturise any dry patches like your knees and knuckles by applying a small quantity of moisturiser. Allow it to be absorbed before proceeding. Next, shake well before use and then spritz the tanner onto your face and body, allowing the mist to settle; then use Sontse's 'Absolutely Flawless' Kabuki Blending Brush to blend it all in circular motions. Remember to rinse and wash your hands after use.

Finally, Let the face spray tan do its thing on your skin for at least 4 hours to get that nice subtle glow, or keep it on for up to eight hours if you're aiming for a deeper, bronzed tan. And when you've hit that sweet spot of colour you're looking for, just hop in the shower and rinse it off to put a stop to the whole development process.

Our mist is great if you are after a touch of colour or extending your current fake tan.

How long it takes to develop:

4-8 hours, depending on the colour tone you’re aiming for.


For medium to darker-toned skin

If you’re trying to darken the tone of already slightly tanned skin, you’re going to want to opt for a thicker formulation that gives a deeper colour response. This is where a self-tanning mousse or cream is ideal. Our suggestion: 

A fake tan mousse that offers full coverage

Product suggestion:

Sontse. Golden Hour Self-Tan Mousse



How it works:

The Sontse self-tanning mousse is a silky, violet-based formula that glides on easily and appears bronze on application (this is super handy for avoiding streaks and effortlessly achieving a just-got-back-from-Europe look and feel – minus the UV-rays, of course!)

How to apply it:

Gently massage a small quantity of tanning product onto your dry, clean skin using circular motions. For optimal outcomes, complement this routine with the Sontse's 'Smooth Operator' Self-Tanning Mitt. For a sun-kissed natural glow, leave it on for an hour. Craving a bolder look? Allow this product to work its magic for up to 4 hours, resulting in an even deeper bronze effect. Finally, rinse off using lukewarm water. As your last step, don't forget to put on your SPF 50+ moisturiser.

And, remember to use SPF as directed, reapply often and stay out of direct sunlight where possible. SPF is only one form of sun protection. Wear protective clothing when outdoors.

Pro tip: When applying our mousse, go light on your hands, elbows, knees, and ankles for a smooth finish. Afterwards, rinse off once more using lukewarm water.

How long it takes to develop:

We suggest 1-4 hours of development before rinsing. Want even richer results? Simply add another layer of mousse for a gorgeous, ‘just-sailed the French Riveria’ glow.


For those wanting a more gradual glow-up

You love having a glow-up… but if you’re going to spend money on a self-tanner that actually looks natural, you know you need to build up to the colour and not make it too obvious. A gradual tan that doesn’t just seem to appear dark and heavy overnight is totally possible with the right product.

Go for a fake tan mousse OR a light mist for a buildable, gradual tan

Product suggestion:

Sontse. Golden Hour Self-Tan Mousse OR Sontse. Sun Lit Face & Body Tan Mist


How to apply it:

Either of the above-mentioned products will do the trick; it just depends on how subtle you want to start. For a super gentle introduction to your new tone, use the body tan mist and even it out with your tan blending brush. Rinse off after 4 hours. Then continue adding another layer every day until you’ve reached the tone you’re looking for. OR, if you’re ready to start a little deeper, use the full-body tanning mousse, lathering it in circular motions over your body. Rinse off after 1-1.5 hours. And repeat.

How long it takes to develop:

For our Sontse. Sun Lit Face & Body Tan Mist, leave this spritz of sunshine on for 4-8 hours initially before rinsing. If you have opted for a deeper bronze with our Sontse. Golden Hour Self-Tan Mousse, leave this on for 1-4 hours before rinsing.

Repeat the process the following days until you’re beautifully bronzed to your heart’s desire.


For those who want instant results or full coverage

A tanning mousse or a tanning foam is especially helpful for those wanting an instant full-body transformation that allows them to head out the door in just over an hour. The reason is that a self-tanning mousse has a unique texture that is typically lightweight and airy in nature. When you put the mousse on your skin, it goes on smoothly and evenly, giving you more control over where you're applying it and how much you're using. This results in a more consistent and streak-free tan. But not just that, self-tanning mousses tend to dry quicker once applied, as they are designed to be absorbed quickly into the skin.

An instant tan mousse that develops within an hour and glides on evenly

Product suggestion:

Sontse. Golden Hour Self-Tan Mousse 



The Sontse self-tanning mousse is a silky, violet-based formula that glides on easily and appears bronze upon application (this is super handy for avoiding streaks and effortlessly achieving a full coverage effect.

How to apply it:

Prepare your skin with proper exfoliation in advance.

Apply the mousse all over your body with a tanning mitt in circular motions. Allow the foam to set on the skin. At the 1-hour mark, jump into the shower to rinse it off. Follow up with a good moisturiser and SPF50 sunscreen before stepping into your day.

How long it takes to develop:

Just one hour for a gorgeous instant glow.


For those with dry or sensitive skin

The best tanning products for those with sensitive skin are those that are safety-certified and scientifically formulated with safe, gentle ingredients. The beautiful thing about Sontse.’s range of self-tanners is that they have been created with more of a skincare approach. Approved by Safe Cosmetics, the Sontse Range is allergy-certified and recognised for using only safe and non-toxic ingredients. 

Furthermore, uniquely blended with deeply nourishing ingredients that hydrate the skin at a cellular level, the collection has somehow been able to combine the enriching benefits of skincare into a stunning exclusive tanning formula that has not been replicated anywhere else. 

Go for a tanning mist or mousse made with non-toxic, deeply hydrating and skin-loving ingredients

Product suggestion:

Sontse. Golden Hour Self-Tan Mousse OR Sontse. Sun Lit Face & Body Tan Mist



How to apply it:

Prepare your skin for the most nourishing application of sunless tanning solution and protect the skin barrier before and after application using our in-depth How-To Guide to Tanning. For sensitive skin, it’s important to only use a gentle scrub for exfoliation, whereas for dry skin, we suggest using both our scrub and exfoliating mitt.

How long it takes to develop:

1-4 hours using our mousse and 4-8 hours using our mist and of course, depending on your colour depth preference.

Overall, when looking for the best self-tanning products for your skin, no matter your skin tone, remember to keep an eye out for good product quality, easy application, and ingredients that play nice with your skin. So, go ahead and pick what suits you best, and get ready to flaunt that fantastic sun-kissed glow tailored just for you! 

Want us to do the hard work for you?

Take the Sontse Skin Tone Quiz and let us pair you with our expert recommendations.


Written By Liana Pantalone – Beauty & Skincare Copywriter at Climbing Vine Co. 

Written by Sontse.

Your natural-looking tan, sans the sun damage. For all our fellow sun-conscious Australians, we’ve created the safer alternative to sun-kissed skin: a vegan-friendly sunless tanning solution made with the most enriching natural ingredients, coupled with our best pearls of sun safety wisdom to help you keep your skin looking tighter, brighter and UV-damage free.

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