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Do Self-Tanning Drops Work?

Sun Care & Self-Tanning

Do Self-Tanning Drops Work? Do Self-Tanning Drops Work? Do Self-Tanning Drops Work?

By now, whether you’ve used one or not, you’re probably familiar with self-tanner. This holy grail skin care product is the trick to getting a sun-kissed glow all year long sans sun damage. Would we be dramatic if we said we couldn’t live without it? And while you’ve likely heard of self-tanning wipes and lotions, there’s one sunless tanning product you may not be familiar with: tanning drops. Doesn’t ring a bell? Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about self-tanning drops—aka the latest beauty craze!


Self-tanning drops are one of the most talked-about beauty products at the moment, and it's for a good reason. Essentially, tanning drops come in a bottle with a dropper—similar to a serum or face oil. These drops are then added to your body lotion, oil, or moisturizer. What do tanning drops do? They leave you with a gorgeous and natural-looking sun-kissed glow that doesn't require the sun!

This liquid self-tanning option is creating quite the buzz. Not only do self-tanning drops work to give you a bronzed glow, but they’re also the perfect option for those who may be new to sunless tanning. Because you mix them with your moisturizer, it's easier to achieve an even, streak-free tan—not to mention, it cuts your at-home tanning process down a step. Speaking of…


Want to give tanning drops a try? Even if you’re a faithful sunless tan fan, you’ll need to learn how to use self-tanning drops the right way—it’s not quite the same as using other self-tan formulas. Follow the steps below to try tanning drops and get a gorgeous tan.


We’re willing to bet you want smooth, soft skin to go with that tan, no? The first thing you’ll want to do is exfoliate your skin. Reach for a body scrub in the shower to do just that, taking care to exfoliate every inch. This will slough off dead skin cells that could otherwise leave your tan looking patchy and uneven.

If you’re using self-tanning drops that are meant for your face (or face and body), you’ll also want to scrub your face. Gently, of course! Use the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub for gentle exfoliating.


You know what’s next! Shave your legs, arms, or wherever you wish to remove hair—just make sure you do so prior to tanning. If you shave post-tanner application, you risk ruining your faux glow!


It’s time to add your tanning drops to your moisturizer of choice! How many drops you add is up to you—typically, you can add anywhere from two to 12 drops, depending on how dark you’d like your tan. The more drops, the darker the tan. As a rule of thumb, first pump enough lotion into your palm for a single section of your body, such as your arm or thigh, and then add the drops. Do this for each section of your body you wish to tan.

For your face, try using a lightweight moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin.


After you’ve added your drops, rub your hands together to mix them into your lotion. Then, smooth the lotion over your body as you normally would, working it onto your skin in circular motions. Make sure to wash your palms when you’re done!

Editor’s tip: If you don’t want to deal with washing your palms, use a tanning mitt to apply your self-tanner.


Most tanning drops will take a few hours to develop into their full, bronzed color. Follow the directions on the bottle so you know how long to wait before you can expect to see results!


So, how long do tanning drops last? As with any self-tanner, it all depends on how well you maintain your faux glow. Here are three tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1. Keep shaving to a minimum. You may not realize it, but every time you shave, you’re exfoliating your skin. While this isn’t a bad thing, it can cause your tan to fade prematurely. It’s always a good idea to shave before self-tanning to avoid this!

Tip #2. Moisturize. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated, as dry skin can cause your tan to fade and become patchy. No thanks! Lather on lotion morning and night.

Tip #3. Reapply. Self-tanning isn’t a one and done deal, particularly when it comes to tanning drops. If you want to keep your faux tan looking fresh, add a few drops to your nightly moisturizing session every few days to boost your color.

Next: How to Remove Self-Tanner