Meet your moisturiser’s new best friend. Tanning drops are a tailor-made approach to tanning without worrying about streaks, smell, or fuss. Even with the winter chill setting in, making your tan work for you couldn’t be easier. Whether you fancy a South of France sun-kissed glow or a deeper Mediterranean bronze goddess look, you can decide how glow do you go, with these innovative tanning drops.
Jules Von Hep, tanning novice and co-founder of Isle of Paradise says, “think of them like a type of cordial – they need to be mixed in with a moisturiser dollop on your hands, the more your drop, the deeper your tan will be.” Simple as that.
Unlike other self-tans, tanning drops add a natural warmth to your skin and a hint of a tint that’s just the right amount of subtle throughout the year. You can choose between either gradual drops whereby colour develops over time or instant colour formulas. Regardless, self-tan should always look natural, and the beauty of tanning drops is that they can be mixed in with your go-to moisturiser, nightly serum or even your foundation allowing you to customise your colour accordingly – with no mitt required.
Here, we’ve chosen our top performers that give a seamless tan, time and time again…
Hawaiian Tropic Self Tan Drops, £15
These drops are new to the ‘tan drop party’, but just as good as their predecessors. As you expect from a brand affiliated with gorgeously scented suncare, these drops smell like beach- in- a-bottle. They give a natural glow that’s just the right amount of tan for a Monday morning when you’ve seen colleagues the Friday before!
Dolce & Gabanna Solar Glow Bronzing Drops, £38
It doesn’t get posher than these drops. Don’t be phased by the dark colouring, though they are better suited for olive skin tones, they still work well on paler skins and give a believable bronze veil that fakes a holiday glow. And it goes without saying, the packaging had us at hello!
Crystal Clear Beach Glow Tan Drops, £31.99
Want a tan and skincare in one? Look no further. DHA Plus is added to conceal any self-tanning odour, coconut oil moisturises and hydrates the skin, and a sugar complex is added to deepen the colour of your tan. Combine them all together and you have a long-lasting glow with added skin protection. Great for mature skins.
Typology Progressive Self-Tanning Serum 10% DHA + Carob Pulp Extract, from £18
If you prefer to get your glow on instantly, these drops are for you. Fast-drying and a long-lasting glow that develops from 6 hours after applying and then keeps developing over days.
The bottle may be dinky, but just two drops mixed into your day or night cream is enough to give you a light tan.
Isle Of Paradise Tan Drops, £15.96
You can almost guarantee no tan disasters with these drops that come in three varieties (light, medium, dark) depending on the finish you want. They give a buildable glow that also cancels out any redness from your complexion. They can be mixed with serums, oils, even your foundation. A great choice if you’re a tan drop beginner!
James Read Click & Glow Tan Drops (Face), £18.75
Be your own mixologist with this clickable innovative design that makes self-tanning easy work (which we all know it’s not!) Formulated with powerful antioxidants as well as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera. The colour lasts and lasts without looking patchy and gives a gorgeous radiance to skin. (We’re also obsessed with the body version too).
Oskia Self-Tanning Drops, £72
A hefty price to pay for a tan when it doesn’t involve a sun lounger! Oskia’s all-natural offering is packed with an array of skin-loving ingredients from Vitamin B5, C and E to peptides, amino acids and more. It gives a healthy natural glow that works well before, during and after a holiday, so you’ll get your money’s worth!
Skinny Face Tanning Drops, £11.99
Don’t be put off by the name. The ‘skinny’ in the brand isn’t referring to body shape but instead the pared-down list of ingredients. Infused with its signature blend of caramel and coconut (er yum!) these non-sticky drops give a natural tan (with a slight shimmer) that looks like the real deal – and at a fair price too!
Balance Me Gradual Tanning Drops, £30
If you’ve not yet set foot into the overwhelming world of self-tan, these drops are a good starting point. They deliver a subtle glow while also being sustainable, recyclable, and effective all-in-one.
St Tropez Luxe Tan Tonic Drops, £24
Blurring the line between a serum and self-tan, these drops are packed with all our favourite skin-loving ingredients – hyaluronic, niacinamide and Vitamin C and a natural tanning active that develops over four to eight hours. It’s non-sticky, non-irritant (so great for sensitive skin) and gives patch-free colour that looks authentic. Top Tip: For tanned limbs, mix into your body lotion for an all-over glow.
Tan-Luxe The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, £29.40
If you’re a big fan of the face drops, get ready to fall in love all over again with this body version. Expect a sun-kissed glow in minutes with all the benefits of a firming body lotion. Packed with stimulating caffeine to tone, sun-loving Vitamin E, and soothing Aloe Vera.
Ecooking Self-Tanning Drops, £26.95
This is about as clean beauty as you can get with a self-tan. Uncoloured, scent-free with sugarcane as the main natural ingredient that gives skin a healthy glow. The drops have a light and liquid texture, making it easy to mix them with your moisturiser. Plus, they’re 100% vegan. Hard to beat!
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, £21
Perk up tired skin quickly and easily with this booster than gives skin just what it says, a boost! With a dropper-style applicator and buffer just add two drops into your moisturiser for a caramel, golden tone to skin. Meanwhile, aloe vera keeps skin hydrated and nourished so it looks more supple and smooth.
Dr Sebagh Self-Tanning Drops, £35
A glow-booster and an anti-ager? Now we’re talking! With the hero-ingredient HEV melanin, these drops will give you an enviable tan but also help shield against the ageing effects of blue light which we’re all exposed to daily through our phones, laptops, Kindles and more.
Coco & Eve Bronzing Face Drops, £19.34
If you want a full-on tropical tan, these drops won’t disappoint. Think every day is summer! Designed to give a darker tan, that’s buildable, blendable and keeps skin hydrated too.
Tropic Sun Drops Gradual Tanning Serum, £26
This dinky bronzing serum works wonders for creating a bronze veil that’s beautifully subtle. Highlight cheekbones, bridge of your nose and top of your forehead for a natural-looking tan that hits all the usual sunshine spots.
Hello Sunday The Self Tan One Sun-Kissed Drops, £20
Hello Sunday mixes self-tanning with all the goodies of a skincare routine. Just as it says on the label, if you’re looking for a sun-kissed glow, then this is the product you’re looking for! Either mix it in with a moisturiser or use it alone, but either way, you’ll be glowing for the gods!
Collistar Magic Drops Self Tanning Concentrate Ultra Rapid Effect, £34
Held in this luxe, frosted glass bottle is your key to a natural, bronzed look. Aside from that coveted glow, this leaves your skin plump and hydrated, without that dried out feeling. The results speak for themselves!
Tanologist Extra Dark Drops, £16.14
An affordable, yet effective, option for our glow-getters out there, Tanologist’s Extra Dark Drops won’t leave you hanging. Packed with skincare powerhouses like hyaluronic acid and soothing aloe vera, treat yourself to a hydrated, bronzed glow like no other.
COOLA Sun Silk Drops SPF30, £44
A tanning drop that adds suncare to the mix, COOLA’s Sun Silk Drops blesses you with a rejuvenated glow while shielding you from the sun’s harmful rays. Weightless and scentless, incorporating this into your routine is a surefire way of getting your glow on.
The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.