Face Tanning Waters: The Solution For Glowing Skin Without The Breakouts

Face Tanning Waters: The Solution For Glowing Skin Without The Breakouts

Fake tanning from the neck up has always been a tricky business. You may reap the benefits of looking sun-kissed and glowing all-over, but you also run the risk of an impending breakout within an hour. 

That is, until the new kid on the face tan block arrived: face tanning water. Often formulated using ingredients you’d find in a serum, it’s time for you to meet the skin care and fake tan hybrid that needs a spot in your regimen. 

Here are seven hydrating, non-comedogenic face tanning water formulas for a skin-loving glow minus the congestion. 

What exactly is a face tan water?

In contrast to traditional fake tans, which are applied with a tanning mitt or your hands (if you live dangerously), these colourless, liquid formulas are applied the same way you would your toner – with a soaked cotton pad or mixed in with your moisturiser or night cream. 

Non-comedogenic tanning waters are formulated to promote healthy and hydrated skin, with the addition of hyaluronic acid almost always making an appearance (do away with the days when fake tan would stick to your dry patches). 

Which face tan shade is right for my skin tone?

Any! Tanning waters typically won’t come in the usual colour ranges like light to medium and medium to dark. Due to their buildable, transparent nature, they will work for any skin tone, based on how many layers you choose to apply. 

The best face tanning waters to try


Offering a finish so luminous, SugarBaby’s OUT-GLOWING formula will double as a primer or have you ditching makeup altogether. The sensitive skin-friendly formula combines coconut probiotic extract with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil to hydrate dry skin and neutralise uneven skin tone.

$26.95 at Sugarbabybeauty.com.au

Bondi Sands Pure Concentrated Self Tan Drops

Mix the Bondi Sands Pure Concentrated Self Tan Drops with your favourite moisturiser for a customised glow. Hydrating hyaluronic acid is included in the fragrance-free formula alongside vitamins E and C to help restore radiance and repair skin.

$22.95 at Bondisands.com.au

Tan-Luxe The Face Self Tanner

Inside Tan-Luxe’s glass dropper bottle you’ll find naturally derived, glow-inducing tanning actives grown in the South of France, as well as vitamin E, aloe vera and raspberry seed oil to soothe nourish the skin.

$59 at Sephora

Clarins Radiance-Plus Glow Booster for Face

A convenient and concentrated formula that you can mix with your regular day or night cream for a year-round glow. 

$40 at Myer

Eco Tan Face Tan Water

The OG of tanning waters, Eco Tan’s moisturising formula doubles as a toner to reduce redness and camouflage blemishes, all while building a gentle, natural colour.

$39.95 at Eco Tan

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

With 100 per cent natural tanning agents and antioxidants like hibiscus extract and green mandarin water, this tanning mist leaves no fake-tan smell, sticky residue or visible traces behind.

$34.99 at Chemist Warehouse

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water Medium

Unlike the other buildable formulas, the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water range comes in three colour-correcting shades depending on your skin tone and desired result. Violet provides a deeper, darker tan while reducing sallowness and yellow tones in the skin, green leaves a medium-golden colour while correcting underlying redness, and peach imparts a lighter sun-kissed glow and an immediate brightening of dullness.

$38 at MECCA

Main image credit: @theisleofparadise

Which fake tan do you use on your face? Would you try a water?

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Comments 20

  1. I spend so much money to keep my face fair. This is the polar opposite of what I am after but it is certainly an interesting category of product. I usually use a bit of bronzer to give that sunkissed glow. I don’t want it any more permanently than that.

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