The Best Body Bronzer for a Natural Glow
Publushed by:Khadija B.
Last updated:November 7, 2021
Physicians Formula Multi Color Bronzer
- Easy to apply
- Natural glow on the skin
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Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Mousse
- Natural ingredients
- Dries quickly
- Gentle fragrance
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Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Mousse
- Not tested on animals
- Buildable color
- Hydrating benefits
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There’s nothing better than having a beautiful golden shimmer on your skin, and it’s the perfect accessory that goes with everything.
A body bronzer is your ticket to this effortless glow, but with so many brands, shades and features out there to choose from, matching the perfect one to your skin can be a challenge
What makes a good body bronzer? A quality body bronzer should be free from ingredients like mineral oil, fragrances, and DHA, but with moisturizing extras like Vitamin E and shea butter.
Most importantly, a bronzer needs to have the right amount of coverage and be matched to suit your skin color, leaving a shimmery and glowing appearance wherever it’s applied.
A bad body bronzer can be instantly noticeable, and for all the wrong reasons, so it’s not a beauty product you want to get wrong. To help you navigate through all of the choices and ensure you get the sun-kissed skin of your dreams, we’ve hand-picked some of the bronzer for body options today.
Whether you’re looking for the best bronzer for dark skin or an instant fix that can transform you into a shimmering goddess in seconds, we can help.
Check out our favorite finds for the best body bronzer on the market, including self tanners and bronzing powders, and what they do for the skin that sets them apart.
Best Overall: Physicians Formula Multi Color Bronzer
This bronzer is made with cruelty free ingredients, and comes with a mirror and brush for easy application, giving you an instant way to create a golden effect on the skin.
If you want to achieve golden, shimmery skin with a body bronzer powder, our favorite is the Physicians Formula Multi Color Bronzer.
With everything you need to create a more natural looking sun-kissed effect, like a brush and mirror, you’ll be able to take this body bronzer wherever you go for easy top-ups.
The Physicians Formula Multi Color Bronzer is cruelty free, safe for sensitive skin, and dermatologically tested, giving you everything you need to wear it confidently.
As a powder with many colors, you can blend the bronzer to suit your skin tone, and it won’t leave any harsh streaks or discolorations.
This bronzer can be built up to achieve a darker color or used lightly, so if your needs change, it can too.
This is our pick for the best instant body bronzer because of how easily it goes on, but be prepared to take your time when applying it to larger areas.
As a non-waterproof option, it’s also the best wash off body bronzer but won’t have the same staying power as some of the others, which may mean more applications if you’re out all day.
Physicians Formula has managed to tick all the boxes for achieving easy sun-kissed skin, and in a small and affordable package.
- Users with sensitive skin found that the Physicians Formula Bronzer didn’t cause them to break out or get irritated.
- It’s easy to apply and even those new to bronzers found they were able to achieve their ideal glow the first time.
- As a powder option, you won’t get the streaks and shine that many of the other bronzers out there leave on the skin.
- This is an affordable bronzer that still has all of the key ingredients and delivers amazing results.
- One of the best instant body bronzer choices if you want a more natural glow on the skin.
- As a bronzing powder, you will need to put in more effort to cover larger areas like the arms and legs, so expect to spend some time applying this.
- This is not a waterproof option so if you plan on getting wet, you’ll want to apply something stronger or bring the palette along for touch-ups
Runner Up: Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Mousse
The 3.3fl oz bottle contains a tanner mousse that’s suitable for medium to dark skin tones, is made with all vegan ingredients, and is cruelty free, and good for the planet.
Beauty by Earth has created a Self Tanner Mousse that’s somewhere between a bronzer powder and a spray tan, giving you a natural glow no matter your skin color.
Housed in a 3.3fl oz bottle, the foaming mousse promises to deliver a sun-kissed look without the orange streaks or blotches that serious tanners leave.
Better still, after you’ve applied it, it won’t leave any stains on your sheets, so you don’t have to worry about a mess.
This is the best waterproof body bronzer if you plan on swimming or showering, and to get it off you’ll just need a little elbow grease and time.
After applying it to the required areas with a loofah mitt, it takes four to six hours to develop and then will last for days without any discoloration or streaking.
The mousse dries just a few minutes after applying as well, so you can go about your day without waiting around.
The Self Tanner Mousse by Beauty by Earth features certified organic ingredients like flower extracts and essential oils, so not only is it beautifying the skin with a golden color, it’s working wonders on it as well.
If you want a lightweight combination between a self tanner and a bronzer, this product can turn even the dullest skin into something glowing and fabulous.
- There are no streaks or splotches to be found on the skin, even days after applying this gentle mousse.
- Lots of natural and organic ingredients that get deep into the skin so it’s more than just a bronzer.
- After applying, the tanner dries quickly and develops over the next few hours so you can get on with life.
- There’s a gentle fragrance from the essential oils that aren’t overpowering but leaves a light perfume.
- Unlike other tanners that stain everything they touch, users reported no tanner rubbing off onto sheets and clothes.
- Those only wanting a powdered bronzer that’s light will find the coverage from this to be too harsh.
- It takes more effort to get this off when you’re done, so if you’re only wearing it for one event it may be too much.
- The application using a mitt is a little time-consuming, but some may find it worthwhile for the results.
Alternative: Image Skincare Body Spa
The key ingredients include Vitamin E, Erythrulose with pigment, and Aloe barbadensis extract, giving you natural ways to hydrate and bronze the skin.
Body Spa does not test on animals, the bronzer features no parabens, and it’s suitable for all body types.
Image Skincare’s Body Spa is designed to provide a natural tan and glow to your body and face, using a clear liquid that goes on and develops over time.
This liquid bronzer can be applied each day to darken the shade or you can keep it light, and it’s made for all skin types and colors.
The Image Skincare bronzer also offers hydrating benefits that make your skin soft and supple after use.
For the best application, they recommend following up with their Prevention+ moisturizer, and although it gets the results they promised, you’ll be spending twice as much as other brands just to use the two of them.
This buildable bronzer is packed with lots of wholesome ingredients like Eryhtulose with pigment to give a natural glow, and Vitamin E extracts to soothe the skin.
As a clear lotion, you apply a little each day and give it time to develop, and it has a gentle natural fragrance from essential oils which isn’t too over the top.
If you want naturally bronzed skin and like to take things slowly, the Image Skincare Body Spa is one of the best options.
- The bronzer applies as a clear lotion and gradually develops over time so you can easily rub wash your hands when you’re done and it won’t make a mess.
- You can build on the color each day by applying a little more so there’s no risk of it going too dark, and it’s the best body bronzer for fair skin.
- Image Skincare doesn’t test on animals so you can feel peace of mind that you’re using something cruelty free.
- Users reported their skin feeling softer and smoother after applying this thanks to its hydrating benefits.
- There’s little to no fragrance left behind and it’s not overpowering like other self tanners.
- Requires another product by Image Skincare to be applied afterward for the best results, which boosts the price up a lot.
- Applying this each day can take a little more effort than dusting a powder on and it’s not as easy to apply to just some areas and not others.
- Because it goes on clear, it can be hard to see what areas you’ve already covered and those you haven’t.
Alternative: Beauty by Earth Self Tanner
Another of our top finds comes from the natural brand Beauty By Earth with their Self Tanner.
This tanner offers more coverage than their mousse, which could be a good or bad thing, but is not as harsh as regular self tanners.
This product is full of the usual natural ingredients that the brand is known for as well as being cruelty free and good for your conscience.
Applying the Self Tanner by Beauty By Earth is relatively easy, and you just put a thin layer on the body wherever needed.
Wait six hours and see what the color is like, and if you want to go darker still, you can repeat the process the next day.
The bronzed glow will last at least a few days and fade out rather than leaving behind dark spots and discoloration like harsh tanners do.
The Beauty By Earth Self Tanner contains loads of natural ingredients including organic coconut oil, witch hazel extract, and aloe vera leaf juice.
It’s scented with vanilla fruit extract and leaves behind a mild and pleasant aroma, which is a nice contrast to other tanning products that smell harsh and synthetic.
If you crave more coverage from a bronzer but like to keep this natural, this is another great find from Beauty By Earth.
- Anyone from fair to dark skin can use this body tanning product and still get natural results.
- Once applied, this tanning bronzer will stay on the skin for a few days without needing to apply it again.
- The Self Tanner will gradually fade away without looking too obvious and not leave any unsightly marks as it does.
- Beauty By Earth is dedicated to doing right by the environment and their products are cruelty free, so it’s a purchase you can feel good about.
- This bronzer has hydrating properties that make the skin soft and moisturized, which further prevents the tanning effect from drying out and adds to the shimmery effect.
- This is a little heavier than their mousse and more than a powdered bronzer so it may be too much coverage for some users.
- The tanner needs to be washed off using an exfoliating brush or mitt when you’re finished with it, and can take a lot of effort to remove it completely if you don’t let it fade naturally.
- If you don’t wash your hands immediately after applying it will stain them which leaves an unsightly mess.
Alternative: Botanic Tree Self Tanner
Their Self Tanner provides a bronzed and golden tan in a 6fl oz bottle, and goes on as a hydrating lotion which develops over time, but absorbs quickly.
The Botanic Tree Self Tanner is for those wanting heavy coverage but with light and wholesome ingredients.
As well as providing a bronzed glow to your skin just a few hours after application, this tanner gets deep into the skin.
With ingredients like shea butter and passionfruit seed oil it hydrates and nourishes, working in the background while you’re enjoying your new shimmering, bronzed complexion.
Botanic Tree is a US-based company committed to eco-friendliness and their products are vegan and cruelty free.
After applying the tanner, you’ll find that it’s free from any scents which further adds to its natural touch, and there are no nasty streaks or orange discolorations like you’ve come to expect with other self tanning lotions.
This bronzer is suited to all skin types, even sensitive ones, and it suits all skin colors as well.
You’ll get a noticeably darker effect once it develops but to ensure it keeps its natural glow, a daily moisturizer is best, even if they’ve added lots of hydrating contents as well.
Botanic Tree’s Self Tanner is the perfect in-between of a tanning lotion and a bronzer for those wanting a natural solution.
- The shimmer and golden bronzed effect of the Self Tanner suits all skin colors and gives you an instant improvement that smooths out the complexion.
- Botanic Tree uses natural ingredients and is cruelty free so it’s a brand you can put your trust in to deliver something good for the planet and your body.
- You get loads of other ingredients in here as well as the tanning formula so it’s a great treatment for your skin.
- There’s no scent whatsoever from this self-tanner which is unlike most on the market and prevents you from the overpowering aroma that many tanning products have.
- Made with a fast-absorbing formula which means no more tanner on your clothes and sheets because everything dries in minutes.
- This bronzer needs regular application of moisturizer all over the body to prevent it from drying out, which adds more work to the process.
- As a self-tanning liquid product and not a powdered bronzer, it provides a much heavier coverage than most, and might not be suitable for people wanting a subtle bronzed glow.
- You’ll pay a little more for this compared to other self tanners for a smaller sized bottle as well, so use it wisely.
Body Bronzer FAQs
The instant transformation possible with body bronzer makes it one of the most popular beauty products, but if you don’t know how to apply it or choose the best fit, the results can be disastrous.
To help you learn more about finding the best bronzer for your skin, check out these FAQs.
What Is Body Bronzer Used For?
A body bronzer can be applied to add a temporary glow or sun-kissed effect that smooths out the appearance of the skin as well.
Unlike a self tanner, they don’t leave streaks or orange marks and will give a more natural but bronzed look to your skin.
Most can be washed off easily unless you have a waterproof body bronzer that requires a little more effort.
Where Do You Apply Bronzer On Your Body?
Body bronzer can be applied to any bare body parts that you want to have a shimmery, sun-kissed look, like the arms, legs, and chest, or all over the body if you’re hoping for more coverage.
You can also use bronzer to highlight certain areas like collarbones and shoulders if you don’t want to apply too much.
Should Bronzer Be Darker Than Your Skin?
The goal of a good bronzer is to match your skin tone and sometimes give a slightly tanned effect that might look a little darker, but it depends on the wearer’s preference.
Unlike a tanning product that can alter the color of your skin up to a few shades, bronzer is about having more of a subtle effect that makes the skin look shimmery and sun-kissed.
What Do I Do If My Bronzer Is Too Dark?
If you’ve applied bronzer to your body or face and find it too dark, you can add a loose powder to the top of it to try and bring the shade down.
Using a large, fluffy style of a makeup brush to try and blend the color in can also help to lighten it.
Otherwise, wash all of the bronzer off and apply again, this time using a lot less of the product and building your way up to the desired shade.
The Secret to Beautifully Bronzed Skin
With a trusty body bronzer in your arsenal, you’re guaranteed to have sun-kissed and shimmery skin, no matter the weather outside.
The instant transformation that a good bronzer can deliver makes it worthy of finding the right one, so consider our favorites if you’re looking for a winner.