Best Self Tanners for Women Over 40

Hi ladies! It’s time to get our summer glow on! I don’t know about you, but I gave up laying out in the sun for hours and hours and tanning beds years ago. A natural-looking tan is one of my favorite accessories to accompany my sundresses, shorts, and swimsuits. To achieve that perfect glow, I rely on self tanners.

Whenever I mention that I use self-tanners on the blog or social media, I get a LOT of questions! I made sure to answer the most frequently asked ones, so you can find out the tips, tricks, and steps I use when applying my self-tanning products.

There are so many good self-tanning products out there, but I’ve rounded up four of the best self tanners for women over 40 to help you get that perfect glow! These streak free, easy to use products, combined with the tips I have included below, will leave you glowing just in time for warmer weather.

If you’re over 40, I have other posts where I share tips and tricks to help you look and feel like your best and most confident self! Start by reading some of these:

How To Get a Natural Looking Tan for Summer

Should I shave before tanning?

You want smooth skin before tanning, but it’s best to shave the day before so the hair follicles close back up. If you shave and then put on self tanner, you can get a speckled-looking tan.

Should I exfoliate before tanning?

Yes! Exfoliating is important to keep your tan looking good. I use a couple of different things to exfoliate. I have this scrub, and I also have an exfoliating glove. 

I use these when I feel like my skin is looking really dry, at least once a week.

Can I moisturize before tanning?

Moisturizer acts as a barrier, but it also helps the product look smoother, so I like to moisturize before using my self tanner.

You should always moisturize your knees, inner wrist area, ankles, toes, and elbows, so the tanner doesn’t get so dark in those areas.

How do I apply the self tanner?

Work methodically from legs upwards, using a mitt for an even tan. The mitt also keeps the tanner from building up on the palm of your hands. (If I want it on my back, I get my husband to put it there.)

If you do get self tanner on the palms of your hands, you can use a mixture of baking soda, water, and shampoo to remove it. I’ve also heard this micellar water will take it off.

(I don’t use a mitt when I use my Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops with my lotion.)

How do I apply self tanner to my face?

I don’t tan my face because I have some age spots that grab the self tanner, making them even darker.

If you want to tan your face, I would put it on the night before. Tan Ceuticals facial self tanner is a good one to use, as well as the Tan-Luxe The Face Anti-Age Self Tan Drops.

How long after tanning can I moisturize?

After your tan is dry, you can moisturize your skin. The more you moisturize, the better your tan will look.

My Favorite Self Tanners

Loving Tan 2 HR EXPRESS

 I have to say that this is my favorite self tanner right now. It is so good and has NO smell. It gives you a dark tan! It comes in a dark color (that’s what I’m using) and a medium color.

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St. Tropez Self Tan Classic

This is a tinted tanning mousse that is easy-to-apply, streak-free, and adapts to your skin tone for up to 10 days: no self tan smell and best for first-time tanners.

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Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops

I have these tanning drops, and they work really well. It’s nice to add them to your lotion, and you don’t have to wear a mitt to put this on. (You do need to wash your hands after using.) I use the dark, but they also have medium and light drops.

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Tan-Luxe Super Glow Body Self Tan Serum

This is another great brand of self tanning products that I have been loving. I also like their anti-age face self tan drops.

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Shop More Self Tanning Products and Supplies:


Do you have any good tips for self tanning?

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by my blog. I’m also on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

Beauty for the Heart™And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18

Truth: You are loved more than you know. More than you can understand. More than you can imagine. Not because of what you do. Not because of what you wear. Not because of who you’re friends with. But because you are a child of God.

Let your beauty shine from the inside out today!

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  1. Hi, can you provide a link to the cute two-piece black swimsuit you are wearing? It’s perfect!
    Thank you.

  2. Cyndi, Last year I bought the Isles of Paridise drops? The smell was too perfume for me as I can’t have smells. Are yours? Also how many drops do you use? I didn’t see much tan.Thanks.

  3. Thank you for the post on self tanning!

    You recommended The Dead Sea scrub a year or so ago and it is my go to. It’s awesome!
    My favorite self tanner I found last year. Skinerals Self Tanner and in between Skinerals Amber Glow Tan Extender.

    Thank you for all you do!

  4. I love the Jergen’s express Glow lotion, I tan easily and I use this 2-3 days in a row to build it up and then just a couple of days a week after that to maintain, I do wait to get dressed for a few minutes and wash my hands with soap & water after and have not had a problem with that, and it does not turn my skin a weird shade, Bonus!

  5. That picture of Caroline made me laugh out loud…. So cute!
    I have never tried self tanners, but i want to try one. I do enjoy just enough sun in summer to give me a light tan using spf 30 sunscreen with a bronzer in it.

  6. Hi Cyndi,

    I’ve been looking for a new tanner. For a couple summers I’ve been using Beauty by Earth, but wanted to try something new. Thank you!
    Oh and YES to BFTH!!

  7. Thank you for the sunless tanner post! I find the Isle of Paradise drops mixed with any regular lotion to have very little smell, pretty much streak free & long lasting. Have a blessed Easter! 🌸🐣

  8. I have trouble with the sunless tanner smell and have tried numerous products. I have discovered a product from Drunk Elephant called Sunshine drops. I just mix a pea size amount in with a moisturizer with the drops and apply to my face, arms and legs. It has been a game changer for me as far as wearing summer clothes. Also I use Australian Gold Instant Bronzer suntan lotion when I’m going to the beach/pool. Thank you for all your tips; you do such a great job on your blog! Tammy B