9 Best Vegan & Cruelty-Free Self-Tanners 2024

By Liis Hainla. Updated: January 2024.
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Vegan Self-Tanners

Self-tanners are a variety of creams and lotions designed to make your skin tan without exposure to the sun. If you want to get that year-round golden glow without risking UV damage, self-tanners are considered a safe way to achieve it.

You might be wondering whether self-tanners are vegan. The short answer is they can be. The tanning agent in self-tanners is called DHA (dihydroxyacetone). DHA is a vegan-friendly ingredient either synthetically made in the lab or derived from plant sugars.

While DHA is vegan, self-tanners may not be. Many self-tanners include animal-derived ingredients such as silk proteins, beeswax, or even collagen. In addition, self-tanners may be tested on animals which in effect makes them not suitable for vegans.

We have taken a dive into the world of sunless tanning and bring you the best vegan self-tanners. Enjoy a beautiful tan that is free of animal ingredients and animal cruelty. Be it an instant or gradual tan in light, medium, or dark – there’s a vegan tanner for everyone.

Best Vegan Self-Tanners

These self-tanners are all vegan and cruelty-free:

  1. St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse
  2. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Firming Body Drops
  3. Coola Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion
  4. Tan-Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Tanning Lotion
  5. Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam
  6. + Lux Unfiltered N°32 Hydrating Self Tanner
  7. Beauty By Earth Self Tanner Mousse
  8. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam
  9. MineTan Workout Ready Self Tanner Foam

1. St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse

St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Whipped Crème Mousse Vegan Self-Tanner
Courtesy of St. Tropez

St. Tropez Crème Mousse is the best vegan self-tanner. It leaves a beautifully even and glowy tan. It also hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. The self-tanner works on all skin tones, especially for fair skin since it doesn’t leave the skin looking orange.

We love the mousse texture which glides on the skin like a dream. Just apply it with the brand’s vegan tanning mitt. We just wish it would dry faster, so you could get dressed right away. Luckily the streak-free natural-looking tan result makes up for the longer drying time.

  • What we like: even tan, not orangey
  • What we don’t like: takes time to dry

Formulation: mousse | Result: instant | Shade range: 1 | Key ingredients: niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, echinacea, vitamin E | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, dermatologist-tested, suitable for sensitive skin | Average rating: 4.6/5 | Price: $48 (6.7 oz)

Is St. Tropez vegan? St. Tropez is not entirely vegan but their vegan-friendly products are clearly marked so on their website. St. Tropez is also cruelty-free and does not test on animals.

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora, Ulta

2. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Firming Body Drops

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Firming Body Drops Vegan Self-Tanner
Courtesy of Isle of Paradise

We also love the Self-Tanning Body Drops from Isle Of Paradise. This vegan self-tanner is customizable in intensity, you can add a few drops to your lotion. It gives a gorgeous bronzed glow and color-corrects your skin tone. It also firms and brightens the skin with caffeine.

Isle of Paradise has many vegan tanning products we like. Their Face Tanning Drops is the best vegan self-tanner for the face. For both drops, you can choose between Light, Medium, and Dark tones to adjust the intensity of the tan and match the drops with your skin tone.

  • What we like: natural and customizable, color-corrects the skin
  • What we don’t like: not quick to apply (need to mix with a lotion first)

Formulation: drops | Result: customizable | Shade range: 3 | Key ingredients: caffeine, oat, baobab extract, avocado oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, clean, paraben-free, phthalate-free, mineral oil-free | Average rating: 4.4/5 | Price: $38 (2.54 oz)

Is Isle of Paradise vegan? Yes. Isle of Paradise is 100% vegan. The tanning and bodycare brand is also officially certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA.

Shop on: Sephora, Official site

3. Coola Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion

Coola Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion Vegan Self-Tanner
Courtesy of Coola

Coola’s Sunless Tan is the best organic vegan self-tanner. It’s Ecocert Cosmos Organic certified and made with over 99% natural ingredients. Even the DHA is natural and derived from beet. It’s safe for sensitive skin and you can also use it on your face.

The vegan self-tanning lotion works gradually over the course of a few days. We love that it uses natural anti-aging ingredients such as caffeine and brown algae which help to tone and tighten the skin while tanning it. When applying it carefully, it’s also streak-free.

  • What we like: organic with anti-aging benefits
  • What we don’t like: leaves streaks if you don’t apply carefully

Formulation: lotion | Result: gradual | Shade range: 1 | Key ingredients: caffeine, brown algae, pea extract, baobab oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, natural, certified organic, paraben-free, phthalate-free, synthetic fragrance-free | Average rating: 4.2/5 | Price: $46 (6 oz)

Is Coola vegan? Coola claims that all their products are currently vegan but it’s better to double-check the product description before buying. Coola is also PETA-certified animal test-free.

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora, Ulta

4. Tan-Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Tanning Lotion

Tan-Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Vegan Tanning Lotion
Courtesy of Tan-Luxe

Tan-Luxe has the best vegan gradual self-tanning lotion. It’s ideal for beginners as the result is subtle and even. Just a beautiful natural tan with some glow. It uses raspberry seed oil and aloe vera to make the skin soft and smooth. It’s also designed to reduce the look of cellulite.

The texture of this self-tanner is a mix of oil and lotion, so it glides on smoothly. It leaves no streaks whatsoever. It’s difficult to get an intense tan out of it. But if you wish to try, just apply it on two consecutive nights and watch a deeper tan develop.

  • What we like: gradual and natural result
  • What we don’t like: too subtle tan for some

Formulation: lotion | Result: gradual | Shade range: 1| Key ingredients: raspberry seed oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, caffeine | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free | Average rating: 4.1/5 | Price: $34 (8.45 oz)

Is Tan-Luxe vegan? Yes. Tan-Luxe is 100% vegan and certified by PETA. Some of their products used to contain silk but the brand reformulated those products to be fully vegan in 2019.

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora, Ulta

5. Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Dark Vegan Self Tanning Foam
Courtesy of Bondi Sands

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is the best vegan self-tanner for dark skin. In addition to Light/Medium, it has two dark shades: Dark and Ultra Dark. The foam texture is lightweight and easy to apply. The tan itself is deep and intense – we just wish it lasted longer.

  • What we like: best for deep tan, nice coconutty scent
  • What we don’t like: fades quite fast

Formulation: foam | Result: instant | Shade range: 3 | Key ingredients: aloe vera, coconut | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free | Average rating: 4.6/5 | Price: $24 (6.76 oz)

Is Bondi Sands vegan? Bondi Sands is not entirely vegan since some of their products contain beeswax. But the brand is PETA-certified animal test-free and has a large vegan selection.

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta

6. + Lux Unfiltered N°32 Hydrating Self Tanner

Lux Unfiltered N°32 Hydrating Vegan Self Tanning Cream
Courtesy of Lux Unfiltered

N°32 is an amazing natural vegan self-tanner. Developed by influencer Sivan Ayl while she was pregnant, it’s the most gentle and non-toxic tanning product on our list. The tan is gradual and natural-looking. And you can choose between two luxurious scents: Santal & Rosewood.

  • What we like: luxurious, hydrating, gradual
  • What we don’t like: not the best for an intense tan

Formulation: lotion | Result: gradual | Shade range: 1 | Key ingredients: shea butter, cocoa butter, vegan squalane, avocado oil, passion fruit oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, paraffin-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free | Average rating: 4.3/5 | Price: $36 (6.8 oz)

Is + Lux Unfiltered vegan? Yes. + Lux Unfiltered is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. The brand is not officially certified by any external organizations though.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

7. Beauty By Earth Self Tanner Mousse

Beauty by Earth Vegan Self Tanner Mousse
Courtesy of Beauty By Earth

Beauty By Earth Self Tanner Mousse is another vegan self-tanner we’ve come to love. It uses natural ingredients and leaves a natural result. The tan develops gradually and you can choose between three shades. We like that it also comes as a smaller travel-friendly version.

  • What we like: natural ingredients (incl. DHA), natural result
  • What we don’t like: some shades often out of stock

Formulation: mousse | Result: gradual | Shade range: witch hazel, grapeseed extract, vanilla | Key ingredients: X | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, synthetic dye-free, synthetic fragrance-free, sustainably made in the USA | Average rating: 4.3/5 | Price: $34.99 (7.5 oz)

Is Beauty By Earth vegan? Beauty By Earth is not entirely vegan as some of their products use beeswax or boar hair. The brand has a wide vegan selection and is Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free.

Shop on: Amazon, Target

8. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam Vegan Self-Tanner
Courtesy of Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey is a fantastic vegan self-tanner for that coveted bronzed goddess glow. It goes on evenly and the tan is instant. You can get the foam in a vegan self-tanning kit with a mitt and kabuki brush included. You can choose between Medium, Dark, and Ulta Dark tan.

  • What we like: instant tan, natural DHA
  • What we don’t like: a bit orange on fair skin

Formulation: foam | Result: instant | Shade range: 3 | Key ingredients: lotus extract, raw virgin coconut, mango, fig, cocoa | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, sustainably sourced ingredients | Average rating: 4.4/5 | Price: $35 (6.7 oz)

Is Coco & Eve vegan? Yes. Coco & Eve is 100% vegan and completely free of animal-derived ingredients. The brand is also certified animal test-free by PETA.

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta

9. MineTan Workout Ready Self Tanner Foam

MineTan Workout Ready Vegan Self Tanner Foam
Courtesy of MineTan

MineTan Workout Ready Self Tanner Foam is the best vegan self-tanner for busy people. It dries instantly and you can get dressed right after. It doesn’t transfer on your clothes or bedsheets. It also applies evenly. Made for the active lifestyle, this self-tanner is sweat-resistant.

  • What we like: dries instantly, sweat-proof, natural DHA
  • What we don’t like: strong scent

Formulation: foam | Result: instant | Shade range: 1 | Key ingredients: argan, macadamia, jojoba, rosehip, avocado oils | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, mineral oil-free, sulfate-free, palm oil-free, sustainably sourced ingredients | Average rating: 4.2/5 | Price: $34.95 (6.7 oz)

Is MineTan vegan? Yes. MineTan (also known as MineTan Body.Skin) is 100% vegan. The Australian-born company is also certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Main image: courtesy of Coola

My name is Liis. I have been a vegan for a long time and I advocate for the vegan lifestyle. Through Vegan Avenue, I aim to provide quality information about vegan products and bring attention to amazing vegan companies.