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The Best In-Shower Self Tanners for a Natural Glow

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
The Best In-Shower Self Tanners for a Natural Glow

Everyone wants that sun-kissed glow; you’d be lying if you said you don’t!

The thing is, not everyone has the time to sunbathe on beaches or go to tanning salons.

And then they came up with self-tanning lotion. But there are far too many steps, and it takes so long to achieve the shade we want.

The solution? Self-tanners that you can use DURING a shower. It’s quick, easy, and affordable. Here are five of the best in shower self tanner options in the market.


Sunshimmer In-Shower Self Tan Lotion


Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion


St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

The 5 Best In Shower Self Tanners

Let’s explore the different brands that offer an in shower self tanner and see which one is for you!

1) Best Overall: Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion

Self-tanners can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time doing this yourself. This one from Jergens is just a lotion; it’s easy and convenient to apply as an in-shower self-tanner.

Other self-tanners are too intense that you end up being more orange than you like.

This self-tanning lotion from Jergens gives you a gradual tan that you can build up over a week.

We also like that it applies to damp skin, allowing less product use but more absorption.

You’re not only feeling fresh but also glowing with sun-kissed skin – all within the comfort of your shower!

In Shower Self Tanner Product Description

  • Medium to tan skin tone
  • You can apply it on wet skin
  • Dries fast and absorbs quickly
  • The colorless formula helps with minimal transfers
  • 7-day claim for results


  • It saves you a lot of waiting time!
  • Affordable self-tanning solution
  • It also moisturizes dry skin besides tanning
  • Gradual tanning allows for shade adjustment
  • No harsh odor. It has a light and fresh scent.


  • Results are not as instant.
  • It works on wet skin; but is not too moist. The drying process can be time-consuming for some.
  • Can have some orange shades if applied too much

2) Best Value: St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

If we’re talking about effectiveness, you can’t go wrong with St. Tropez. Although it’s more high-end and comes in smaller sizes, you’ll see results in no time.

Who doesn’t want convenient self-tanners you can use after a warm shower?

The St. Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower Lotion can guarantee results if you have the budget to spare.

Almost everyone who used this self-tanning lotion saw changes in three days, and the tan is in a beautiful shade that looks naturally sun-kissed!

In Shower Self Tanner Product Description

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Paraben-Free
  • Sulfate-Free
  • Phthalate-Free
  • 100% Naturally-Derived DHA


  • It doesn’t contain unwanted chemicals for the skin
  • Results show within three (3) days
  • You can apply this lotion evenly and streak-free because it works on wet skin.
  • It contains sweet almond ingredients to keep your skin hydrated.


  • You cannot use it on the face
  • Pricey

3) Best Budget Pick: Sunshimmer In-Shower Self Tan Hydrating Lotion by Rimmel

This Sunshimmer self-tanner from Rimmel is perfect if you’re not ready to commit to a tan. It comes in a small 200 mL lotion tube and gives a subtle but instant tan – nothing too serious.

Not everyone’s hyped about this in-shower self-tanner by Rimmel, but some swear by it. This may not be for you if the goal is to achieve a dark tan.

But for a beautiful, subtle glow, the Sunshimmer works wonders. It’s also more affordable than many high-end self-tan products.

In Shower Self Tanner Product Description

  • 1-minute application
  • Applies onto wet skin
  • Hydrating and streak-free


  • Quick and easy to apply
  • Instant tan
  • Subtle self-tanner


  • Subtle results may not satisfy those who prefer a darker tan
  • It can be streaky if the skin is not prepped correctly

4) Jergens Natural Glow Color Primer Exfoliating In-Shower Body Scrub

This one from Jergens is an exfoliator scrub that still gives you a subtle glow after your shower.

We know that this isn’t precisely a tanner. But it’s worth mentioning since it contributes to the best results.

Self-tanners work better when paired with other products. There aren’t a lot of in-shower self-tanners in the market, but there many ways to optimize results – this is one of them.

If you’re dealing with skin dryness, this exfoliator is the answer.

In Shower Self Tanner Product Description

  • Fruit-extract complex
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Contains salicylic acid
  • Best for dry skin


  • It prepares the skin for self-tanners
  • Achieve streak-free results with this scrub
  • It has a fresh scent


  • Not an in-shower self-tanner (more of a primer)

5) b.tan Self Tanner | Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse

This one from b.tan isn’t precisely an in-shower self-tanner– it’s a pre-shower variant. It works the same as the others on the list; only you apply it before the warm shower.

It’ll be better if this one hydrates the skin. Unfortunately, self-tan doesn’t work as well on dryer skin. It may appear streaky, particularly if your skin isn’t moisturized well.

But besides that, the b.tan Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That gives off a nice tan. It’s best for short staycations or quick beach trips, although we don’t see it as a long-term self-tanner.

In Shower Self Tanner Product Description

  • Medium-deep skin tone
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Develops in 9 minutes


  • No need for separate tanners on the body and face – this one works on both.
  • It has a pleasant scent
  • Effective and loved by many
  • Easy application


  • Not as moisturizing as the lotion variations
  • Fades easily

What Is an In Shower Self Tanner?

As the name suggests, an in-shower self-tanner is a fake tan you can use in the shower.

It is unique because it works on damp skin, which a normal fake tan will wash off if mixed with warm water.

A damp skin provides a porous surface that improves the absorption of self-tanner products. The application is also more even and streak-free.

How Does an In Shower Self Tanner Work?

Simply put, think of a fake tan as a skin dye.

It “colors” your skin, but not all at once. It’s subtle and buildable.

The difference between a regular and in-shower self-tanner is the thin solvent found in the latter. It stops the DHA from dissolving when it comes into contact with water.

Lastly, rinse the self-tanning product in the shower (warm water is always better). The tan will gradually develop within eight hours, depending on how your skin reacts.

How to Improve Your Tan in 4 Steps

Tanning products are not magical. Don’t expect your skin to magically transform with only one or two applications. You should do your PART, too!

1. Prep the Skin

Moisturize! Exfoliate! Shave!

Many people complain about a streaky tan and blame it on the product. We forget that the base is vital to the results! Dry, textured skin will result in patchiness.

Before applying your self-tanner, don’t forget to exfoliate, moisturize, and shave, if needed—the smoother your canvas, the better the results.

2. Apply Correctly

Another common mistake is not following instructions. Although self-tans work similarly, each product has a correct way of application.

We know how time-consuming reading the manual is, but it’s worth it for the best results. Applying it correctly goes a long way!

3. Refrain from a Dripping Wet Surface (DAMP IS BETTER.)

Most of these tans say that you can apply them on wet skins. If we’re to choose a better term, it should be damp. This level of wetness is perfect for absorption!

A dripping wet surface leads to unevenness since it can flow to other body parts, making a particular area darker than the rest.

4. Trial and Error

The reality is that you’ll go through many products before finding the perfect one for your skin. As the mantra goes, what works for you may not work for me.

There will be a lot of trials and errors; enjoy the process! It helps you know your skin and yourself better, too.

But to minimize the cost and save more time, you can start with the products on this list. They’re tried and tested by many, so there’s a higher chance that they work well for you.

In Shower Self Tanner Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Let’s answer some questions about in-shower self-tanners!

How Are In Shower Self Tanners Different from Regular Ones?

In-shower self-tanners don’t dissolve when they get wet.

Regular self-tanning lotions (like other products) typically wash off with water; in-shower tans do not. It’s useful for people who don’t like waiting long hours for self-tanning.

Do In Shower Self Tanners Last Longer?

Not necessarily.

The fading of a tan depends on your skin type, activities, and shower frequency. The primary difference between regular and in-shower self-tanners is the reaction to wet skin.

And lastly, if you compare it to professional tanning services, the answer is no.

Does Shower Tanning Work?

Yes, an in shower tan works.

However, it’s not a miracle product! You need to use these products subjectively, open to adjustments, errors, and varying results.

A shower tan is sufficient for DIY tanning but won’t compare to professional services. A shower product isn’t for you if you want a more long-term tan.

Should You Moisturize Before Fake Tanning?

Yes, always moisturize well before a tan!

It works better on prepped skin. Think of your skin as a canvas. The smoother and more untextured it is, the better the tan appears.

Otherwise, patchy skin makes the product cling onto the wrong parts, and it won’t look as good!

Summary of Top In Shower Self Tanner Picks

Let’s recap! Here are our best self-tan products.

Best Overall – Jergens Natural Glow In Shower Lotion

Hydration and tanning in one product? Yes!

We have to give the best overall title to this one from Jergens because it’s one of the few self-tanning products that genuinely work and help moisturize the skin.

It’s subtle and gradual, nothing too intimidating even for first-time tan users.

Best Value – St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion Light

This St. Tropez one is perfect if you’re looking for a high-end tanner.

It’s not as affordable as drugstore products, but it makes the skin happy; isn’t that what we want?

Best Budget Pick – Sunshimmer In-Shower Self Tan Hydrating Lotion by Rimmel

This one from Rimmel works wonderfully for our newbies who don’t want to commit. It’s not as expensive or intense on the skin – it’s just right!

Final Verdict

As much as we love taking our sweet time in the shower with all the fancy products, we’re more frequently in a rush to finish showering.

We’re pretty sure it’s not just us.

These in shower self tanners are heaven-sent, perfect for when we’re lazy but still want stunningly sun-kissed skin. Get that tan!