Self Tanning

We review some of the best self-tanning products in our latest ratings comparison to help you ‘get your glow on’ for summer.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in October 2014, published in October 2014.

See Our Ratings Methodology


Most Satisfied Customers | St Tropez

While some certainly distinguished themselves, St. Tropez topped the ratings for overall customer satisfaction – earning this brand our award.

The benefits of tanning at home

Four in five of the respondents to our recent survey think they look better with a nice tan. However Aussies everywhere need to be careful to balance looking good with top tier skin protection.

Close to two in five regularly sunbathe, but it’s good to know that an even more significant four in five are concerned about skin cancer. According to Cancer Council Queensland, skin starts to burn in as little as 15 minutes when exposed to the sun. Furthermore, more than 430,000 Australians require skin cancer treatment every year.

We can have our cake and eat it too though! Self-tanning or fake tan products can help save Australians from harmful sun exposure, and help us look good in the process.

Here are four of the benefits of using ‘sunshine in a bottle’:

  1. Two thirds of survey respondents feel that self-tanning products are reasonably priced (the average Aussie spends roughly $27 a month on these products).
  2. Most of these products have built-in moisturisers, making them good all-round skincare products.
  3. Using these products gives you more opportunities to keep an eye on your skin for moles and growths that may need to be looked at by a healthcare professional.
  4. More than three-quarters of Australians prefer self-tanning products because the products afford them greater control over the colour and intensity of their tan.

Self-tanning brands go head to head in our awards

It can be difficult to tell which of the many self-tan products is best for you, given how many brands are currently available. In our inaugural ratings in this category, six names have made our list for 2014. While some certainly distinguished themselves, St. Tropez topped the ratings for overall customer satisfaction – earning this brand our award.

St. Tropez was followed closely by Palmer’s, who received five stars in three of our survey criteria. Also rated were Dove, Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, and Nivea.

Frequently asked questions

St. Tropez

St. Tropez is quick to distinguish itself as a tanning brand first and foremost. It even says on the company’s “About Us” page that one of its tanning products is used every minute of every day.

This award-winning brand received five stars for overall satisfaction, quality of the colour, number of applications required, and how long tanning products lasts before fading.

Products Available: St. Tropez lists many different tanning products on its website. Take a look at the bronzing mousses, powders, lotions, sprays, and gradual tan products by clicking the brand name in our results table.


Garnier is 100 years old – that’s a significant amount of time to craft the perfect beauty products for consumers. While the company is well known for its home hair colouring, its range of skincare and self-tanner products are definitely worth taking a close look at too.

Products Available: If you’re looking for a wealth of bronzing products, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Garnier. They have sprays, gels, milks, and mousses for light, medium, and intense tans.


Dove is primarily focussed on empowering women by boosting their confidence in how they look. Its range of beauty products are targeted at doing just that, especially the products designed to give skin tones a richer appearance.

Products Available: Dove produces a series of moisturising lotions (e.g. Summer Glow) that, over time, develop a light tan.


Winner of several Australian beauty awards, Palmer’s is a popular brand for anyone looking for the natural bronze look. This brand secured five stars in our survey for value for money, and for how well it holds to skin (i.e. it doesn’t rub off on clothing).

Products Available: Palmer’s has several bronze body sprays and lotions, and one bronzer that reportedly work instantly. They are widely available across Australia.

L’Oréal Paris

L’Oréal is one of the more glamorous brands historically, originating in France and often showcasing new products on gorgeous celebrities (such as Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds). L’Oréal markets its products to shoppers in hopes of giving them a professional makeup experience at home.

Products Available: L’Oreal’s Sublime Bronze gel promises a “sun-kissed glow” for anyone who uses it. It can be applied to both your face and body, and contains vitamin E to keep your skin looking natural.


Nivea has endeavoured to protect customers from sunburn for decades, and it continues to do so today with a wide range of options.

Products Available: Nivea’s After Sun Lotions contain formulas to keep your skin moist and tanned.

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 2,500 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used self-tanning products in the last three months – in this case, 448 customers.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Latest self-tanning articles


What happened to sunbeds?

Mr Kellogg, the man who also invented Corn Flakes, made the first sunbed way back in the 1890s. It was called ‘The Incandescent Light Bath”, and for a very long time, everyone thought this invention …

– Read more

Fix your tanning disaster

Have you ended up with tiger stripes? Are your orange palms a dead giveaway of your fake bronze? Have you accidentally turned yourself into one of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas? No tan is perfect, and neither …

– Read more

Things to avoid if you have a fake tan

Have a fake tan? Here are some thing to avoid – or to at least treat with caution. Water Okay, not all water, but contact with water stops the tanning process and can also turn you into …

– Read more

Should you tan yourself or go to the salon?

Wouldn’t we all love to have a beautiful sun-kissed glow all year long? Even in the cold and gloomy winter months? Faux-tanning products are the answer to this dilemma, and are a lot safer than …

– Read more
Bride getting hair makeup done

Self-tanning tips for bridal parties

To spray or not to spray? It’s a question many brides ask. According to Canstar Blue research, the majority of Australians who use self-tanning products say they only use them for special occasions. Since 85% of …

– Read more