Stretch marks are extremely common and normal, often appearing due to growth, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, etc.
They appear as jagged, whitish lines on your skin and last for life. For some, they are cute tiger stripes but there are others out there who’d rather see one, uniform skin tone throughout and that’s understandable too. It can be tricky to get stretch marks to blend in with the rest of your skin because of the different texture they have from the rest. This is especially important when it comes to choosing the right self tanner for the job at hand.
Hence, I’ve put together this list of the best self tanners to cover stretch marks.
#1 St. Tropez Self Tan Express
The first self-tanner on our list and the best choice overall is this 100% natural DHA, vegan friendly formula by St. Tropez in the form of a lightweight and velvety mousse.
Depending on how long you wait to shower after application, the darker your tan will turn out. One hour is recommended for a light tan, 2 hours for a medium golden bronze, and up to 3 hours for a deep tan to match a dark skin tone.
It’s best to wait a few minutes before getting dressed right after applying, and using a tanning mitt is advised to ensure streak-free results. Check out our own tanning mitt here – blackout tanning mitt. Keep in mind if you are in a hurry, there are still various other ways to apply self tanner without a mitt.
One of the really great things about this one is that it doesn’t have that fake tan smell but rather a faint but nice one. Plus, the formula isn’t sticky at all, making it easier to put on.
The tan should develop within 4-8 hours, so it’s a good idea to do it in the evening.
There are several things you can do before and after applying your self tanner to guarantee good results, such as exfoliating beforehand and what to wear right after application.
- Natural and vegan
- Lightweight mousse
- A bit pricey
#2 Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Lotion
The Beauty by Earth self tanner has a formula that consists of shea butter, aloe vera, green tea extract, and coconut oil all work towards hydrating your skin without the use of toxins or dyes.
Hence, it’s perfectly safe to use on the face as well as the body, especially for acne-prone skin.
It also works excellently with all skin types, including pale and fair skin tones thanks to the use of nourishing and natural ingredients that support a gentler tan that easily matches your complexion. For more information on tanning advice for pale skin check here – spray tan tips for pale skin.
You won’t find any kind of paraben, phthalates, or chemical-based active ingredients in this recipe; there is zero negative impact on your skin or the environment by using this formula.
With this product, less really is more especially for areas with looser skin.
Due to how lightweight the formula is, it doesn’t always work at masking stretch marks on darker skin tones. However, you can always experiment by waiting longer periods between showering to deepen the tan.
Taking a better look at the ingredients, you can notice that the majority of them are directed at hydrating the skin and evening out skin tone, which are perfect for stretch marks especially.
Aloe vera soothes, lightens blemishes, and is anti-aging, and shea butter does all the same whilst reducing inflammation.
Coconut oil, another moisturizing agent, is also antibacterial, antifungal, and thus reduces inflammation too. Japanese green tea leaf extract evens out discoloration, boosts healing, and eliminates bacteria.
Witch hazel extract is another protective agent as it acts as a barrier, protecting your skin cells from inflammatory substances.
There’s also cranberry fruit extract, and cranberries are high in vitamins C and E which work towards fighting free radicals and minimizing blemishes too.
Jojoba seed oil and argan oil both nourish the skin, heal infections and thus help treat acne and fade imperfections as a whole.
Moreover, all of these natural ingredients make up a really lovely scent.
- Natural formula
- Recommended for pale skin tones
- Great for acne-prone skin
- Chemical free
- Not always dark enough for some skin
#3 Skinerals Sunless Tanning Mousse
The next best tanning lotion for stretch marks is the Skinerals sunless tanning mouse; another great example of an all-natural and organic formula that is safe for all types of skin.
The green-based solution counteracts any potentially ‘fake’ orange. Plus, it’s perfectly fine to use this one on the face as well, since it isn’t greasy at all there’s no chance of it worsening acne.
The formula contains antioxidants such as fig extracts and acai berry that help with evening out skin tone and reducing the appearance of blemishes. Moreover, it is cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and aerosol-free.
It’s recommended to apply this one in the evening to wake up to a glowing tan without blotches or streaks that can last up to 7 days.
Application is super easy since it’s lightweight, non-sticky, and dries in just a few minutes.
For those sensitive to smell, this one is ideal for you because the scent is extremely light.
One bottle should last about 4-8 full body applications and using a mitt (like our blackout tanning mitt) does help with smooth application but is not an absolute must.
- Very light scent
- Natural formula
- Not greasy
#4 Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Mousse
This line of Beauty by Earth self tanner mousse comes in two different shade options. There’s the fair to medium option which is directed at pale skin or cool undertones, or the medium to dark for olive skin and warm undertones.
Determining your undertone can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t know anything about it. Check out this article here on how to understand the different undertones – spray tan for black skin.
The formulas are vegan and certified cruelty free, so there are no worries or concerns when it comes to using these products.
The tan should start to develop after about 4-6 hours and would need to be reapplied every 4-7 days, depending on how you maintain the self tan.
Application is a breeze, especially when using a tanning mitt, and it dries extremely quickly.
The majority of the ingredients in this formula have anti-inflammatory properties but they also have numerous other beneficial uses.
Yerba mate leaf extract helps prevent infections from fungi, parasites, and bacteria, Vitis vinifera seed extract is ideal for acne-prone and/or oily skin, and glycyrrhiza glabra root extract boosts healing and evens out skin tone.
Moreover, chamomile flower extract also boosts healing as well as hydration, rosemary leaf extract reduces swelling and puffiness, boosts healing, and is soothing to the skin.
Pine bark extract reduces blemishes and fine lines, protects the skin from environmental damage, whilst witch hazel extract is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin by acting as a barrier.
Last to mention but not least, yucca root extract has cleansing, soothing, calming, antioxidant, and anti-septic properties to skin.
- Gentle on the skin
- Lots of natural ingredients
- Two shade options
- Light mousse
#5 Miami Gorgeous Self Tanning Mousse
The Miami Gorgeous self tanning mousse gives off a natural medium to dark tone with a lightweight consistency that holds its texture well and doesn’t run when applied.
It is gluten free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free, and DHA eco certified.
While this can be applied with your hands, using a mitt makes it a breeze that doesn’t require any effort. Although, you do need to use quite a bit of the product for full body coverage.
Being a mousse, it is a bit sticky and can take up to 40 minutes to completely dry but once it is dry and results will be without streaks as long as the application is not rushed.
Infused with argan oil, coconut oil, vitamin A, C, D, olive oil, jojoba oil, and elderflower extract. Having natural oils and vitamins included makes it a great option to use on sensitive skin and even on the face. They also contribute a lot when it comes to smooth, glowing results.
It does have your typical self tanner smell without any nice fragrance but this does go away once the tan has developed.
- Easy application
- Nice medium to dark results
- Good for all skin types, including sensitive skin
- Only few applications per bottle
- Takes a while to dry and is a bit sticky
- No fragrance
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Self-tanner Help Cover Stretch Marks?
Not all self tanners are effective to covering up stretch marks, due to the difference in texture of the skin.
Although self tanners are unlikely to make stretch marks completely disappear, there are some that can definitely help make them blend better with the rest of your skin tone. How achievable this is can depend on the size and variety of color your stretch marks have from the rent of your skin.
It’s important to apply the same amount of product all over your body, so as not to have the reverse effect of what wants to be achieved.
How Do You Cover Stretch Marks with Self-Tanner?
Simply apply self tanner all over your body as you usually would. It helps to use a tanning mitt in order to buff the product and make for streak-free results.