Product Feature

What Are Tanning Drops & Do They Work?

Get the tan + glow without the nasties of the sun

What Are Tanning Drops & Do They Work?

We’ve either done it, or thought about doing it. That sneaky spray tan before your holiday, beach day or event. It’s a constant quest for a seamless glow with a bottle of fake-it-till-you-make-it.

But these bottled tans are not only bulky, last a few uses and frankly quite pungent, these once sumptuous tanning foams can dehydrate the skin after a single use.

We’ve tried them all: foams, lotions and tanning waters, but it hasn’t been until tanning drops came into the market, that self tanning truly felt revolutionised. We’re here to guide you on what they are and how YOU can use it to achieve that perfect summer glow year round.

Self Tanning Drops in Bottles

What are self tanning drops?

Tanning drops are a concentrated solution that can be blended into moisturisers, serums or sunscreens of your choice. They are different to other tanning products because you simply blend droplets of the tan into your normal skincare routine. This can either be a process you do daily, or a customised blend for a weekend glow.

They generally come in a dropper bottle and can be added directly to the base of your choice straight away.

How do tanning drops work?

Tanning drops works in the same way as all your other sunless tanning products. It contains Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), also known as glycerone which is the main ingredient in your drugstore tanning sprays, lotions, gels & mousses. Created from sugar cane or sugar beets, it is a colour additive that reacts with your skin to turn it a darker shade temporarily. It’s made naturally and is non-toxic and should have no negative effects on your skin if used correctly.

DHA only penetrates the top layer of your skin (which is only dead skin cells) and is therefore temporary and fades as you dead skin cells shed off.

So long as you use DHA on your skin only, being careful around eyes, mouth and avoid applying it if you have an open cut or wound you will be fine.

Even if you are using fake tan, this doesn’t mean you are protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you are going outside, still apply sunscreen on any exposed parts of your body.

How do you use tanning drops & add them to your beauty routine?

One of the best things about self tanning drops is that you can seamlessly integrate them into your current beauty routine, no more hours spend exfoliating, spraying, buffing, washing.  This takes an extra few minutes every time you decide to top up.

  1. Start with clean, dry & exfoliated skin. We like to apply after shower and let the tan develop overnight.
  2. Pick your daily moisturiser, serum, face oil of your choosing.
  3. Add 1-10 droplets of self tanning drops into your chosen base.
    • For a lighter glow, start with 1 – 2 drops and for a darker tan, add more.
    • It is recommended to use between 1 – 4 drops for your face, and four or more drops for the rest of your body.
  4. How you blend these products is up to you: If we’re just applying to the face, we put both products into the palm of our hand. If we’re doing a larger body part such as legs, yhis can be done by placing the drops and moisturiser directly onto a tanning mitt or by cocktailing the ingredients in a dish before applying. If you’re new to this product, we recommend starting with a dish and blending the products to a consistency you’re most happy with and working from there.
  5. Apply in a circular motion for proper coverage.
  6. Wash your hands after applying!

We recommend going slow at the start to see how your body develops the tan with the product you’ve chosen, you can always build up to more in the coming days.

How long does it take for the tan to develop when using self tanning drops?

Your tan can develop in as soon as 4 hours, but like most tanning products, people see a significant difference overnight as your skin has longer to react to the formula.

But depending on the product and how gradual / how many drops you mix into your existing product, it could take up to 3 days if you prefer a more gradual and natural development of your tan (and to avoid your colleagues thinking you’re faking it).

How long will my self tan last?

Your tan should last anywhere between 4 – 10 days depending on the product you pick and how many drops you use per day.

Each skin type is different and everyone has a different rate of regenerating new skin cells. There are also many external factors to consider as well, such as hydration, maintenance through moisturising and sun exposure.

If you have a Vitamin A/Retinol product in your current skincare routine, you may need to top up with your tanning drops more frequently as Retinol increases the speed of your skin’s cell renewal process.

We recommend reading up on the self tanning product you’re intending to use.

What are the benefits of self tanning drops?

  • Self tanning drops generally have small packaging, meaning these products are really travel friendly.
  • Their formulas are designed so that even a couple of drops can achieve a gorgeous glow.
  • Not only are these bottles space-efficient, they last a long time, with enough drops per bottle to keep you #glowing for weeks on end. Imagine at least four bottles of tanning foam compacted into an equally efficient, single jar of self tan drops!
  • In addition, they contain ingredients designed to hydrate the skin. When shopping for tanning drops, be sure to look for ingredients that work best for you and your skin.
  • They don’t smell, they don’t leave streaks and best of all – requires no sun.
  • Lastly, they’re quick to apply and you don’t need to set a couple hours aside to self tan, it slots right into your daily routine which makes it a much less of a hassle.

There She Glows Self Tan Drops


These drops are Australian-made, vegan, sweat resistant and are almost completely natural!

Each ingredient plays a role in providing a tighter, healthier, supple glow.

Paulinia Cupana Seed Extract, which works to reduce sagginess and improve wrinkles around your eyes. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, which can block up to 30 percent of harmful ultraviolet rays! Not to mention, moisture locking antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Rutin and Phenolic Acid.



Self Tan Drops


Lightweight and easy to use, these self-tan drops are fuss-free and super easy to use.

Mix 1-4 drops into your daily moisturiser, serum, primer or face oil to build up your desired tan.

With coconut and hemp seed oil filtered through for that luscious tan, this will give your look that gentle Amalfi glow.

There’s quite a bit of volume in this bottle, so you’ll have plenty to test on your body before taking this baby on your next trip with you (we know you will).

Real sun is so last year.



Glow+ Self Tan Drops


These self tanning drops boast a Melanotone™ complex that contains melanin enhancing and skin firming peptides for that extra radiance.

Glow + Self Tan Drops are filtered with youth-enhancing Babchi Oil, a pressed seed that permeates the skin barrier and stimulates the cells in the epidermis.

Blended with Australian Quandong and Kakadu Plum, these ingredients combine to create younger looking skin overtime – a whole new meaning to a ‘healthy’ tan.



Self Tanning Drops

Isle of Paradise

These tanning drops hydrate the skin with coconut, chia seed and avocado oils to create a supple, nutrition filled tan.

These drops are ideal for sensitive skin and come in three shades, light with Oxy-Glow™ complex for a brighter complexion, medium with green pigments to assist with redness, and dark to counteract sallow and orange tones.



H2O Tan Drops

James Read Tan

James Read’s tanning drops are ultra lightweight, gradually building a gentle and natural tan.

These drops can be added to your daily routine rather than in a once-off application. They are infused with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to prevent streaks and provide moisture to the skin, which will keep your skin dewy and fresh on your travels.



Tan Luxe

The Face

A tanning concentrate boosted with soothing raspberry seed oil, aloe vera and vitamin E, TAN-LUXE THE FACE creates a streak free, scentless tan. Build the perfect tan without the orange tones.

Add to any moisturiser, face oil or serum for an integrated way to tan.



Self Tanning Drops


These award winning drops contain High Energy Visible (HEV) Melanin to protect against the ageing effects of not only the sun outside, but the blue lights emitted from our phones and computers.

An undamaging glow will develop just hours after mixing these drops into your favourite moisturiser or serum. Also comes in a small travel friendly dropper to bring along with your travels.



Beach Glow Tan Drops

Crystal Clear Skincare

The Crystal Clear tanning drops are easy to use and promote that healthy summer glow without the damaged skin or premature aging.

These drops are infused with coconut oil and DHA Plus, a breakthrough ingredient filled with essential Omega-3 fats that help soften and moisturise you skin in the same process.



Glow – Radiance Booster


Hylamide’s vegan booster works a little differently to the oil-based tan drops on the market.

Glow uses keto-sugar and melanin peptides combined with a raspberry derived alternative to the normal self tanning ingredient, DHA, that reacts with your skin to create a natural looking tan.

This cosmic blend will take a couple of days to see visible results. Apply twice daily to achieve a next-generation golden tan.



Have you tried self tanning drops?

Let us know what products you have added them to or what brands you might have tried!

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