Acne and Self Tanners - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic

Acne and Self Tanners

Acne and self tanners go hand in hand. If you have acne prone skin and want a glowing sunless tan, keep reading!

Do you want clear skin?

We all know that self-tanner is a safe, UV-free way to get the sun-kissed look of someone who’s been on a beach somewhere, recently, living their best life. But did you know that not all self-tanners are created equal? Some must sit on your skin for an agonizing amount of time, while others are hard to apply evenly. But more important than the application is what it’s doing to your skin.

An alarming number of self-tanners and skincare products contain pore clogging ingredients. But are there any sunless tanners that an acne prone person can use without suffering a breakout?

Do Self-Tanners Cause Acne?

Although sunless tanning products alone should not cause you to develop acne, many of these products do cause acne-prone skin to break out. They can also worsen existing acne flareups.

The chemicals used in many self tanners can irritate the skin – especially sensitive skin – and worse, clog pores. This can lead to excessive oil on the skin and a build-up of acne-causing bacteria that becomes trapped in the pores. This combination leads to the ideal conditions for acne to accumulate.

The good news is that not all self tanning products are created equal. When you choose a self-tanner for acne-prone skin, you don’t have to sacrifice a good tan for clear skin.

For acne on the body, there are still some self-tanners which you can use, and generally, non-comedogenic self-tanners are also suitable for use with acne.

Some ingredients that those with acne-prone skin should steer clear of include:

  • Sodium chloride (salt)
  • Alcohols, such as SD Alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol
  • Coconut oil and cocoa butter
  • Fragrance and essential oils
  • Isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate

Prep Your Body for Sunless Tanner

For the best results, you can prepare your body for self-tanning products by doing the following:

Exfoliate your elbows, around your cuticles, and around the ankles, where dead skin cells tend to build up before you apply self-tanner to ensure an even application. You might want a body scrub. At Beach Beauty Bar we have a personal favorite – Merry Berry and Bright Scrub, but if you’ve already got your own favorite, whatever exfoliation works best for you will give you a nice clean canvas for the self-tanner to work on. Shaving your legs right before using self-tanners can help, too.

Use an applicator like the ULTA Sunless Mitt. It makes it way easier to get an even, consistent result — and at $6, it’s a frugal investment.

Always do a small patch test to make sure you like the color pay-off and the formula doesn’t irritate your skin. Patch test on an area of your body that will be easy to cover in case you don’t like the results. Remember, even if a self-tanner product is non-comedogenic, the rest of the ingredients might not mesh with your unique skin.

Acne-Safe Sunless Tanning

If you opt for a professional or in-booth spray tan, avoid spraying your face and utilize an acne-safe sunless tanning home application for your face or use bronzer as mentioned below. There is a near-endless number of tanners on the market, so to help you find self-tanners that won’t make you look like a cheetah or smell horrible or clog your pores and cause acne, we have a few fan favorites to share here.

We are big fans of using acne-safe facial bronzer to add a golden glow to your face. Bronzer washes off and if it’s safe, you’ve got nothing to worry about. We love our Stitch Cosmetic’s Loose Mineral Bronzer for just a kiss of color.

If you want a little more permanent color without the use of makeup, opt for

THE FACE Illuminating Self-Tan Drops by TAN LUXE. This cruelty- and toxin-free concentrate transforms your favorite moisturizer into a bespoke self tanner. We recommend a few drops in your Moisture Clear for a beautiful glow.

We love Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self-Tanning Liquid Spray 6 oz. as an at-home self tanner that is acne safe and produces a beautiful tan.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster is another winner in this golden glow getter galaxy!

The Takeaway

Overall, some products can be slightly irritating for your acne, while others are perfectly fine. Follow recommendations or look at ingredient lists in order to determine whether a certain product is suitable for you. If you’re unsure or need some advice on what you can use, give us a call & schedule your consultation today.

Don’t let your acne take over your life, and know that you can still use self-tanners, even if you do have acne.

There are great options available to develop a rich golden glow without having to damage your skin by the sun. You have spent a lot of time, energy, and money to get clear. Don’t ruin it with a spray tan that only lasts a short time.

Cheers to clear!


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