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Best bronzing mousse

Which bronzing mousse is best?

Having a sun-kissed glow can give your skin a healthy look, but actually soaking up the sun’s rays to get a tan isn’t good for you at all. Self-tanners offer an excellent alternative, but they take time to develop. That’s where bronzing mousse comes in — not only does it instantly add color to your skin, it becomes deeper over several hours. A mousse contains hydrating ingredients to help moisturize the skin, so your tan looks and feels great. Those emollient ingredients also help the product spread across the skin, making for easier application.

Our top pick from Skinerals contains a blend of natural and organic ingredients in a formula that’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free and vegan.

What to know before you buy a bronzing mousse


Bronzing mousse has a light, foamy consistency, making it simpler to apply than other self-tanning formulas. It doesn’t drip or run when you apply it and soaks into the skin more easily to reduce the drying time and limit the mess.


As with any product you apply to your skin, choose a bronzing mousse with high-quality ingredients. All self-tanning products contain DHA, which is what reacts with your skin to create the sun-kissed glow. Bronzing mousse typically contains additional moisturizing and nourishing ingredients, including vitamins and other antioxidants, as well as plant-based oils.

In addition to paying attention to what’s in your bronzing mousse, make sure it doesn’t contain anything you don’t want, either. You can find a variety of formulas free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic fragrances.

What to look for in a quality bronzing mousse


Many bronzing mousse formulas are available in multiple shades so you’re able to get the precise tan depth you’re after. You can choose from options like light, medium and deep. In most cases, you should use your natural skin tone as a guide to select a bronzing mousse shade. If you’re fair, opt for a lighter tone to give yourself a more natural tan. If you have darker skin, you need a deeper shade to get a richer tan.


Bronzing mousse typically comes in a bottle with a pump top. You can dispense the product directly into your hand and apply it with your fingers, but that can get messy. Some bronzing mousses include a glove or mitt to wear on your hand so you’re able to spread the product over your skin without staining your fingers.


Bronzing mousse is available in a variety of bottle sizes, with most ranging from 4 to 8 ounces. In most cases, the larger the bottle is, the better overall value you get.

How much you can expect to spend on a bronzing mousse

You usually pay between $10 and $50 for bronzing mousse. Drugstore brands with lower quality ingredients go for $10 to $15, while higher-quality brands generally cost between $15 and $30. For a premium bronzing mousse, expect to pay between $30 and $50.

Bronzing mousses FAQ

How long does it take for a bronzing mousse to dry?

A. Because of its lightweight, airy texture, bronzing mousse absorbs into the skin much quicker than other self-tanner formulas. In most cases, it dries within a minute or two.

How long does a bronzing mousse last on the skin?

A. It depends on the formula, but most tans from a bronzing mousse last between three and seven days.

What's the best bronzing mousse to buy?

Top bronzing mousse

Skinerals’ Californium Sunless Bronzer

What you need to know: A bronzing mousse that provides a long-lasting tan, it features natural ingredients that are good for the skin.

What you'll love: It provides a natural, even tan. Containing organic ingredients that help hydrate the skin, the company donates a portion of its proceeds to skin cancer research.

What you should consider: It dries very quickly, so it can sometimes streak.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bronzing mousse for the money

Miami Gorgeous’ LaPlaya Glow Self-Tanning Mousse

What you need to know: An easy-to-use bronzing mousse, it works well for both pale and deeper skin tones but won’t break the bank.

What we like: It offers a natural tan, even for fair skin and builds easily for those with a deeper skin tone. It has a subtle, fresh scent.

What you should consider: The formula is runnier than other bronzing mousses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

St. Moriz’s Instant Self-Tanning Mousse

What you need to know: This bronzing mousse delivers a natural tan quickly and fades evenly, too.

What we like: It works extremely quickly and includes an applicator mitt to protect your hand.

What you should consider: It can rub off on clothes, so it’s best to wear clothing you don’t care about while it’s developing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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