The Best Bronzer For Dark Skin – 2023 Reviews And Top Picks

The Best Bronzer For Dark Skin

In our commitment to find products that will bring out the real beauty of women with medium to dark skin tones, we picked what we feel is the best bronzer for dark skin based on the products’ overall feel on the skin, ability to bring out the natural depth and structure of the face (or body,) and value for money.

Millennium Tanning Products’ Solid Black Tanning Lotion is a bronzer and a tan enhancer in one. Don’t be deceived by its “manly” packaging though since it can be used by women, too.

The Instant Bronzing Spray by Body Drench gives you a store-quality tan you could do at home. It comes in an easy spray bottle to ensure an effortless and convenient application.

People with dark skin tones and oily skin will love Covergirl’s Queen Collection Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer. It is also enriched with minerals that take care of your sun-kissed skin.

Choose Physicians Formula’s Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer for an instant and long-lasting bronzed glow. And unlike other brands, this product comes with its own brush.

Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick Compact is the perfect choice brown-skinned women who love shimmer. Its five layers help create a rosy and deep glow for a healthy-looking bronze.

#1 Solid Black Tanning Lotion by Millennium Tanning Products

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Solid Black Tanning Lotion by Millennium Tanning Products

This product is the best body bronzer for dark skin because it offers visible results in an instant. It is Amazon’s best seller in terms of body bronzers so you could never go wrong with this lotion.

This product has over 3,000 reviews – can you imagine that?

The packaging of this product is also very chic. It comes in a grey bottle with swirls and a cross on the front with the product name printed in white and bold letters.

If you’re a heavy metal fan, you’re going to dig this.

In terms of consistency, this body lotion is neither too thick nor thin, is very easy to spread, and does not leave a greasy feeling. It is also rich in moisturizers, leaving skin soft after application.

Easily absorbed by the skin, this tanning lotion-slash-bronzer dries quickly, perfect for those who want to get bronzed in a jiffy. It gives an evened-out tan without looking splotchy or streaky.

The scent of this body lotion for dark skin tones is divine. It smells like orchid and not that smell that comes with tanning lotions, so if you have issues with that, we recommend this for you.

It’s impressive that this product also contains some natural ingredients. These include walnut oil which improves the skin’s quality and texture and pecan seed oil which prevents dry skin.

Things We Liked

  • Provides instant results
  • Offers long-lasting results
  • Gives a streak-free tan
  • Does not make you look orangey

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not fragrance-free
  • Contains parabens
  • Complaints of lingering smell

#2 Instant Bronzing Spray by Body Drench

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Instant Bronzing Spray by Body Drench

This best body bronzer for dark skin gives you an instant bronze without worrying about the sun. It also has a subtle red undertone to it which gives you a sun-kissed, not sun burnt, look.

It comes in a spray bottle which makes it really to apply even for hard-to-reach areas like the shoulders and back. Aside from being hassle-free, this also allows for a mess-free application.

This tanning spray-slash-bronzer dries very quickly which makes it perfect for people on the go. In terms of longevity, the bronzer part has superior staying power as it can last all day.

We also love the smell that comes with this product. It has a subtle walnut scent that isn’t too overpowering and doesn’t compete once you have your cologne or perfume on.

This product also promises an evened-out look without looking streaky or blotchy. This is a good thing for us, because the last thing we want is bronzed skin that looks fake or made-up.

Aside from giving a beautiful sun-kissed look, this product ultimately cares for your skin. It contains Aloe Vera Leaf juice which soothes skin and black walnut that relieves from irritation.

Things We Liked

  • Dries quickly
  • Easy to apply
  • Offers a streak-free tan
  • Doesn’t make you look orangey

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can stain clothes
  • Is not fragrance-free
  • May not work for sensitive skin

#3 Queen Collection Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer by Covergirl

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Queen Collection Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer by Covergirl

A lot of women rave about this best bronzer for dark skin tones. Aside from complementing their natural skin color, this bronzer also does a great job at reducing and keeping oil away.

Enriched with minerals, this powder comes with a subtle shimmer for that radiant, sun-kissed glow. It is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and is safe even for people with sensitive skin.

Made for women of color, this product line comes in three different shades for girls with medium to dark skin tones. So no matter how light or dark you are, this product’s got you covered.

This bronzer comes with a brown bottom and a clear cover which makes it easier to see the shade before buying. It also has a built-in mirror which makes it perfect for contouring on the go.

A major complaint is that this product is densely packed. Though it goes on easily and smoothly, we find it a hassle to go back and forth since our brush can’t pick up that much in one go.

Things We Liked

  • Great for contouring purposes
  • Does not give out a dramatic look
  • Buildable without making you look cakey
  • Comparable to other high-end products

Things We Didn't Like

  • Contains parabens
  • Packaging looks a bit cheap

#4 Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer by Physicians Formula

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer by Physicians Formula

This best bronzer for medium dark skin promises a streak-free and an instant and long-lasting bronzed glow. It is very lightweight for a uniform, smooth, and healthy-looking sun-kissed glow.

This powder bronzer is formulated with antioxidants, moisturizers, and vitamins. Known as Glow Activators, these ensure you get a perfect bronze while caring for your skin at the same time.

Packaging-wise, it comes in a plastic compact that’s metallic bronze in color with a built-in mirror inside. You’ll then find a flat, small brush once you lift the bronzer pan.

There are also small holes at the bottom of the compact for ventilation purposes.

The product has a light shimmer to it and has a reddish undertone. The shimmer is so subtle it only shows up on bright or natural lighting, so you still have the option to use this for contouring.

In terms of texture, it is very smooth and soft which makes it easy to apply and blend. It is also very buildable, and when it comes to its staying power, this product can last you the whole day.

Things We Liked

  • Not very shimmery
  • Comes with its own brush applicator
  • Highly-pigmented
  • Travel-friendly packaging

Things We Didn't Like

  • Contains parabens

#5 Shimmer Brick Compact by Bobbi Brown

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Shimmer Brick Compact by Bobbi Brown

The name itself gives you the idea that this is the best shimmer bronzer for dark skin. We also think it also works well as eye shadows since there are 5 different colors layered in one pan.

The package warns about the product being fragile and you should be careful in handling it, and we couldn’t agree more. It is so soft and delicate that a single drop would break it into pieces.

Picking up the product with your brush is fairly easy with this shimmer brick due to its soft texture. In fact, you need to be as gentle as possible or you’ll end up wasting a lot of product.

When used as a highlighter, this palette creates a nice, healthy glow to your skin. There can be a lot of shimmer, but at least it’s not that glittery or chunky unlike other shimmery bronzers.

In terms of its staying power, it does have a long wear even for those with oily skin. And when it does begin to fade, it wears off evenly.

Things We Liked

  • Travel-friendly packaging with a built-in mirror
  • Highly pigmented
  • Has long staying power
  • Versatile: it can be used as a bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, or highlighter

Things We Didn't Like

  • The darker shades have a LOT of shimmer
  • Shimmer particles disperse around the pan’s edges
  • Very expensive

Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Bronzer for Dark Skin


Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Bronzer for Dark Skin 2017

Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Solid Black Tanning Lotion by Millennium Tanning Products
Best Bronzer for Pale Skin - Bronzing Powder Laguna by NARS
Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Queen Collection Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer by Covergirl
Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer by Physicians Formula
Best Bronzer for Dark Skin - Shimmer Brick Compact by Bobbi Brown


Millennium Tanning Products

Body Drench


Physicians Formula

Bobbi Brown



Spray bottle











13.5 fluid ounces

6 fluid ounces

0.39 ounces

0.3 ounces

0.4 ounces













Get Started

Can Bronzers Work for Women of Color?

Of course it can.

It can be a bit tricky though. People with fair skin are often envied since they almost always get away with it while us with dark skin tones, well, look like we just dived into a puddle of mud.

But no need to fret. We present to you some tips and tricks on how people with medium to dark skin tones can wear bronzers so we don’t end up looking bruised and ruddy.

Apply bronzers outdoors

Make natural light your best friend. With this being said, it is really not recommended to use your vanity lighting when applying bronzers.

Using vanity lighting will only make you look overdone the moment you step into natural light.

And besides, the shimmer that most bronzers contain is supposed to give you a nice, flattering glow and not blind the person looking at you.

Consider the size of your brush

An extra soft, large, and rounded brush is always advisable when applying bronzers. Using a small brush tends to pick up a lot of product in one go and can’t be spread easily.

If that’s a look you’re aiming for, you might as well pick up some mud and slap it on your face.

Take it easy with the shimmer

Yes, shimmer looks good, but learn to use it moderately. A face full of glitters and shimmers might look good on fair skin, but on dark skin, sparkly isn’t always attractive.

Choose a bronzer that contains a small amount of shimmer. If you think more glitter is needed, you can fix this by highlighting your cheekbones.

But if you’re mad for shimmers, just focus it on your chest, shoulders, and décolleté areas.

Use your left arm as your guide

Our left arm is usually darker since this arm is always rested on the driver’s side window when we drive. So when choosing a bronzer, go for something a shade darker than the left arm.

It seems weird, but it works.

Don’t use your bronzer as a foundation

Simply put, don’t apply it all over your face. Apply it only on areas where the sun naturally hits, like your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline.

Don’t forget to blush

Learning how to balance the use of blush and bronzers should be learned especially by women with dark skin tones.

Add a swipe of blush on the top part of your cheeks after your bronzer to brighten your complexion.


Getting a natural tan is frustrating if you’re a woman of color. They can make you look radiant and ethereal if applied correctly, but in the wrong hands, can turn you muddy and disgusting.

Not attractive.

The Solid Black Tanning Lotion by Millennium Tanning Products is this round’s best bronzer for dark skin. It uses Auto-Darkening Tan Technology to give you a beautiful tan that’s to die for.

Aside from darkening, this product is packed with moisturizers to ensure your skin is nourished while looking your best. It can be used all over your body for an even tan from head to toe.

This lotion also gives the right balance between price and quality. It is unfortunately fragranced, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to use this product with caution.

We also have a detailed buying guide about Best Bronzer For Pale Skin in case you want to check out.

Related Post

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

Leave a Comment