Trust me when I say that the patchy, orange fake-tan formulas of yesteryear are now entirely a thing of the past. Nowadays, for the most part, fake tan gives results that are pretty much as good as the real thing, if not better. But I know what you’re thinking: Why would anyone bother with fake tan right now when the sun is shining the way that is it?
Well, the beauty of using a fake tan as opposed to sitting outside in the sun for hours on end is that it is an entirely harmless act, unlike the indisputable, potentially life-threatening, definitely ageing and totally irreversible damage caused by UV rays. So why do people still insist on tanning the natural way? Well, frankly, fake tanning is a real faff, and people are still really quite scared of it.
Coming from someone who, up until a couple of years ago, was also absolutely petrified by the idea of fake tan going wrong, believe me when I say I know how you feel. Not only is the very act of applying it messy, time-consuming and laborious, the fear that you’ll be left with a patchy finish that can’t be removed is reason enough to avoid the task completely. However, I promise you that not all fake tans are scary. In fact, now they’re customisable, buildable and easy to use.
Don’t believe me? From gradual formulas to super-easy-to-apply drops, keep scrolling for the totally foolproof fake tans that are perfect for tanning novices.
For the Body
This new body formula from one of the best tanning brands out there, Isle of Paradise, couldn't be easier to use. Forget dry patches and moisturiser-induced streaks. This stuff is formulated with moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid for the ultimate hydrated glow. Plus, the formula itself is beautifully gradual.
Another hyaluronic acid–infused serum is this one from Tan-Luxe. If you like every aspect of your beauty routine to be a little more, well, luxe, then this one is for you. Simply pop a few pumps onto a mitt and apply all over for a transfer-free, deeply hydrated subtle glow.
Taking it one step further, this clear tanning mist from St. Tropez not only contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, but it is also infused with other skin-loving boosters such as vitamins C and D to boost glow. Simply spritz and blend with a mitt. It really is that easy.
For those who want dramatic results without the threat of uneven streaks and dry patches, look no further than Sunny Honey from Coco & Eve. In a more traditional mousse formula, it does have a guide colour that needs rinsing, but the nourishing ingredients mean it applies like silk. What's better is that the results are next-level. If you like a deep tan, this one's for you.
I have raved about this tan since it first came out. In fact, this was the stuff that first convinced me that not all fake tan is awful. The texture is whipped rather than foamy, which means dripping and smudging is virtually impossible. Plus, if you don't want such dramatic results, simply wash it off earlier than you usually would. It's seriously simple.
Ideal for those who like to be in control, this lightweight, oil-infused moisturiser not only nourishes dry limbs but also delivers a streak-free tanned glow. You can use it every day to build up the intensity or, if you're feeling cautious, just use it every few days.
If you don't want to commit to a full week of tan, fear not, wash-off tans are a thing too, and they're brilliant. This particular bronzing liquid from By Terry can be applied to the face or body for an antioxidant-rich glow.
For the Face
All too often, our glow is compromised because we have to apply SPF over the top. This self-tanning serum contains not only hyaluronic acid for deep hydration but also SPF30 for daytime protection. Simply switch out your daily serum for this stuff and you're good to go.
Avoid orange palms with this super-light bronzing water mist. With no blending necessary, just mist whenever you fancy (before makeup or after) for a buildable, natural-looking tan.
This is a personal favourite, and not a night goes by when I don't use this stuff. Also with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, it's hydrating and radiance-boosting, but it also has me waking up with a glow that looks seriously convincing and natural.
With jojoba, apricot and plum oils to create next-level suppleness and Omorovicza's famous healing concentrate, this face tanner really does feel more like an everyday skincare product than a fake tan.
Just like the body version, this serum is jam-packed with skin-loving ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to boost radiance and glow. Either apply directly onto the skin as a part of your skincare routine or add a few pumps to your SPF for a bronzed finish that develops within hours.
Sitting somewhere between a makeup product and a tanning product, this glow-giver contains pigment to offer up a perfecting finish, but it is also infused with gradual tan for long-term effects. I always get compliments whenever I apply this. That being said, I have a huge issue with it. The shade range is seriously shoddy.
Best used when mixed in with your go-to moisturiser, these drops give the most natural-looking, sun-kissed finish. Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterward!
Although Oskia isn't a tanning brand, this mist is without a doubt one of the best facial tanners out there. A quick mist over the face will deliver a radiant, glowing, healthy-looking tan.