The best fake tan - according to Mumsnetters
Whether you're planning outfits for wedding season or putting together your capsule holiday wardrobe, a golden glow is the finishing touch to any summer look. If the words “fake tan” tend to conjure images of Donald Trump and the aroma of biscuits for you, look no further than this list of Mumsnetter-approved self-tanners than will leave you bronzed and beautiful (with ne'er a streak in sight).
St Moriz Self Tanning Mousse & Tanning Mitt, £6.95
St Moriz has become something of a cult classic in the search for the perfect fake tan. With its fast-action formula and no tell-tale smell, this mousse is ideal for those looking for a natural, quick-fix tan on your face and your body. You can control the final shade of your tan by applying the mousse for one hour if you're looking for a light glow, two hours for a medium tan or three hours for a deep hue. It's dermatologically tested too, so you can rest assured that this formula won’t irritate even the most sensitive of skin.
“I'm evangelical in my praise for St Moriz. The mousse is foolproof – it slips on super-fast and dries quickly too.”
“Another pale St Moriz fan here. The stuff is really easy to use with a mitt or latex gloves (I have tried the mousse and spray and both are good). No horrid fake tan smell either – go for it.”
“My St Moriz (medium colour) arrived in today's post and I slapped it on at 11am. I have been doing lots of exfoliating and moisturising over the last week. So far I am VERY impressed. No streaking and it looks really natural. I'm very fair skinned and all other self-tans have just made me look dirty and have gone patchy after a day or two so that I then look like a dirty giraffe! This was really easy to apply (and I am really rubbish at doing stuff like this). I've just had a shower and the colour looks lovely.”Buy it now
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam, £14.99
When it comes to that natural, sunkissed glow, nobody does it better than those effortlessly bronzed, surfboard-carrying Aussie babes. Now you might not have Bondi Beach on your doorstep, but with Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam, you’ll definitely have the glow. Enriched with aloe and Vitamin E, it does as good a job of caring for your skin as it does tanning it – and, thanks to its moisturising properties, the natural-looking colour lasts longer so you don’t have to reach for that fake tan remover too soon.
“You won't regret it – I used St Tropez for the longest time but switched to Bondi Sands on a recommendation and haven't looked back!”
“Bondi Sands is a clear winner for me too. I've used them all.”
“I've used pretty much everything and it's the one that works best for me and quite a few of my friends.”Buy now from Superdrug
Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse, £12.99
For those looking for a deep tan fast (without the fake tan smell or looking like they’ve been Tangoed), Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse offers the ideal solution. Offering flawless, streak-free coverage, simply apply and leave for 1 hour (or longer if you want to go really dark) then rinse off for an even tan that will last for up to a week. Amazingly, Mumsnetters claim this tan fades evenly so you don’t need to worry about removing it . Simply exfoliate and moisturise as you would normally, then re-apply when necessary.
“Cocoa Brown is the best thing I have ever used. It says it develops in an hour, but I put it on before bed and wash off in the morning. You need to apply with a mitt because it starts developing straight away. It doesn't smell like biscuits either which is a bonus.”
“Cocoa Brown is the best mousse tan. Subtle and natural.”Buy now from Superdrug
St Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion, £10
From celebrities to models and everyone in between, St Tropez is considered the absolute go-to when it comes to achieving a natural, glowy tan. This tinted body lotion offers a gradual colour build over time, as well as an instant hit of bronze to illuminate the skin. Mumsnetters also love the skin-perfecting formula within the lotion that helps to blur imperfections – all whilst moisturising and keeping skin supple. Finally, thanks to its Mood Boosting Fragrance Technology, you can skip the biscuity fake tan smell and instead opt for a refreshing yet subtle scent on the skin.
“I use St Tropez tinted gradual tanner. I'm very pale and it gives a really lovely natural glow on my skin.”
“Because it's tinted too, you can see exactly where you are putting it and avoid streaky and missed bits, and there is a colour there immediately, although it continues to develop over a few hours.”
“I use St Tropez gradual tan for light to medium skin tone. I am very fair and it looks very natural and does not have the smell that other fake tans have.”Buy now from Amazon
TanOrganic Self Tan Oil, £21.80
The world’s first self-tanning oil, this Tan Organic product received a lot of attention when it first launched due to its promise of a natural looking tan, subtle fragrance and zero transfer (meaning no more streaky bed sheets) – and, boy, does it deliver on its promises! Super hydrating, this organic formula includes a unique blend of plant oils and aloe vera to achieve highly-nourished skin and a natural, bronzed glow. Mumsnetters love how luxurious the oil feels without becoming sticky or heavy.
“I have just discovered Tan Organic tanning oil it's amazing – hardly smells, soaks in really quickly, spreads evenly without trying. I have really pale skin and it's a really natural look.”Buy now from Amazon
Best fake tan for pale skin
Skinny Tan Body Glow, £12.29
Perfect for those who are looking to dip a toe into the world of fake tan, Skinny Tan Body Glow is an everyday moisturiser with a hint of colour, so you can build up a natural hue without the commitment. Rest assured, the result is a streak-free hint of colour with the added bonus of super smooth skin, thanks to the aloe vera extracts and naturally-derived guarana. It’s a popular choice with very fair-skinned Mumsnetters and with good reason: subtle colour, no tell-tale streaks and an oh-so luxurious coconut scent.
“Skinny Tan Body Glow. I’ve got the light one as I’m very pale and it’s a gorgeous colour. Best fake tan I’ve ever used.”Buy now from Amazon
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water, £18.95
Tanning drops for face and body that’s made with water? Seriously?! It might seem a little unusual, but Mumsnetters can’t get enough of Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water – and it’s easy to see why. Colour correcting is the focus of this clever fake tan, ensuring the colour you achieve is balanced, even and the right tone for your skin. It’s also 100% organic, vegan and cruelty-free so you can achieve that bronzed glow without the guilt. What’s more, with avocado, chia seed and coconut oil tanning actives, your skin will thank you for all that organic goodness.
“I cannot recommend the new Isle of Paradise range from Boots highly enough. I am a complete klutz with fake tan and am so pale I am almost transparent. I have used this the last couple of weeks and it doesn't streak or go patchy, and the smell is really faint. I even tanned my face and it looks natural, not like I've been tangoed.”Buy now from Feelunique
Garnier Skin Naturals Summer Body Moisturising Lotion, £8.34
Garnier Skin Naturals Summer Body Moisturising Lotion is first and foremost an intensely nourishing moisturiser – with the added benefit of gradually building a tan that perfectly complements your natural skin tone. With an easy application, this formula is non-sticky and fast-absorbing, so you can apply it in the morning then get on with your day (without worrying about pesky streaks or stickiness). With natural apricot extracts, Mumsnetters can’t get enough of the fruity yet subtle scent and skin is left bronzed, soft and supple with 12-hour moisturisation.
“Garnier Summer Body is the best one I've ever used. I apply it in the morning, after showering and shaving, and leave at least ten minutes to dry. I use the 'Light' one, based on the fact if it's too light I can always add more, but if it's too dark… I look stupid. I've never had any streaks with this.”Buy now from Amazon
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Lotion, £3.75
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter has long been considered a staple of any beauty editor’s skincare routine, thanks to its rich moisturisation of dry and dehydrated skin. Now, you can get all the benefits of the classic formula – but with the added bonus of a natural, gradual tan. Made with cocoa butter, this tanning lotion offers 24-hour moisture with a streak-free and subtle colour that gradually builds up over time. The result is soft and supple skin with a “fresh from the beach” glow.
“I've been using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Gradual Tanner… I'm very very pale and it's worked really well! Just a nice glow and looks really natural. It's the best one I've tried yet.”Buy now from Amazon
Best fake tan for your face
James Read Sleep Mask Tan for Face, £18.75
When it comes to finding the best fake tan for your face, the search can be a little more difficult due to skin sensitivity and uneven tone. Thankfully, the search is over thanks to this James Read Sleep Mask Tan for Face. Simply pop this luxurious gel on before bedtime and, come morning, you’ll have a subtle, golden glow and soft, dewy skin. Concerned about how to remove fake tan from the bed sheets? This colourless formula is designed to protect clothing and bed linen – so you know the only colour you achieve will be on your perfectly moisturised face.
“James Read Sleep Mask Face Tan is brilliant. Apply it at bedtime and you'll wake up with a really natural glow. I find I only need to apply it two or three times a week.”Buy now from Amazon
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face, £22.41
For those of you looking for a facial fake tan that won’t disrupt your normal skincare routine, the Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face by Clarins is the perfect addition to your beauty regimen. Simply mix three drops of this luxe oil with your regular moisturiser for a natural, sun-kissed colour. Looking for a more subtle glow? Just reduce the number of drops you add to your moisturiser, leaving you with a totally customisable tan that’s as unique as you are. What’s more, this glow booster is dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic so it won’t irritate your skin or cause breakouts.
“Totally idiot-proof and, as you mix a few drops into your moisturiser, it's easy to experiment to get the right level of tan. I have a toddler and a baby and it's the only thing stopping me looking like a walking corpse at the moment!”Buy now from John Lewis
Olay Complete Everyday Sunshine Moisturiser Cream with Sunless Tanner, £7.43
Olay Complete Everyday Sunshine Moisturiser does exactly what it says on the tin (or tube), offering intense hydration for your face as well as a streak-free, sunkissed glow that gradually builds with each application. With SPF 15 protection and the Olay Complete 3-in-1 action formula, this clever product really does it all, making it a serious contender for the best facial fake tan out there (especially if you're short on time). What’s more, the 24-hour moisturiser hydrates seven layers of skin, meaning your tan will be all the more radiant and long-lasting.
“I adore Olay Everyday Sunshine in Light. Much better than anything else I've tried, price no object. Also has a kind of BB Cream effect so skin looks good after.”
“Olay Everyday Sunshine in 'Light'. Been using it for several years. I wear it more in the winter as I tend to turn a slightly pale shade of grey after the summer’s over. I never get any streaks.”Buy now from Amazon
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