24 fake tans to make you look like you've been on holiday even if you haven't

The fake tans you need to try for a glow...

Leanne Bayley

The idea of Winter sun isn't for everyone in light of the current pandemic, so if you're looking for a sun-kissed look without getting on a plane, we've got your back with the best fake tan products for a healthy glow. With these easy-to-apply tanning products, you can glow even if your chances of seeing a beach are slim-to-none. 

When asked what’s the most common tanning mistake, James Read, founder of James Read Tan said: "Over applying self-tan is a no go! Always exfoliate to help it fade evenly before re-applying. Also, remember not to wash your hands straight after tanning, you don’t want white hands/tanned arms. Don’t do a wet shave straight after tanning, use an electric shaver, as this will stop it from stripping your tan."

Before you start to get your glow on, you have to find the self-tan for you. Are you after a gradual tanning product, an instant quick fix, or are you desperate to try the new tanning water everyone is raving about? Don't worry, these are the best false tan products for you...

Best fake tan for... fast results


This lightweight, non-sticky, 100 percent clean and vegan-friendly gel formula provides a customisable, natural-looking tan with up to 72 hours of skin hydration, a streak-free finish that fades evenly and lasts up to 10 days. With an effective boost of Hyaluronic Acid to quench the skin during tan development and beyond, this advanced formula features Intelligent shade technology meaning the product offers three shades in one, depending on when you decide to rinse it off. Rinse after one hour for a light sun-kissed glow; two hours for a medium golden tan and three hours for a deep dark bronze. In addition, the moisturising ingredients in this self-tan offer long term hydration, which enhances tan longevity and keeps your skin quenched for days.

St.Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Gel, £26.40, Feel Unique


Best fake tan for... beginners


Isle of Paradise's new Self-Tanning Butter is perfect for saying hello to a golden glow if you're not an expert at tanning. This new luxurious body butter nourishes your skin - perfect as the weather starts to turn - and gives a natural-looking tan. With a blend of coconut, eucalyptus and peppermint oils, you'll be amazed by how good your skin feels (and smells!).  The rich texture hydrates and replenishes the skin, offering a richer alternative to your regular body moisturiser.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Butter, £19.95, Look Fantastic


Best fake tan for... those who usually break out after using tanning products


If you usually break out after using fake tan, let us introduce you to Pestle & Mortar's Glow Drops. The customisable tanning drops are mixed into your moisturiser to achieve a natural-looking bronze. Suitable for all skin types, and the drops are also infused with Glycerin to intensely moisturise the skin, leaving the surface soft, supple and with an even tan.

Pestle & Mortar Glow Drops, £35, LookFantastic


Best fake tan for... a lightweight facial spray


Vogue Williams' super lightweight Face Tanning Mist is proven to boost collagen for better skin quality. More than just a surface glow, this has actually been proven to boost collagen for radiant-from-within skin. Using a patented technology, super peptides have been proven to fight the first signs of ageing by boosting collagen, sagging and fine lines will be reduced and the skin’s natural radiance improved with continuous use. It's a lightweight mist that gives you a tan that lasts for days. 

Face Tanning Mist, £13.50, Bare by Vogue Williams


Best fake tan for... epic moisture


Introducing Isle of Paradise's HYGLO Self-Tan Serum for the face - and its newest ingredient? Hyaluronic acid! This instantly hydrates the skin, and gives the perfect amount of gradual tan to leave skin with an illuminated, glowy finish.

HYGLO Self-Tan Serum, £21.95, Beauty Bay


Best fake tan for... Shimmer


Enriched with Community Fair Trade coconut oil from Samoa and Community Fair Trade Brazil nut oil from Peru, The Body Shop's Shimmering Dry Oil is light, non-sticky and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth with an instant sun-kissed glow. Apply all over your body after showering and you'll have a beautiful bronzed look.

Shimmering Dry Oil, £16, The Body Shop


Best fake tan for... a glow with added SPF


Tan-Luxe's bestselling Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum now has SPF 30 - finally, a super-smart sun protection that glows! The innovative, anti-ageing serum, provides photostable protection from UVA/ UVA rays whilst shielding from blue light pollution and photoaging. The lightweight & non-greasy formula melts into the skin leaving you with a sun-kissed, nourished, brightening and protected glow.

Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum SPF 30, £39, Space NK


Best fake tan for... those who like a mousse


The Dove Gradual Self-Tan Body Mousse is the newest addition to the UK’s number one selling gradual self-tan brand. The lightweight, luxurious mousse will give you a pampering and it absorbs instantly into the skin, leaving an even, streak-free, buildable colour whilst deeply nourishing your skin.

Dove Gradual Self-Tan Body Mousse, £16.99, Feel Unique


Best fake tan for... a clicky gadget


James Read's Click & Go is a nifty little gadget that you'll wonder how you lived without. Add the gel drops to your favourite moisturiser, SPF or foundation to give you a just-got-back-from-holiday glow when we all know you've been on your sofa watching Netflix. Infused with Encapsulated vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this will brighten and hydrate. 

James Read Click & Go, £20 (usually £25), QVC UK 


Best fake tan for… quick drying


This unique tan has a quick-drying formula with no guide colour, meaning it won't transfer onto clothing so you can tan and go! Leave on your skin between 1 - 8 hours for a light to deep tan. 

St. Moriz Spray Tan In A Can, £12.99, Feel Unique


Best fake tan for... vegans who want a tan


St. Tropez's new vitamin-enriched vegan fake tan water spray gives you the perfect glow. With 95 percent natural ingredients, 100 percent natural tanning active, hydrating hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and vitamin D boosters, this sunshine in a bottle gives you a radiant sun-kissed glow.

St, Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Mist, £31, Amazon


Best fake tan for... a heavenly smell


You know when you're on holiday (go on, try and remember!) and the smell of coconut suncream gets you excited? Well, James Read's Dry Oil Tan Body is actually formulated with coconut oil and vitamin E, and the scent is out of this world. The non-greasy formula dries super speedily and leaves you with a natural, even tan that's long-lasting and illuminating. 

James Read Coconut Dry Oil Tan Body, £25, Amazon


Best fake tan for... gradual tan lovers


Say hello to a natural, buildable summer glow, whatever the weather with Nivea’s first-ever gradual tan. Enriched with anti-age ingredient Coenzyme Q10, the moisturiser provides maximum plumping and firming power, resulting in smoother, tighter, and firmer skin to complement your radiant glow.

Nivea Firming + Radiance Gradual Tan Moisturiser, £5.99, Superdrug


Best fake tan for... an instant glow 


The Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel is a tinted formula which blends seamlessly on the body, leaving a warm-toned tan that won't transfer on your clothes and can be washed off with water. It's formulated with unique plant extracts, so your skin remains soft after you've applied it. 

 Clarins Instant Gel Self Tanning, £17.45, House of Fraser


Best fake tan for... pale skin


The super lightweight formula contains the signature Bondi Sands coconut scent and absorbs quickly into the skin so that you can comfortably get on with your day. Enriched with jojoba and vitamin E, this tan nourishes whilst ensuring a deep, long lasting tan- winner! This one is Light/Medium, which means that everyone can cheat that faux-glow all year round. If you’re new to tanning, or just prefer a lighter finish, the formula leaves the skin with just a hint of bronze. 

Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self Tanning Foam - Light/Medium, £18.99, ASOS Beauty


Best fake tan for... an easy to wear glow


Not everyone wants to be as tanned as a TOWIE cast member, so if a subtle hint of colour is what you're after, the Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion by Elemis is just the product for you. The secret ingredient of wheat builds a subtle, even tan that won't overpower. And the added Red Algae Extract and Green Tea will keep you hydrated.

Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion, £39, Elemis


Best fake tan for... radiance


Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a fan of Vita Liberata, and world-famous beauty bloggers have raved about Beauty Blur Sunless Glow. This multi-purpose skin-tone optimiser enhances the face and décolleté with tan whilst still acting as a primer - blurring imperfections and leaving you with flawless skin. 

Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Sunless Glow, £32.50, Look Fantastic


Best fake tan for... a deep tan 


Want a quick and easy tan on the go? Step up, he-shi. The extra dark express liquid tan is a tinted formula that's perfect for topping up your tan, FAST. With a cooling texture, it absorbs easily on the skin. 

he-shi Ultra Dark Express Liquid Tan, £21, Look Fantastic


Best fake tan for... a sunkissed glow 


Lumene Nordic-C Midsummer Glow Self-Tan Drops combine tanning with skincare. Formulated with naturally derived self-tanning DHA but also energizing Wild Arctic Cloudberry and Vitamin C, it leaves the skin with a healthy, sun-kissed look without giveaway smell.

Lumene Nordic-C Midsummer Glow Self-Tan Drops, £25.90, Feel Unique


Best fake tan for… a moisture fix


Decleor has given us a day cream which helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles while giving an immediate even sun-kissed glow to all skin types. With a blend of citrus essential oils, natural hyaluronic acid and beta-carotene to re-energise tired-looking skin.

DECLÉOR Green Mandarin Sun-Kissed Cream, £42, Look Fantastic


Best fake tan for... your makeup bag


Oskia's Nutri-Bronze Adaptative Sheer Tinted Serum will help bring a natural glow to your skin without leaving the sofa - getting your skin healthy and radiant for your 7th zoom call of the day. 

Oskia Nutri-Bronze Adaptative Sheer Tinted Serum, £58, Cult Beauty


Best fake tan for... a non-sticky formula


Coco & Eve's fake tan uses natural ingredients such as Mango, Guava, Banana, Linseed oil, and is the first tan with anti-cellulite technology! It's also got a non-sticky formula, dries super fast and develops in two hours. Wowza!

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam, £29.90, Cult Beauty


And best fake tan removal... 


Don't you just hate it when fake tan starts to wear off? Well, thanks to St. Tropez's wonder product, you won't be left with patchy skin. The Prep & Maintain Tan Remover Mousse blitzes all traces of tan, leaving your skin smooth, clean and ready for the next application! The light formula actually contains detoxifying cotton extract which is ideal for sensitive skin.

St. Tropez Prep & Maintain Tan Remover Mousse, £14.50, Cult Beauty


And don't forget... Tanning mitts


Velvotan tanning mitts, £2, Amazon


Get the perfect golden glow all over with the helo of a jazzy tanning mitt. We love Velvotan's fun designs. 

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