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34 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...

fake tan spring

If you're looking like you've been void of Vitamin D, and you want a sun-kissed look without having to book a holiday, we've got your back with the best fake tan products. With the January blues in full swing, we could all do with a little glow!

RELATED: 22 best tanning drops for your face to get your glow on

SHOP: The new skincare product launches for 2023

With these easy-to-apply tanning products, you can look bronzed even if you won't be seeing a beach anytime soon.

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? 

Best fake tan for beginners

ise paradise

Isle of Paradise's 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 - and gives a natural-looking tan. With a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and coconut 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, £17.95, Cult Beauty

tan luxe kate somerville

Prep & Glow Duo, £55, Kate Somerville


Get your best ever glow with Tan-Luxe and Kate Somerville! Inspired by Kate’s #1 Super Facial, Exfolikate Resurfacing Body Scrub, has skin-restoring ingredients to buff away dry patches, leaving you with a Fresh-from-the Spa-Glow! For the ultimate skin-transforming experience, follow with The Gradual Tanning Lotion by Tan-Luxe. The lightweight buildable formula melts into the skin upon application and delivers glowing skin in as little as one hour.

Best fake tan for fast results

Bondi sands fake tan

Bondi Sands' new Express tan is perfect if you want a natural-looking bronzed glow in minimal time. Ready to wash off in just one hour (although you can leave it on for three for a deeper shade), it's streak-free and so low maintenance. It's now available in the traditional foam formula (our favourite) as well as the Aero mousse and costs just £15.

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam One Hour Express 200ml, £11.25, Beauty Bay


The best fake tan to wear while you sleep

tanluxe super glow night repair

Introducing Tan-Luxe Super Glow Night Repair - the first customisable skincare and tanning system in one! The dynamic oil/elixir duo allows you to create a custom cocktail with two parts – Super Glow Elixir + Super Glow Facial Oil – a super nourishing night mask with a super-gradual glow whilst helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

To get amazing results you mix one pump of the Super Glow Elixir with a few drops of the Super Glow Facial Oil in your hand for a potent shot of skin-nourishing superfoods. Combining the two formulas supercharges the actives for immediate plumping and hydrating results, with an increase of collagen production and rejuvenation while you sleep. It puts a whole new meaning to 'beauty sleep'.

Tan-Luxe Super Glow Night Repair, £40, Space NK


Best instant fake tan

Vita Liberata tan

Vita Liberata's best-selling Body Blur has a new look! The sell-out formula adds an instant warm-toned tan that won't transfer on your clothes and can be washed off with water. It also airbrushes any imperfections, leaving your skin looking flawless.

 Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish, £24 / $39, Lookfantastic


Best vegan fake tan

st tropez tan self tan purity vitamins body mist new

St. Tropez's 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, £19.63, Amazon


Best fake tan drops for the face 

fake tan drops

Give your face an instant and healthy glow courtesy of Awesome Bronze's self-tanning drops. All you have to do is massage a few nourishing drops onto a well cleansed and exfoliated face, before loading on your serum and/or night cream. Come morning you'll wake up to golden, dewy skin. 

Awesome Bonze Sun-kissed Glow Self-tanning Drops, £40, Beautypie


Best organic fake tan

tan organic

Using natural, enriched ingredients such as aloe vera, borage oil, jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil and sweet almond oil, this natural self-tanner promises to nourish even the most delicate areas of skin on your face, as it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or nasties.

TanOrganic Facial Self-Tanning Oil, £31, TanOrganic


Best fake tan for acne-prone skin 

pestle mortar

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 / $52, Lookfantastic


Best fake tan facial spray

bare by vogue

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 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. 

Bare by Vogue Williams Face Tanning Mist, £16.40, Amazon


Best fake tan for glowing skin

isle of paradise hyglo

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, £19.96 / $25.10, Lookfantastic


Best fake tan with added shimmer

dry oil

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 / $22, The Body Shop


Best fake tan with SPF

tan luxe new

Tan-Luxe's bestselling Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum now has SPF 30 - finally, a 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, £25.20, Lookfantastic


Best mousse fake tan

dove tan

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, £4.74, Amazon


Best innovative fake tan

james read click and go

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, £21.25, FeelUnique 


Best quick-drying fake tan

st moriz

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, £12.78 / $12.99, FeelUnique


Best gradual fake tan

nivea new

Say hello to a natural, buildable 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, £2.69, Amazon


Best fake tan for a heavenly scent

james read tan

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, £20.10 / $39, Amazon


Best fake tan for pale skin

bondi sands aero tan

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, £15.19 / $30, Lookfantastic


Best fake tan for oily skin

st moriz oily skin serum

If you're nervous about fake tanning because of your oily skin, then St Moriz has found the solution. This clever serum has calming ingredients to soothe and calm skin as it gives you a gorgeous glow!

St Moriz oily skin serum, £8.99 / $20.78, Superdrug / FeelUnique


Best fake tan for a deep tan 

filter tan

Filter By Molly Mae is perfect for achieving the deep sun-kissed glow. The new product is also vegan, 100% cruelty free and will ensure you look your absolute best for summer.

Filter By Molly-Mae, £21, Selfridges


Best illuminating gradual fake tan

amel fake tan

A powerful hybrid of hydration and illumination, this gradual tanner not only adds a glow but with the brand's hero ingredient, Lactic Acid, it leaves skin more hydrated, smoother and with a sun-kissed radiance.

Expertly formulated by skincare scientists with unique skin complexes designed to treat dry, rough, bumpy skin associated with Keratosis Pilaris as well as hydrating normal skin, this moisturising body lotion exfoliates for maximum results.

Transforming Body Lotion Illuminating Glow Formula, £24, AMELIORATE


Best fake tan for a sunkissed glow 

lumene 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 a giveaway smell.

Lumene Nordic-C Midsummer Glow Self-Tan Drops, £20.70 / $31.08, FeelUnique


Best moisturising fake tan


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, £60, Lookfantastic


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, £62 / $70, Cult Beauty


Best fake tan with a non-sticky formula

coco and eve self tan

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, £25.90, Cult Beauty


Best fake tan that's mess-free

tanologist tan

We love the Tanologist fake tan, as the transparent water makes for an easy, mess-free glow, not to mention no blocked pores, no drying effect on the skin and no fake tan transfer onto your clothes or bedding. With scents of pink grapefruit, goji berry and juniper, you will be looking and smelling your best after just one use. 

Tanologist Fake Tan Water Dark, £10.70, Amazon


Best fake tan with skincare benefits

Dennis Gross glow pads

Each of these glow pads contains a blend of glycolic and hyaluronic acid to gently exfoliate and hydrate your skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, while also delivering a buildable tan. Truly revolutionary. 

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads (x20), £34.95 Amazon


Best fake tan for gifting 

tropez gift

Have a friend who loves their fake tan, you can't go wrong with this set. The St. Tropez Bestsellers Kit has everything you need for a golden-brown hue. The buildable formula allows you to choose your depth of tan, from sunkissed glow to deep bronze, delivering streak-free and flawless results.

St. Tropez Bestsellers Kit, £37.90, FeelUnique


Best fake tan for mature skin

skinny tan

The Wonder Serum from Skinny Tan is designed with mature skin in mind, containing Q10 and Vitamin E which works as a full body anti-ageing skincare treatment. Simply wash off after six to eight hours to reveal a natural looking tan.

Wonder Serum, £29.99, Skinny Tan


And best fake tan removal... 

tan remover st tropez

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 / $19, Cult Beauty


And don't forget... Tanning mitts

tanning mitts

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

Velvotan tanning mitts, from £3.83, Amazon

Bondi sands tanning mitt

This double-sided mitt is super soft and delivers a streak-free tan, but the best bit is that it lasts for ages. Tried and tested.

Bondi Sands Reusable Self-Tan Mitt, £5.89, Amazon

luxury mitt

The soft velvet self-tan mitt effortlessly blends self-tanning formulas and works to stop product gathering on dry areas of the skin. Made with hypoallergenic materials, the mitt is ideal for all skin types and long-suffering tan-stained hands.

Coco & Eve Luxury Tanning Mitt, £12, Beauty Bay 


MORE: How to get fake tan off: Tips and removers that actually work

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