Fake tans are pretty special. Not only can it help you score a holiday-worthy bronze free from all the sun damage (and travel expenses), but now that formulas are more advanced than ever, there are plenty of skin-nourishing benefits too.
An authentic-looking sunless tan that leaves skin softer than silk from the comfort of our own bathroom? Yep, that's our kind of deal. Even if you have super-sensitive skin that reacts badly to DHA (aka dihydroxyacetone, the key tanning agent in most fake tans), strong fragrances or harsher ingredients, there are still endless options for bagging a healthy glow. Plus, there are more formulas than ever suited to super fair and even darker skin tones too.
Of course, the tanning market is full of hits and misses, but we've set about rounding up the crème of the faux glows to help you sidestep streaks, patches, uneven fades and soggy smells. Ready to get yourself beach-bronzed? First, read our advice on how to tan in the winter, and then below you'll find a list of the best fake tan formulas in all the land.
Rules are meant to be broken, and although this bottle clearly states it is for the legs, we use this all over. The colour is really natural and buildable, plus it never streaks no matter how speedily you apply it.
No time to wait for your tan to develop? This instant, wash-off option isn't just a doddle to use and real-looking to boot, but it is water-resistant so you'll need a shower and a good dose of body wash to remove it.
Tan-Luxe's new and improved oil doesn't just tan you. It rejuvenates your skin, hydrates for up to 48 hours and boosts elasticity for younger-looking skin—all while giving you the dreamiest glow.
Ideal for anyone super fair or any timid tanners, these golden drops can be added to your daily body lotion for a super-nourished tan you can build up at your own pace.
It might look like a clear body mist, but this fake tan water totally works. Simply spritz a layer of the stuff on your body, buff over areas of rough skin like the elbows with a mitt, get dressed and allow it to work its magic over a few hours. Although the colour difference won't be as noticeable, it even works to boost the glow on dark skin.
Not only does this fake tan promise to last for two to three weeks (a must when you're on one of those long holidays), but it also comes in different shades, so no matter what side of the spectrum you're on, you're guaranteed to find the best fake tan for your skin tone.
If your skin reacts badly to DHA, opt for a gentle, wash-off formulation. This option from Liz Earle is enriched with vitamin E for a temporary glow that leaves skin soft and smooth.
This serum has become the stuff of legend amongst beauty editors. It's suitable for both the face and the body and just two drops added to your existing moisturiser will leave you with a healthier, perkier complexion.
James Read's hydrating formula is loved by A-listers and develops in just 60 minutes for an even, streak-free tan.
This best-selling product is an award winner for good reason. Light and airy, the formula glides on easily leaving a natural-looking tan—you might just need someone to help with your back.
With its citrus scent and organic plant extracts to care for dry skin, this tanning oil is a joy to apply and nourishes skin so well that it almost looks juicy.
This reparative formula that's free of harsh parabens teams organic plant extracts with tanning agents to nourish while it develops.