Wash-off tan products haven't had the best reputation. They used to be known as being horribly streaky, made even worse if it rained, as the white lines running down your body (we're having horrendous flashbacks here) would be the ultimate tell-tale sign. But products have changed dramatically over the years so that now there is a fabulous range on offer - whether that's for your face or your body.
True, there's always the messy obstacle of applying the stuff. But seeing as we're all agreed that it’s better to fake a golden tan than bake for one (study the SPF facts if you’re not with us), self-tanning is just an easy way to avoid damaging your skin. Which is why we feel incredibly blessed to be au fait with the very best wash-off tanners in town.
Buff on, glow for hours, wash off. It’s that simple! So if you’re liking the sound of this low-maintenance tanning option (who wouldn’t?), prepare yourself for an induction into the wash-off tan hall of fame.
From the best shimmers and matte finishes to paraben-free options that’ll be kind to sensitive skin, we’ve rounded up all the wash-off tanners we love, including why exactly we love them.
Stand-by for the best one-night tan of your life.
Click through the gallery below for our pick of the best wash-off tan products, plus tips on how to find the right one for you.
Ideal if you’re all about the “subtle glow,” this mousse formula glides on evenly for a blemish-blurring glow (nicks, scars and bruises be gone!) that’ll leave you looking softly illuminated.
Don’t be fooled by the purse-friendly price tag—this is both a luxury wash-off tanner and a friend to all skin tones. Ideal for dry skin, it’s enriched with hyaluronic acid, which makes it super moisturising.
Brilliant for dry or dull skin, this formula contains moisturisers to nourish plus light-reflectors that stay on the sheeny side of shimmer. It’s also free of parabens, perfume and alcohol, so it's a great option for sensitive skin.
Scott Barnes, the man behind J.Lo’s radiant bronze, has managed to bottle L.A.’s sun-kissed glow in this shimmering tinted moisturiser. It' great for a night out, and Beyoncé is said to be a fan too.
One for the great British weather, St. Tropez’s wash-off formula (which comes in light/medium and medium/dark) lasts for 24 hours and contains RAINMAC™ technology—you can get caught in a downpour and still emerge bronzed.
Want an everyday light instant glow? Then look no further than Liz Earle's bronzing fluid. Incredibly easy to apply, it comes out not too liquid so you don't end up getting it all over yourself. It's also very easy to build up so that you can go as tan as you want.
Rimmel’s Sunshimmer may remind you of tanning as a teen, but the formula has developed over the years too. It now comes complete with skin-perfecting BB cream properties, plus a smooth matte finish.
This is on the slightly more expensive side, but it's worth every penny. In an easy-to-use spray formula, this tanner needs a good shake before application. For best results, hold the bottle a decent 15 centimetres away from the body and rub it in well with a tanning mitt.
Another fabulous product from Vita Liberata, we couldn't not include this one. You have to work this product into the skin pretty well, otherwise you will have streaks. But the glow that's left is one that seriously looks like a real tan. A bit of effort for an incredible result.
Available in light and medium shades, this comes with a matte finish for all those who prefer to go sans shimmer. Buff it on with a mitt for even coverage.
Found your new faux-glow hero? Tell us in the comments box below.
Opening Image: Imaxtree