Tried & Tested: 6 Self Tans We Really Rate
Jules Von Hep, celebrity tanning expert and founder of Isle Of Paradise recommends doing any hair removal and exfoliation 24 hours prior to tan application, so your skin is smooth, and removing any makeup and deodorant immediately before. “When applying your tan, start from the ankles and work your way up, massaging the skin as you go, if you’re using a mitt/brush sweep in lengthways motions, never circular as the pressure is more even,” says Jules. “Imagine you’re frosting a cake, spreading the tan onto the skin.”
Looking for a speedy finish? “Use a hairdryer on cool to speed up the drying process of your tan,” says Jules. “If you’re using self-tan drops, the speed of the tan drying will depend on the consistency of your moisturiser.” Let that tan develop, rinse it off, and voila - your ‘summer tan in a flash’ is ready.
Now it’s just a case of knowing which tanning products will get you that flawless, really realistic result. And yes, we know you’re in a rush, which is why we’ve decided to trial, test and whittle down the best fake tans for you.
6 of The Best Self Tans Approved By Space NK
Tan-LuxeSuper Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum, € 17,00
The Best Fake Tan Face Drops
If you’ve heard of tanning drops, chances are Tan-Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum is already on your radar, and for good reason. This highly rated face tan serum is boosted with hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant superfood ingredients, plus a bronzing dose of tanning agents. It couldn't be easier to use too, just add 2-12 drops to the face and décolleté daily, massaging into skin and avoiding the eyes, then follow with a moisturiser before makeup. How many drops to use depends on how much glow you’re after. We suggest starting with two and building up to more if you're after a deeper tan.
Amanda HarringtonPerfect Face Ultimate Gradual Tan, € 15,01
The Best Gradual Glow
Why are gradual tans so great? “They offer a light level, easy cream application that you can get a handle on and build colour slowly to the desired effect,” says Amanda Harrington. Simply put, if you’re fearful of your tan turning out streaky or patchy, or wary of dipping into bottled tan for the first time, gradual tans are a safe bet. You really can’t go wrong. Especially with this buildable facial tan. Part skincare, part tan, it's designed to condition, smooth and nourish skin, while adding a touch of warmth. Use it alone to build a gradual glow, or as the base of Harrington’s 3-step tanning method - a facial routine designed to use tan to smooth and contour the appearance of your facial features. Who knew tan could be so clever?
LancasterSun 365 Instant Self Tanning Body Jelly, € 32,00
The Best Instant Self-Tan
Flash back to 15 years ago, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone without a tube of instant tan in their beauty cabinet. Usually, it was a wash on, wash off situation and the colour was a casual 10 shades darker than your usual skin tone. Oh, and did we mention what happened when it rained, or if someone’s drink accidentally spilled on you? Utter disaster. Thankfully, instant tans have come on leaps and bounds since then, and with Lancaster Sun 365 Instant Self Tanning Jelly, the ‘instant’ part is teamed with a long-term tanning benefit that makes the whole process feel more worthwhile. The tinted gel couldn’t be easier to smooth on, while an added hydrating complex and fast-developing tan keeps skin looking luminous and golden for days after. Win win.
CoolaOrganic Sunless Tan Mousse, € 30,00
The Best Quick-Dry Mousse
There’s something seriously satisfying about a tanning mousse. The way little pockets of air puff up our tanning fluid, allowing us to spread the formula with ease, then how it dissolves effortlessly into skin. Can you blame us for being a bit obsessed? Well, imagine if that delicious tanning mousse not only left skin looking flawless, but was also able to soften and tone, firm and smooth while giving skin an enviable glow. That’s why Coola Organic Sunless Tan Mousse gets our vote, and all thanks to a blend of plant stem cell cultures, green coffee and a secret skin-toning ingredient called sveltessence. Now where’s that tanning mitt?
Isle of ParadiseSelf-Tanning Water, € 28,00
The Best Colour Correcting Self-Tan
We love a clever tanning texture. From serums to mists, balms and even butters. But the one that really made us sit up and pay attention was water. It makes sense really, especially when we consider that oils can act as a barrier to the tan’s penetration (afterall, what could be more oil-free than water), not to mention how quickly and effortlessly it mists your skin with a sunkissed glow. But beyond that, this weightless tanning water comes with an added colour-correcting benefit - choose the ‘medium’ green option to counteract flushed tones, the ‘deep’ violet to balance orange, yellow and ashy skin, and ‘light’ peach for the rest. Add a trio of hydrating coconut, avocado and chia seed oils to the list of endless benefits, and this tanning water leaves skin looking healthy, nourished and glowing.
Sisley-ParisSelf Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care, € 110,00
The Best Luxe Lotion
Sometimes you can’t beat a good old fashioned tanning lotion. Particularly when we consider the skin-softening benefits you can get from combining that tan with a nourishing dose of hydration. But if you’ve been unlucky in your tanning-lotion trials, ending in a somewhat sticky experience, we urge you not to be put off. Instead, try this - a luxury take on our traditional tanning lotion, with a fast-absorbing formula and a distinctly velvety feel. Your skin will love the added softness it gets from the macadamia oil-enhanced moisturiser, while Sisley Paris’ gold-boosting tanning spheres leave skin with a natural-looking glow.
Read More• Everything you need to know about SPF
• Tan Luxe vs Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops • How to Get the Best Body Glow this Summer
• The Difference Between Chemical and Mineral Sunscreen • Best Tinted Moisturisers