Self-tanning has become a compulsory step in our beauty routine, but finding the perfect formula for your skin tone that’ll leave you looking more bronzed goddess than streaky tangerine can often seem an impossible task. If I (Jem – Blog Editor – Hi!) throw it back to my high school days, fake tan was often associated with – almost fluorescent – orange streaks, hands a varying shade to your arms, and an unpleasant smell of digestive biscuits that lingered longer than Love Island. Thankfully, fake tanning formulas have come a long way since the early noughties, so in celebration of it being the first day of Summer (hoorah!) I’m sharing five fake tan formulas you need to try. From trusty lotions and mousses to innovative tanning waters and oils, you’ll be welcoming a streak-free tan and warming glow in next to no time, trust me.
THE GRADUAL TANNER
If you’re a fake tanning novice, you might be scared off by the diverse range of self-tanners among the shelves, all promising you a wondrous faux glow. If, like me, you’re more Nicole Kidman than J-Lo, you’re going to want to dip your toe into tanning without the fear of a Ross Geller mishap. Gradual tanners are your best bet, and cream and lotion formulas are the most common for this approach. One of my top products for a flawless, gradual tan is St Tropez’s Gradual Tan Tinted, which enables me to get a healthy sun-kissed glow while illuminating my skin for an instant wash of bronze. This ultra-hydrating lotion is lightweight, easy to apply and quick drying while giving an even fade. This type of tan should be applied daily, or as often as desired, to clean, dry skin in an upward circular motion. My top tip? Ensure all areas are covered and lightly glide any excess lotion over your hands and feet – and don’t forget to wait until touch dry before getting dressed.
THE TANNING OIL
When the perfect faux glow seems out of reach, a tanning oil is a good contender for achieving a flawless finish without patchiness and streaking, especially if you suffer from particularly dry skin. One product that screams Summer holiday is the Bondi Sands Protect & Tan SPF 15 tanning oil, a non-greasy formula that contains self-tanning ingredients to help develop a natural golden glow on sun-soaked days, all while staying protected from the harsh UV rays. Find this tanning hero in our new Summertime Essentials Box…
THE TANNING WATER
For summer, there’s a new tanning technology taking the market by storm – the tanning water. This formula promises maximum hydration alongside an instant golden glow, while being super-easy to use. St Tropez’s Bronzing Water Mousse is my go-to for achieving a natural looking golden tan that lasts for days, in just one application. The lightweight, clear water-to-foam formula is infused with 100% naturally derived and vegan-friendly tanning agents that refresh and revive skin, with no need to rinse off. As this formula is transparent, it can be applied day or night, however I prefer to use it at night because it doesn’t transfer onto bedding or clothing – A MIRACLE! A natural looking, streak-free tan will develop over four to eight hours. For best results, I’d suggest applying with a tanning mitt and moisturise daily to lock in your tan. Try it for yourself in the Grazia Beauty Box! Another brand on my radar (and incredibly millennial and Instagram-friendly) is Isle of Paradise. The brand’s Self-Tanning Water comes in a spritz bottle and contains colour correcting actives with different bases for varying skin tones – no scent, no streaks.
THE HUMBLE MOUSSE
One of the most common that has been around since the beginning is the humble tanning mousse. Completely fool-proof, the mousse formula is one I have always found relatively easy to control. It’s important to opt for a tanning mousse that has a guide colour, as it will make it easier to flawlessly apply with a mitt. Dr Organic’s Moroccan Glow Medium Self Tan Mousse is a firm fave for a more natural alternative while still achieving that enviable sun-kissed tan. It’s silky, pleasantly scented formula utilises a plant based active combined with a proprietary blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients, including organic argan oil, an incredibly rich source of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Why not give it a go by purchasing the Red Summer Beauty Edit?
I have, and always will be, a dedicated user of face masks. What I never thought would be a thing, though, was a face mask that not only penetrated beneficial ingredients into my skin, but also added a tan at the same time. St Tropez’s innovative Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask initially gave me some doubts, but after I tried it, I ended up with a sun-kissed and beautifully hydrated face. Who would have thought? This face mask allows you to control the depth of your tan by leaving it on for five, 10 or 15 minutes. The formula is also vegan-friendly and provides a dewy glow immediately after use.
THE SOLUTION TO A FAKE TAN FAUX PAS
We’ve all experienced self-tan mishaps, but thankfully there’s a solution which has seen me through many a fake tan faux pas: St Moriz’s Advanced Pro Tan Remover Mousse. The unique combination of ingredients works with the natural pH balance of your skin to gently reduce stubborn tan build up. Apply to dry skin and leave for five minutes, before washing off with warm water using a sponge or cloth. Use at least three days after applying self-tan for best results, or use to reduce self-tan mishaps immediately after application.
Don’t forget the pre-tanning prep with our 5 tips for a flawless tan!