When it comes to achieving the perfect golden glow, not all fake tans are created equal. Fortunately formulas have come a long way in recent years so you can say goodbye to orange, streaky legs and that dreaded biscuit smell and hello to a golden glow that nourishes your skin.
From mousse, gel and cream formulas, we’ve rounded up the very best fake tans for your beauty cabinet.
Australian Glow One Hour Express Self Tan Mousse
A brand that gives you a healthy glow and is sustainable—we dig that! Australian Glow is responsible for removing the equivalent of more than 50,000 plastic bags from the world’s oceans since bursting onto the beauty scene in 2019. They also make a cracking good fake tan. Our fave in the range is the One Hour Express Self Tan Mousse. Made with Kakadu plum, hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, cocoa and jojoba for long-lasting moisturisation, the formula is cruelty free, and vegan-friendly. The easy to apply mousse is streak-free and can be washed off in an hour to reveal a perfect tan. Buy it here.
The Elle Effect
Known for her gorgeous glow, you know any tanning range created by Aussie fashion influencer Elle Ferguson is going to be seriously good. So, if you’re looking for one of the best fake tans on the market, The Elle Effect is it. Made from aloe leaf juice, coconut and tangerine oil and rosa centifolia flower—which delivers a dose of vitamin C and a dreamy scent—this lightweight, velvety self-tanning mousse melts into the skin. Uber easy to apply, (best done with the Elle Effect Mitt) this buildable tan is excellent for a total tan novice. Buy it here.
KORA Organics Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion
KORA’s Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion delivers powerful results thanks to its potent blend of active ingredients including noni fruit extract, rosehip, avocado and sea buckthorn oil. Ultra-hydrating, this body moisturiser is scented with lavender and is suitable for all skin types. Easy to apply, quick drying and non-sticky, this beauty will give you a natural-looking tan all year long. Buy it here.
Tan-Luxe The Water Self Tanner
Skincare meets self-tan with Tan-Luxe, whose advanced formulations will help your skin to look happy, healthy and dewy all summer long—and beyond. Again, their whole range is banging, but our go-to right now is The Water Self Tanner. The transparent, vitamin-infused tanning water (made with Vitamins B, C and E, plus Raspberry Oil and Aloe Vera) is dispensed via an ultra-fine mist for a healthy and hydrated all over glow. With zero transfer to your sheets or clothes, it can be used over or under a finished makeup look to impart a burst of radiance and quench thirsty skin. Buy it here.
Bondi Sands One Hour Express
Aussie-made, there’s a reason this is one of the most popular fake tans around the world. Fragrance and cruelty-free, the easy to apply mousse is hyper pigmented so you don’t have to worry about missing any spots. The best bit? The one hour express formula is perfect for time-poor tanners who want to achieve that Bondi glow in just 60 minutes. Hydrating and lightweight, this beauty is best applied with a tanning mitt to create an even colour. Buy it here.
Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam
Coco & Eve have developed the world’s first anti-ageing and anti-cellulite self-tanner. Containing zero nasties, the Honey Bali Bronzing Foam is made with CellushapeTM (Lotus Extract) to promote smooth skin and fight cellulite as well as raw virgin coconut, which hydrates and firms skin. Boasting a delicious mango and guava scent, it's fast-drying, lightweight and non-sticky, giving you a banging tan in just two hours. With a grey-green base, it delivers a super natural looking, golden glow for up to two weeks. Buy it here.
Tuscan Tan Tanning Drops
Looking to give your face an instant glow minus sun damage and wrinkle-inducing harmful UV rays? Then pop Tuscan Tan Tanning Drops in your beauty bag stat. Scent-free, simply add a few drops to your daily moisturiser and apply evenly to achieve a subtle sun-kissed look. Designed to fit into your skincare routine, the drops won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. It’s a total winner. Buy it here.
Eco Tan Organic Invisible Tan
If you prefer a cream to a mousse then this beauty is for you. Made with aloe vera, rose geranium, avocado, macadamia and chamomile, this award-winning formula is vegan and cruelty free. The cream lotion will melt into your skin, going invisible (hence the name), so you can pop on a coat of Eco Tan and go about your day, while your golden glow develops over eight hours. Uber nourishing for your skin and great for your face and body, this multi-functioning product is a must for your beauty cabinet. Buy it here.
Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel
If you’re after an instant, natural-looking tan, then Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel is for you. The non-oily gel is formulated with a combination of naturally sourced DHA (derived from sugar cane) and Erythrulose (which increases the length of your tan). The result? An easy to apply gel that instantly melds with your skin, delivering silky-soft, radiant-looking skin. Reapply daily to deepen your tan to the desired bronze. Buy it here.
Loving Tan Two Hour Express
Create a natural olive glow in just two hours with Loving Tan. The salon inspired formula provides you with an immediate colour while developing into a deeper, darker tan which can be washed off after just two hours—perfect for those in a hurry. Made with naturally derived DHA and a hydrating Aloe Vera base, you’ll have streak-free application every time. And the best bit? It dries in just 60 seconds and smells great. Buy it here.
And while you're at it, don't forget to slip, slop and slap. Check out the best sunscreens.
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