Whether you love to look golden brown or simply sunkissed, a tan can add a beautiful glow to otherwise pasty skin. Although it’s more acceptable than ever to embrace your natural skin tone, for me it’s about looking healthy and happy – and I know a little added colour works wonders for my confidence. As I start to peel the jeans from my legs and reveal my shoulders for the first time since Autumn, tanning is top of my mind; but who has the energy or inclination to spend an age applying all manner of sticky lotions to skin and waiting for them to develop? Tanning products of years gone by required hours of prepping, the
perfect application technique and a night time rolling around in dodgily
dyed bedsheets… But no longer. There’s a whole portfolio of products
now on offer that take the stress out of tanning, allowing you to spend
as little effort as possible on your tan while still looking like you’ve
just come back from a weekend away. Here are some of my faves which you may want to get to know…
Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived Lotion (£7.79)
Not only is this super affordable and easy to use, but it’s an effortless skin nourishing formula too. I’ve loved it and used it for the longest time because it glides effortlessly over skin to leave a subtle glow without any streaking, while adding much needed hydration to the skin’s surface. It builds up daily and you get a true colour result after a few hours, meaning it’s great to wack on in the morning when you’ve forgotten to tan overnight. The only downside is that it’s quite strongly scented, so if you hate the smell of fake tans this may not be for you – but it’s a great daily product that requires minimal morning faff.
Bondi Sands Everyday Liquid Gold (£9.75)
One of my all time faves for good reason, this lightweight dry oil formula can be spritzed onto skin and massaged into the surface with either a mitt or your hands (make sure you wash them after.) It’s infused with coconut and argan oil to really take care of skin, but the formula isn’t at all greasy; a few spritzes is all you need to add a beautiful colour to skin, which develops over a couple of hours. If you’re scared of full-blown tanning this is a great alternative, or simply a fab product to chuck in your suitcase and use on holiday before you pick up an authentic colour.
Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum (£29.95)
A powerhouse tanning product, this smells amazing and is bursting with great ingredients: coconut oil to help nourish, firm and improve skin tone, hyaluronic acid to plump and attract water to skin, glycerin to repair and prevent moisture loss, as well as silk amino acids to prevent dehydration and wrinkles. The unique ‘triple tan formula’ also claims to work with your skin pigment, ensuring the colour provided is believable and natural to you, so you’ll never end up with a colour too dark or too orange. I love the lightness of the texture and the way it glides over skin, helping to maintain the condition as well as leave behind colour; it’s expensive, but for special occasions totally worth the investment.
St Tropez Everyday Pre-Tanning Mousse (£9.00)
I could never quite make my mind up about the in-shower tanning cream they launched previously (stepping out of the shower and chilling my bits off while waiting for it to develop was never going to be fun,) but this builds on that to offer a far more practical solution. You simply apply it to dry skin, leave it for a minute or two to develop and jump in the shower as normal. (It magically turns from foam to cream to water-like texture that disappears into the skin in a few seconds.) It’s far easier to avoid streaking or patches this way, but the result is subtle and not hugely long-lasting – it’s one you have to reach for daily to keep up the colour result, and definitely not one for those that like their skin as dark as possible.
Cocoa Brown One Hour Tan Mousse (£7.99)
The original one hour tan, this is a great budget buy that actually works incredibly well too; the rich mousse is fast drying, non-sticky and leaves not a streak in sight. Unlike many other tans that claim to develop in an hour and fall short, this actually does and leaves a subtle golden glow on skin that’s comparable with many other longer developing products. I love the fact I can apply this in the evening before I need to get ready to go out, or in the morning knowing it will have reached a great colour result by the time I get to my destination – although avoid wearing strappy shoes or anything too tight as it will block the tan from working in those areas.
Vita Liberata Body Blur (£23.95)
Although this isn’t a tanning product per se, it’s a great alternative if you just want your skin to look glowing and more uniformed. A wash off serum that’s designed to act like a blurring primer, it contains light-reflecting particles to minimise the appearance of blemishes, imperfections and uneven tone. A great ‘quick fix’ to pop on before a big night out, or when you’re feeling extra pasty, this is like makeup for your legs and décolletage; but be warned, like makeup it washes off in the rain!
Bondi Sands Gradual Tanning Foam (£12.99)
Not a fan of the gradual tanning lotions that often leave skin feeling temporarily heavy or sticky? This lightweight foam is a great alternative that leaves behind a very subtle colour result after only one use. I’ve found it best when applied sparingly with a mitt before the rest of my beauty regime, leaving at least ten or fifteen minutes for it to dry a little. Although it’s not completely stickiness free, it’s light enough to get dressed after and doesn’t leave my skin feeling ‘coated’. It’s great for those a little cautious about tanning, as the colour result is subtle and beautifully buildable – a great introduction for younger enthusiasts too.
Quick shout out to the Velvotan Tanning Mitts too – the only brand that seems to inject a bit of fun and changes up the design every year!
Are you a fake tan lover? Which products do you rely on every summer for your colour hit?
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