The Best Tanning Lotions For Summer 2021

Type ‘best fake tan’ into Google and you will be bombarded with lotions and potions promising to turn your pale body brown faster than you can say glow. But is the best fake tan for pale skin really the same as the best fake tan for your face? The answer is, to put it frankly, no. With so many formulas out there, it can be challenging to see the wood from the trees. You might be looking for a hydrating moisturiser with just a hint of colour, or an instant tan that will get your limbs a lovely dark shade of brown.

It’s also worth mentioning that not every tan can or should be used on your face. Unless the label specifies that it is safe to use on your face and body, steer clear from slathering it on your face or you risk breakouts and irritation. Some multi-use formulas can be applied all over. If you’re a fake tan beginner, make sure you wear gloves or using a mitt for every application, as even gradual lotions can stain your skin (not a good look). Without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the very best bottles of sun on offer. 

St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse

Considered one of the very best bottles of tan in the faux-glow game, St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse will get you the mahogany bod you have been dreaming of in the comfort of your bathroom. The lightweight mousse formula glides on seamlessly and dries instantly, leaving a streak-free, golden brown shade. 

Mario Badescu Self Tanning Lotion

If you’re unfamiliar with Mario Badescu’s Self Tanning Lotion, you’ll be pleased to know it’s just as efficacious as the rest of their award-winning range. Perfect for those who are blemish-prone, this oil-free formula develops in two hours, transforming pale limbs into sun-kissed skin. The multi-use lotion can be applied to the body and face. 

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion

Sometimes you want to take your tan to the next level. In these instances, Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion is your go-to. Their dark formula provides a deep brown natural-looking colour that lasts regardless of your skin tone (no orange hues over here). Enriched with aloe vera, the coconut-scented tan ensures your skin is hydrated and smooth all day long. 

Tan-Luxe The Gradual

Fake tan masters Tan-Luxe have created the perfect combination of colour and hydration in their gradual formula. The lightweight lotion provides intense moisture to parched skin while delivering a subtle but buildable natural-looking tan. Use daily in place of your moisturiser and watch your body become beautifully brown. 

Tanologist Gradual Tan Lotion

Most tanning lotions leave a giveaway biscuit smell – not this one. The impressive line up of ingredients in Tanologist’s Gradual Tan includes eucalyptus, which provides a wonderfully refreshing scent. Juniper, pink grapefruit and goji berry condition and care for the skin, plus the nourishing formula is non-comedogenic, perfect for those that struggle with body blemishes. Apply as you would a body cream on days where you are looking for a pick me up. 

Isle Of Paradise Happy Tan Everyday Gradual Glow

A firm favourite, Isle Of Paradise’s Happy Tan Everyday Gradual Glow will get you summer-ready without even really trying. Despite being a gradual tanner, when used daily, this delivers a deep colour over time. It takes 4-6 hours to develop so you’ll have to wait a while before you see results. It is vegan, free from sulphates and parabens and contains coconut, avocado and chia seed oils to keep skin supple and soft. 

Bondi Sands Pure Gradual Tanning Lotion

Bronze specialist Bondi Sands have souped up their Gradual Tanning Lotion and created a Pure version that delivers all the same skin bronzing benefits without the addition of any nasties – making it a great choice for sensitive skin. You will find no fragrances, dyes or sulphates in this bottle, instead a regenerative mix of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C and E have been added.