Best fake tans for every purpose and skin type

We’ve put in hours of research, comparing and testing to come up with a list of the 12 best fake tans in Australia for every purpose and skin type.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

The best fake tans in Australia

How did we pick this list?

Alongside extensive research, our editorial team has compared and tested a variety of different fake tans to determine the best performing ones. For each category, we considered factors like formulation and the skin type it's best suited to. This is how we created a list of the 12 best fake tans in Australia.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Best overall fake tan: Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam

Pros

Cons

  • Some users claim the colour looks too green on their skin

Price (RRP): $19.95Buy at Amazon

Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

Our top choice for the best overall fake tan is the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam. Not only is it one of the brand's best selling products, but it's also one of the most popular on the market, boasting over 2,000 reviews on Amazon.

If you're looking for a fuss-free tan, this is it. It's enriched with aloe vera for hydration and infused with a tropical coconut scent that will help take you away to an island paradise.

The formulation is lightweight, streak-free and fast drying. We also love that it gives you full control of what shade you want to be – the longer you leave it on, the darker your tan will become.


Best express fake tan: Bondi Sands Aero One Hour Express Tan

Pros

Cons

  • The fast-absorbing formula means you have to work quite quickly
  • Some users claim the colour did not last on their skin

Price (RRP): $24.95

Buy at Catch
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best express fake tan is the Bondi Sands Aero One Hour Express Tan. If you're time-poor and need a flawless tan within the hour, this is the product for you.

This fake tanning product offers a similar formulation to the rest of the Bondi Sands range – a lightweight aerosol foam with a tropical coconut scent. However, the Aero formulation absorbs much faster than the others. It also provides intense moisturisation, thanks to vitamin E and jojoba. The longer you leave it on, the darker you'll get.


Best gradual fake tan: Garnier Body Summer Moisturising Lotion

Pros

  • Offers different shades
  • Fruity, summer fragrance

Cons

  • Garnier has stated this may stain clothing

Price (RRP): $7.95
Amazon price: From $5.99

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

Our top choice for the best gradual fake tanner is the Garnier Body Summer Moisturising Lotion – and it will only set you back just under $10.

Formulated with apricot extract, this gradual moisturising lotion promises to leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated, all while building a natural-looking tan.

The great thing about a gradual tanner is that you can apply it every day as a normal moisturiser – it's designed to not disrupt your usual routine. This product in particular absorbs easily into the skin, meaning you don't have to sit there waiting for it to dry. The result? A natural-looking tan, streak-free.


Best instant fake tan: Bondi Sands GLO Matte

Pros

  • Three shades available.
  • Can be used on the body and face.

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim the consistency is a little watery.

Price (RRP): $17.99

Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

Our choice for the best instant fake tan is the Bondi Sands GLO Matte One Day Tan in Deep Bronze. This product is designed to be worn alone for an instant wash off colour. You can also pop it on over an existing self-tan for a deeper and more full coverage result.

The GLO Matte has a matte and streak-free formula, which is easy to apply and blend.

If you're time poor or feeling a little lazy, an instant fake tan is perfect as it doesn't need to be washed off at a certain time after application. When the day is done, you can easily wash off your tan with some warm, soapy water.


Best fake tan foam/mousse: Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse

Pros

  • Australian made and vegan
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim the colour doesn't last very long on their skin

Price (RRP): $29.95

Buy at Chemist Warehouse
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best fake tanning foam or mousse is the Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse. The natural and streak-free application ensures a perfect tan every time.

It's formulated with a colour guide technology that works to tailor the perfect tan for your individual skin tone.

This Self Tanning Mousse is enriched with chamomile extract, antioxidant coffee seed extract and pomegranate extract. Nourishing oils are also included, as well as 100% natural DHA, to ensure your skin is smooth and hydrated, whilst getting a natural colour.

The longer you leave it on – up to eight hours – the darker you'll be. Of course, if you're after a more intense colour, Bali Body has come out with an Ultra Dark version.


Best fake tan water: Isle of Paradise Fake Tanning Water

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • You can buy refillable pouches, instead of a new bottle every time

Cons

  • Some users claim the bottle sometimes leaks
  • The colour isn't instant, but gradually develops over time

Price (RRP): $38
Amazon price: From $31.88

Buy at Amazon
Buy at ASOS

Why we chose it

Our top pick for the best fake tan water is the Isle of Paradise Fake Tanning Water. Perfect for the face and body, this water promises to deliver a mess-free tan. There's no guide colour with this product – you simply saturate your skin with the mist and use sweeping motions to blend it into the skin.

It's formulated with coconut, chia seed and avocado oils to help hydrate and nourish the skin.

Depending on your natural skin tone and what kind of colour you're after, Isle of Paradise has shades available in light, medium and dark. They all have different undertones – for example, violet delivers a deep colour, green corrects any red tones and peach brightens the skin.


Best fake tan lotion: TAN-LUXE The Gradual Illuminating Body Moisturiser

Pros

  • Quick dry and non-sticky formula
  • Perfect for beginners

Cons

  • Needs to be completely rubbed in to avoid streaks

Price (RRP): $39

Buy at ASOS
Buy at Sephora

Why we chose it

Our top pick for the best fake tan lotion is the TAN-LUXE The Gradual Illuminating Body Moisturiser. If you suffer from dry skin or are a beginner at fake tan, this lotion is perfect for you.

It's an oil/lotion hybrid that melts like butter into the skin. You use it like any other daily moisturiser – except it delivers colour with no annoying streaks.

The lightweight formulation is designed to gradually build your skin's colour. You can achieve a natural-looking glow in just one hour.


Best fake tan oil: Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil

Pros

  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Australian made

Cons

  • May be too golden in colour for those with fair skin

Price (RRP): $19.95
Amazon price: From $19.99

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Chemist Warehouse
Buy at RY.COM.AU

Why we chose it

Our top pick for the best fake tan oil is the Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil. If you're time poor and need a tan fast, you're going to love this.

Providing you with golden bronzed skin, the formulation of this tanning oil sets instantly. It requires no wash off and develops over the course of six hours, lasting up to a week.

It's infused with a tropical coconut scent, as well as argan oil for ultimate hydration. The pump spray nozzle also allows for a mess-free application.


Best fake tan for pale skin: LE TAN Uber Dark Self Tanning Foam Ash Base

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fragrance-free formulation

Cons

  • Some users claim the product can transfer

Price (RRP): $24.99
Amazon price: From $14.99

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Chemist Warehouse

Why we chose it

If you're looking for the perfect fake tan for pale skin, you should try the LE TAN Uber Dark Self Tanning Foam with the Ash Base. It's a dark cool brown with ash-coloured undertones, perfect for those with fair skin. It won't look too orange and golden on your skin, but rather a natural-looking brown.

The formulation is fast developing and fast drying, providing an even wash of colour with no streaks. There's also added moisturising ingredients to ensure your skin stays hydrated and your tan lasts as long as possible.

LE TAN's Uber Dark is also formulated with odour neutralisers to help avoid the dreaded fake tan smell.


Best fake tan for dry skin: LE TAN Uber Dark Self Tanning Foam Marula Oil

Pros

  • Fragrance-free formulation
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Still need to apply moisturiser after showering to keep up the colour

Price (RRP): $24.99
Amazon price: From $14.99

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Chemist Warehouse
Buy at eBay

Why we chose it

Do you suffer from your fake tan clinging to dry patches? Our choice for the best fake tan for dry skin is the LE TAN Uber Dark Self Tanning Foam Marula Oil.

To keep the skin moisturised and hydrated, this product is formulated with marula oil. Not only is this ingredient non-oily and super lightweight on the skin, it's also rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

This tanning foam provides an even wash of colour with no streaks. It's also fast developing and fast drying.


Best fake tan for your face: Eco Tan Face Tan Water

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Colour may look too orange for pale skin
  • Can interfere with certain skincare products

Price (RRP): $39.95
Amazon price: From $39.50

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Nourished Life

Why we chose it

Our choice for the best fake tan for your face is the Eco Tan Face Tan Water. This best-selling and award-winning product works as a gradual tanning toner for your face.

Free from artificial and synthetic ingredients and made with only certified organic and natural ingredients, this product works for all skin types. Seriously, it doesn't matter if you have acne, eczema or rosacea.

This Australian-made product is formulated with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and aloe to soothe the skin. Natural pigments work to provide you with buildable colour and glow.


Best organic fake tan: Eco Tan Winter Skin

Pros

  • Australian made
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Colour may be too light for those with darker skin tones

Price (RRP): $29.95
Amazon price: From $29.75

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at Nourished Life

Why we chose it

Our choice for the best organic fake tan is the Eco Tan Winter Skin. Another best-selling and award-winning product from this brand, this gradual self-tanning lotion uses natural cacao to build a gorgeous colour onto the skin.

The formulation is streak-free, providing an even wash of colour. The best part is that it dries instantly without any stickiness, so you can apply it and go about your business or hop straight into bed.

Depending on how often you reapply this moisturiser, you'll be able to gradually deepen your tan.


How to fake tan?

Prep your skin

If you don't have a good base, you won't have a good tan. You want to make sure you exfoliate dead skin cells away and/or any old fake tan. This ensures you've got a clean base for the tan to be evenly distributed over.

Also, it can be helpful to moisturise your knees, elbows, hands and feet about an hour before applying fake tan so the product doesn't stick to any dry patches.

Apply tan

We recommend working in small sections; this helps avoid a patchy tan. Break your body into sections: calves, thighs, arms, chest, stomach and finally back. Leave your hands and feet till last and just use the excess tan left over on the mitt.

Once you're done, leave your tan to dry then pop some dark clothes on and watch it develop.

Wash off tan

When it comes to washing off your tan, we recommend following the directions of the specific product you're using as they're all different. Make sure the water is lukewarm – not too hot – and try to use as little soap as possible. As soon as you're out of the shower, moisturise your skin and presto – your work is done!

For even more details, you can check out our in-depth guide on how to fake tan.


Amazon prices last updated on 27 September, 2021 at 03:00 pm

Methodology

15
Brands considered
30+
Products compared
12
Best products chosen
  • Our editorial team has experience in beauty comparing and testing and has looked at over 30 products from 15 brands.
  • We excluded some brands that aren't widely available across Australia.
  • The products on this list were chosen by our editorial team and were not selected based on commercial relationships

The dos and don'ts of tanning

DOs

  • Do apply small amounts in sections. Start in one section and make your way up your body.
  • Do moisturise your skin an hour before tanning.
  • Do take off an old tan before applying a new one.
  • Do use a tan that works for your skin type.
  • Do give your tan time to dry before applying another layer or putting on clothes.
  • Do wash your tanning mitt each time after use.

DON'Ts

  • Don't apply fake tan straight after shaving or exfoliating as the pigment will get stuck in open pores.
  • Don't layer a new tan over fake tan, or your tan will get patchy.
  • Don't apply fake tan to your face.
  • Don't apply heaps of tan in one go. Wait half an hour then do another layer.
  • Don't put clothes on before your tan has dried.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site