Top Pick for
Overall fake tan
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We picked products based on actual customer reviews and ratings across various websites offering a huge selection of fake tans. We carefully chose parameters based on our research and determined products with the highest review score within those parameters.
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For the best overall fake tan, we picked the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 10,000 Amazon reviews.
St. Tropez's Self Tan Bronzing Mousse features a multi-award-winning formula infused with jojoba oil and various active ingredients to give a healthy-looking fake tan that lasts up to 10 days. According to the brand it's lightweight and evenly fades for a natural look. It's easy to apply without any stickiness or transfer, too. The brand says you need to exfoliate and moisturise dry areas before use. It's recommended to allow the product to settle for 4–8 hours before showering.
Customers gave positive feedback on the product's ease of use, natural results and longevity. The mousse formula is lightweight and quick-drying, allowing for an even coating with ease. It doesn't have any fake tan smell but features a yummy scent that most users love. Several others said it doesn't get patchy even when fading. But for others, it's quite greasy, which may be a con if you have oily skin.
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Bondi Sands' Aero 1 Hour Express Tan is our choice for the best express option. On Chemist Warehouse, it has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Bondi Sands' Aero 1 Hour Express Tan features a foam formula with a yummy coconut scent that produces a natural tan in just 1 hour. It comes in an aerosol bottle for an even application without any colour streak. To get a light tan, you can leave the product on for just 30 minutes. But if you're going for a bronzier glow, you can leave it on for 2–3 hours, according to the company.
This aerosol foam fake tan has an ultra-lightweight texture that doesn't feel greasy or sticky. Most buyers loved its coconut scent, adding that it reminds them of a tropical vacation. However, if you're not too keen on fragrances, this may be overpowering. Apart from being reasonably priced, customers said 1 bottle goes a long way. It dries quickly without leaving any patchiness. But for some, it's not as long-lasting as more traditional options.
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Formulated with shea butter to soften the skin, the Loving Tan Deluxe Gradual Tan is a lightweight product that helps prolong your tan. The brand claims it gives buildable intensity over days and has a professional-looking finish. It has an olive tone for a natural-looking sun-kissed glow that doesn't look patchy or streaky. Apart from being free of parabens and alcohol, it has acai berry and coffee seed extract to revitalise the skin. It comes in 3 shades as well.
The general sentiment is that this is a beginner-friendly fake tan product that helps users get their desired colour by reapplying daily. The formula is moisturising but not greasy, even for those with oily skin. It doesn't have an overpowering self-tan smell. Several people added that it helps nourish their skin, leaving it glowing and smoother. While its olive tone is perfect for most users, a few buyers with a pale complexion found it orangey and unnatural.
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With a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, we selected Body Drench's Quick Tan as the best instant option.
Body Drench's Quick Tan contains orange extract, aloe vera, black walnut, sea kelp and chamomile to promote healthy skin. It has a quick-drying, non-greasy formula that produces an even tan in 3–5 hours. Additionally, it has a 360-degree spray nozzle for non-patchy, easy application. The brand recommends exfoliating before using the product for a smoother result.
Thousands of buyers were impressed by the product's lightweight formula, streak-free results and longevity. While some found the spray nozzle a bit flimsy, it produces a fine mist that evenly coats the skin. It dries instantly and doesn't transfer on clothes when it has fully sunk in. Those with dry skin added that it helps moisturise dry patches, especially around the knees and elbows, while people with oily skin found it non-sticky.
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Our pick for the best fake tan foam or mousse is the Tanologist Express Tan Mousse. On THE ICONIC, it has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Tanologist's Express Tan Mousse has a transparent water-to-foam formula for an all-over even bronze. According to the brand, this won't block the pores, dry out the skin or transfer on clothes and sheets. You can achieve a light glow in just 2 hours. For a deeper bronze, the brand recommends leaving it overnight before showering.
This fake tan features pink grapefruit, goji berry and juniper to soften and hydrate the skin. It has root and resin extracts that help smoothen and firm. Customers said it's easy to use if you're an experienced self-tanner. But because it has no colour guide, beginners may find it difficult to get the results they want during the first few tries. The texture is easy to spread and lightweight, leaving the skin soft and moisturised. It's not as messy as more traditional fake tan formulas. However, it does have some stickiness that people with oily skin don't enjoy.
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We recommend the Isle of Paradise Fake Tan Water as the best fake tan water available online. It has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars from more than 1,800 Amazon customer reviews.
Made with actives and hydrating ingredients, the Isle of Paradise Fake Tan Water comes in 3 shades to cater to any colour you're after. They have different undertones – violet for deep colour, green to correct red tones and peach to brighten the skin. Each bottle doesn't have a colour guide, which means no blocked pores or colour transfer on sheets or clothes. It can be used for the face and has a refreshing scent.
Customers gave positive feedback on the product's ease of use, longevity and reasonable price. It produces a fine mist, evenly coating every inch of the body for an all-over natural glow. Its hydrating ingredients help soften and smoothen the skin without being greasy. According to users, it's streak-free and doesn't leave unwanted patchiness. This product gradually develops over time, which may be a disadvantage if you're looking for a more instant option.
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For the best fake tan lotion, we picked the Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion, which has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion has a salon-quality, lightweight formula infused with aloe vera and coconut for a long-lasting tan. It dries in seconds, revealing a natural-looking bronze without any streak. It comes in 3 shades – light/medium for those with a light-medium complexion and beginners, dark for those with an olive complexion or wanting a deeper glow and ultra-dark for a darker bronze.
According to reviews, this product is easy to use, fades evenly and is long-lasting. Its lotion formula is moisturising, leaving the skin silky smooth and plump. It's non-greasy and fast-drying, which minimises colour transfer on clothes. Additionally, you can get a light, natural glow in just 30 minutes. If you're after a deeper colour, you can leave it on for up to 6 hours. But because the available shades have an olive tone, people with pale skin found it orangey and unnatural looking for their complexion.
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This fake tan oil from Bondi Sands has a long-lasting, lightweight formula infused with a tropical coconut scent and argan oil for hydration. It features a pump spray nozzle for an even, mess-free application, suitable for beginners. Apart from being Australian-made, it's vegan and cruelty-free. It doesn't require any washing off, revealing a natural bronze in 2–3 hours.
If you're after a fake tan that provides a golden-bronzed glow, the Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Oil is a solid option. It sets instantly and develops over the course of 6 hours, lasting up to 1 week. It has a yummy coconut scent and a non-greasy formula that sinks into the skin, leaving it soft and nourished. But because it's in oil form, those with already oily skin found it too sticky for their liking.
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For pale skin, we picked Le Tan's Uber Dark Ash Base Foam as the best fake tan available online. It has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Chemist Warehouse.
Featuring highly concentrated tanning actives, Le Tan's Uber Dark Ash Base Foam has a dark, cool brown colour with ash undertones, perfect for those with pale skin. It won't look orange or too golden on the skin, but rather a natural-looking soft brown. The brand claims it has odour neutralisers that eliminate fake tan smells. Additionally, it has moisturising ingredients for intense hydration and an even application.
Numerous users were impressed by the product's ease of use, natural-looking results and longevity. It's fast-developing and quick-drying, providing an even tan without any streaks. The product is non-greasy but ultra-moisturising, perfect for dry skin. However, several customers found that it fades quite patchy, but this seems to be an isolated issue.
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Alba Botanica's Sunless Tanner Lotion is our choice for the best fake tan for dry skin. On Amazon, it has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars from over 2,000 reviews.
Alba Botanica's Sunless Tanner Lotion features a very emollient formula that leaves the skin moisturised and plump, suitable if you have dry skin. It doesn't contain parabens, phthalates or synthetic fragrances. The company claims that it's made from 100% vegetarian ingredients and is not tested on animals. It's non-streak and fast-absorbing, revealing a natural-looking tan in 3 hours.
Apart from being affordable, customers praised the product's soft texture, even application and natural results. It has olive tones, suitable for light-medium completion. But those with pale skin found it orangey for their preference. It gives a soft, natural-looking glow that is long-lasting, according to users. This fake tan has a strong self-tan smell, but customers said it dissipates after a couple of hours.
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For the face, our pick for the best fake tan is the Tanologist Face and Body Drops, which has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on THE ICONIC.
The Tanologist Face and Body Drops is designed to be mixed into your favourite skincare, bodycare or makeup product for easy application. It has a transparent formula that won't block pores, dry the skin or transfer on clothes. The brand recommends using 1–2 drops for a subtle glow, but you can add more drops for a deeper tan.
According to users, this tan drop is a pleasant product to use. It glides smoothly and mixes nicely into any lotion, serum or moisturiser. It doesn't leave any patchiness and has a colour-free formula that doesn't stain the hands. Users said it develops gradually into a natural-looking soft tan. However, you can intensify the colour by using more. But because it has no colour guide, beginners might have difficulty with the product.
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With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Adore Beauty we recommend Eco Tan's Organic Invisible Tan as the best organic option.
Eco Tan's Organic Invisible Tan is formulated without any harsh chemicals or harmful ingredients. It has a rich, nourishing texture that spreads onto the skin, revealing a naturally bronzed glow after 8 hours. It's packed with hydrators to ensure your skin is properly hydrating. It's vegan and cruelty-free as well.
Customers praised the product's lightweight yet nourishing formula, ease of use and natural-looking colour. It delivers a subtle glow that most buyers said lasts up to 10 days. It contains aloe vera, geranium, avocado, macadamia and chamomile, helping condition the skin for a soft and smooth result. It only comes in a medium/dark option which may be too orange for those with fair 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 any old fake tan. This ensures you've got a clean base for the tan to be evenly distributed over.
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.
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.
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.
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