The best fake tan: 5 self tanners we really love
Is there anything that makes you feel as confident as a fake tan? We don’t think so. If you don’t know the feeling, we’d highly recommend getting on the self tanning train and experiencing it for yourself. We also know that finding the right self tanner can be hard, but we’re here to help you on your journey to get the best fake tan.
Sunless tanning has been growing in popularity for a while now, and it’s especially prevalent because people are more aware of the damage that the sun can cause. So instead of slathering tanning oils on, laying out for hours and risking looking like a leather bag down the line or even worse, skin cancer, consumers have turned to self tanning products.
To help with this quest in finding the best fake tan - and also a natural looking tan - we’ve rounded up our favourite tanning products. Plus some tips to help you get that perfect golden glow, of course.
- Bondi Sands Aerated Self Tanning Foam
- ModelCo Tan Jelly
- Minetan Colour Base Self Tan Foam
- JBronze 1 Hour Rapid Tan Mousse
- Sunescape Illuminating Body Tint
- 4 tips for the best fake tan
5 of the best fake tanners
While we often can’t go past their multi award-winning Self Tanning Foam in Dark which a lot of you might argue is the best fake tan out there - we’re really excited about the latest addition to the Bondi Sands family: the Aerated Self Tanning Foam in Liquid Gold.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Liquid Gold is Bondi Sands’ self tanning dry oil formula that hydrates the skin with Argan Oil and only takes 2-3 hours to develop. They’ve now combined that with their new aerated foam formula - still enriched with Argan Oil for ultimate skin hydration - that requires no wash off!
Yas, you heard us - just apply and go. Perfect for time poor self tanners and also for those new at the fake tan game, the super light aerated formula is easy to apply and dries really quickly as well.
Colour pay off: Natural looking, golden Australian tan.
Hot Tip: If you’re after a deeper bronze colour, wait half an hour after your first application and then apply another coat.
This might just be our favourite new formula of 2019… a tan jelly! ModelCo have just released their new tanning products and people are already loving this translucent formula that just glides onto the skin. Designed not only to give you the perfect faux-glow, this tan jelly also melts into your skin to help soften and moisturise it with Coconut Oil and Vitamin E. Because it has no instant bronzer colour in it, you also don’t have to worry about it leaving any residue on towels, sheets or clothing.
Colour pay off: Gradual-style sunkissed glow, natural radiance.
Hot Tip: Massage in a circular motion all over the body, including the back of your hands and top of your feet.
3. Minetan Colour Base Self Tan Foam
We know that a lot of you won’t even consider anything other than the Minetan tanning foams because of their innovative colour bases.
So, what makes them such a strong contender for the best fake tan? Minetan have created a series of self tan foams that let you customise your bronze glow based on your skin type, tone and desired finish. If you’ve ever wondered why a particular fake tan looks orange on you but not on someone else, the colour base might be the answer.
At the end of the day though, Minetan says that their tanning foams are suitable for every skin type so you should pick depending on the finish you want. So whether it’s a more natural ‘lit from within’ glow or a deeper colour that makes you look like you’ve been traversing around Europe for three months - they’ve got something for everyone. All their self tan foams feature tan-extending antioxidants and hydrating oils to help deliver that picture perfect wash off tan in as little as one hour.
Colour pay off:
Caramel: Classic, sun-kissed, golden skin finish
Mink: Cool, mid-tone natural brown (complements neutral, pale skin tones)
Original/Olive: Deep bronze, super dark finish (classic green-based tan favoured by salons)
Violet: Rich/warm bronze, super dark brown finish inspired by the Mediterranean sun (counteracts yellow and orange undertones)
Dark Ash: Cooler tan, super dark brown finish inspired by the Brazlian sun (counteracts red undertones)
Blue Black: Deep and rich bronze, super dark finish with cool undertones (complements darker skin tones)
Hot Tip: Choose how dark you want to go - shower in 1 hour for a natural tan, shower in 2 hours for a dark tan or shower in 3 hours for a deep, dark tan.
You'll also find each of these colour finishes for Minetan's range of spray tan machine mists. Simply choose the colour pay off you're after, connect to your spray tan machine and watch the professional tan appear before your eyes.
The latest addition to the Oz Hair & Beauty tanning family, J Bronze, is turning it up a notch with their 1 Hour Rapid Tan Mousse. While we don’t mind sleeping in our tans, sometimes we just need something a little quicker.
This is where the Rapid tan Mousse comes in. They’re calling it their most advanced, long-lasting, darkest and best fake tan yet - especially since this instant tan mousse uses a violet colour base to produce a deep beautiful golden glow. The formula is also packed with green tea, aloe vera and walnut extract to hydrate and nourish your skin.
Colour pay off: Deep, warm bronze
Hot tip: Even though it’s a 1 hour mousse, you can still leave it on for 2 hours for a medium tan, 3 hours for a dark tan or sleep in it for 8 hours for a super dark result.
Far from being just another Bondi-born tanning label, Sunescape are quickly becoming favourites in the best fake tan race thanks to their super natural colour pay off. Also, in our opinion, the fun names for their popular self tanning mousse like ‘Month in Maui’ and ‘Week in Fiji’ help as well. But today we’re here to talk about their Illuminating Body Tint. A true godsend.
It’s essentially a creamy lotion with a hint of shimmer, but it gives you the perfect bronzed glow. It’s also packed full of nourishing ingredients like aloe vera to help reduce skin redness and irritation, plus all the good oils like coconut, macadamia, and argan - each playing their part in moisturising and improving skin elasticity. It’s also excellent for smoothing out uneven skin tones - so perfect for when you need a quick fix and you need to get your legs out on short notice.
Hot tip: Wear the body tint on its own or use it over the top of your current wash off tan to help enhance and extend its life.
Other must-haves to make your faux glow the best fake tan ever
So apart from finding the right brand and formula in the best fake tan game, it also helps to get all the pre and post maintenance right to make sure you really get the best colour and life out of your new faux glow. So we thought we’d end this with some more hot tips that will help you get the best fake tan on your face and body.
Remove any old fake tan
It really goes without saying that you need to get rid of any old wash off tan or build up to get the best fake tan possible. We know it’s easy to just keep layering it on but this is where it goes patchy. You also really have no excuse when products like Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser and Minetan 2-in-1 Ultra Cleansing Tan Eraser exist.
Exfoliate at least 24 hours before
Like most things hair and body related, you’ll get the most out of your treatments if you already have a primed surface. So this means scrubbing away any dead skin - focusing particularly on dry patches like elbows, knees and ankles.
You can use a gentle scrub like the Treaclemoon My Coconut Island Body Scrub which uses jojoba wax to buff away any dead and dry skin while polishing it as well. Or you can combine the tip above and this one by using the ModelCo Tan Remover Exfoliating Soap, which can remove old self tan, streaks and build up while using a natural pumice to exfoliate at the same time.
Get your mitts on
It’s especially important when you’re using a tanning foam or mousse that you have the right mitt. If you’ve been applying using your hands, this will genuinely change the way you tan and guarantee a streak free finish. The guys at Bondi Sands have nailed their version and no matter what brand we use, we always revert back to the Bondi Sands Tanning Mitt. It can be used for all formulas, including mists, gradual tans and lotions as well.
If you’re a strong, independent woman that needs a little help with tanning your back, ModelCo also have a handy Self-Tan Back Applicator that we love. A tanning back applicator will ensure you never miss a patch ever again - plus you don't need to call in your boyfriend, best friend or mum to help you out! That's right, tanning back applicators keep independent women, independent 🙋♀️
Hydrate your skin
We can’t stress this enough but you need to moisturise both before and consistently after fake tanning. Like we said earlier, prepping your skin beforehand by exfoliating and with moisturisers will help prime the area to get that perfect fake tan result. We’d usually do this right after exfoliating and also an extra layer about 30 minutes before tanning. We’ve been loving the Vitamin E and jojoba-enriched Bondi Sands Body Moisturiser for this very purpose.
As for after the tan, daily moisturising will help extend the life of a tan and keep that golden glow going. You can use the same one or we also love gradual tanners to really help extend your fake tan’s life. Something like the Sunescape Illuminating Body Tint or their Gradual Tan Extender are like two-in-one moisturisers and tan extenders.
Start living your best fake tan life today
Now you know all there is to know about the different brands and formulas we’ve been loving - plus you’re armed with those handy tips as well - get started on your new faux glow right now. We all know that Thursday nights are universal tanning day, so shop the best tan products and skin care on Oz Hair & Beauty today so you can join in this week.
Did you love this post about achieving the perfect, natural fake tan? There's much more where that came from! Read about all things hair and beauty including how to make hair colour last longer, how to curl your hair with a curling wand and why we think this is the best clay mask out there - all on the Oz Hair and Beauty blog today! While you're at it, now's a good time to stock up on makeup brushes, brow pomade and all things beauty - trust us, we know!
People also asked:
How to remove fake tan
There are a few ways to remove fake tan, which include: exfoliating, using a special fake tan remover, applying oil to your skin, getting your sweat on and shaving.
What is body lotion?
Body lotions are designed to keep your skin soft, smooth and hydrated. They stop moisture leaving your skin and will help to prevent dry, rough, scaly or itchy skin.
Yas! Sweating is actually good for you, and because the skin under our armpits is so sensitive, we have to make sure we’re looking after it. Natural deodorant is free from alcohol, parabens and contains only natural ingredients - all of which keep you smelling fresh!