The best fake tan for a golden glow

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No need to spend a day on the beach

As the warmer weather slowly creeps in we’re plucking up the courage to show a little skin, whether that’s shorter sleeves or the odd flash of ankle, and so our minds have turned to the best fake tan.

But the world of self-tanning can seem like a bit of a minefield from the outside if you don’t know what you’re doing and while the best bronzer helps your case, sometimes it just doesn’t cut the mustard. Don’t panic – if you follow our foolproof fake tan tips, you’ll have a golden glow that supermodels would envy in no time.

Thankfully, we’’re spoilt for choice when it comes to your fake tanning formula.

Types of fake tan

Instant tans come with the benefit of immediate results, as you can see where you have and haven’t already bronzed up, while mousse tans are quick-drying formulas.

Then there are gradual moisturisers, which build up your tan over a period of a few days and at home spray-on tans that’ll fix you up in a matter of seconds. Or, if you’re pushed for time and want to easily integrate fake tanning into your daily routine, look to an in-shower tan à-la San Tropez.

The world of fake tan is ever-evolving, and exciting brands like James Read’’s eponymous label are constantly changing the way we tan. His Sleep Mask Tan, a genius product that (as you might have guessed) tans your skin while you sleep and is a firm favourite of Team Marie Claire’s.

New-gen tanning products come with some pretty revolutionary benefits, like customising your own shade. Brands like Xen-Tan and Tan Luxe are making it easier than ever to develop a formula that compliments your own natural colouring, so you don’t end up going an orange, biscuit shade.

Once you’ve got all of that down-pat, make sure you learn how to remove fake tan properly; there’s nothing worse than going patchy after a dreamy fake tan job three days earlier. And whatever you do, don’t throw your used tanning mitt in the washing machine when you’re done. Even if you wash your mitt on its own, the next load of washing you do will come out the wrong colour…

The best fake tan for face

But wait! Fake tanning your face isn’t the same process as your body. The skin on your face requires a completely different formula as it’s far more delicate and sensitive, so you want a specialised tan with no harsh ingredients. Enter fake tan for your face. There’s a whole host of specially developed fake tans for the face, but arguably the easiest to apply is Ambre Solaire’s. Alternatively, go for a good bronzer to fake a glow instead.

Shop now: Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Self Tan Mist, £8.49, Boots

What’s the best fake tan for pale skin?

The darkest fake tans will contain around 18 per cent DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which is the ingredient that gives you that tan. So, if you’re fairer skinned it’s better to aim for levels that are between two and five per cent, so that you don’t look like you’ve overdone it.

If you want a deeper shade, layer up these formulas. Trust us, you’ll get more of a golden glow by doing this than you will by simply reaching for a darker fake tan. St Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Mousse works with your natural skin tone for the best results, and the mousse formula is easy to apply evenly.

Shop now: St Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Mousse, £14.50, Boots

Can’t get away for some winter sun?

Consider this your one-way ticket to having a summer glow, all year round.

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