Four fake tans that will change your tanning game forever

Pick your poison...

winter-friendly fake tans
(Image credit: IMAXtree)

Pick your poison...

Let's face it, winter tends to leave those of us with naturally paler skin looking pastier than we ever thought possible. And, while reaching for the fake tan might be the obvious answer, it can be a bit of a challenge finding something that doesn't look overly orange on you when you're drained of all colour.

Well, don't panic: We've found five hero fake tans that are winter skin friendly and won't make you look like a walking, talking cheese puff. Whether you prefer a mousse formula or an instant, buildable tan, we've found the perfect pick for you.

Whatever your chosen tan, don't forget that the first step to getting a good fake tan is a good exfoliator. At the moment, we're loving ELEMIS Devils Mint Body Scrub, £28, Or, if you prefer something a little more relaxing, definitely give Molton Brown's Ylang-Ylang Comforting Body Polish, £34,, a try.

When we feel our legs are looking a bit pasty, many of us will reach for a gradual tanning moisturiser to give us back our healthy glow. Tinted moisturisers are great because you can build up the colour until you're satisfied with the results, and then use every other day or so to maintain the results. We recommend Clinique's Body Tinted Lotion in Light Medium, £20,, which adds a touch of colour that won't stand out too much for winter.

However, if you get on best with a mousse formula, give James Read Tan Bronzing Mousse, £25,, a whirl. It's ideal for those who consider themselves 'tanning beginners', as it's really easy to see where you're applying it and builds up gradually.

If you like to be tanned for one night only, then a wash off tan is probably the best choice for you. Vita Liberata's Fabulous Illuminate Wash Off Body Bronzer, £9.95,, doesn't break the bank and provides great results. For the winter months, you'll only need one, maybe two layers max to achieve a nice glow.

Frankly there's nothing worse than when your tan starts to come off and you're left with an uneven, patchy tan. To combat that, we recommend you try He-Shi Sublime Dry Oil, £13.33, Apply the oil to your skin once you've finished putting on your tan. Not only does it leave your tan with a velvety smooth finish, but it'll help to protect your tan and stop it from wearing off in patches. Ideal.

Shop the full range of fake tan over at our Fabled beauty store, now

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.