We're About to Have Another Heat Wave, So Don't Pack Away Your Fake Tan Just Yet

Updated 04/20/19
Best Fake Tan: Lucy Williams on Holiday
Fashion Me Now

We've been pretty lucky this summer, and by pretty lucky we mean extremely lucky. We've had a good solid two(ish) months of scorching hot sunshine, enough to make you want to cancel your holiday and save it for the colder months because England has well and truly felt like a holiday destination. That was until this past bank holiday weekend when the rain began. But don't panic just yet, because according to the Met office, we're going to experience an Indian summer. 

Met Office forecaster Emma Smith told the Mirror that while the start of this week will be rainy, "high pressures from Thursday sees most places dry with sunny spells." And we can expect it to last throughout September with temperatures in the low to mid-20s, which is pretty warm for this time of the year. So don't pack away your fake tan just yet, there's still time to show those bronzes limbs. 

Fake tan is pretty special. Not only can it help you score a holiday-worthy bronze free from all the sun damage (and travel expenses), but now that formulas are more advanced than ever, there are plenty of skin-nourishing benefits too.

An authentic-looking sunless tan that leaves skin softer than silk from the comfort of our own bathroom? Yep, that's our kind of deal. Even if you have super-sensitive skin that reacts badly to DHA (aka dihydroxyacetone, the key tanning agent in most fake tans), strong fragrances or harsher ingredients, there are still endless options for bagging a healthy glow. Plus, there are more formulas than ever suited to super fair and even darker skin tones too.

Of course, the tanning market is full of hits and misses, but we've set about rounding up the crème of the faux glows to help you sidestep streaks, patches, uneven fades and soggy smells while we're still experiencing the last of the summer sun. Ready to get yourself beach-bronzed? First, read our advice on how to tan in the winter, and then below you'll find a list of the best fake tan formulas in all the land.

This Works Perfect Legs Gradual Tan
This Works Perfect Legs Gradual Tan $38

Rules are meant to be broken, and although this bottle clearly states it is for the legs, we use this all over. The colour is really natural and buildable, plus it never streaks no matter how speedily you apply it.

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan
Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan $7

No time to wait for your tan to develop? This instant, wash-off option isn't just a doddle to use and real-looking to boot, but it is water-resistant so you'll need a shower and a good dose of body wash to remove it.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water $19

As the new kid on the tanning block, Isle of Paradise is basically the answer to all your tanning woes. We love the tanning water, as it takes the mess out of tanning and leaves you streak free.

Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil
Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil $45

Tan-Luxe's new and improved oil doesn't just tan you. It rejuvenates your skin, hydrates for up to 48 hours and boosts elasticity for younger-looking skin—all while giving you the dreamiest glow.

Nkd Skn Tinted Tan Mousse
Nkd Skn Tinted Tan Mousse $8

Love self-tan brand Vita Liberata? Good news: It's got an organic fake tan line too called Nkd Skn. It also promises no smell.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body $27

Ideal for anyone super fair or any timid tanners, these golden drops can be added to your daily body lotion for a super-nourished tan you can build up at your own pace.

Tan-Luxe The Water Hydrating Light
Tan-Luxe The Water Hydrating Light $33

It might look like a clear body mist, but this fake tan water totally works. Simply spritz a layer of the stuff on your body, buff over areas of rough skin like the elbows with a mitt, get dressed and allow it to work its magic over a few hours. Although the colour difference won't be as noticeable, it even works to boost the glow on dark skin.

Vita Liberta Phenomenal Self Tanner
Vita Liberta Phenomenal Self Tanner $38

Not only does this fake tan promise to last for two to three weeks (a must when you're on one of those long holidays), but it also comes in different shades, so no matter what side of the spectrum you're on, you're guaranteed to find the best fake tan for your skin tone.

Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint Bronzing Fluid
Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint Bronzing Fluid $26

If your skin reacts badly to DHA, opt for a gentle, wash-off formulation. This option from Liz Earle is enriched with vitamin E for a temporary glow that leaves skin soft and smooth.

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Serum
Guerlain Terracotta Sun Serum $39

This serum has become the stuff of legend amongst beauty editors. It's suitable for both the face and the body and just two drops added to your existing moisturiser will leave you with a healthier, perkier complexion.

James Read Tan Express Bronzing Mousse
James Read Tan Express Bronzing Mousse $24

James Read's hydrating formula is loved by A-listers and develops in just 60 minutes for an even, streak-free tan.

St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse
St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse $21

This best-selling product is an award winner for good reason. Light and airy, the formula glides on easily leaving a natural-looking tan—you might just need someone to help with your back.

TanOrganic Self-Tanning Oil
TanOrganic Self-Tanning Oil $25

With its citrus scent and organic plant extracts to care for dry skin, this tanning oil is a joy to apply and nourishes skin so well that it almost looks juicy.

Vita Liberata Self Tanning Tinted Lotion in Medium
Vita Liberata Self Tanning Tinted Lotion in Medium $20

This reparative formula that's free of harsh parabens teams organic plant extracts with tanning agents to nourish while it develops.

Xen Tan Dark Lotion
Xen Tan Dark Lotion $29

This is another best seller. Xen Tan's lotion mimics the olive tones of a deep, natural suntan for rich, even colour all over.

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