Best instant fake tan 2021

·5-min read
 (Isle of Paradise)
(Isle of Paradise)

Our hopes of being bikini-clad on a beach in a far-flung tropical destination may be just a pipe dream but that won’t stop us having a healthy glow this summer and beyond.

If the British summertime won’t give us the fresh-from-the-beach glow that we need, we will find it some other way, and that is through the wonder of fake tans.

There is just something that just makes you feel so much more confident and healthier when you have a tan, but by using a fake tan, you can avoid the sun damage entirely.

If you have steered away from false tanning in the past, we understand. There is a lot of room for error and no-one wants to look like they’ve just been Tangoed. But this crop of products use the latest in tanning innovation to leave streaks and that unusual biscuity smell behind and give you a natural-looking glow.

First and foremost, you must exfoliate around 24 hours before tanning to remove dead skin. Prep is essential to give your tan a realistic finish and for a longer lasting and more seamless application. Always use a mitt to prevent the formula staying between your fingers - the most obvious sign that your tan may not be as real as it appears.

Instant tanners give you immediate results and are lifesavers for those quick fixes, whether it's a last minute Zoom meeting or you need a pick-me-up to counteract the signs of a long, sunless winter. There are a range of shades to choose between where it tends to be that the more layers applied and the longer that you leave it on, the deeper the colour. Whether you prefer lotions, mousses or even spray-ons, there’s countless textures and formulas.

We have gathered our favourite instant tans to give you an immediate sunkissed complexion.

St. Moriz Advanced Pro Fast Tan Fast Response Tanning Mist

Bring a professional spray tan-like experience to the comfort of your own home with this mist from St Moriz. In just one hour, you will get a light glow that will develop into a deeper tan the longer you leave it. It is easily applied without streaks and will leave you with a realistic glow.

 (St. Moriz)
(St. Moriz)

£8.99 | Feel Unique

Tanologist Instant Tan Lotion

For quick fixes and those times when you aren’t looking for a long-term tan, this option acts as an equivalent to body makeup that lasts for 24 hours and then can be removed just by showering. Even though it is not designed to last for an extensive period of time, it will not transfer onto your clothing or stain your sheets. It absorbs quickly into your skin and feels soft and smooth on application.

£11.99 | lookfantastic

St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse

Get greater control over the shade of your tan with this mousse from tanning experts St. Tropez. In only one hour, you will get a sunkissed look that deepens as time goes on. The formula doesn’t look streaky and dries quickly after application. It works to hydrate your skin and even has a pleasant fragrance.

 (St. Tropez)
(St. Tropez)

£12 | Feel Unique

Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self-Tanning Foam 1 Hour Express

Bondi Sands’ latest innovative in self-tanning technology has resulted in this express tanning foam that sprays directly onto your skin to leave you with a bronzed finish in just one short hour. It is quick drying, long-lasting and has a lovely coconut fragrance.

£12.79 | lookfantastic

Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Self Tan

Drugstore hero Rimmel is on hand with this wash-off product that will have you feeling tanned, healthy and confident in an instant. The blendable formula leaves a matte finish without patching or staining, but despite it being easily removable with soap and water, it will not run in a rainstorm.

£5.94 | Boots

Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant

Celebrity tan expert Jules Von Hep has designed this instant tan to have you disco ready as soon as the lockdown lifts. Make the most of the bronzing, illuminating and colour correcting benefits, while also nourishing skin with the winning formula of avocado, chia seed and coconut oils.

£11.21 | lookfantastic

Ambre Solaire No Streaks Medium Self Tan Body Mist

Very much a cult product, Ambre Solaire is on-hand to give a last minute, quick-fix tan to satisfied beauty fans everywhere. The mist formulation sits seamlessly onto your skin to give a realistic finish. It is quick drying and doesn’t even need to be rubbed in.

£10.99 | Superdrug

Bali Body 1 Hour Express Self Tan

Giving you an instant glow and nourishing your skin at the same time, you really can’t go wrong with Bali Body’s 1 Hour Express Tan. The product is packed with antioxidants and vitamins to treat your skin, while offering a natural and realistic-looking tan.

 (Bali Body)
(Bali Body)

£17.95 | Bali Body

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

No matter the occasion, Vita Liberata has got you covered. Forget body makeup that will go all over your clothes or sheets, this formula evens skin’s appearance, covers imperfections and gives you a natural tint, all while staying put until you shower.

£19.66 | Boots


St. Moriz Fast Tan Response Tanning Mist gives you a professional experience without a hefty price tag. The tan that will give real bang for its buck, it will leave you with a natural straight from the beach like finish.

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