Whatever time of year it is, we all crave that “just got back from holiday” glow, don’t we? Whether it’s not having to wear as much make-up or simply just feeling like our best selves, the benefits of having a freshly bronzed glow can’t be underestimated. At this point, we’ve made it through winter and would normally be starting to get some rays of vitamin D again—but what if the spring sunshine has yet to emerge from winter retirement or, oh I don't know, you've spent the best part of the last 12 months inside? We must, then, get resourceful—and that's where tanning drops come in.
Tanning drops have personally been my saviour for a long while now. I was a self-confessed tan-o-phobe (I’m quite fair-skinned, an SPF worshipper and have many a fake-bake horror story to tell), but since discovering the joy of these bottles of sunshine, I haven’t looked back. My purse—thanks to me having to re-buy my make-up far less often—and my skin, have definitely thanked me too!
If you’re a newbie to face-tanning, the beauty of these products is that you have a lot more control than slathering on a foam all over your body and hoping for the best. Most are sheer and have varying shades so you can start light with one or two drops and add or change shade as you see fit. But just a couple of drops in your daily moisturiser or as a serum under your usual routine can really make a huge difference in how fresh you’re feeling. Trust me—tanning drops are all about the glow.
Keep scrolling for our personal favourites, from some of the most luxury offerings out there to the more affordable but just as effective options.
Shop Tanning Drops
Tan-Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum (£35)
This cult serum is beloved for its streak-free formula and natural finish. Plus, it keeps skin hydrated all day thanks to a healthy dose of hyaluronic acid.
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops Light (£20)
Mix a few of these drops in with your usual moisturiser for an instant glow.
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops Dark (£20)
Specially formulated for deeper skin tones, mix as few or as many drops in with your moisturiser to boost luminosity.
Balance Me Gradual Tanning Drops (£30)
Proving that tan doesn't have to rely on harsh chemicals, these gradual formulation from Balance Me is 98.8% natural.
Tan-Luxe The Face Self-Tan Drops Light/Medium (£35)
These versatile drops can be worn alone or mixed with your usual moisturisers and serums for a customisable colour to suit you.
Tan-Luxe The Face Self-Tan Drops Medium/Dark (£35)
The same premise as above but in a more pigmented formula for deeper complexions.
Lumene Nordic-C Midsummer Glow Self-Tan Drops (£26)
Not only does this product impart a natural sun-kissed glow but it contains vitamin C and wild arctic cloudberry to boost radiance long-term, too.
James Read H2O Tan Drops Face (£30)
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley swears by James Read for glowy skin.
Oskia Adaptive Self Tanning Drops (£70)
These tanning drops last on your skin for 7-10 days so there's no need to re-apply.
Collistar Face Magic Drops (£39)
It takes less than an hour for these self-tan drops to develop a golden glow on your skin.
By Terry Tea to Tan Face and Body (£55)
Give this a good shake to activate then spritz over your face and body for all-over radiance.
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body (£27)
Tanning drops aren't just for your face. Mix this one with your favourite body lotion to give limbs a sun-kissed sheen.
Tanologist Self-Tan Drops Medium (£15)
Easy-to-use tan drops that develop over 4 hours.
Balibody Face Tan Water (£26)
Think of this as a glow-boosting toner.
Tan Luxe Sleep Oil (£34)
A product that evens skin tone, diminishes fine lines and creates a natural glowy skin while you snooze? We're sold.
Vitage Illuminating Tanning Drops (£31)
These glow drops work for all skin tones, just vary the amount you mix with your moisturiser to get the right intensity.
ESPA Gradual Tan Face Concentrate (£20)
Probably the best-smelling tan drops of the bunch, this concentrate is infused with neroli, sweet orange and rose essential oils for a dreamy aroma.
St.Tropez Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Serum (£22)
A skin-plumping, tan-infused serum that leaves skin luminous.
Oskia Nutri-Bronze Adaptive Sheer Tinted Serum (£60)
Part-bronzing tint, part-youthful serum, this is effectively healthy-looking skin in a bottle.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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