The best body self tanners for glowing, sunkissed skin

Ayesha Muttucumaru 1 August 2017
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The best self-tanner products for sunkissed skin

When it comes to giving limbs a summer lift, long gone are the days when we’d have to put in some serious sunbed time to give skin a deeper glow. More and more people are hitting the bottle, (so to speak), to achieve perfectly sunkissed skin , with a fake tan to fit all manner of faux glow needs. From au naturel to super dark, glowing to buildable, here’s our pick of the best self-tanners on the market to suit fake tan newbies and experts alike.

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The airbrush: Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant Skin Finish

Our Online Editor Judy Johnson says, “Much like a makeup for the body, this is an instant tanning product which just goes to show how far products have come in the self-tan stakes. Body Blur has a wonderfully light, non-greasy texture, thanks to a shea butter and aloe base, and once on it feels velvet-soft. Best of all, though, is the finish; it does not streak (even if you’re a self-tan virgin, you’ve totally got this) and it leaves legs and limbs looking silky, glowing and with a sunkissed, healthy tint.

“It’s the ideal option if you have sensitive skin and can’t use DHA-based tans - it may wash off, but it’ll also do your skin some good while it’s applied. The only downside is the price, in terms of the size and the fact that at the end of the day you will be washing it away in the shower; 100ml is not going to last long if you’re using it on your legs or indeed all over (you can use it on the face, too). I imagine it’s popular on catwalks and perhaps one to invest in for a summer wedding or event; it really is something special.”

£29.95.  Buy online .

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Au naturel: Sienna X Gradual Glowing Self Tan

For a soft and sunkissed tan, look no further than this particular skin boosting body bronzer. Leaving none of the tell-tale streaks that indicate it came from a bottle rather than a beach, it gives skin a believably golden radiance to give your fake tan a serious reality check. It’s also refreshingly biscuit-scented free, with a coconut fragrance that’ll have you radiating that holiday feeling in more ways than one. No wonder it’s one of our Editor-in-Chief Susannah Taylor’s favourite picks...

£15.95.  Buy online .

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Medium to dark: St Tropez Every Day Gradual Tan in Medium/Dark

Described as “Bronze glow perfection,” by our Editor-in-Chief, this top gradual tan pick provides both beautifully natural looking honey-toned skin and buildable coverage in one fell swoop. A great pick for lighter skin tones from pale to olive, it’s sublimely easy to apply and quick-drying to make achieving a more intense tan pretty much accessible for all - no matter the time of year.

£14.50.  Buy online .

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Super dark: James Read Sleep Mask Tan Go Darker Body and Face

Our Editor-in-Chief Susannah Taylor says, “I’m quite a fearless self-tanner - I’ve been around since the dawn of St Tropez’s mud, so I’m pretty au fait with faux-tinting my skin. However, when something says ‘Go Darker’ on it, you can’t help feeling a little afraid as to what colour you might end up. There was no need to worry though. Celebrity self-tanner James Read has moved the super popular Sleep Mask Tan a step on and created this (one for face and one for body) with added oomph. I loved it.

“I applied the body one everywhere before bed using a mitt and it went on smoothly (although you must ensure all areas of skin are covered). It also sank in quickly so you needn’t worry about feeling sticky under the sheets. I applied the face one too using my fingertips and made sure to wash them before hitting the hay. This morning I awoke with a flawless, even tan that was neither orange, whiffy or streaky, neither was it the colour of Bisto - just a beautiful Gisele type glow. The shorts are definitely coming out this weekend.”

James Read Sleep Mask Go Darker Body, £35.  Buy online .

James Read Sleep Mask Go Darker Face, £25.  Buy online .

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Buildable: Benefit Hoola Zero Tanlines Bronzer

An instant tan that brings the benefits of the brand’s bestselling face bronzer from face to body, this natural-looking self-tan provides a hands-free helping hand in the quest for achieving an even all-over glow.

A favourite of GTG Senior Features Writer Anna Hunter, she comments, “The sponge applicator's in the lid, making streaks a thing of the past plus, you don't have to cart around a manky mitt. Hands-free tanning made seriously simple. Genius.” Goodbye oompa-loompa palms.

£25.  Buy online .

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Glowing skin: Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion and Moisturiser for Face

Super moisturising, subtle and radiance-enhancing, this fake tan scored full points with our Art Editor, Sarah McGinnis. “It gradually built into a nice golden colour with a lovely healthy glow,” she said, adding, “It was also really light and non-greasy too.”

Non-streaky with none of the usual fake tan aromas (added bonus!) think of it as luminous holiday skin in a bottle...

Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion, £36.  Buy online .

Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser for Face, £31.  Buy online .

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Long-lasting: Vita Liberata pHenomenol 2-3 Week Tan in Medium

Want to keep your colour for longer? Then look no further than this mightily impressive long-lasting self-tanning mousse that ensures that you get maximum bronze for your buck.

Designed to be layered to achieve your desired level of intensity, give optimum shelf-life to your self-tan by opting for one application for 7 days, two for 10 or three or 2-3 weeks. The choice is yours.

£37.50.  Buy online .