Not everyone has the luxury of basking in the sun for hours to keep their skin looking nice and bronzy. And even for those who do, UV rays are not the skin’s best friend. They can cause all sorts of health problems including cancer or you may be UV-sensitive.
You are also out of luck if it’s winter when you have to contend with pale white skin for months.
Luckily, tanning has become a year-round trend thanks to all the many sunless ways you can tan. One of the best and easiest is using a tan spray. You don’t have to go to a salon or spa to use a tanning bed or get into a tanning booth.
Just read the instructions (very important) and then spray on that sun-kissed look.
Tanning sprays are great because you don’t have to wait long to see the results. Tanning in the sun, which has its fair share of downsides, takes hours before your skin has enough melanin to turn golden. Tanning in a tan bed also takes time before your skin fully reacts to the UV exposure.
With a spray tan you can quickly bronze your skin in the morning just before you start your day. It’s safe for everyone, it’s easy to apply and the tan lasts long (5-10 days).
It’s very important that you apply it the right way. If you don’t prep your skin properly you’ll end up with awkward streaks or the spray tan could get ‘cakey’. That’s why it’s important to read the instructions.
Best Tan Spray Reviews
If you are ready to try some easy and quick sunless tan, we’ve done all the work for you. After comparing dozens of brands and customer reviews, we have picked five great spray tans you can buy online in the UK.
This is a great tan for beginners or those who have not had much success with other spray tans. It’s really easy to apply and doesn’t leave streaks on your skin. You just need to exfoliate a day prior and then apply as directed.
The 360-degree nozzle allows you to spray every part of your body evenly including those hard-to-reach areas. Use the included applicator mitt to spread the tan evenly on your skin. Wait until it dries before getting dressed and then give it 4-8 hours before taking a shower.
Most customers find it easier to apply it before bed and then take a shower in the morning.
What we like about it:
- Produces a deeper and darker tan that lasts longer than most tan sprays.
- Very easy to use even for complete beginners.
- Super-fine light mist that applies evenly on your skin without streaking or caking.
If you are looking for something a bit cheaper this spray tan by Australian Gold is perfect. It comes in a large 237ml bottle.
It is meant for use just before you go outside. It contains SPF 15 to protect you from UV and UVB rays. If you redden, peel or burn easily when in the sun, this will help.
Note that it’s not a tan accelerator. It just contains an instant bronzer that enhances your own natural tan.
It’s also not sunscreen so make sure you apply proper sunscreen whenever you go out.
What we like about it:
- Uses a deep bronzer to enhance your natural tan.
- Non-oily and non-greasy.
- Easy to wash out if it stains your clothes.
- Contains SPF.
This is a multi-purpose tan spray that also hydrates your skin and can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
It doesn’t carry any strong smells, is non-greasy and doesn’t leave any streaks behind. Apply it after you take a shower to get an instant glow.
Many customers say it doesn’t give you as dark a tan as other tan sprays. It’s best for those who are looking for a light-to-medium tan. It’s also ideal if you have very fair skin which requires just a light tan spray to bronze.
The Skinny Tan spray uses a natural tanning agent. So it’s very gentle on your skin. It’s perfect if you have sensitive skin. It also contains organic oils to moisturise and smoothen your skin as well as guarana berries to reduce cellulite and stretch marks.
What we like about it:
- Easy to use.
- Gentle on sensitive skin.
- Moisturises and helps with stretch marks.
If you want the best value for your money this is the best tan spray. It comes in a supersized half litre bottle but costs less than many other smaller tan sprays. Go for it if you want a tan spray that will last you all winter long before the sun peeks out again.
The biggest compliment from customers is that it produces a very natural bronze. Many other tan sprays turn out a bit ‘orangey’ or just look too fake. The tan from this spray is impossible to distinguish from your own natural sun tan.
It’s gentle enough for use on all skin types and produces a nice even coverage without leaving any streaks.
What we like about it:
- Deep natural-looking tan that lasts long.
- Eco-friendly – not tested on animals and recyclable packaging.
- Large bottle.
This one uses L’Oréal’s micro-diffusion technology to provide a deep even tan without the need to rub the spray into your skin. Just a light spritz on your face and then give it a few hours to set in before taking a shower.
The tan is very natural and lasts long. But you can reapply every 24 hours if you want. The bottle is a bit small but it’s perfect for a facial-only tan spray.
In addition to the beautiful summer glow it gives your skin, it also contains hydrating ingredients.
What we like about it:
- Hydrates skin.
- Natural tan.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does a spray tan last?
How long you can enjoy your artificially sun kissed look depends on how dark you have chosen to go in the first place. The darker you have gone, the longer your tan will last – but you don’t want to make the mistake of going for a shade that is much darker than your natural skin tone just to make your tan last, as you will end up looking very artificial!
The active ingredient in spray tan is Dihydroxycetone, and the darker the solution is the more DHA it will contain.
There are a few things that you can do yourself to help your spray tan last longer:
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Scrub your skin as often as you can in the three days leading up to your spray tan – this will help remove the dead skin cells that can inhibit the tan settling deep into your tissues.
- Don’t wax within 24 hours. If you have a waxing treatment within a day of having your spray tan, you may end up with an uneven tone.
- Shower. Obviously you will turn up clean to your appointment, right? Try to time this shower for eight hours before you are due to be sprayed. This means that your skin has time to balance the pH before your tan, yet it still benefiting from the exfoliation.
- …and then wait to shower. Give it at least six hours between your spray tan and your next cleaning session, to allow the solution to sit long enough to make a difference.
- Wear loose fitting clothes. Wearing anything tight on your newly tanned skin can cause indentation and streaking, so keep it comfy. What better excuse to sit around in your jammies!
2. Do spray tans look natural?
At home tanning kits can be pretty hit and miss. You might miss a spot, apply it thicker in some areas than others, or even apply it twice in some areas. Nothing screams “I’ve tanned myself from a bottle!” than streaks, and patches of darker areas and lighter ones.
Spray tans, on the other hand, are a different matter. You cannot apply a spray tan at home, which means they will be performed by a trained professional who is paid to make you look good! Spray tans are also much more evenly distributed, using a fine spray of the product all over your body for an even coverage all over the skin.
A spray tan can look incredibly natural and beautiful; giving you a naturally sun kissed look without the dangers that come from sitting out in the sun. Ok, sitting in the sun is free and you will have to pay for a spray tan – but you won’t have to pay much, and you can enjoy the beauty of a suntanned skin without the risks of exposing yourself to the sun.
3. How do you keep a spray tan from rubbing off?
When you get a spray tan, you will have heard all the horror stories about stained sheets, clothes that are streaked beyond repair, and the smell (oh, the smell…) But how do you keep the precious stuff from rubbing off all over the place, in fact over everything except your body? Read on…
- Exfoliate before your spraying. Removing as many dead skin cells as possible before you are tanned will help the tan stick to the skin for longer than it would if you hadn’t removed those cells.
- Shower eight hours before your appointment. This means you can exfoliate and arrive at your appointment clean, yet still allow your skin’s pH to reach its normal levels before you arrive.
- Wear light, loose, preferably cotton clothing after your tan. Anything tight or restrictive can cause lines and indentations, and synthetic fabrics can make you sweat, so stick to loose natural fibres.
- Stay away from creams, lotions and deodorants. Adding anything artificial to your skin after you have had a spray tan is a no no, as anything that you put on your skin can affect the tanning chemicals.
- Shower in lukewarm water. You may be asked to shower straight away, or wait for a few hours after your spray tan, depending on the type. Whichever way you have gone, make sure the water is on the cool side of warm so you don’t boil away your tan.
- Use a gentle moisturiser. Avoid any harsh chemicals, or those which can strip the skin, to make sure that the tan can stay in the skin as long as possible.