These self-tanning products promise glorious results for summer

Summer showers ruining your sunbathing plans? Katie Wright finds the finest fakes.

These self-tanning products promise glorious results for summer

WE should be relaxing in glorious sunshine right now, but it’s fair to say this summer’s been a washout so far, with more than its fair share of wind, rain and even flooding.

With sunbathing opportunities so few and far between, it’s time to hit the bottle — the self-tan bottle, that is.

The good news is this year’s also brought, well, a flood of new products that will help you get your glow on in no time.

Whether you’re a self-tan newbie or practically a pro, here are the best ways to fake it this summer...


Think self-tanning involves a tonne of prep, hours slathering on a smelly potion and then a long wait while precariously trying to avoid staining everything you touch?

Think again: The latest crop of express products get the job done in record time.

Sienna X HIT Express Tan, €31.94, is a ‘high intensity’ lotion that washes off after 60 minutes and develops over two to eight hours ( plus p&p).

Even faster, NKD SKN Pre-Shower Tan, €16.75, washes off after 10 minutes and can be used every time you shower to grow your glow gradually ( ).

And last year’s big tan hit, St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Golden Glow, currently reduced to €14.99 from €22.49, is back with a darker medium shade ( ).

Applied like a shower gel, it gives a deeper tan in just three minutes, and comes with the Kardashian seal of approval.


The active ingredient in most self-tanning products is a chemical form of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which can dry out the skin.

A new generation of naturally derived actives are revolutionising the sector, however.

Skinny Tan Self-Tan Mousse, €27.65, which uses DHA extracted from the brassica napus plant, has become Superdrug’s fastest-selling tanning product ( ).

Dr Organic has launched a range of Moroccan Glow Self- Tan Mousses, €20.89, available in light, medium and dark ( ).

Incredibly simple to use, Tan-Luxe Hydrating Self Tan Water, €30, is a world-first. A clear active-infused liquid that you spray on and don’t even have to rub in; just let it dry and watch the colour develop over two to four hours ( plus p&p).


If it’s the bottles of messy lotion and the difficulty of trying to reach every inch of your body that puts you off at-home bronzing, try one of these clever tools.

PHD Self Tanner Light, €23.70, is a spray that comes with an extendible arm, so you won’t have to bend over or contort yourself to reach those remote spots ( plus p&p).

Similarly, the Got Your Back Tan Applicator Mitt, €17.80, is a reusable velour mitt that’s designed for dispersing product evenly across your back, and comes from the same brand that brought us the post-tan Bronzie jumpsuit, €47.50 ( plus p&p).

For tanning on the go, Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Tanning Wipes,€3.50, are infused with the celeb-favourite glow-giver — perfect for holidays, festivals and pre-night-out touch-ups.


If you don’t want to go the whole hog with a full-body treatment, a touch of customisable ‘fake-up’ on your face will make a world of difference.

Tan-Luxe Illuminating Serum Self Tan Facial Drops, €36.80, is great for beginners. Mix a couple of drops with your usual moisturiser on the back of your hand and apply in the morning or evening to see a touch of tan develop over several days (  plus p&p).

Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti-Age Serum, €39, is also made for blending with your face cream, and comes with a host of complexion-boosting actives that promote collagen production and skin regeneration ( ).


Turning your skin a suitably sun-kissed shade may be the primary goal of these liquid-gold lotions, but a new wave of hybrid products combine tanning effects with skin-protecting properties.

Vita Liberata Marula Dry Oil Self Tan, €49, is the world’s first self-tan with SPF 50, making it safe to use in the sun, and is packed with African marula oil to drench skin with moisture ( ).

Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived Light-Medium Gradual Self-Tan Body Lotion, reduced to €4.99 from €9.99, contains the highest levels of moisture-boosting glycerine you can find on the high street, while St Moriz Advanced Pro Formula Gel, €3.49, delivers intense hydration alongside natural-looking colour ( ).

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up