Going for Gold: We Pick the 5 Best Gradual Fake Tans

Summer is just around the corner.  But, despite a few midweek scorchers few of us have yet managed to catch many rays — let alone develop that illusive glowing golden tan. After a long winter, our skin can be pale, mottled and lacklustre. Fake tans have long had a bad rep and are associated with streaky orange limbs and patchy elbows and fingers.

Today’s formulations have come a long way, but if you’d prefer the less-is-more approach rather than a deeply dramatic overnight transformation, gradual tanners could be just the thing. We pick our 5 favourite gradual fake tans from the high street to high-end…

Anovia Fake Me Tanning Lotion Dark

Fake Me Tanning Lotion Dark, £4.95 ANOVIA at amazon.co.uk

I have always felt reassured investing in pricier versions when it comes to fake tans. Whether instant or gradual, my confidences always bolstered by smart packaging and designer branding. So, when I came across the Anovia tube in my local Savers it was with a little trepidation that I first used it. What can I say? I’m a complete convert and frustratingly, so is a large proportion of my home town, this product flies off the shelves; stock up whilst you can.



Sublime Bronze Gradual Self-Tan Body Lotion

Sublime Bronze Gradual Self-Tan Body Lotion, £6.99 L’OREAL at boots.com

This great, lightweight cream smells of summer. It’s super easy to apply and gives a very natural healthy glow and even covering, without the need for a mitt. Just ensure you wash your hands after application and you’re good to go.



M&S Autograph Gradual Tan Body Crème

Autograph Gradual Tan Body Crème, £7.95, M&S marksandspencer.com

This is perhaps a surprising option, but is a great addition to the fake tan market that you can pick up whilst in-store or online. Cruelty-free, the unique formula interacts directly with your skin’s own amino acids to develop a tan to suit your skin tone. This is a good choice for paler skin tones as it is more subtle than some we have come across, making it perfect for everyday use.


Tan-Luxe The Gradual

The Gradual, £22.00 TAN-LUXE at net-a-porter.com

The lazy girl’s dream gradual tan. Tan-Luxe’s The Gradual provides all of the results with half of the effort. Just swap it out with your regular body lotion every other day for subtle colour that builds up over time.


Dior Bronze Self-Tanning Jelly

Bronze Self-Tanning Jelly Gradual Sublime Glow. £36.00 DIOR at johnlewis.com

An easy-to-apply gel enriched with sweet almond oil for hydration, Dior’s Bronze Self-Tanning Jelly Gradual Sublime Glow offers an even and natural-looking tan.



Have you discovered a gradual tanner that you can’t do without? Or are you more a fan of the drops added to your own moisturiser? Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Post Author: Isabella Hamnett

Isabella Hamnett
I have worked as a freelance content creator and copywriter for over 12 years, so have more than a penchant for putting pen to paper. I am also passionately creative; when I’m not writing, you’ll most likely find me styling, cooking or experimenting with makeup. A product junkie, I love nothing better than the latest beauty launch, whether it be high-end or high-street. Check out my blog essentiallyisabella.co.uk or follow me on Instagram @essentiallyisabella.

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