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The Best Fake Tans for Your Face

By Carly Cochrane - 1 year ago | Updated
best fake tans for face

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner at bronzing or a false tan fanatic; we've all contemplated swiping that tan-soaked mitt over our face. Whilst we can deal with the infamous biscuit-y smell – even if it does linger under our noses – a combination of inevitable breakouts and an orange hairline is enough to make us change our mind *quickly drops tanning mitt*.

Not all hope is lost though, as our favourite tanning brands are beginning to formulate products specifically for our pale faces. To help you achieve a fabulous tan that isn't just from the neck down, we answer all of your face tan FAQs, as well as round up a collection of the best fake tans for your face.

Should I fake tan my face?

If you're fake tanning your body, it's a good idea to apply fake tan to your face as well in order to achieve an all-over golden glow. For a natural sun-kissed look, we recommend using gradual tanning face drops. These are super easy to use, simply apply on the areas where the sun would naturally hit, like the across the nose and on the forehead.

However, if you want a greater colour payoff try using tanning face creams and lotions. These require a little more prep time but develop in just a few hours – perfect for special events. Just make sure your face tan matches the colour you've applied to your neck and chest to achieve an even, flawless effect.

How do I fake tan my face?

The first step is prepping your face with an oil free cleanser and exfoliator. This helps remove any excess dirt and smooths the skin ready for tanning. It's also important to moisturise your face concentrating on the areas that are dry, like the chin, nose, cheeks and along your hairline and forehead. Next find the perfect face fake tan – remember you can always build up to a darker shade.

Make sure your hands are clean and dry. Then if you're using a cream or lotion take a small amount of fake tan in your fingertips and apply to the face in circular motions starting in the centre and moving outwards. Wash your hands afterwards to avoid any stains. If it's a spray formula, hold the can around 6-8 inches away and then lightly mist your face. And for tanning serums, add a 1-2 drops into your moisturiser and apply as you normally would.

Can I use body self-tanner on my face?

We recommend using a specific face fake tan for your complexion and a separate body self-tanner everywhere else. Face fake tan formulas are usually more lightweight, which means they are less like to clog your pores or feel cakey on the skin. Whereas body tanners tend to have a richer and thicker consistency, which are ideal for covering large surface areas like your legs and torso.

When searching for the perfect face tanning solution look out for hydrating, gentle and long-wearing options. However, there are a few formulas that are multi-tasking and look beautiful applied from head to toe.


The best fake tans for your face:

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist

£26.50

Melting into the skin, this face mist reveals a radiant complexion - perfect for achieving that post-holiday glow. It's easy to use and contains natural tanning ingredients, such as green mandarin and hibiscus flower extract, which help protect your skin from environmental aggressors.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water Dark

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water

£22.08

Loved by celebs and beauty influencers alike, Isle of Paradise is the quick spritz that’ll give you your best glow ever.

Boasting a colour-correcting water formula, the mist evens out your natural skin tone while lacing it with a streak-free tan. Choose from a range of light, medium and dark sprays and say hello to a bronzed, sun-kissed or golden glow.

Bare by Vogue Face Tanning Mist Dark

Bare by Vogue Face Tanning Mist

£16.77 £17.00 (2% off)

Meet the face tanning mist that is bursting with balancing and nourishing properties. The Bare by Vogue Face Tanning Mist is the perfect formula for those who want a facial tan that looks natural, lasts for days and moisturises your skin.

TAN-LUXE The Face Anti-Age Rejuvenating Self-Tan Drops Light-Medium

TAN-LUXE The Face Anti-Age Rejuvenating Self-Tan Drops

£41.59

With Tan Luxe, it’s as easy as one, two, three – literally. For a natural, radiant complexion, just add one to four drops of the tanning liquid to your every day facial moisturiser and apply as normal.

James Read Tan H2o Tan Mist Face 100ml

James Read Tan H2o Tan Mist Face

£21.24 £25.00 (16% off)

Kick-start your day with ‘I woke up like this’ confidence as the James Read Tan H2o Tan Mist gives your complexion a touch of sun-kissed colour.

Fast-drying, hydrating and colourless , the mist works around the clock to deliver a subtle, golden glow that lasts up to five days.

Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Face Dark

Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Face

£30.93

You've heard of the best-selling Vita Liberata Body Blur; now it's time to meet the face edition. This multi-purpose, tinted face primer and moisturiser smooths and brightens skin tone all whilst delivering a flawless, radiant and long-lasting tan.

Nuxe Sun Hydrating Enhancing Self-Tan Face & Body 100ml

Nuxe Sun Hydrating Enhancing Self-Tan Face & Body

£17.65 £20.00 (12% off)

One brand that knows a thing or two about summer skin is Nuxe. This tanning cream for the face and body creates a streak-free, golden glow from head-to-toe in just two hours. Not to mention, it's infused with notes of sweet orange, tiare and vanilla which ignite that much-loved summer feeling.

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Face Mist 1 Hour Express

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Face Mist 1 Hour Express

£16.77

It wouldn't be a successful self-tan line-up without an honourable mention of Bondi Sands. This one is definitely a top pick. With a sun-kissed Australian glow developing in just one hour, it's perfect for last-minute, time-poor tanners.

Skinny Tan Face By Skinny Tan Moisturising Oil Drops

Skinny Tan Face By Skinny Tan Moisturising Oil Drops

£16.99

Searching for the perfect all-year-round face tanner? Look no further than Skinny Tan Face Moisturising Oil Drops. This formula makes the perfect addition to any daily skin care routine as they can be used alone or mixed with your favourite moisturiser. Either way, they leave skin with a healthy glow that gently deepens over time.

SOSU by SJ Dripping Gold Wonder Water Self Tanning Face Mist Light Medium

SOSU by SJ Dripping Gold Wonder Water Self Tanning Face Mist

£10.58

Helping you achieve the filter effect IRL is the Dripping Gold Wonder Water Self Tanning Face Mist by SOSU. This face tanning mist is ideal for off-duty days and on-the-go mornings as it evens out skin tone and delivers a natural glow without clogging pores.

Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Bronze Base Face Tan Medium-Dark

Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Bronze Base Face Tan

£20.31

Sculpted by Aimee Bronze Base Face Tan is a fuss-free facial tan that gives you the most gorgeous golden glow. The serum-like texture is powered by vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, meaning it'll hydrate and nourish skin as well as bronze it.

Bellamianta Skin Perfecting Instant Tan 50ml

Bellamianta Skin Perfecting Instant Tan

£7.04

Want sun-kissed skin but scared of the commitment? Allow us to introduce you to this wash-off body makeup from Bellamianta. The Skin Perfecting Instant Tan can be worn alone, over tan or mixed with your favourite foundation for an instant airbrush finish. Once you're done with being a golden goddess, you can rinse it off!

Loving Tan Deluxe Face Tan Dark

Loving Tan Deluxe Face Tan

£30.93 £30.95 (1% off)

Loving Tan has bottled the benefits of skincare and self-tan, what could be better? Expect your complexion to look its healthiest as the formula enhances your complexion while a natural and luminous tan develops.

Of course, it's not just our faces that need a bit of that glow - check out the best fake tans for pale skin to get that all over summer skin.

Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane

As the Senior Content Editor for Cosmetify, Carly is the go-to for all the latest (and greatest) beauty tips, tricks and trends. With over six years of experience in the industry, she knows all the ins-and-outs when it comes to health, beauty and wellbeing. 

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