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 9 best fake tans for your face:

James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan Face

James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan Face

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

Fast-drying, colourless and pillow-stain-proof, the mask works around the clock to deliver a subtle, golden glow, all whilst you catch those all-important z's – result.

Skinny Tan Face By Skinny Tan Moisturising Oil Drops

Skinny Tan Face By Skinny Tan Moisturising Oil Drops

Searching for the perfect all-year-round face tanner? Look no further than Skinny Tan's 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 natural bronzing.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Water

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.

Green People Gradual Tan Moisturiser

Green People Gradual Tan Moisturiser

Meet the gradual tanner that is bursting with balancing and nourishing properties. The Green People Gradual Tan Moisturiser is the perfect formula for those who have sensitive and acne-prone skin but still want to showcase a bronzed complexion.

Tanologist Self Tan Overnight Treatment

Tanologist Self Tan Overnight Treatment

Rock a glow straight from the coast of Costa del Tanologist as this concentrate works with your skin’s biochemistry to develop a tan that’s totally true to you.

Infused with pink grapefruit, goji berry and juniper oils, it’s a silky gradual tan that can be used alone or mixed with your favourite skin care products.

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

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

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.

Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Ageing Face Serum

Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Ageing Face Serum

Combining a self tanner with an anti-ageing serum, this one is definitely a top pick. It gradually develops on the skin to reveal a healthy, natural tone. Better still, the formula also helps reduce the appearance of fines lines and wrinkles thanks to the plumping properties.

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist

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.

Bali Body Face Tan Water

Bali Body Face Tan Water

Bali Body has bottled the benefits of skin care and self-tan, what could be better? Expect your complexion to look its healthiest as the water hydrates, nourishes and leaves skin laced with a long-lasting, natural glow.

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

Carly is a beauty editor at Cosmetify and has been a part of our family for three years. She has over five years of experience in health, beauty and wellness writing.

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