Should we spend or should we save: fake tan

Are you like me and stand and stare at the fake tan section of the supermarket or pharmacy and wonder which one to grab off the shelf?

There’s the lotion, the mousse or foam, the spray, the mist, the water – it’s a lot to take in and that’s before you even look at how much each one costs.

Price has to be a factor unless you have endlessly deep pockets, but, is the more expensive fake tan actually the best one?

For the most part, the main ingredients in fake tans are the same.

I’ve tried a lot of at home fake tans. With a one year old son it’s easier to take 5 minutes to apply it myself then head out to get a spray tan (which I reserve for special occasions). 

I am not a fan of the gradual tanning lotions because for me they take too long to get results. I’m after instant gratification because I’m incredibly time poor.

My favourite type of at home tan is the foam. So light and fluffy and you just squirt it onto your tanning mitt and apply all over. I find it’s the easiest to apply – I go in circular motions – and dries the fastest.

Now, let’s get specific about the tans I’ve tried.

The Le Tan fast tan mousse applied evenly and dried quickly, with a little settling around the knees. It provided me with an instant tan that deepened over a few hours, lasting about 3 days before fading away quite nicely. You could smell the fake tan on me before I washed it off though. It’s less than $10 for 100ml.

The Bondi Sands dark self tanning foam has quite a strong but delicious coconut smell. It glided on and stayed on giving an instant bronzed look. There was no patchiness when it faded after about 4 days. The 200ml bottle will cost around $20 or around $12-$14 for 100mls. This one is probably my favourite foam.

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I love St Tropez for the subtle colour it gave, for how it hydrated my skin and for not getting too entrenched around the knees and elbows. It lasted a few days and then just gradually faded away. It’s on the expensive side though (around $40 for 120ml) and while it was great and didn’t have an overly strong fake tan smell, it didn’t really do anything different to a cheaper brand.

My favourite lotion is Ella Bache great tan without sun. It doesn’t smell too much like fake tan, is moisturising and gives that instant colour hit. It’s $40 for 130mls. There’s also one just for your face and that’s $38 for the 50ml tube. That will last a whole lot longer because you obviously only need a small amount.

With such a saturated fake tan market, competition is fierce and we have benefitted with some amazing instant tans out there. Because of that, you don’t have to spend a huge amount to get one that’ll apply evenly and fade the same way. I say save here and splurge on something else.