Best instant fake tanning products

Natasha Smith
Best instant fake tanning products
Best tried and tested instant tanners

Let's face it; we don't always have time to wait four to six hours for a false tan to fully develop. If your legs are in desperate need of a golden glow but you're seriously short on time, an instant tanner should be your go-to product.

Instant tanning creams, mousses and sprays give immediate sun-kissed results and because they are brown in colour, you can see exactly where you are applying them, which makes it easier to avoid telltale streaks and patches.

Instant tanners can range from the dodgy to the incredible so I've scoured the latest products to bring you a rundown of some of my favourite tried and tested instant tanning products.

UTan Instant Glamour Shimmer Tan

I'm prepared to make a bold statement and say that UTan's Instant Glamour Shimmer Tan is possibly one of the best instant tanners I've ever tried (and I've tried a lot). It describes itself as a 'shimmer tan' but don't be put off by thoughts of garish glitter, this is far more subtle. My skin looked radiant, glowing and healthy after I applied it. The colour looks natural, soaked into my skin effortlessly and didn't leave any sticky residue. It contains 'body sculpting technology' - anything that can make my legs look more toned is a winner in my eyes. The tan also washes off evenly at the end of the night.

Best for: Instant deep colour with a subtle shimmer and added body sculpting benefits

Crazy Angel: Angel Express Liquid Tan

Although Crazy Angel: Angel Express Liquid Tan looks a little scary when it comes out of the bottle (it's very runny and dark brown), I was impressed with the even colour it gave my skin. I find some instant tanners can 'drag' and are difficult to buff in evenly but because the consistency of this product is runny like water, it's really easy to smooth over the skin to ensure even coverage. It comes with a tanning mitt inside the box which is definitely a plus. It has no nasty smell and gave my skin a lovely realistic bronzed look.

Best for: Non-greasy instant quick tan that develops over several hours

Tanomaticals Instant Spray Tan in a Can

What first attracted me to the Tanomaticals tanning line was the tongue-in-cheek product names like 'The Holy Grail for the Deathly Pale' and 'Get a Tan without Looking like Your Gran'. If you're not a fan of creams and mousses then their Instant Spray Tan in a Can is a great alternative, particularly for reaching tricky areas like your back. It smells like Pina Colada (holiday scent in a can alert) and is foolproof to apply. The colour isn't too dark so you can apply a subtle coat or build up a stronger colour to suit your individual skin tone.

Best for: Reaching tricky areas like your back

Lauren's Way Self Tanning Bronzing Lotion

If you like your tan to look deep and dark then Lauren's Way Darker than Dark Self Tanning Bronzing Lotion is for you. The 'darker than dark' shade does look scary when it first comes out of the bottle but after I quickly got to work rubbing it into my skin the colour looked beautifully bronzed and natural. Although it gives instant bronzed results it will develop into a full longer-lasting tan in around four hours. The product dried almost instantly so no pesky 'waiting around' stage before getting dressed.

Best for: Those seeking an instant deep tan that will fully develop over four hours

St. Moritz

Although I was sceptical at trying a fake tan that cost less than three quid, I was pleasantly surprised when I used St. Moritz Instant Self Tanning Mouse. As with all instant tanners, I used a tanning mitt to apply and although it required a little more effort rubbing it in to get an even application, it did give me a really natural-looking colour. It does have a fake tan smell but at such a purse-friendly price that didn't bother me. It's available in medium and dark, though there isn't a dramatic difference between the two shades.

Best for: Purse-friendly tanning