Best new fake tans of 2020 to turn you bronze, not orange

From serums, drops and water formulations, to the erasers that take it all off, our guide to the best new fake tans has you covered from top to toe (and won’t turn you any shade other than bronze).

Fake tan has come a long way since the distracting orange spray-can streaks of the past. Formulations have turned into skincare hybrids, (ideal for your face, BTW) that promise long-lasting, natural results. Even the innovation and technology around application means it’s pretty hard to mess up and won’t leave you any other shade than a radiant bronze – even if you’re a rookie.

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Self-tan serums

These are the ideal formulation for your face. Not only are they created with that sensitive skin in mind, they also contain skin- enhancing benefits, not just fake tan. Think hyaluronic acid for hydration, antioxidants for protection, vitamins for general skin health and even coenzyme Q10 to help keep skin plump and firm. Pair these benefits with the glow-inducing factors of tan and you’ve got a more radiant, even tone and smooth complexion.

Try: Isle of Paradise Hyglo Self-Tan Serum Face ($44, at Mecca), La Mav Anti-Ageing Face Tan Serum ($29.95, at Adore Beauty) and Tan-Luxe The Face ($65, at Sephora)


Fake tan drops

Personalisation is in the palm of your hands. Drops give you the option to dictate your depth of colour. The more drops you mix with your moisturiser, serum or primer, the deeper your tan. Ideal for tan rookies as it’s hard to go wrong here, and streaks and patchiness are easy to avoid by massaging your creams in really well. If you’re worried, pop some extra moisturiser on knees, ankles and elbows first.

Try: Tanologist Face + Body Drops ($19.99, at Priceline), Mecca Cosmetica Sunless Goddess Self-Tanning Drops ($32, at Mecca) and James Read Gradual Tan H2O Tan Drops ($62, at Mecca)

Tan water

These relatively new-to- market formulations are based off the popularity of K-Beauty essences. The weightless, clear mists deliver more moisture and hydration to skin while giving a natural, subtle glow – no more scaly skin or dehydration post-tan. Be liberal when applying and use a mitt as water absorbs quickly. They promise not to transfer on to sheets or clothing and are non-comedogenic, so won’t clog pores if you’re prone to body acne or irritation.

Try: St Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Mist ($49.99, at Priceline), Bali Body Face Tan Water ($23.96, at Bali Body) and ModelCo Tan Water ($25, at ModelCo)

Take it off with tan erasers

Instead of scrubbing your skin red raw with a wash cloth and exfoliating gel to remove remnants of old tan (or worse, a bad tan), try an eraser instead. Unlike what you may think, these aren’t formulated using harsh chemicals to break down product build-up. Instead, innovative clean ingredients like coconut and olive oils, aloe vera juice and Kakadu plum work to gently lift dead skin and tan, while nourishing and hydrating skin for a more even, gradual fade.

Try: Elle Effect The Wash ($29.95, at Elle Effect), La Beach Self-Tan Eraser ($29, at La Beach) and MineTan Cleansing Tan Eraser ($14.99, at Priceline)

All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.