Review UK

Types of Fake Tan for Sensitive Skin UK | We Tested Over 30 Fake Tans 2024

by Jon Ng on Jun 11, 2024

Types of Fake Tan for Sensitive Skin UK | We Tested Over 30 Fake Tans 2024

Want to enjoy summer-like skin even in the dead of winter? Afraid of your skin getting hurt? Try these fake tan for sensitive skin and you're all set.

Winter may be fast approaching but that does not mean that you should walk around with pasty-looking, pale skin. But if the idea of a fake tan brings about panic in your mind and the image of your skin turning red and angry, like a patchy tomato, fear not!

Types of UK Fake Tans

Instant Tans: Tans that instantly show results after a few hours of application or sometimes, within a few minutes. This will give you results after a single application.

Gradual Tans: These types of tans are super moisturising and more natural-looking. These take a few days of application to show results. It’s applied daily over time to get the desired colour. 

Tanning Oils: Tanning oils are oil-based fake tans that have low sun protection factors. They quickly and deeply seep into the skin to provide the desired colour of tan.

Tanning Mists: Tanning mists are spray based. There are two types of this, one is where you spray it and then wash it off and the other requires a little bit of sun worship after application.

Tanning Mousse: Tanning mousse is foamy and in mousse formula. This type of fake tan is perfect for oily skin types. It’s also very easy to apply and dries up quickly. 

Tanning Wipes: These are best for touch-ups while fake tanning your skin. It’s portable, efficient and effortless. 

Tanning Supplements: Tanning supplements are simple and work without any effort. All you need to do is take a few doses and wait for the magic.

How to choose fake tan for your skin type?

Here’s what you should keep in mind while choosing a fake tan of your skin type:

For Greasy skin, avoid oil: If you have skin that produces extra sebum and is oily, avoid oil-based fake tans. Look for fake tans with ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E. 

These ingredients soothe the skin, have cleansing properties as well as light weight. Prefer a spray tan or tan moose over a lotion which don’t have a thick consistency. 

For dry skin, choose moisture: Look for tan that has ultra hydrating properties. Good examples of ingredients for fake tan for dry skin would be argan oil, jojoba oil, fruit extracts, fake tans. 

You should also regularly moisture yourself before applying fake tan. 

For Sensitive skin, avoid chemically derived DHA: If you have sensitive skin, avoid chemically derived DHA that causes skin to age faster Go for naturally derived DHA or eco-cert approved products.

How to choose fake tan shade according to your skin tone?

Here’s how you can choose a fake tan according to your own skin tone:

Fake tan for pale skin tone: Gradual tans are best suited for these types of skin tone which are fair or redheads. 

Gradual fake tans consist of less tanning agents that allow the fake tan to settle better on the skin.

Fake tan for medium skin tone: If you have your skin tone somewhere between light and dark, you might want to try mousse fake tan. 

Although this type of skin tone has a variety to choose from, mousse tans are the best. This is because it dries up quickly, easy and simple to apply.

Fake tan for dark skin tone: Dark skin tones are perfect for applying a subtle layer of fake tans as it washes out blemishes and even skin tone.

There’s a wide variety to choose from if you fall in this category like customisable tanning drops, water-weight mists and rich, hydrating creams.

Check them out here.

Fake Tan for Sensitive Skin -- Quick Summary

Top 14 Fake tans for sensitive skin Special Feature
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist Best Mist
Vita Liberata Body Blur Best For Body
Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse Vegan Formula
Vichy Idéal Soleil Bronzing Self-Tanning Milk Tanning Milk
Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam Foam Tanner
The Chemistry Brand Glow Oil - DHA Free Self Tanner DHA Free
Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion Best Lotion
James Read Face Tan Gradual Tan Sleep Mask Tanning Mask
St. Tropez Sensitive Skin Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturizer Dry Skin
Tan-Luxe The Gradual Tan UK Lightweight Formula
TAN-LUXE The Face tan for sensitive skin Best Drops
SOL DE JANEIRO fake tan for sensitive skin UK Shimmery Look
COOLA Face Tanner Organic Sunless Tan For Sensitive Skin UK Anti-Ageing Formula
Beauty by Earth Self Tanner Antioxidant Formula

We’ve done the research to eliminate all the fake tans that can anger your skin and only bring you the best fake tans for sensitive skin, here in the UK.

What is the most effective fake tan for sensitive skin?

According to our skincare experts, Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse is the best fake tan for sensitive skin in UK. Here's why:

Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse uses natural and organic ingredients like acai berry and fig extracts. It's great for lighter skin tone and reduce the appearance of blemishes and stretch marks. This fake tan is non-greasy, doesn't cause acne and can be applied under makeup. Skinerals fake tan is free of harmful chemicals like parabens, mineral oils, aerosol and sulphate. It's available for sale on Amazon.

UK Fake Tan for Sensitive Skin You Should Try!

Check out our list of the best fake tan for sensitive skin for a sun-kissed glow!

#1 - Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse UK

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin needs special care. It’s important that you choose a tanner that contains pure and natural ingredients so that they don’t trigger allergies or reactions. The Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse is as natural as it can get with a base of shea butter.

The butter moisturises your skin, calms and soothes it, healing inflammations. The other active ingredients are natural vanilla bean extract, orange peel oil and lavender oil, all which are gentle on your skin.

It is very light on your skin, is easy to spread and gives you a lovely, sunless glow all over. You don't have to worry about it clogging your pores and leading to spots and breakouts as well.

The mousse is fragrance free, so you don’t have strong scents that can trigger any sensitivity. It’s also purely vegan, absolutely cruelty free and free of parabens. You can use it on dry and normal skin types as well.


  • Free of chemicals
  • Natural ingredients like shea butter, acai berry etc.
  • Doesn't clog pores

Check them out here.

#2- Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam UK

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Coco & Eve tanners are some of the best sellers and a favourite amongst many. The Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam is perfect for sensitive skin as it contains naturally sourced DHA. This is one of the budget products in the market. But its ability is right up there with more sophisticated formulas.

While most self tanners do contain DHA, naturally sourced minimises the chances of causing allergic reactions in sensitive skin.

It gives you an even tone without turning your skin orange or making it look streaky. So you won't have to worry about residue getting on your towel or clothes. It has a tropical scent, probably to remind you of beachy summers in the island of Bali, but we love it that the fragrance is not overpowering. 


  • Nautral DHA
  • Tropical scent


  • No value for money

Check them out here.

#3- The Chemistry Brand Glow Oil - DHA Free Self Tanner UK

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

As you probably already know, DHA can sometimes anger sensitive skin and cause redness and inflammation. The Chemistry Brand’s Natural Glow oil is our recommendation if you want a product without DHA in it. So it's fantastic for sensitive skin types.

So if you’re wondering how your skin is going to get the bronze, this light Glow Oil achieves it through a raspberry-based keto-sugar oil for that quick and immediate tan.

Since the colour is more natural, this is something you will have to apply every two or three days to keep your skin tan.

It forms the shade evenly and fades evenly too over a period of 3 to 4 days. It can also be said that the formula is hypo-allergenic as it is free of water, alcohol, gluten, nuts and silicones. 


  • DHA free
  • Affordable
  • Natural glow

Check them out here.

#4- COOLA Face Tanner Organic Sunless Tan UK

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

A lot of self tanning solutions dry the skin and that’s a big worry if you have sensitive skin. Coola takes away that problem with a serum formula that moisturises your skin deeper than a regular body lotion can.

It contains fan-favorite hyaluronic acid which is one of the best ingredients you can use to hold on to moisture and keep your skin hydrated all day long, without making it look greasy.

The other ingredient is centella asiatica which is super popular now in most skincare products for the benefits it lends to your skin, keeping it healthy, free of infections, calming inflammations and acting as an anti-ageing element.

The DHA is derived naturally from sugar beet, so it is safer than chemical DHAs in many self tanning lotions.This can be considered one of the best fake tan for the face. 

It gives you a gradual tan every time you use it and fades evenly as well. So you don't have to worry about awkward tan lines or an odd sludge color.

Oh, and also, every ingredient in this Sunless Tan is purely organic! 


  • Contains hyaluronic acid
  • Calms inflammation


  • No value for money

#5- SOL DE JANEIRO fake tan UK

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Here you have another serum-like self tanning solution for sensitive skin. Sol De Janeiro tanning products range has plenty of shades you can choose from, and get the sun-kissed, radiant glow of the beaches of Brazil, right in your home.

It contains a bit of shimmer that gives your skin that smooth and glossy skin sported by celebrities on the red carpet.

This lightweight lotion contains a blend of coconut oil, acai oil, and cupuacu butter to moisturise your skin, cool and soothe it, fight off environmental damage and keep it young and supple.

It is one of the best for your sensitive skin as it is free of parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil, coal tar and sulphates. 


  • Free of chemicals
  • Natural ingredients


  • Small quantity

Recommended Read: Top British Beauty Brands

#6- St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

A fake tanning product that also works to hydrate your skin is genius in a bottle, in my opinion. Sitting in an airconditioned or artificially heated room for too long can dry the skin and leave it more sensitive.

The St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist is a light weight spray that you can spray on your face and neck to hydrate your skin while it gives you a subtle honey, natural-looking glow. The hibiscus extract acts as a coolant for your skin and soothes it.

Use it below your makeup or once or twice through the day to keep your skin hydrated. This bronzer is one of the best face tan for sensitive skin available in UK. 


  • Provides hydration
  • Light-weight


  • No value for money

#7- TAN-LUXE The Face tan for sensitive skin 

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Tan-Luxe is a luxury for your skin as it does the job of protecting and nourishing your skin while also giving you that much desired golden glow.

The hyaluronic self-tan serum comes in a small bottle with a dropper to dispense the liquid into your regular body lotion or moisturiser, which you can dot on your skin and spread evenly.

This facial tanner is a gradual tan that colours your skin day after day that you use it. It is completely organic and free of toxins, making it apt for sensitive skin.

The tanner contains aloe vera extracts that cool and soothe your skin, calming down any irritation or inflammations.

It also has raspberry seed oil and vitamin E to nourish your skin, hydrate it and keep it healthy. 


  • Toxin-free
  • Natural-looking tan


  • Small quantity
  • No value for money

#8- Vichy Idéal Soleil Bronzing Self-Tanning Milk

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Vichy is premium when it comes to skincare, especially for sensitive and damaged skin. The Vichy Capital Idéal Soleil Moisturizing Self Tanner Milk is super gentle and glides on your skin, spreading and getting absorbed almost instantly.

The creamy texture moisturises the skin and leaves it feeling taken care of. The tan builds gradually and evenly, and fades evenly as well.

It is tested and approved by dermatologists for sensitive skin as it contains vitamin E and is free of allergens and parabens. 


  • Dermatologically tested
  • No chemicals


  • Develops streaks

#9- Tan-Luxe The Gradual 

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Another one by Tan-Luxe, this one is more like a body lotion than a serum and builds the tan gradually, as the name suggests.

This self tanning solution also contains raspberry seed oil for nourishing your skin and fighting off free radical damage.

We liked the consistency of this product and that it also keeps your skin soft and smooth while the tan builds day after day. The shade is even and does not become that horrid orange colour.

What we love is that this does not leave back any residue on your clothing either. The base is creamy and light weight, so it is easy to spread on your skin. 


  • Light and creamy texture
  • Smooth and soft skin
  • Contains skin nourishing agent


  • No value for money

#10- Vita Liberata Body Blur

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

If you have perfectly smooth skin with no bruises, scars or marks, you’re blessed. For the rest of us, there’s Vita Liberata Body Blur. As the name suggests, it acts as a concealer and blurs any spots you want to cover while also tanning your skin.

The tan is a soft shade that looks even, without any streaks or patches. It develops slowly and gets darker as the hours progress.

The base is a combination of aloe vera and glycerin, both which are gentle on sensitive skin. They deeply moisturise the skin, soothe inflammations and reduce redness and rashes. 


  • Skin soothing due to aloe and glycerin
  • No patches and streaks


  • No value for money

#11- Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

Clarins is a high-end brand, priced accordingly and of course, delivers as expected. The milky lotion is super moisturising and gets absorbed into your skin as soon as you spread it.

The gentle tanner is light and does not leave your skin greasy. It keeps your skin hydrated all day long and helps heal inflamed sensitive skin.

The tan is gradual and develops over a period of 4 to 6 hours, but you will end up with beautifully luminous golden skin.

It has the extract of figs to nourish your skin and also mask the traditional self-Tanner odor of most tanning solutions. 


  • Moisturising
  • Golden-shade of tan
  • Figs smell

#12- James Read Face Tan Gradual Tan Sleep Mask

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

For those of you with sensitive skin who like a deep tan and don’t like the subtle glows of the others, James Read’s Gradual Tan Sleep Mask Tan Face is for you.

This is a solution you leave on overnight and you wake up with a deep tan in the morning. Of course, if you want a lighter tan, you can use it for a shorter while during the day as well.

The solution comes with a glove that you use to spread on your skin and the colour changes when it comes in contact with your body. It is quite gentle and does not affect your skin or cause rashes. 


  • Value for money
  • deep tanning


  • Not great for dark skin tone

#13- St. Tropez Sensitive Skin Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturizer

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

The all-natural, vegan  St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturizer is to be used as a regular body lotion and let it do its job.

It develops the tan over a period of 3 to 4 days as you keep applying it and forms it evenly. The natural development of colour gives you the honey shade rather than the deep dark shade of most fake tans.

It also intensely moisturize your skin to keep it from becoming dry and patchy, soothes the skin and keeps it supple and healthy. 


  • Moisturises the skin
  • Works well on eczema


  • Can lead to patchy results

#14 - Beauty by Earth Self Tanner

Best Fake Tan For Sensitive Skin

This vegan formulation contains nourishing ingredients like cranberry extracts, jojoba oil, organic shea butter, mango butter, coconut oil, and Japanese green tea.

Rich in antioxidants, it not only gives you a lovely tan but also keeps your skin soft and supple.

But despite the rich formulation, this self tanner is not greasy at all. It spreads easily without leaving streaks and can be used on the face as well


  • Natural ingredients like cranberry extracts, jojoba oil etc.
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Non-greasy


  • After-smell isn't great

Isle of Paradise Fake Tan Mousse

Isle of Paradise is one of the best fake tan for sensitive skin. It’s in a creamy mousse form and gives a medium colour. This tan is lightweight, fast drying as well as ultra-hydrating on the skin so if you got dry skin, definitely go for this one. 

It’s formulated with skin-soothing natural ingredients like beetroot, kale, avocado, coconut, raspberry seed oil & blueberry etc. that nourishes and brightens up the skin. This self tanner also has anti-aging properties and boosts collagen production.

This product can be used daily as it has a low percentage of gradual glow. Get yourselves this tanner for a golden glow!


  • Vegan-friendly
  • Natural ingredients
  • Ultra-hydrating
  • Anti-aging properties

How we tested fake tans for sensitive skin

I, along with my team of skincare experts rated 20+ fake tans in the UK based on four factors to find the best one. 

On a scale of 1 to 5, we rated these fake tans on the basis of- Ingredients, Sensitivity, how long it takes to dry, and how long does it last. 
We found out that Skinerals Californium Self Tanner Mousse is the best fake tan for sensitive skin.

How to apply fake tan?

Here are a few steps that you need to follow to apply a fake tan perfectly on your skin:

  1. Exfoliate: exfoliate the parts of your body you want to fake tan. This will remove excessive dirt and help in even tanning.
  2. Moisturise: Moisturise your dry areas like elbows, knees, cuticles etc.
  3. Prepping the tanning mitt: Use a tanning mitt to apply the fake tan, this will help in even application. 
  4. Application: Apply the fake tan in circular motions in the areas that you want. Look if you’ve left any patch on your skin. 
  5. Leave it to dry: Most of the tans dry quickly so you don’t have to wait longer. Check the instructions on your tanning product and act accordingly.
  6. Shower: Shower to wash off your dried up tan.

FAQ- Questions you might have about fake tan

Can I be allergic to a fake tan?

You can have intolerance to certain ingredients if you are on medication like alcohol or chemical DHA. Try going for fake tans that do not have these ingredients. Also, most allergic reactions come from dermatitis so if you’re likely to have it, please avoid.

Can fake tan cause skin problems?

According to most dermatologists, fake tan does not cause skin problems unless and until they’re ingested or inhaled. However, if you’re prone to skin issues like dermatitis, xerosis etc, please avoid using it.

Should I use fake tan if I have eczema? 

It’s advisable to avoid tan products for 2 weeks if you have a broken skin or psoriasis problem. Let your skin heal before applying any lotion or tan products. 

Does fake tan make you break out?

Fake tan can’t lead to long term acne conditions. However, there are times you might have small breakouts due to clogging of pores and oily skin that may lead it.

Does fake tan make hyperpigmentation worse?

Using a fake tanner can blend in with the complexion of your hyperpigmentation. But sometimes, the fake tan can also make your hyperpigmentation more visible. 

Can fake tan hide acne scars? 

Using a fake tan can help you reduce the appearance of your acne marks and scars as it evens out the skin tone. You can use foundation, bronzer and blush to cover your acne scars. 

How do you prevent brown spots after fake tan?

After applying your fake tan, apply cold washcloth to your body to close up pores. Finish your shower with a little cold water. Seal those pores so that the tanner doesn’t seep in to create brown spots. 

Should I moisturise before applying fake tan?

Yes, you should definitely moisturise before applying fake tan. If you don’t have a well-hydrated skin, the tan might cling to your skin. Moisturise daily before 2-3 hours of tanning especially elbows, knees, ankles, feet and hands. 

Can I fake tan without shaving?

It’s better to remove hair before fake tanning to have a smooth and hairless appearance. Make sure to remove your hair 24 hours before tanning so all the follicles close up before you start to fake tan.

What's the best fake tan for eczema?

You can use St. Tropez fake tan if you have eczema. It doesn’t affect your eczema or dry your skin.

Is St Tropez OK for sensitive skin?

Yes, St Tropez is perfectly okay and in fact a friendly option if you have sensitive skin type. It tries up quickly within a minute or so. It also uses 100% natural DHA that doesn’t harm the skin. 

Why is my fake tan Making Me Itch?

DHA is a chemical present in fake tanners that’s supposed to come in contact with the skin to produce the desired colour. This chemical is completely safe however, it might cause itching and irritation on rare occasions.

Does fake tan make you look thinner?

Yes, fake tanner can contour and conceal your skin colour and make you look slim. However, it doesn’t guarantee a thinner look.

Can fake tan cause heat rash?

Heat rashes are caused due to sweat traps. This might not often be in the case of fake self-tanners but it can happen. It’s better to moisturise your skin to avoid heat rashes. 

Can you put fake tan over a fake tan?

Although it isn’t recommended to fake tan over a fake tan, you can definitely do it. Don’t exfoliate before applying the next layer as it might remove some of the previous layer. 

Can I mix two different fake tans?

Mixing products can lead to best results if they are of the same brand but different bases. Same brand means the product will have similar ingredients and will not cause any skin irritation.

In these times where going out to the beach to get a tan seems a far off dream, these fake tans will come to your rescue to give you an exotic tan.

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