10 top-rated gradual tanners for a natural glow
A gradual tan is the secret to a low-commitment, streak-free golden glow - perfect for those not confident in their fake tan abilities. The best thing about gradual tans is that the colour builds up gradually (hence the name...) so it’s far easier to get an even tan than with a dark foam or spray.
If you prefer a deeper fake tan, a gradual tan can also help top up the colour and keep it looking fresh for longer - win!
We’ve rounded up 10 gradual tans with great reviews from our beautyheaven members, so you can find your perfect match just in time for summer to start.
RELATED: 10 of the best dark tanning foams
#1 Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk
Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk has a dual-actual formula that gives a deep and long-lasting tan while also moisturising the skin. Antioxidants, aloe vera and vitamin E help to give 24-hour hydration.
“It is really easy to apply, even with hands, and doesn't come out streaky at all. It dries down completely and doesn't leave you feeling greasy all day like the last one I used (another huge plus). It smells great, but is just a subtle smell, not overpowering. And best of all the colour is very natural, in two coats it looks like a real tan.” bh member Midnight Blue. Read more reviews here...
#2 Ella Baché Great Sunkiss
Ella Baché Great Sunkiss is formulated with cocoa butter to give you instant radiance while protecting against moisture loss. This one is ideal as a top-up to an existing fake tan, to keep the colour rich and unpatchy for as long as possible.
“I love Ella Bache products and have been a long time user of their body moisturisers, so I was thrilled to test this and also to end up loving it. The smell is so much better than a lot of the tanning products out there in the marketplace and the result is a lovely healthy glow.” - bh member justjo. Read more reviews here...
#3 Dove Summer Glow Gradual Self Tan Body Lotion
Dove Summer Glow Gradual Self Tan Body Lotion is infused with intense moisturising ingredients to hydrate dry skin while giving you a very subtle fake tan.
"This is such an easy tanner to use! It smells nice, and applies a tan evenly. It is also super affordable. There is a noticeable difference within about 4 days and you end up with a lovely golden glow, no orange to speak of.” - bh member missm7393. Read more reviews here...
#4 Natio Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion
Natio Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion is a quick-drying gradual tan that gives you a golden glow within a few days. Scented with cinnamon and tangerine, this is a summery but festive fragrance perfect for the holiday season.
“I have been using this tan moisturiser for over 2 years now and it is by far the most natural looking tan, easiest to apply and most hydrating I have tried”. - bh member fernegully. Read more reviews here...
#5 Le Tan Coconut Water Gradual Tanning Lotion
Le Tan Coconut Water Gradual Tanning Lotion is enriched with coconut water to keep skin soft and moisturised while building a natural tan.
“I was actually so impressed with this tanning lotion. Firstly it has an amazing coconut scent and is also very hydrating. I mostly used this on top of fake tan as a tan extender, and saw results straight away. It darkened my tan overnight leaving me with a perfect golden tan that didn't look orange.” - bh member beautiful_beautiful. Read more reviews here...
#6 St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion is a tinted body lotion that not only gives a healthy-looking glow, but it also blurs and illuminates. The formula has a 48-hour Hydraglow complex for extra radiance, and the scent is light but lovely.
“I absolutely love this product, I am always wary of fake tanning looking just that - fake. This gives a lovely natural colour that is not streaky or orange. It is moisturising and easy to use. It just glides on easily and absorbs well, its kind of a tinted moisturiser with hint of tan and just looks like I have a natural suntan after the first use. I would buy this product again for its natural results and ease of use”. - bh member debbie1000. Read more reviews here...
#7 Sukin Naturals Sunless Bronzing Gel
Sukin Naturals Sunless Bronzing Gel is formulated with aloe vera for hydration and DHA to help develop a radiant glow. Free from any overpowering chemical scent, it is lightly fragranced with lemon myrtle and lime oils.
“The self tanner creates a natural looking tan, minus the smell, with the added benefit of hydration. My skin is tanned, soft and smooth and I can feel good knowing I am not covering myself in chemicals. I am so pleased and cannot recommend this self tanner highly enough.” - bh member Juliet37. Read more reviews here...
#8 Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Body Lotion
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Body Lotion combines cocoa butter and vitamin E for deep hydration. When using daily, you will develop a natural glow within a few days. The classic Palmer’s cocoa scent makes sure there’s no lingering chemical scent.
“Now I hate going to the effort of fake tanning it's time consuming and I often end up patchy or getting it on my clothes or bed sheets even tho I only ever tan my legs but with the palmers cocoa butter gradual body bronzer I just apply like my everyday moisturizer it's so quick and easy and with fast results in a matter of days and leads me to such a natural looking tan”. - bh member pamela278. Read more reviews here...
#9 Garnier Ambre Solaire Bronz Up Moisturising Milk
Garnier Ambre Solaire Bronz Up Moisturising Milk is formulated to lightly tan the skin while keeping skin soft and moisturised. The gradual tan sinks in quickly and is lightly tinted to ensure streak-free coverage.
“I've been using this product for a while now and always get great comments from friends about my tan. I usually apply it the night before an event and use it quiet generously so the tan comes out noticeable and now use this instead of getting a spray tan.” - bh member Ameemonty. Read more reviews here...
#10 JERGENS Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Body Moisturiser
JERGENS Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Body Moisturiser gradually tans skin to a full shade of colour within three days. The formula is hydrating and quick-drying, giving a natural finish.
“I really like how easy this is to apply and isn't one bit streaky. It leaves my skin completely soft too. It has a fast drying power and doesn't have that revolting self-tanner smell. Never disappointed when I apply this self tanner. Its natural pigmentation is incredible and I like how it gradually works at giving me glowing skin. I don't have to be careful to avoid my ankles as it is the best blending tanner. No huge dark spots around my ankles, and that's why love product this so much.” - bh member Becstar. Read more reviews here...
*This article has been updated since its original publication date.
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