Vegan Fake Tan: Which Work & Where to Buy

Vegan Fake Tan

Okay, it’s only April, but being in lockdown is the perfect time to experiment with new vegan fake tan brands and gradual tanners in preparation for the summer. Despite its controversies I love a good fake tan, and it definitely provides a sensible bronzing alternative to sun beds or excessive sunbathing.

I can’t tell you how many brands of fake tan and gradual tanning moisturiser I’ve tried over the years (even some non-vegan). I had some seriously dodgy patchy orange disasters with gradual tanning and fake tan as a teenager (my mum & sister can attest to that). It was half because at-home fake tans just weren’t as good ten years ago, and half because I was too impatient to hear “builds gradually” and used way too much gradual tanner at once. There’s also a lot to be said for skin preparation before you fake tan. Exfoliating, moisturising, and ensuring your pores are closed are all important in achieving and maintaining a perfect self tan. (Although, nobody’s saying my tan’s perfect!)

I’ve included a couple of vegan exfoliating products and vegan body moisturisers in the list below so you can have everything you need for the perfect vegan tan.

Click here for the Best Vegan Foundations for 2020

Vegan Fake Tan Prep

I highly recommend this scrub from The Body Shop, which is both deeply exfoliating and deeply moisturising, a perfect primer for any tan (real or fake!). Top tanning tip: rub this in with exfoliating gloves for a super deep scrub. In a pinch, you could use salt or sugar from your kitchen to exfoliate before tanning, but I’d recommend using one with in-built moisturiser if you can. This exfoliating scrub is available exclusively at The Body Shop online & in-store (currently closed).

I’ve linked to Tescos exfoliating gloves because they’re only a pound, but you can pretty much pick these up anywhere. I LOVE these for pre-fake-tan routine, and I love that they’re reusable, which means less waste. Top tanning tip: I highly recommend going for a coloured pair (fake-tan colour, if you can find them!) because they soon stain a tan brown, and nobody wants that on their gloves. I have one pair for when I’m tanning, and another for when I’m not.

All of Superdrug own brand products are vegan, and perfect if you’re fake tanning on a budget. This range includes a scrub, lotion, body butter, and even a body yoghurt (what’s a body yoghurt?) – in other words, everything you need to prepare before you fake tan. It smells nice, but not overpoweringly so, which doesn’t make it such a good option if you’re set on masking the baked biscuit smell of self tanning lotion.

Top Tanning Tip: Don’t forget to wash off all products, including moisturiser, before you apply your fake tan to avoid streaks and uneven patches.

Click here for the 7 Best 100% Vegan Beauty Brands in the UK

Vegan Fake Tans & Gradual Tanner: Where to Buy

St Tropez are a self-certified cruelty free brand (and they don’t sell in China), and have a good range of vegan products. I’m not sure what makes their other products not vegan, or whether they’re vegetarian.

Their vegan friendly products can be found here.

All of their products online are listed as suitable for vegans, except for their pre- and in-shower gradual tanning formulas, and their instant tans (apart from the finishing gloss, which is vegan). After a quick look at the ingredients, I can’t see what it is that makes them not-vegan, so I can’t say if they’re vegetarian or not. I’ll be in contact with them soon to ask if their non-vegan formulas are suitable for vegetarians.

I’ve tried a lot of St Tropez tanning products and I rate them highly, although they are on the higher end of my price range. You can buy St Tropez fake tan at their online store, with Cult Beauty or Look Fantastic, or in-store at Boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, other supermarkets, as well as department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams.

Aptly named “B. Bronzing”, Superdrug’s own brand B. (which is Leaping Bunny Certified and 100% vegan) recently branched out into self tan and gradual tanning products. The range is smaller than St Tropez’, but they do have a pre-shower tan, gradual tanner, fake tan, face tan and tanning mist to choose from.

I haven’t tried any of these tanning products, but they are super affordable and have good reviews! This is available exclusively at Superdrug, in-store and online.

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam in light/medium is what I’m using at the moment, and I LOVE it. It gives a fabulous colour, it’s the most bronzy/golden tan I’ve found and doesn’t look orange at all. They do an impressive range of other tanning products, including gradual tanners, instant tan, and accessories including a BACK TANNING MITT (who’s genius idea was that?!) which is going straight on my wish list.

These tans are all vegan, and mid-range in terms of price. It also smells amazing, without that burnt biscuit smell that most fake tans have.

You can buy Bondi Sands fake tan at Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Superdrug and Boots.

I haven’t tried this self tanner from Evolve Beauty, but I had to give it a mention as I adore their other products, and this gradual tanning body lotion has five star reviews across the board. It is £18 for 250ml of ‘Sunless Glow’, which is quite reasonable given that most of their other products are on the expensive side (and rightly so, because they’re divine). I ordered a travel-sized sample with my most recent order and I cannot wait to try this new tanning product!

Evolve beauty’s gradual tanner is only available online, but they do free shipping on orders over £25, and trust me, they will have other products you’ll want to buy!

The ‘Skinny’ in Skinny Tan refers to their paired-down ingredients list, which is paraben-free, sulfate-free not tested on animals and suitable for vegans.

I have to be honest, I am DYING to try any of these tanning products. They have amazing reviews on colour and evenness of tan, although they are quite pricey. They also do a ‘protect and glow’ which provides sun protection and fake tan all in one product – sounds great to me! I’m up for anything fuss-free, especially when it comes to tanning. Who wants to spend half of their holidays sprawled out trying not to smudge their fake tan?

You can buy Skinny Tan in-store in Superdrug, Boots, Tesco, and directly from their website.

What’s your favourite vegan fake tan?