The best gradual tan for a believable bronze glow-up

Simple, effective and perfect for self-tan virgins.
13 Best Gradual Tans You Need For A Believable Bronze in 2023

Jimmy says, “You can control your glow with a gradual tan by reapplying it as light layers for two or three days in a row until you reach the depth of tan that you want. Day one, the first layer looks like you’ve spent the day at the beach; the second layer on day 2 will leave your skin looking like you’ve been at the beach all weekend while the final third layer will give you a glow that will look like you’ve been away somewhere fancy and hot for a week."

The good news is that since lots of gradual tans are built-into moisturisers it helps to counteract the drying effect some regular tans can have, leaving skin looking doubly glowy, healthy and hydrated.

Finally, there’s your bed linen and bathroom to think of. The staining that goes into fake tanning can be enough to put lots of us off, but since there’s plenty of clear gradual moisturisers on the market, you won’t have to worry about waking up to the guide colour on your fresh sheets.

The key to avoiding streaks when using gradual tan with no guide colour, notes Marc, is to apply a liberal amount “that completely saturates the skin.”

Another benefit? It’s easier to avoid stripes. So, if you’re slapdash at applying fake tan and regularly miss bits, a gradual tanner is much more forgiving. If you miss a spot one day, the likelihood is, you’ll catch it the next, which means you can keep streaks to a minimum.

“It’s suitable for both the face and body due to its weightless, lotion-oil hybrid formulation glides on wherever it’s desired – steering well clear of the 'tangoed’ territory,” says Marc

When it comes to cons, the clue is in the name, says Jimmy. “It’s gradual, so if you’re after immediate impact, this isn’t the tan for you."

Want faster results? Check out our list of the best fake tan and spray tans. Feeling extra pale this year? We've also done our research and found the best fake tan for pale skin. Want something for your sensitive visage? Here are the best fake tans for your face.

Here’s our edit of the best gradual tans to try now…