FED UP of streaky tans that smell like you've bathed in biscuits? Well it's goodbye messy lotions, hello easy oils.
The best tanning oils deliver streak-free colour with a no-mess guarantee as they melt straight into your skin.
Transform your moisturisers into a custom self-tanner. @hellooliviablog wears The FACE & BODY in Medium/Dark for a show-stopping glow 😍 #tanluxe #selftan
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They don't drip, fill the air with a spray that stains your bathroom filters (we've all been there), or drop in lumps on your floor or towels – yes, we're talking about you, mousse.
Many tanning oils are actually 'dry', meaning they won't leave a sticky or greasy residue.
They will, though, nourish and condition your skin with smoothing and hydrating plant extracts and omega oils. And, thanks to fab new formulas, that telltale smell is also mostly a ghost of tanning's past.
Whether you're looking for face, body, sensitive skin, light colour or dark colour, we've picked out the best tanning oils below. Let's glow.
1. Best tanning oil for fair skin
- Tan-Luxe Wonder Oil, £45 from Cult Beauty – buy here
Have you ever applied your fake tan with a rollerball applicator? It was a new one on us, too. But we're impressed. Very impressed.
This gorgeous colour-creator gives a mess-free experience (just roll in circles on your skin and rub in), a biscuit-free smell, and a really good no-orange shade.
On top of that, the formula is infused with a blend of six pure plant and omega oils, including jojoba, argan, and raspberry seed oils, to leave skin hydrated, while it also works to improve elasticity and smooth out lumps and bumps.
Choose the Light/Medium for pale skin. Cheap? No. But it's worth it.
2. Best tanning oil for a deep tan
- Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil 100ml, £21 from Beauty Bay – buy here
Get a luxury, deep, luminous glow with St Tropez's indulgent self tan dry oil.
As it says on the tin, it's non-sticky and non-greasy (yes, dry), yet it's also nourishing and hydrating on your skin.
Infused with neroli, lemongrass and grapefruit essential oils, it leaves your skin supple and with an instant shimmering glow.
Use the shimmer as a guide and for immediate colour, then wash it off when the base tan has developed. Dark, streak-free tan coming your way.
3. Best tanning oil for sensitive skin
- The Chemistry Brand Glow Oil 100ml, £15 from Look Fantastic – buy here
If you're looking for a gentle-on-skin alternative to DHA-based tanners, try this no-nasties formula for a sunless tan without sensitivity.
As well as being DHA-free, it's also vegan, gluten-free, silicone-free, nut-free and alcohol-free, so you can get your glow on naturally with a raspberry-based keto-sugar solution.
Gives a natural golden hue after two to three days of use, and can be used alone or added to your moisturiser for an everyday dream gleam.
4. Best tanning oil with SPF
- Bondi Sands Protect and Tan SPF15 Tanning Oil 150ml, £12.99 from Look Fantastic – buy here
We can't think of anything better than a brilliant self tan that also protects your skin from UV rays as it turns you into a honey-hued goddess.
Ok, maybe a proposal from Jason Momoa and a lottery win on the same day might do it. But, you know, what we're saying is this is pretty good stuff.
Non-greasy, smells amazing (hello, holiday), gives a gorgeous glow, and hydrates your skin, too. Can you tell we like it?
5. Best tanning oil for face
- Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum, £49 from Cult Beauty – buy here
Swap your ageing sunbathing addiction for a skin-loving tanning serum.
You'll achieve that sun-kissed gleam without damaging your skin and, better yet, you'll even be boosting your complexion with this glow-getter as it contains an anti-ageing blend of vitamin C, argan oil, and hyaluronic acid.
The gorgeous holiday-vibe coconut scent covers that telltale biscuit smell and you can use the serum on its own or just add it to your daily moisturiser for a soft, buildable hue.
6. Best tanning oil drops
- Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops, £19.95 from Cult Beauty – buy here
Get bronzed guilt-free with this 100% vegan, cruelty-free and organic tanning oil.
The drops allow you to control your colour by adding one to 12 drops to your face or body lotion and watching the colour get glowing.
Packed with organic tanning actives like avocado, chia seed, and coconut oil, it's a great option for a healthy, hydrated glow.
What's more, there are three colour-coded shades to choose from: The 'Light' peach-coded colour is best for pale skin and offers a subtle, sun kissed glow.
The 'Medium' green coded range is great for a gorgeous hue that also cancels out redness in the skin; and the 'Dark' violet range is best for that rich, deep-down glow that looks like you just stepped off the beach.
We've created Sun Selects so you could find the best items at the best prices.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best tanning oils? Us too! Check out our dedicated beauty section.
Are you in the market for a new face mask? Let us help you with our pick of the best face masks.
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