The three best self-tans you might not have heard of

Some people never use self-tan and instead prefer to show their skin au natural to the world. I applaud them and their choice, but this article is intended for those of us who love to have bronzed skin.

Self-tanner is a no brainer for me. While I love the sun (SPF 50 and 30 only!), I will never get a beautiful natural tan. You see, being a redhead, I'm "melatonin-ally challenged". My relationship with self-tanner began when I was about 17 and has produced some interesting and varied results over the years. Most of which I'm more than happy to forget.

Nowadays, I'd consider myself to be a bit of a tanning expert.  No streaks, no stained palms, no orange hues. I'm fairly confident that I've tried most of the tans on the market, and these are three that I rate extremely highly. We all love our friends at Cocoa Brown, L'Oreal, St Tropez, etc. , however, sometimes it's good to move outside of your comfort zone and try something new. These tans are not new to the market, but they were new to me and are now firmly on my favourites list.


  • Moroccan Tan

This was a very pleasant surprise. I'd, of course, heard of Moroccan Oil (no relation) but not this particular tan, probably because it's predominantly sold through salons rather than pharmacies. However, it's easily available to everyone online at no matter your location.

The tan has vitamin E and argan oil added to it and of the three tans featured today, this was the best in terms of moisturising my skin. It's alcohol, sulphate and paraben free, and, like another one of our tans today, it is owned and produced in Australia. (Approx price €25.)

Xen Tan

  • Xen-Tan

Xen was developed in the USA and has been around since 2002. I just hadn't gotten around to trying it - the price was pretty off-putting, to be honest - and even after trying it, while I did like it, I wouldn't pay over €30 for a tan. The results just don't merit that price tag, especially when there are great options on the market for as little as €6.

That said, it is a good self-tan that veers towards a darker tan with olive undertones. It is fortified with shea butter and Vitamin A and E, so it does offer moisturising properties and like the other two tans, it has a range of products to support it, such as gradual tanners and preparation scrubs. It is widely available in pharmacies and online (approx Price €36).

bondi sands range 1

  • Bondi Sands

This great brand was created and is made in Australia, and they obviously know a thing or two about sunshine and tanning! This one is my number one choice for a few reasons. Firstly, the scent is reminiscent of coconut, and that's my weakness. Don't get me wrong; it still smells like fake tan (they ALL do despite some brands claims to the contrary, they should just own it) but it was a more pleasant smell than usual. It's enriched with aloe vera, coconut and vitamin E and is a salon quality product. The foam comes in a Light and Dark formula and an oil version.

I used the self-tanning foam and found it very easy to apply with a mitt. The colour develops in six hours, but you can shower after one, depending on the depth of colour you're looking to achieve. I did my usual and just kept it on overnight. I was delighted with the colour: less orange and more olive, my skin felt moisturised, it lasted at least four days and faded away evenly, and it's the one that I got the most compliments on. It's widely available in most pharmacies, and I spotted that Boots currently has it on special offer online. (Approx price €21.99.)


Have you anymore that you think I should try?

Related Articles

More from Beauty