When it comes to the great British summertime, here in England we’ll take whatever sun we can get. Anything above 18 degrees Celsius is considered Pimms o’clock while lunchtimes are spent soaking up rays on a dusty patch of grass rather than chomping on a Pret sandwich at your desk. But for all the extra hours of vitamin D, some of us still need a helping hand when it comes to transforming into a bronzed goddess. Step in, gradual tan.
For people like me who steer clear of full-on fake tan (and avoid dangerous sun beds), gradual tans are lifesavers. It’s easy, buildable colour, it’s difficult to go wrong and they don’t add an extra step into my morning routine. I used to use Garnier’s Summer Body Lotion when I was a teen, but because they test on animals (BOO!) I’ve since switched to cruelty-free and vegan alternatives – here are four of the best gradual tans for a cruelty-free glow this summer.
St Tropez Everyday Tinted Body Lotion (Gradual Tan Tinted)
St Tropez are known for their incredible tans, so it’s no surprise that this gradual tanning lotion is impressive. Coming in a 200ml bottle, the tinted lotion gives an instant wash of colour to my skin without any glittery chunks. I don’t find the lotion the easiest to apply in that I have to rub it in quite firmly, but it’s still my number one recommendation.
St Tropez Everyday Multi-Active Toning Lotion (Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt And Glow)
Are you starting to see a theme here? I tend to pick up these gradual tans at my work’s beauty sales which is why this tube is in my collection – I’d normally go for a darker shade, but I’m still impressed with this. The lotion is slightly easier to apply than the Tinted Body Lotion and it does give a nice colour to skin, as well as a visible shimmer. If that’s not your preference, maybe steer clear. This is also supposed to tone up my skin after four weeks of regular use, but I haven’t seen incredible results just yet. Watch this space!
St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower (In Shower Tanning Lotion)
OK, so this blog post is turning into a bit of a love letter to St Tropez. I am a huge fan of anything you can use in shower to save time in the morning, so this is a fixture in my bathroom. Waiting naked in the shower for three minutes while this develops can be annoying (time it with one song on your playlist or brush your teeth in between) but it gives a good colour, no smell and doesn’t rub off on your clothes.
I’ve only used this tan a couple of times so I don’t think I can give a proper review just yet, but from first impressions this could be a winner for some of you. Connotations about the name aside (your body is beautiful whatever size you are), Skinny Tan’s 125ml Gradual Tanner is really easy to apply and doesn’t immediately have that tell-tale fake tan smell (I did smell a biscuit-ty scent when I applied this one morning but I didn’t follow the instructions and wash off after five hours). When used for a couple of days in a row, I did see my skin start to shimmer, but I need to test this more to see if the gradual tan works for my skin tone.
Are there any vegan gradual tanners I don’t know about yet? Leave your recommendations in the comments below!
Image via @sttropeztan/ @soso.smith