Regardless of the time of year, some people take the bronzed life super seriously. You'll never see them without an all-over glow and they dedicate a lot of time to getting the perfect tan, making us pale folk as envious as can be.
If you aim to be a bronzed goddess too, you'll know by now that sunbeds aren't an option (because you should love your skin and not blast it with UV rays more powerful than the midday sun), so what do you do? You reach for the fake tan, obvs.
BUT, while we want to look our best, we’re also keen to give our beauty regime an ethical makeover, so we've devised a list of the best cruelty-free and vegan fake tans to keep you feeling sun-kissed all year round.
Are fake tans vegan?
As much as we'd LOVE for all fake tans to be cruelty-free and vegan, the sad fact of the matter is that many are still tested on animals. Just not OK. However, there are plenty of amazing self-tanners from small and big-name brands that are cruelty-free and more that are following suit, reaching for the vegan crown.
It's also worth keeping in mind that cruelty-free doesn't mean a product is vegan - just because it's not tested on animals, doesn't mean it doesn't contain animal-derived products. So if you're looking for a combo of both make sure to check your favourite product's label, or pick one of our vegan and cruelty-free fake tan favourites from the list.
The best cruelty free fake tans to buy in the UK
The best cruelty-free and vegan fake tans
1. St.Tropez Original Bronzing Mousse
Is St. Tropez cruelty-free? Yep, your favourite fake tan IS cruelty-free and this one even has a vegan-friendly formula. It's on the pricier side at RRP £20 (although it's often on offer on Amazon!), but a streak-free glow is definitely worth the extra pennies. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "Best self-tan I've ever used. I've tried loads of different makes, this is definitely the best, glides on lovely, no streaks, looks natural, no orange colour. I have fair skin and looked really natural. Will definitely be purchasing again!!"
2. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Lotion
If you're not a fully-fledged tanning addict but want a healthy glow, give this one a try. Not only does it build your tan while moisturising your skin, but it also smells like chocolate. Sounds perfect to us. Palmer's is a cruelty-free company. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: No Review: "Love love love this product, it goes on streak-free gives a nice natural glow I am on my 2nd bottle and have a 3rd in waiting!! The only thing is it's not as moisturizing as I would like although I have severely dry skin so not much does!"
3. St Moriz Professional 1 hour Fast Tan Mist 150ml
That's right. St Moriz has done it again with its new Professional 1-hour Fast Tan Mist. Offering a 360° application, it really does make tanning those hard-to-reach areas a whole lot easier. Spray a light layer onto your skin and you'll quickly understand the hype. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "I have found this the easiest tan to use. Application was quick and easy and the results were even. The colour guide was accurate so I was able to get the colour I wanted."
4. Face by Utan x Jamie Genevieve Tanning Water
Vegan and cruelty-free tanning brand Utan collaborated with beauty influencer, Jamie Genevieve, for this CBD-infused tanning water, designed for use on your face. Upon restocking, the product has been selling out in just five minutes showing just how popular it is. Not only does it provide a long-lasting, transfer-resistant and glorious tan, but it also helps improve the appearance of breakouts. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "It smells amazing, is super easy and convenient to apply. It dries almost instantly and doesn't feel greasy on the skin which means I can spray it on and start my day without wasting time. On top of that, my skin has started clearing up since using this due to the CBD in it and it smells amazing with the Scottish lavender."
5. Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam
With this salon-quality tan, you could actually say you "got it from Australia" and it would be basically true! Bondi Sands is Australia's number one self-tanner and it's cruelty-free - it's a must-have. There are absolutely no animal-derived ingredients in the products and they don't test on animals. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "My favourite fake tan. I'm naturally pale in winter but tan well, so this is perfect for me. It's CERTAINLY a noticeable change on the first day or so if you've got no base tan, so I tend to do it a couple of days before an event to make it less obvious I've fake-tanned. And by the end of 2nd full day, it fades to a more natural 'winter glow' (Bondi Sands is great for not looking orange)."
6. Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse Ultra Dark
If you're a tanning pro and regular fakes tans just don't make the cut, Cocoa Brown Ultra Dark is for you. It promises to give a deep golden (non-tangerine) glow, and we're obsessed. Carter Beauty and Cocoa Brown are members of Peta's Beauty Without Bunnies, so they're 100 per cent cruelty-free and against animal testing. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "For fair skinned gals, this is just the best ever. Applies easy and wears off easily too, what more could a gal want."
7. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water
This vegan and cruelty-free tan smells good, is easy to use, and won't stain your sheets. It's packed with organic tanning actives such as avocado, chia seed, and coconut oils, for a happy, hydrated glow. No wonder everyone's raving about it in the reviews...Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "This is my go-to for face tan. I spray at night and wake up with a glow. I am fair-skinned and this gives me the right amount of tan. I have sensitive skin and this does not break me out."
8. Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam
Coco & Eve has a reputation for sell-out products, and its Bronzing Foam is no different. After selling out three times and with over 30,000 fans on the waiting list, Coco & Eve's Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam now sells one bottle every 20 seconds. Available in three shades, it contains natural ingredients such as mango, guava, banana and linseed oil, plus is the world's first tan with anti-cellulite technology. It's lightweight, non-greasy, develops in just two hours and is vegan-friendly. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "I have used fake tan for 10+ years (since it used to be orange!) and Coco & Eve Sunny Honey is my favourite tan I've ever tried. The colour is a gorgeous bronze. I'm naturally very pale and it gives me a lovely glowy tan with 1 application! The consistency is more liquid than other foamy tans I've tried and it goes quite far! The fragrance is sweet - definitely reminds you of honey! It doesn't transfer onto clothes or bedding (even pre-washing). Great product, highly recommend!"
9. Sienna X Gradual Self Tan Lotion
With a super summerly coconut scent, this gradual self-tanner is extremely kind on your skin with almond oil and cocoa butter. Not only that, but this vegan-friendly moisturising tan also eliminates the build-up of cellulite. BRB, need this ASAP. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "I love this tanning cream. it is the most natural one I have come across and I have tried loads! It goes on really easily and doesn't leave you feeling greasy. It dries in really quickly and doesn't smell bad at all. I just put it on after my shower every 3rd day and it has given me a really natural, sun-kissed tan. I love it! Cannot recommend enough."
10. Tanologist Self-Tan Water
Many influencer-produced products are a bit of a gimmick, but not this one from Lottie Tomlinson. This vitamin-infused tan water literally does it all. It's vegan, cruelty-free, and organic, it's non-comedogenic so won't clog your pores, it doesn't transfer onto anything and you can get a whole range of shades from one bottle. GENIUS! Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "Best fake tan I have ever used on my face, no streaks, even look, long-lasting, easy to apply.. love love love it. Definitely worth the price and highly recommend."
11. Tan Luxe The Gradual
Make fake tanning super simple with this gradual tan moisturiser. Tan Luxe is known for creating products so you tailor your own fake tan shade. This hydrating, daily body moisturiser will be your new best friend if you're in the market for a new gradual tan this summer to maintain a glow. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "I've tried countless amounts of tans and this by far is the best ever. Goes on so easily and smooth, this is my second bottle. Going to stock up. It wears off evenly and easy to remove. The perfect glow!"
12. Madame LA LA West Coast Face Bronzing Serum
This face tanner is another favourite of ours due to its ability to adapt to your skin tone as it develops. Plus, it contains anti-ageing ingredients like vitamin A, C, and E. Madame LA LA products are vegan and aren't tested on animals. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "Smells great and looks even better. This is the only tan I have ever used that is not orange. I use this all year round and I'm complimented on my tan EVERY SINGLE DAY. No joke."
13. Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner
Sick of smelling like biscuits? This super cheap tan is so natural, you don't even have to worry about the dreaded false tan smell. It develops in less than three hours, so you can pop this on in the morning and look bronzed by midday. It has a 100 per cent vegetarian formula and the brand is cruelty-free. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: No Review: "Great to find a cruelty free self-tanner. Doesn't have a strong smell thankfully and is easy to use one application leaves golden colour. You can add a second application if you want a deeper colour. Lasts a good few days. Delighted!"
14. Rose & Caramel Intensity Dark Bronzed Tanning Mousse
If you're looking to bring a new lease of life to your skin, the Bold & Bronzed Tanning Foam will help brighten dull skin and give you the sun-kissed colour you're looking for. It's got some serious rave reviews so we put it to the test. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes One of our Commercial Content Writers, Eleanor Weaver, tried this for herself as a self-tan amateur with flawless results: "I'm a complete newb when it comes to self-tanning, but with this mousse, I was able to give my pasty legs the chance to glow ready for dress weather. It went on so smoothly and I got the perfect tone in one application. Plus I came away streak-free - result!"
15. Lavera Self-Tanning Lotion
This organic self-tan is perfect for applying to the face and body. Filled with natural, plant-based ingredients, it delivers a smooth, even, natural-looking tan that'll make your skin radiate. It's suitable for even the most sensitive skin thanks to the gentleness of the soft, nourishing lotion. Cruelty-free: Yes Vegan: Yes Review: "Great self-tan, it gives good results after first use. I use it once a week. Don't forget to always wash your hands after application otherwise you will end up with orange palms :)"
Had a fake tan disaster? We've got the lowdown on how to sort it.
First off, exfoliate. One of the easiest ways to remove your fake tan is to use an exfoliator or some exfoliating gloves to buff away that product build-up.
Make sure to take a shower or steamy bath before you exfoliate, this opens up your pores and softens skin, making it easier to scrub away that tan.
Lemon juice mixed with sugar is a great home remedy for removing fake tan, as well as a bicarb scrub or going for a swim in your local swimming pool.