Fake tan products have their upsides. They don’t require any time spent in the sun or an appointment with a beautician. There are plenty to choose from, too. We went to 2 department stores, 2 pharmacies and 2 supermarkets and found about 50 products – mousses, gels, creams, sprays and wipes.

But anyone who has dabbled with tanning at home also knows things can go wrong on the way to finding your perfect product. There’s that distinctive smell – giving away that your glow came courtesy of a tube – and the tell-tale streaking and patchy ankles.

Our trial

We couldn’t sensibly trial 50 products. So we asked 5 people – all women – to try 7 well-known self-tanning products. They rated each product and provided comments on the product’s scent, what it was like to apply and how good its tan was.

What we found

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Ratings table