The £12 gradual tan our beauty writer swears by for an easy summer glow

Want a fool-proof soft, subtle glow? Then you need this gradual tan in your beauty portfolio

an image of garnier summer body lotion on an ombre background
(Image credit: Future)

For someone who craves a golden glow all year round, I'm absolutely terrible at applying fake tan. I’ve tried every brand and formula on the market but I just can’t manage to give myself an authentic-looking tan. Until I discovered this game-changing lotion that's now my holy-grail tanning product.

Think of this life-saver as the best self-tan for those desperately searching for a fake tan for pale skin. Offering hydrating benefits as well as bronzing, this is a multi-tasking hero that’s essential for anyone who likes to get their limbs out in the summer and wants a gorgeous sunkissed tan, too. Boosting confidence, this is like summer bottled and myself and the rest of the W&H beauty team just can't get enough of the stuff. 

So, if you fancy joining the Garnier gang, here’s exactly why this little bottle of glowy goodness is the best gradual tan in the game. 


Being a remarkably pale person, I often find myself trying to faux my glow - especially in the summer when the expectation of getting your limbs out is (unfortunately) higher. But for some reason, nothing has ever worked that well on my skin. With my tanning mistakes ranging from streaky, intense orange and patchy knees, ankles and elbows, nothing ever seems to look natural. 

Garnier Summer Body has never - ever - let me down. It looks seriously authentic, with friends and colleagues asking if I've been away after I've used it. No, this is not an authentic tan from two weeks away at a tropical destination I cannot afford - it’s from a bottle that costs £12 that you can pick up from your local supermarket. 


This Apricot scented lotion is very unlike other tanning products. It's just like applying a body lotion, so it might feel very alien to not be able to see where you're applying your tan, but as long as you make sure to be careful around ankles, elbows and hands (and to wash your hands) you won't have any issues. 

The lotion absorbs immediately and is so lightweight. Skin is left feeling silky soft and fresh and after around 6 hours you'll notice a gorgeous glow beginning to appear. It's subtle, natural and gives you a radiance boost, no matter your skin tone. It will continue to develop and after a day you'll have a lovely authentic-looking tan which will last a good few days. 

I always do a top up every couple of days and it can last for as long as you need it to. Plus, you won't have to scrub any leftover tan off after, the formula fades gradually after you stop applying. 


You can apply it with your hands but I love to massage in with a tanning mitt to ensure an even coverage and a quicker application. My whole body takes about five minutes and the formula can even be used on your face. 

I like to apply after a shower and leave to develop overnight, by the morning you'll wake up to a glorious golden glow. And for times I want something deeper I'll add another layer the next evening. No waiting around for the tan to develop and then washing off, Garnier Summer Body makes the whole tanning process so quick, easy and effective. It really is that easy.


You won't be shocked to hear that my answer is; absolutely yes. This bargain bottle of tan is an essential for the summer months, it's so foolproof that anyone can make this work for them. No fussing around with tan wait times, washing off before bed and stressing about avoiding streaks and waking up looking like a Wotsit. Garnier Summer Body has your back, I promise. 

So, if you've been wondering how to fake tan as a beginner or are someone like me who's failed to find their perfect tan match, you'll adore Garnier Summer Body just as much as I do. Just like your best body moisturizer, this lotion deeply hydrates your limbs and ensures your skin is looking it's best this summer. So, get glowing... 

Annie Milroy
Beauty Writer

Annie Milroy is the Beauty Writer for Woman & Home and other publications.

She spent three years studying Journalism and English Language at the University of Portsmouth before starting her career in magazines in 2017.

After 5 years working as a Fashion & Beauty Writer, she refined her career and is now working at Future as a Beauty Writer.