These Are The Best-Smelling Fake Tans We've Ever Tried

In my teens and early 20's, I loved nothing more than a deep bronze sun tan. I'd hit up the solarium every week and sunbake for hours in the backyard, often with little or no SPF. Just writing that makes me feel ill. I have biiiig regrets about that behaviour, and I drastically improved my habits luckily while I was still in my early 20s.

At 27, I now wear sunscreen every day, lecture my friends for their sun seeking habits during summer, and only use fake tan.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss that natural tan I used to build up in summer. Fake tanning is a pain in the butt. It's time consuming, stains your sheets, and it stinks...usually.

What Causes Fake Tan To Smell?

We all know that smell. You're imagining it right now as you read this. But what actually causes this stench that we struggle to mask?

"The classic 'fake tan' smell is caused by the chemical reaction between the active ingredient in tanning products, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), and the surface of your skin," says former tanning product developer, Ebonie Kingston.

"This chemical reaction is what allows the tan to develop, turning the skin's surface brown. Unfortunately, that's what also causes an unfavourable smell, which is very hard to mask and avoid in tanning products".

Of course, I asked Ebonie if she had any answers for reducing the smell. Her response, and I quote, was "if I did, I'd be a millionaire". Fair call.

What she does suggest though, is trying not to mask it too much with scented lotions and the like, as the scents can clash, producing a worse smell. Eek.

Luckily, I've come across some really pleasant-smelling fake tans recently and I felt compelled to share them with you.

The Best-Smelling Fake Tans I've Tried:

Now, I recognise that none of us are really going anywhere at the moment, but do not underestimate what a fake tan can do!

I'm not joking, I put fake tan on last week just to feel human again, and it really lifted my spirits to do something 'normal', even if I wasn't going anywhere.

Not only am I absolutely obsessed with the beautiful, natural-looking bronze glow this adds to my skin but the smell is divine. My whole bathroom smells like coconuts when I apply this, and I find that "fake tan smell" doesn't linger on my skin the next day once rinsed off. It contains Raw Virgin Coconuts, botanicals and amino acids to hydrate and firm skin, antioxidants to improve signs of ageing on the skin and coconut and mandarin oils deeply nourish dry skin. It also has a green-grey base to ensure no hints of orange, and features patented cellushape technology.

If you want to smell like you've just sprayed yourself with a really nice floral fragrance, this is the tan for you. Ella Baché Great Tan Mousse is violet based instant tan mousse that blends seamlessly into the skin, and gives such a beautiful faux glow without streaks or patchiness. It contains Acovado Oil, Aloe Vera and Green Tea extract to protect and hydrate the skin, plus it's pH balanced to deliver the most natural-looking tan on your skin tone. Again, that next day tan smell washes right off.

Now I'm more of a mousse girl, than a lotion girl, but this is one of Hannah's faves - and it's made this list because it doesn't smell nice. It doesn't smell like anything. It's odourless. Don't ask me how! This ultra-moisturising self tanner gives instant colour as it develops into a lasting tan over 4 to 8 hours. It can be used on face and body, and contains antioxidants Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. It's also formulated with natural and organic ingredients.