Mintel estimates the UK self-tan market at £60 million in 2014.
UK young men are reported to be amongst the country’s highest fake tan users. Over a quarter (27%) of 16-24 year old men have used this product category. According to Mintel, fake-tan usage is only slightly higher among women aged 16-24 (29%) and 25-44 (24%).
According to senior personal care analyst Roshida Kahnom; high usage of self-tanning products amongst young men suggests that they may be aspiring to recreate looks inspired by celebrities.
"With summer becoming a distant memory, and as the nation gears up for a wet winter, our research suggests that young men are looking to extend the summer look with a year round tan."
Moreover, it seems male interest in self-tan doesn’t stop there - across all consumer groups, males aged 16-24 are the most likely to have used salon spray with tan (20%), compared to a national average of just one in ten (9%).
Older consumers less willing to try products with unnatural results
However, the analyst notes that with self-tanning products traditionally associated with unnatural results, older people may be less willing to try it.
"Additionally, self-tanning products can be tricky to apply, which may make it difficult for older people who tend to have looser and less hydrated skin. Product innovations in self-tanning for older people, designed for looser skin, could make it more appealing to older people."
However, beyond the young generation, self-tan products suffer from their association to unnatural results.
Meanwhile, over the last 12 months, almost a quarter (23%) of 16-24 year old men say they have used a pre-tan accelerator, while the same number (21%) have used a sunbed or tanning salon.
Some 12% of the same group have used gradual tanner, while 8% have used oral tanning supplement - again proving to be the highest group of users.
In terms of overall usage of self tanning products, on average 16% of Brits have used self tan in the past twelve months, followed by gradual tanner at 15%. One in ten (10%) have used pre-tan accelerator, while the same number (10%) have used tanning oil or lotion without SPF. Just 7% have used oral tanning supplements.