Are Brits giving up on fake tan to opt for a more natural look?


- Last updated on GMT

iStock/ Kazzakova
iStock/ Kazzakova

Related tags Self-tanning products Market researcher mintel Sun tanning

The UK has long been a big market for self-tanning, or ‘fake tan’, products, but new research suggests that their use is declining as Brits are opting for a more natural look.

According to market researcher Mintel, usage of self-tanning products has witnessed a sharp decline in the past year with just over one in ten Brits having used self-tan products, compared to 17% in the previous year.

On top of this, the use of gradual tanning products has also been on the decline, falling from 15% to 13% in 2015; as has in-salon services, such as sunbed use, which has dropped from 11% to 8%. Even spray tans have dipped to just 7%.

“The popularity of self-tanning products has declined substantially over the past year suggesting that the fashion for artificial tans is waning as people instead embrace a more natural look,”​ says Jack Duckett, Consumer Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel.

“This trend was highlighted at London Fashion Week SS16, where a number of shows featured models wearing more natural base make-up with a dewy sheen on natural-looking faces, accompanied with mascara-free eye lashes.”

Declining launches

All of this data has been highlighted in Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), which also finds that self-tan products accounted for a declining share of sun care launch activity between 2012-15.

Acording to this database, less than a quarter of sun care products launched in the UK in 2015 were self-tanning products, compared to over a third of launches in 2012.

Some good news…

However, it is not all doom-and-gloom as Mintel reveals that despite a decline in usage of self-tan, those Brits who are choosing to apply the product are increasingly trading up to more expensive varieties.

This has seen value sales of self-tan rise and they are expected to increase from £62 million (€86m) in 2014 to £66 million (€92m) in 2015, partly driven by a rise in unit price.

“Although self-tan usage continues to decline, the market is projected to enjoy buoyant value sales in 2015 thanks to the launch of a number of more premium variants during the year,”​ continues Duckett.

“A number of self-tan brands have also sought to capitalise on the increasing awareness of sun safety, promoting products as offering a safe tan.”

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