Fad for fake tans starts to fade as natural look takes off

It may be still be popular on the floor of Strictly Come Dancing but the tell-tale orange tinge of fake tan is on the wane in mainstream society, a report has claimed.

Strictly star Julian Clary with dance partner Erin Boag. Picture: PA

A study has found that usage of self-tanning products has witnessed a sharp decline in the past year with just over one in ten Brits having used such a product, compared to 17 per cent in the previous year.

However, experts claim it could be that people are turning towards a trend for a natural tan as sun protection products are also on the decline.

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Women are almost twice as likely as men to be users of self-tan, with 17 per cent continuing to indulge in the trend, while usage falls dramatically with age, declining from over a fifth of 16 to 34-year-olds to just one in ten 35-to-44 year olds. Jack Duckett, consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel, which carried out the report, said: “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.

“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.”

However, those who are choosing to apply the product are increasingly trading up to more expensive varieties, the study found. The average price paid per unit is predicted to rise by 1.8 per cent in the year to December 2015 to £7.10, compared to £6.96 in 2014.

Sales of sun cream products are expected to fall by 6 per cent between December 2014 and December 2015 to reach £152 million. Mr Duckett added: “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.

“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.”

Style consultant Danit A Levi, who runs DressYourWay in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, said: “I think the orange glow has had its day. People have learned to mute it down a little bit and soften it up. They are going more for a pale look, which is what was popular in the Edwardian times. In my opinion, it is softer and more feminine.”

She added: “You get someone like Alexa Chung who goes for the more natural look and people follow. I think people feel there is a less of a need to cover themselves up these days.”