UK young men are 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 [1], fake-tan usage is only slightly higher amongst women aged 16-24 (29%) and 25-44 (24%).

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%). 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.

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,” said Roshida Kahnom, Senior Personal Care Analyst at Mintel.

Beyond young men

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.

Mintel estimates the UK self-tan market at £60 million in 2014. 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,” Roshida continues.