I love to tan! But safely of course… and only from a bottle. So it was with great pleasure that I had the chance to conduct the Bath & Unwind Tan–Off 2011 over the past few months. I’ve tested some new faces to the tanning arena and have revisited some old classics.. with some interesting results and some great new fake tan finds!
I’ve always been quite a die hard tanner. Even though I am fair skinned, I would always pick the medium to dark, extra deep, long lasting, super duper, intense colour option. It was way back in 1996 when I discovered that the Body Shop sold a cream that promised to transform my freckly transparent skin and make me look like my olive sun kissed friends come the summer holidays – give or take a few (lots!) streaks and some dodgy (dirty brown) stains on my hands. I’ve never looked back, as formulations have excelled over the years to deliver more natural – and less smelly results.
These products have served me very well over the years, and are still on call should I have a special night out, a holiday or a wedding to go to. But I realised by using these tanning products daily, I was neglecting the condition of my skin and I didn’t really want to be that tanned anymore, just healthy looking and not pasty rather than a walk on part in The Only Way is Essex.
So I set about finding some tanning products that could offer me all the benefits of my favourite daily facial moisturiser or hydrating body milk with a little bit of colour to keep up the illusion! Here is what I discovered:
Phytomer Sun Radiance Self Tanning Cream. What I love most about this new cream is the silky, non- tacky texture which glided on so easily but absorbed super quickly, I knew I was getting good coverage. There was no strong smell initially but as my body heated up the tell tale smell did start to emerge. The colour was very light and natural, and even though this is called a Self Tanning Cream I would probably put it in the Gradual Tanner category. The light texture worked well on my face – however it did sting when I got it too close to my eyes so watch out for that.
Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Self Tanning Milk for Face and Body. Packed with essential oils and the usual beautiful line up of Decleor ingredients, this product truly took care of my skin. The initial smell is pleasant and smells a bit like holidays – but again after warming up I was niffing a little of dog biscuits. I definitely noticed quite a strong colour after one application, which is great as it meant the tube lasted ages. The texture was quite thick and a little sticky so if you are putting it on your face be careful. My parched skin absolutely loved it but if you are prone to spots you may want to tread with caution. The colour, although even was a little on the orange side.
Perricone MD No Sun Tanner. At £50 I had high hopes for this product. It didn’t let me down. By far the most natural results of the three, the texture is velvety and soft and leaves skin smooth and sun kissed. With a pleasant smell from start to finish I’d be confident to wear this in the daytime rather than just in bed. However, it is a gradual tanner and with the bottle being so small, unless you are desperate for nobody to discover your tanning secret I’d keep this one for special occasions or for the face and décolleté only.