I have to start this post with a confession. I loathe self-tan, always have.
I’m very pale, and think I’m traumatised by the hideous Oros man orange formulas of the past. There are only a few I can tolerate on my skin, and then the second reason I hate them comes in – I hate applying it. I find it messy and, quite frankly, I can always thing of 100 things I would rather be doing than worry about whether or not I’m streaking my tan. I don’t have dedicated ‘tanning clothes’ and I’m never keen on ruining bed sheets with foul smelling tan products.
I even had a disastrous incident with a spray tan that basically melted onto my white t-shirt on my first day in Bangkok, so had to wear a jumper in 35 degree heat to hide it. Self-tan and I just don’t get on, until now.
I don’t often say that a product is life changing, but Skinnytan is worthy of the title. The Australian brand has some pretty impressive green credentials, too. The formulas in the 7 product strong range (in SA) are made from up to 99% naturally derived ingredients. There are none of the usual frowned upon chemicals and all of the formulas are aimed to moisturise while creating a natural-looking tan that adapts to your skin tone, so no Oros orange here!
The brand has a gorgeous new look this season, too, so you’ll be happy to show it off. Most self-tanners are in horrible packaging and get messy and stained, so I banish them to a cupboard, but the new Skinnytan design makes me want to redo my bathroom!
The self-tan is meant to have great skin toning and cellulite fighting properties, but as I haven’t tried them for months and month, I can’t comment on whether or not they help in this area, but if toning and cellulite is a big concern for you, you should probably get more target treatments to tackle it anyway.
I’ve just been on a two week break, and thought it would be the perfect time to give a few of the products a test drive.
A good tan always starts with a good canvas, so the Skinnytan Pre-Tan Primer (R180) is a must-have in your tanning routine. It’s a fine yet super effective scrub that sloughs away dead skin before you tan. (Make sure you do this a few hours before you tan – not right before).
A good tan needs to be applied evenly and smoothly, and the Dual Tanning Mitt (R130) is the best tanning mitt I’ve ever used (I’ve tried them ALL over the years). It feels almost like velvet, but lets the product hang on to the fabric enough to allow for perfectly even application. Every. Single. Time. The waterproof inner makes sure your hands stay tan-free. It’s honestly just incredible. Once finished, you just wash it in warm water and hang up to dry. (It is machine washable, too).
There is also an Exfoliating Mitt (R150) that I want to get my hands on. The two sides have different strength exfoliating properties. The brown side is for general exfoliation and the orange side is for industrial strength hard, dead skin removal.
The Skinnytan Mousse (R400) is available in two shades: Natural and Dark. I had the Natural shade (obviously). Goodness, this was a breeze to apply. Just shake the bottle and pump onto the Dual Tanning Mitt. The formula is tinted, so you can easily see where you’ve applied it, and you can see if there are any streaks. I applied this twice, and never had a streak or any staining of clothes or bed linen. I applied it at night and showered the excess of in the morning, revealing a gorgeous natural tan – something I have never really had! My skin can only ever be white or burnt, and as I’m sun-phobic, it’s always the former. It lasted days and days on me, and would have lasted longer has I not been swimming and having spa treatments. Now that I’m back, I’m going to be testing just how long I can get it to last. The last thing I have to mention is the absolute lack of burnt fishy toast smell – almost all self-tan brands claim to have no smell these days, but this is the first one that actually delivers on the promise. I guess it could have something to do with each person’s body chemicals, but this really has no smell on me.
The revelation product for me is the Skinnytan Tan & Tone Oil (R400). It’s basically a super hydrating body oil that delivers an instant glow and develops into a beautiful natural-looking tan over the course of the day. I applied this one in the morning, and let it do its thing throughout the day. I sprayed it onto clean skin, and rubbed in with the Dual Tanning Mitt. It takes a little more effort to apply than the Mousse, but I actually (slightly) prefer the glossy, hydrated finish it delivers. And as with the Mousse, there is no smell, except that of fresh coconuts.
The rest of the range sounds just as good as these products, and I’m keen to get my hands on them to see if they are as good as these ones. There is a 7 Day Tanner (R300) that delivers instant glow and then a long-lasting tan; a tan-extending glow-enhancing After Glow Gloss (R200); and the one I’m most excited to try is the Gradual Tanner for a daily dose of glow. Finally, there is Instant Tanner (R180) that delivers an instant tan, and can be washed off at the end of the day. It is a makeup product, so won’t develop or deliver any long lasting colour, but will stay in place for as long as you need it to.
The new look is currently filtering into trade, so keep an eye out for the gorgeous packaging.