More years ago than I care to imagine, I used to use the Garnier Summer Body Lotion which is still available to buy even now. Back then, false tans weren't great; they were very orange, had a strong smell and no guide colour for application which more often than not left me looking streaky. When I found the Garnier Summer Body, I fell in love with it because although it had no guide colour, it was a gradual tanner within a moisturiser and even the light one left my skin a darker shaker after the first application.
However it was not without its flaws as it did have a scent of false tan after the initial apricot scent went away and it did sometimes settle into lines and wear off unevenly and while the colour was quite nice, it did have an orange tint to it.
I used that gradual tan for years and years until I discovered that traditional apply-develop-wash off tans had greatly improved and my use of the gradual tanner became pretty much redundant.
That was until I discovered the St Tropez Gradual Tan this summer.
I recently put together a post all about ways to pamper yourself after a stressful day at work where I talked about how much more put together I feel with a tan on my skin. I mentioned the St Tropez Gradual Tan as the product that I've been using most frequently this year but its that good, I thought it deserved a post of its own.
The great thing about the St Tropez Gradual Tan is that it is very much a gradual approach to tanning. When I apply it at night, I wake up with a very light, sun kissed glow and this deepens with each application. With the Garnier one, I could tell that I'd applied it literally a few hours after I'd used it whereas the St Tropez is a lot more subtle, at least in the Light/Medium shade. They also have a Medium/Dark formula but as I'm naturally quite pale (almost see through as I joke to my friends), the lighter colour way is much more suited to me.
The fact that the colour pay off from using this product is quite light is great as it makes it hard to go streaky with it because the affect is subtle so the next day when you apply it again, you will catch the areas that you may have missed the day before. That being said, I haven't noticed any streaks with using this tan so it is either very easy to apply streak free or you catch the missed bits during the next application. Either way, the effect is gorgeous.
The colour is more orange toned than muddy or olive but it leaves the skin looking sun kissed and golden rather than that awful dark orange colour. The colour is very buildable in terms of intensity, so you can apply it over the course of several days to build up to your desired sun tanned effect however it isn't buildable in formula on the skin meaning that I haven't found it to settle into lines on the skin or in the crease of my elbow or neck, etc. This is great as some tans that I have used haven't applied very well after the first application and I've ended up with these strange dirty orange lines in some areas!
This gradual tan doesn't have a guide colour at all and when you squeeze it out of the tube, it very much looks like a regular body lotion. It has this light yet hydrating formula that really does moisturise your skin as well as tanning it. Usually I find that a lot of gradual tanners either do one or the other but this product definitely moisturises while tanning. Perhaps thats because of the addition of the ultra moisturising Vitamin E that's in the formula.
Being so moisturising, I think that this is a great product to use during the summer months, perhaps when your skin is being naturally sun kissed as well to help it to stay hydrated but it would also be fantastic to use during the winter time as well to give you a gorgeous light glow while keeping your skin hydrated and soft. For ultra cold days, I think this would be ideal to use at night, followed by a thicker body butter the next morning but for during the warmer months, this would be all the hydration you would need to keep your skin looking and feeling soft.
The application is pretty straight forward, simply rub into the skin. The lotion absorbs pretty quickly and I find that I can pop my PJs on after a few minutes. It doesn't cling to dry areas and it doesn't irritate my skin at all which I'm really pleased at as sometimes fragranced products can irritate sensitive areas of my skin like my wrist where I have a patch of psoriasis.
Rather than smelling like biscuits, this gradual tan has a gorgeous floral scent that lingers on the skin. I don't find that it develops into the typical fake tan scent but if I do go to the gym and build up a bit of a sweat then I can smell it. The funny thing is that no one has ever asked me if I'm wearing false tan when I have this tan other, be it because of the colour or the scent, unless they own and use it themselves. The floral fragrance is really pretty and quite distinctive so I find that others who use the tan can smell it and recognise it whereas other people just think that its a body lotion or perfume and that's if they can smell it at all!
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What gradual tans or other St Tropez products would you recommend to me?