Review: Gradual Tanners

So, I know it is now basically bang in the middle of summer. If you were wanting to fake tan, you have probably already bought the products you were going to buy. I fake tan pretty much all year round though. Especially with gradual tanners just to keep myself looking a little bit on the healthy side. Honestly (really, I’m not joking) when I stop fake tanning and happen to not be wearing makeup, people actually ask me if I’m ill. I get genuine “Are you alright? You look very pale and sickly…”. Soooooo, I like fake tan!

I’ve tried out 4 gradual tanners over the past few months to get a proper idea of them and now I’m going to tell you what I thought! The ones I tried were Johnson’s Holiday Skin Body Lotion Fair to Medium Skin, Garnier Skin Naturals Summer Body Light Moisturising Lotion, Dove Summer Glow Nourishing Body Lotion for Fair to Normal Skin and St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Body Medium/Dark (free with magazine, bonus!). I also tried the ASDA Protect Aftersun Lotion and Tan Enhancer (an old version though).

I’m sure you will all have seen most of these in the shops. Bar the ASDA one you can get these most places – though the St. Tropez might not be in all supermarkets. I’m going to chuck in some photos though to make sure πŸ™‚

So, what I thought of them? I’m going to include a helpful table πŸ™‚

Name of Gradual Tan
Amount in Bottle/ml
Smell during application
Smell after 12 hours
As a body lotion?
Johnson’s Holiday Skin
Babies and talcum powder
Similar to before
but with added biscuits
Very light and quite yellow
Garnier Summer Body
Fruity but with a hint of fish
Mainly of fake tan but light
A okay colour but quite light and a bit too orange
Really Good
Dove Summer Glow
Light smell of fake tan
Great colour, not too orange.
ASDA Aftersun (old formulation, could be different now!)
Fake tan
Strong smell of fake tan
Really good colour
Takes ages to sink in
St. Tropez
Not very much but there is a light scent
Very little scent
Amazing colour, looks entirely natural

So, the best one is the St. Tropez by far. The colour is great, it doesn’t smell disgusting at any point and it is really easy to use. Sure, I had the medium to dark version and I’m pretty sure if I had the fair version I would be complaining that I couldn’t see it!

The next best would be the Dove summer glow. Whilst it does start smelling of fake tan after a while it gives the best colour by far of the cheaper ones (for me). Also, the smell it starts with isn’t funky.

The Garnier and Johnson’s I am going to struggle to finish. The Garnier has this sickening smell of fish that catches me at the back of my throat when I apply it. The Johnson’s, well, maybe they only do baby scented products? I’m not happy going round smelling like that and frankly the colour makes me look jaundiced. Great.

The ASDA one I have is an old bottle, so possibly an old formulation. Whilst it smells pretty rank, the colour is great. It is also the cheapest of the bunch, in fact, it is ridiculously cheap! I’m pretty tempted to bin the one I have (it is getting old now) and buy a new bottle, cos it is pretty amazing (I’ll let you know if I do).

I want to move onto another point now though, which makes the choice a bit different. When you apply gradual tan it comes off onto anything you are wearing. Which means the inside of white bras turn orange, white shirts are a no-go if you want them to stay looking good, basically everything ends up dirty.What I do, is I use them in the evening – as my second application of lotion during the day. I then put on my pj’s which I care less about ending up a bit off coloured. Then, I shower in the morning – meaning how they smell after a few hours doesn’t matter too much to me.

Also, no amount of gradual tan will take you super brown. However, it will keep a ‘real’ fake tan ‘topped up’ or just add a hint of summer to your skin.

Well done if you got to the end of all that! I now have a LOT of gradual tanners to finish up (only about half a bottle of each though – yeah, you’ll get through it pretty fast btw!).

Have you tried any of these? Do you disagree/agree with what I think of them all?

Fleur xoxo


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