Last year in the midst of moving you may have caught my post on a couple of my favourite cruelty-free self-tanning products. I’ve never been one for the beds and I definitely am not one for baring all in a spray tan booth, so self-tanning has always been my go to. Both products I featured are still close to my heart, and actually are both products I repurchased early this spring to see me through this year too. This year I was also lucky enough to be invited to Skinny Tans launch event in London in celebration of their latest addition – their 1 Hour Express Mousse. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend as I live about as far away as I can get without leaving England, but the girls at Skinny Tan were nice enough to let me try out their goodies anyway.
I’ll address the elephant in the room first – I’m not skinny and no amount of cellulite smoothing tan will ever make me so. I’m not especially drawn to the tan for its ability to mask cellulite, I just want to look less deathly pale when the sun is out.
It was also a complete surprise to me to find out that Skinny Tan is vegan and cruelty-free. I’d seen their (remarkably aesthetic) products on the shelves of Superdrug for quite a while but always assumed they weren’t for me. How wrong I was!
In my goodie box I received four products – Skinny Tan’s 1 Hour Express Mousse, the Pre-Tan Primer, the exfoliating mitt and the dual sides tan mitt.
Honestly, my first impression was that the applicator mitt is literally the softest thing I have ever touched in my entire life.
Beyond that though, I gave the products a quick sniff and was very impressed. Long gone is the biscuit scented tan – both the primer and 1 Hour Express Mousse smell like a coconut fuelled holiday. They took me way back to my girls trip to Zante many moons ago when my friend brought aftersun that smelled exactly like this. Both are very refreshing on these gloomy spring days. The exfoliating mitt is double sided – one to prep the skin and one to remove lingering tan – which I appreciate as I am truly awful at preparing my skin in general.
The first time I applied the tan I foolishly skipped all the prep and went straight in as I was headed to London and my legs needed some love. This was where I learned the importance of prep. I have beyond milky pale legs and a very uneven skin tone on my lower body so I should really have known it would not end well. To be fair to the tan, it developed beautifully and did a fair job of being even despite highlighting some dry skin on my shins.
Application (The Right Way!)
The second time around I made a right fuss of prepping first. I shaved my legs, exfoliated with the mitt and primer before dabbing a little moisturiser on my face/knees/elbows/shins.
The primer is gorgeously thick with tiny walnut flecks that exfoliate without being anywhere near as harsh as a sugar or salt scrub (which was nice as it didn’t irritate my freshly shaven legs). It smells rich and coconutty, and unlike most exfoliating products doesn’t leave any kind of oily residue. It washes clean off leaving the skin smooth and silky soft, but not greasy or feeling too scrubbed at.
The exfoliating mitt was definitely a little more coarse and was perfect for dodgy areas like my knees, elbows, shins and the big on the back of my heels that always gathers product.
The applicator mitt is exactly as fantastic as I first thought. It’s thick, silky soft and perfect for distributing the product as evenly as neatly as possible. I’ve never been one to invest in an applicator mitt despite it clearly is an important step – Primark’s £1 ones have served me well thus far – but this one was a cut above. The thickness of the mitt meant that none of the product soaked through leaving patchy hands, and it;’s so soft it feels truly luxe on the skin while you apply.
The mousse itself was the part that made me nervous. Several weeks after my legs had faded, I came back with fresh smooth skin and a new sense of faith.
The idea is that you apply the mousse and allow it to develop for up to three hours giving you a gradient of tans to choose from. I really can’t stress enough to listen to the development recommendations if you’re as pale as me, as the tan develops quite dark on the skin and will just keep going if you don’t wash it off.
That being said, the second time around I re-applied and set a timer for each passing hour so I could check on development as I went.
The mousse applies easily using the applicator mitt and while there is a bit of awkward naked hovering while it dries off, it soaks in quickly and doesn’t leave any stickiness of gross post-tan smell. I was able to get dressed soon afterwards and go about my day. Surprisingly during this time, there was no transfer onto our bedsheets, the couch or (as once happened) the dog. Colour me impressed.
By the time two hours had passed I was a pleasant golden shade, but I did also notice it wasn’t developing as shockingly dark this time (maybe because my whole body was developing at once as opposed to my awkward patchy legs), so I left it for the full three hours and rinsed, followed by a swift coat of coconut oil for the extra moisture. After that there was no more rinse off so I could safely go out in the rain and not look like a melting waxwork.
Overall I was very impressed! The tan lasted the better part of 2 weeks and I found it faded fairly evenly so there was no stressful scrubbing while it faded out. Another round of exfoliation and priming and my skin was good to go two weeks later.
The 1 Hour Express Mousse is maybe not a product you’d slap on an hour before leaving for a night out, but if you’re wanting a consistent, long lasting tan it’s definitely the opne for you.
Price wise Skinny Tan is definitely more than what I would usually spend on tanning products, but that’s mostly out of laziness and you can tell the difference in quality (love u Cocoa Brown, but it’s true). I was a little suspicious of the primer at first as I don’t usually go for the additional step, but I definitely noticed a huge difference in how the tan developed and lasted. I’d be interested to see how it works with some of Skinny Tan’s other products. While there is no product in the world that can make me look skinny, I did notice the tan applies a little smoother over my wobbly bits and it definitely made my skin look a little less uneven.
Do you use home tanning products? Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know!
*Some products in this post have been sent Free Of Charge. All opinions are in my own words. See my disclaimer for more information.