I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with fake tan. On the one hand, I am paler than pale and cursed with the most uneven, red, blotchy skin near enough on my whole body and still have flashbacks to the lads at school taking the piss out of them. On the other, it takes a fair amount of effort and I am a very lazy person. As I get older, the more I’m cautious of being in the sun for too long – partly because in Zante I swam for too long and burnt my back so badly I couldn’t lie down for a week, and partly because I am definitely turning into my Granny.
With spring having fully sprung (complete with glorious sun one day and snow the next) I’m starting to become aware of how pale I am again and it got me thinking about my options when it comes to cruelty free tans. I’m sure there’s a ton, but in the past I sort of grabbed whatever was to hand and went for it with abandon. It turns out there were two very handy options already in my collection.
Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan
The Cocoa Brown 1 hr fake tan is one of two cruelty free tans that Hello Gemma first alerted me to, and I was in Primark faster than you could say “fake tan”. It took me a while to get the guts to use it – with claims of lasting up to 7 days I had visions of rocking into work like it was an audition for a new Willy Wonka remake, but when I eventually did bite the bullet I was very pleased. I don’t know why, given my fears, I chose the dark shade, but I do love a good deep tan and so here we are. Boy, is it dark. I’m at least 5 shades darker just on application, so I usually leave it for around 2 hours at a time to develop – they say the maximum is 3 and it will continue developing after rinsing, so I like to keep a middle ground.
This cruelty free tan applies and develops fairly easily; it’s a mousse which is easy to blend with just about any tan buffer, and dries up super quickly meaning minimal awkward naked bathroom time. It also doesn’t leave prints over everything you touch during the development time, or smell like biscuits, which was another pleasant surprise. After your desired time, you rinse off quickly and you’re away like the bronzed Goddess you longed to be. I do find it evens my skin tone nicely but it does have a habit of being a knee clinger sometimes.
With proper moisturisation during the week I find this does last about 7 days before being due a top up, but it fades fairly evenly too so you don’t end up patchy.
While the Cocoa Brown 1 Hr Fake Tan is cruelty free, I can’t seem to find anything about it’s vegan status, so if this is something you look for I would steer clear for now.
Solait Wear Off Bronzing Mousse
Solait is Superdrug’s own brand, so it’s obviously cruelty free and part of their massive range of vegan products. The Wear Off Self Tan Mousse has a similar method – apply, develop, rinse after a minimum of 4 hours. This was actually my go-to pretty much all year last year as although a bulk of the product washes off, it definitely develops into a nice glow and can be built up over the course of a few days. The developing colour is also much less harsh than the Cocoa Brown tan, meaning you can go about your day with minimal run off or transfer, so you don’t neccessarily need to be at home to wait out the development.
Again the Solait Mousse definitely evens out my skin tone but I do find that especially on my legs it can have a bit of an issue with stubble – I have to be freshly shaved and exfoliated to within an inch of my life before applying or else it sort of gathers at the root of the hair. Weirdly though, it doesn’t do the same for my arm hair (further pushing me to believe I just have the worst legs in the world.
One of the few downsides is that this stuff does smell like it’s fake tan. Not quite that awful biscuity smell but you’re definitely baking something. It doesn’t really bother me much as it’s definitely not an unpleasant or overpowering smell, but you definitely catch a whiff every so often. The other is that it’s definitely not a long lasting tan – it looks very gradual tan-esque by the time you’ve rinsed, and after that there’s the subtlest of glows which is why I like to use this as a mid-week top up rather than an all out glow giver.
Do you have any recommendations for other cruelty free tans?