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Natural Self Tanning – For Beginners

Tasmin Trump
ReallyRee Contributor

I have a very fair complexion and I like being pale. I have never really dabbled with fake tanning, always thought it was a bit of a faff and involved a lot of personal admin. But in recent years a lot has changed in the self-tanning game with more natural brands launching self-tanners and what with the warmer months approaching I feel like I owe it to my chicken legs to give it a go.

I was sent three to try; Dr Organic’s ‘Moroccan Glow Self Tan Mousse’ in Light, Manuka Doctor’s ‘Anti-Cellulite Bronzing Gel and Trilogy’s ‘Instant Bronzing Gel’.

To keep things consistent I kept the same ‘prep’ products; a sugar scrub with an exfoliating nylon cloth; moisturiser I used the Ameliorate ‘Skin Smoothing Body Lotion’. I was highly recommended to apply the tan with a mitt, so grabbed one from Skinny Tan. I was set and ready to glow….

Tan 1: Dr Organic Moroccan Glow Self Tan Mousse in Light

Natural Self Tanning

Natural Self Tanning-Dr Organic Moroccan Glow Self Tan Mousse in Light

The Claims:

  • Instant and streak free
  • Easy application
  • Formulated using 70% natural extracts which are certified organic
  • Has organic Argan oil.
  • Lightly scented.

Application: This had a slight cinnamon type smell which does subside, a white coloured mousse with no guide colour when smoothed over the skin. Easily absorbed with no tightness.

The results: I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up in the morning, the colour was pretty even (apart from my elbows but that due to operator error) and it gave me a lovely warmth, not orange in the slightest. I received a lot of compliments on the colour of this. This lasted about a week before finally fading gradually and evenly. My favourite out of the three. Find it here

Tan 2: Manuka Doctor Anti-Cellulite Bronzing Gel with Manuka Honey

Natural Self Tanning

Natural Self Tanning – Manuka Doctor Anti-Cellulite Bronzing Gel With Manuka Honey

The Claims:

  • Non-sticky bronzing gel
  • Tan develops in one hour
  • Improve skin firmness and reduce the appearance of cellulite
  • Purified Bee Venom (PBV™) & Manuka honey to promote skin’s elasticity

Application: This had a slight medicinal-esque smell, very light guide colour, in fact if you are any darker than me you may have trouble seeing where you have applied. It went on smoothly and my skin felt hydrated. I did also notice a very slight stinging sensation.

The results: Very similar to the Dr Organic Moroccan Glow, this too slowly faded over the course of a week. I have a very cool undertone so I found this gave me a more olive colour which didn’t suit my colouring. Find it here

It is worth noting that if you are sensitive to Bee stings this may not be the product for you.

Tan 3: Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel

Natural Self Tanning

Natural Self Tanning – Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel

The Claims:

  • All natural, easy to apply
  • Quick drying gel formula
  • Instant colour with shimmer
  • Buildable

Application: Super easy to apply; the gel was heavily coloured however when you rubbed it in to the skin the colour dissipated, so much like the previous two it was hard to see where you had applied. What this did have was a shimmer, but I really think this looked more like glitter on the skin. It was very subtle and you could only notice it up close, but I really didn’t like that element.

The results: I didn’t find that the colour was instant – it developed throughout the day. The colour once it became noticeable was really lovely and suited my cool complexion. The shimmer did begin to fade so by the end of the day I was left with a subtle glow sans glitter. This didn’t last as long as the previous two, but this could be because you can reapply for 2-3 days. Find it here

Close of the Shimmer in the Trilogy Self Tan

Natural Self Tanning – My Overall Conclusions

Tanning is hard work and I’m not sure I am a convert yet, but I did enjoy sampling these products and I may keep trying the Dr Organic and Manuka Doctor. I found that all three worked well on my fair skin but anyone who is slightly darker than me may not see any colour pay off so I think that is worth bearing in mind.

I think these are a great way to try tanning if you are a novice like me, or if you don’t want anything more than a subtle glow. And let’s face it the added skin benefits and that they are natural might make you reach for these over the more traditional type of tan.


Tazitea xo

See more of Tasmin’s articles on ReallyRee here


Unless otherwise indicated products reviewed are press or brand samples. Links may be affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through one of our links we receive a small commission which helps support and run this website.

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One Response to Natural Self Tanning – For Beginners

  1. Kate at Life Daily June 20, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    Loved reading this, I am really pale, with cool tones so every single fake tan I have used has always given me a wotsit type glow, it’s good to know it’s not just me!

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