Nature's Gate • Sunless Tanner • Self Tanners
|Would buy this product again.||50%|
Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair Hair: Blond Eyes: Green
I don't actually WANT to be tan, but I live in Florida and even with sunscreen use, I get a little bit of color -- unevenly, because since I don't sunbathe, my exposure is daily stuff that I can't avoid; my left arm (from driving) is much darker than any other part of my body, my legs are fair because I mostly wear jeans, but my feet have tan lines from wearing flip-flops, and I have a tank-top "farmer's tan". But, I'm going to Key West for my birthday, and I will be in a swimsuit (and slathered in SPF), so I want what color I have to be relatively even. Since lightening the darker parts is unrealistic and would take too long anyway, I figured I'd try a self-tanner on my lighter areas. I chose this one and a Hemp brand that is more of a gradual tinting lotion (similar to the Jergens gradual self tanner). Both were chosen because of their price point and being cruelty-free. Also, as opposed to the other locally available cruelty-free self-tanners, this one has a slight tint to it, making it easier to see where it's going and prevent streaking.
Since the trip is the weekend, I started with the Nature's Gate, as it is more of a traditional, works-in-a-few-hours self tanner. The lotion itself has a light, pleasant, slightly citrusy scent. I'm a migraine sufferer and very sensitive to fragrances, but this one did not offend or affect me. The consistency is creamy and smooth, just the right viscosity. It applied evenly, absorbed quickly on my skin (5 minutes, tops -- i was immediately able to dress) and did not leave any residue. My first application was right after I towel-dried from a shower, and I had shaved my legs and exfoliated my stomach with a scrubbie-shower-pouf. I applied directly to my thighs and lower legs, avoiding knees and ankles until almost no lotion was on my hands, and I then lightly rubbed that remaining product on those areas.
Within a couple hours, I could definitely tell a difference. My legs and stomach already almost matched my feet, although both were still much lighter than my arms. The color looked very natural, although a little warmer than what little color I naturally develop. It was not streaky at all, and while golden, not orange at all.
The next morning, I applied another coat (using the same method) to my stomach and legs, although I did not shower first, so my skin was completely dry, aside from any moisturizing benefits of the tanner itself from the night before. A few hours later, my legs perfectly matched my feet and my stomach -- which was the palest area to start with -- was darker but seemed still slightly lighter than my feet/legs. The self-tanned areas were still lighter than my arms, but the difference was MUCH less noticeable without actually doing a close-up, side-by-side comparison.
I reapplied in the afternoon, and this evening, still using the same application method. Now that my legs match my feet, I have added a final swipe of the "residue" to the tops of my feet, so that as a build the color, my legs won't end up darker than my feet.
I still have the same results with each application: quick absorption; no streaks; even, natural-but-slightly-warmer-than-my-natural-"tan" color.
The only problems I've encountered: I applied a little residue to my pale flip-flop tan lines, and at the very edges (sides of my feet), I did get a little splotch. I attribute that to user-error, though -- I didn't exfoliate my feet first, and because I used so very little product there (applied with a fingertip), I wasn't very careful with blending it out evenly at the very sides. Because of the splotches, I have not reapplied to that area since the first application. Also, several hours after my second application(this morning), I was bitten by a mosquito on top of one foot, and sprayed on an itch-relief spray; a few hours after THAT, I noticed the area where I did that was splotchy and dark around the edge, as if the tanner had run. I imagine this is due to the ingredients in the anti-itch spray, so I'll be avoiding it at least until after I reach the desired level of color and stop doing multiple applications of the tanner. I have been outside in the Florida heat and done quite a bit of sweating, but no other areas have run, streaked, or splotched. I dressed within 5 minutes of applying and while my clothes are all black, my bed sheets are white, but I haven't noticed any discoloration on them -- so I'm sure the running/splotches were due only to the anti-itch spray.
So, I'm really pleased with this self-tanner so far. I'm not sure yet if, because I am so naturally fair, I will reach a level of color that begins to look unnatural/orangey. It seems logical that the less warmth in the natural skin-tone and/or the less overall natural pigment (cool or warm), at a certain point the self-tanner would definitely be noticeably unnatural and orange (I'm a hairstylist, and this is similar to applying color to pale/bleached hair; there needs to be certain underlying natural pigments for darker colors to look natural), but only time will tell. For reference, I generally have to use the lightest foundation shade available in makeup when I am completely "untanned", and the second lightest when I have a little color -- in MAC makeup, I range from NC15 to NW20.
My plan is to continue building color with this tanner until the weekend, use several levels of SPF sunblock to help even out my underlying color (probably 50+ on my arms and chest, 35 on my feet, 25 on my legs and 18 on my stomach), then switch to the Hemp brand gradual tinting lotion to maintain (every 2-3 days, depending on how the color from the self tanner fades), and then use this brand as needed to even out any remaining differences between areas. Even at my absolute "tannest", I'm still quite fair and as I said, I don't WANT to be tan, but until/unless I find an effective, inexpensive way to lighten my skin back to its natural, pasty-white state, I'm happier to have more even color with
Age: 36-43 Skin: Other Hair: Other Eyes: Other
This replaces Nature's Gate Upper Tanagement self tanner which I really liked and have used for years. This new sunless tanner gives a natural tan to my fair skin without drying or irritating my skin.