Recently I received a free sample of Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanning - Golden Tanning Without the Sun Lotion ($9.95 at Whole Foods). Keep reading to see the results of my week-long test using the product!
What they say: A golden tan year-round for face and body. Easy to use, non-streaking formula absorbs quickly for natural looking color in less than 3 hours. Light textured and fast absorbing lotion enriched with vitamins, certified organics herbs and pure plant proteins for optimum benefits. An infusion of aloe vera, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, and green tea soothes and repairs, protecting sensitive skin against the free radical damage.
To use: Thoroughly clean and exfoliate skin. Being careful to avoid eye area, apply lotion evenly using sparingly near hairline, knees, ankles and elbows. (Note: I only applied to my legs.)
What I thought: My legs are naturally super pale and this fact has pained me since I was a child. I don't mind being fair skinned, it's just my legs look pasty, not like Snow White's alabaster skin, but more like a translucent shade of white that shows every flaw, cut, bruise, etc. I know I'm being harsh, but I always dreamed of having golden tan legs. Now, thanks to Alba Botanica, that dream is, well, not a realization BUT I feel like this sunless tanner takes away the "pastiness" and hides some of the flaws and lets me bare my skin with confidence. If they do that, aren't they worth it?
As you can kinda tell from the photos, I went from pale to pale with a hint of color, and that, my friends, is fantastic! The only problem was that it took almost 24 hours for my tan to develop, NOT 3 hours as stated on the bottle. On the July 4th holiday, I kept an eye on my legs all day waiting, hoping the tan would show up. Nada. The next morning, I awoke to a golden tan! My bf says they were kinda orange but I say it depends on the lighting, hehe. I'd say the tan lasts 3 days. Day 6 in the photo is how my legs looked after shaving and re-applying the lotion. Looks slightly darker.
There was some transfer of color from my legs to my towel after showering. And showering, exfoliating, shaving, etc. will remove some of the color as dead skin cells flake off, but there's no way around that. Just reapply the lotion every couple days as needed. No color on the palms of my hands, which is good, and no foul odor! So many sunless tanners have a nasty can't-put-my-finger-on-it smell that's a real turn off as it lingers on clothes and sheets, but the Alba stuff smells pretty good. For that reason alone, I will continue buying it and using it. Works for me!
What's your favorite sunless tanner?