The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Beauty Review: Alba Botanica Golden Tan Sunless Tanning Lotion

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.)

Alba Botanica sunless tanner review

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?

for a while I used the Jergens natural glow stuff, but there are several things I didn't like about it: the smell, oily finish, I swear there were sparkles in it, and the orangening of the hands.

I'll have to give this a try, as I generally love Alba products.

thanks for the review!
#1 Justine on 2010-07-13 08:55 (Reply)
I love the Jergens Natural Glow Facial lotion but the body lotion doesn't change my skin's color at all. It's really weird. And it has a funky odor, unlike the facial cream which has a pleasant light fragrance. It must be a different formula and, like you, I don't care for the body lotion.
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2010-07-13 09:46 (Reply)
that's great! I'll have to try it out. I usually use Jergans Natural Glow, but it smells terrible! I've been looking for something that smells better.
#2 CrystalCorrin on 2010-07-13 10:50 (Reply)
Bath And Body Works true blue spa line... Glow and Steady. It rocks!
#3 gretchen on 2010-07-13 21:08 (Reply)
I love Ture Blue tan products too! My favorite is a self-tanning bronzing lotion called Strike Gold but I can't find it online! Does anyone know if B&BW rid themselves of this line?
#3.1 Alison (Homepage) on 2010-07-24 23:58 (Reply)
I agree with Justine! LOL. definitely unwanted "sparkles" in the Jergens lotion and it smellllls!
#4 Ayla on 2010-07-14 12:28 (Reply)
I usually use Jergens but after reading Lucky recently I tried Lacome's Flash Bronzer and I LOVE IT! I use it on my face too with no oranginess. I never wanted to spend $30 but it's lasted me awhile and it's worth it.
#5 B on 2010-07-15 12:37 (Reply)
Thanks so much for your review!

I was silly and apparently didn't take much heed to the "apply sparingly to" where ever part on the bottle... So I woke up with slightly splotchy skin on the top of my feet. Shoulda bee more careful!

But it looks fab so far. I was a little bright at first but I showered and it toned down quite a bit. Can't wait to use this on my chest, stomach, bum and legs more! :-)
#6 Sara on 2010-07-20 11:30 (Reply)
FYI, the Lavera sunless tanner (available at Target) is really good. It costs $20, but was the only one i could find locally. I am quite pale, and insist on having a sunless tanner without harsh chemicals. Lavera smells good, no streaks. Takes about a day to show up well. I'm very happy with it, but may also try the Alba too. Thanks for your review!
#7 Lori Mainiero (Homepage) on 2010-08-05 16:03 (Reply)
I just bought this product then wanted to go online and read about the product first before i applied it.

I have very pasty legs as well :-( and am glad this works good and looks so natural.

I don't have a fovorite self tanner yet because this is my first time using one :-) But, great review!
#8 Karen on 2011-09-05 21:21 (Reply)
thank you for writing this review...I was looking to see a review that discussed the process and how many days it lasted. This was very helpful! I am going to go try it myself!
#9 Caitlin on 2012-06-24 18:36 (Reply)
Very expensive but excellent sunless tanner is from Arbonne. $48. If you can afford it... No brainer. But if I can get good results from this one... I'll go with it. Thanks for review.
#10 Betty on 2018-02-21 02:09 (Reply)
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