Review: Sunless Tanning Lotions & Tips

Sunless Tanning Lotion Reivew

I have a very fair skin tone and light complexion, thanks to my Irish heritage. So, to get a nice tan color by sun tanning isn’t exactly the best option for me. You can tan while wearing sunscreen, but it takes a long time to develop over time. When I need a quick fix tan I reach for sunless tanners. Now, I have tried Jergen’s Natural Glow a few times in the past and never really thought to try any other. Jergen’s left streaking and I looked gray-brown rather than golden-tan. This year, I decided I wanted to try another brand.

I should begin by telling you to read the directions on the bottle. Exfoliate skin before first use and also let dry before putting your clothes on. I usually wait 15 – 30 minutes. I also wipe off my elbows, wrists, knees and ankles after application as well.

A friend of mine suggested I try Nivea Sun-kissed Radiance, but I had a heck of a time finding it, so I just grabbed Banana Boat Summer Color Deep Dark Color for all skin tones. The Banana Boat lotion is tinted brown so you can insure even coverage. It also is supposed to be a super quick solution instead of getting a gradual result.

Banana Boat Sunless Tanning Lotion - Summer Color, Deep Dark Color ReviewBanana Boat Sunless Tanning Lotion - Summer Color, Deep Dark Color Review


– I was darker within hours of the first application

– I was a very nice golden tan after second application

– I got compliments on how tan I was getting by people who didn’t know I was sunless tanning

– It dries pretty quickly and isn’t greasy


– This lotions SMELLS. It is a terrible sunless tanning lotion smell and it gets all over your clothes and bedding

– It came off on my towels, clothes and bed sheets

– After my third application I developed an ORANGE tint and my hands, elbows and knees looked dirty and unnatural

Banana Boat Sunless Tanning Lotion - Summer Color, Deep Dark Color Review

Overall, this was a good quick fix despite the smell and it coming off on my clothes. I can see myself using this again as long as I only use it a couple times in a row, and I don’t wear nice clothes and sleep in nice bedsheets after application. But, since I didn’t want to smell awful and destroy all of my towels everyday, I went for my friend’s suggestion.


Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiance - Sunless Gradual Tanning Lotion ReviewNivea Sun-Kissed Radiance - Sunless Gradual Tanning Lotion Review

The Nivea Sun Kissed Radiance Gradual Tanning Lotion has been much more pleasant in regards to smell and even color. I have been applying at night before bed, after a shower, but I could easily wear this during the day because the smell isn’t strong at all. I still smell the “sunless tan lotion stink”, but not nearly as much as I did with the Banana Boat lotion.


– The smell is pleasant and not too strong

– Easily applies and a lot goes a long way

– White lotion, which doesn’t seem to discolor towels, sheets and clothing

– More natural looking tan that is very gradual


– It is pretty greasy and doesn’t absorb quickly

– Gradual means it will take 3-5 days to get a result, so not a quick fix if you want tan ASAP

– I feel very sticky even hours after applying this lotion (maybe it’s just me?)

Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiance - Sunless Gradual Tanning Lotion Review

Overall, this was a much better lotion to me because it caused less interference with my daily life. I can deal with being a little sticky as long as I don’t smell terrible! The gradual time to tan made me a bit impatient, but I feel comfortable putting this lotion on every single day without fear of turning orange. It also is nice to not have to worry about it coming off on clothing and bed sheets.


Self Tanning Tips:

– Don’t scratch! It will remove the skin cells that have been colored by the DHA and leave marks

– Your shower will turn brown! So be sure to wipe it down as to not stain it

– Be careful shaving! The tanner WILL come off while shaving, so make sure to go slow and steady to not cause streaks

– Stay moisturized and hydrated! To make the tan last, you need to preserve the skin cells so drink lots of water & moisturize (this includes sunscreen to prevent burning and drying out)

– Sweating sheds skin cells! My back and chest are lighter than the rest of me after using the tanner because I sweat there the most

Sunless tanning can be a safe way to get a nice glow, but always remember to wear sunscreen every time you go outdoors! I have to remind myself constantly that sunscreen is 100% a necessity all year round. I started using Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen, SPF 45 on a daily basis and it’s great! I’ll wright a review of it soon.



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