Finding the perfect way to get your J-Lo glow on can be intimidating, especially if you’re in a time crunch and don’t know where to start. Self tanners are used to fake a sunkissed glow without the dangerous UV rays that come with sunbathing or tanning beds. We rounded up the two best fast acting sunless foam tanners – St. Tropez self tan express bronzing mousse and Loving Tan two hour express tanning mousse dark. We put these two bottles of liquid sunshine to the test!
Table of Contents
Why We Chose St. Tropez and Loving Tan
If you do a quick search of sunless tanners, you might realize they come in a number of formulas. From lotions, mists, creams, mousses, and oils they all proclaim to encompass a special sunshine serum to leave you with the perfect glow. Some promise a gradual glowing tan with multiple uses, while others give the desired results in a few hours, and better yet, some with immediate results. We wanted to find the perfect tanning formula that left you without streaks, patches and that dreaded orange hue.
Tanning mousse is easy to apply, quick, and effective. The brands St. Tropez and Loving Tan provide customers with exceptional tanning mousses with rave reviews all over the internet. We got a hold of a bottle of St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse and Loving Tan 2 Hr Express Dark Self Tanning Mousse.
Sunshine in a bottle is already a lot to promise, and these two tanning mousses guarantee a streak free, quick dry, hydrating application with an appealing scent. A notable difference between these two tanners is that Loving Tan comes in two shades, medium and dark, while St. Tropez has three color payoff in one bottle. Both of these products have four and a half out of five star reviews on amazon and popular online beauty stores.
- Professional Strength Formula With Concentrations The Same As Salon Spray Tans
- Natural Olive Colour
- Easy to Apply with Instant Bronzer showing where clear actives have been spread
Maintaining a summer glow is no easy task, and by no means cheap. A typical spray tan can cost anywhere between $25 – $50, which last a whopping 5 – 10 days. While tanning outside may be free, it comes with the huge risk of skin cancer, especially with prolonged periods of sunbathing on the regular. And we don’t even need to discuss tanning beds, $15 dollars to increase your risk of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) by 59% according to the American Academy of Dermatology. St. Tropez cost $44.00 for 6.57oz and Loving Tan $43.00 for 6.4oz. If these products are used on a consistent basis meaning reapplied every 10 days, these tanners cost around $2.50 per use. A fraction of the price compared to the alternative forms of tanning. Loving Tan comes in just slightly cheaper than St. Tropez to win the price battle.
How We Tested
Loving Tan and St. Tropez both produce an ideal summer glow, with an ideal olive color payoff. We broke down the elements of these tanners to determine the best express self tanning mousse on the market. On the left leg, we used Loving Tan mousse and left the product on for two hours before rinsing in the shower. On the right leg, we applied the St. Tropez mousse at the same time as Loving Tan, but rinsed the right leg after three hours instead. The first photo is taken before application, and the second photo is after application of both tans, and after developing over night, approximately 8 hours after the first rinse in the shower.
The thing to know about self Tanners are that they have a very distinct smell. While smell is not an issue for some, others have difficulty tolerating a strong scent. St. Tropez has added a strong floral scent to cover up the typical tanning smell. For this reason we gave to win to Loving Tan for not adding any extra fluff to an already strong scented product.
Loving Tan: chemical
St. Tropez: floral + chemical
Winner: Loving Tan
Blendability & Ease of application
Blendability is extremely important for a perfect application. St. Tropez’s medium brown colored formula was a lighter in color compared to Loving Tans very dark formula. Loving Tans dark formula took more effort to diffuse an even color on the skin. The win in this category went to St. Tropez due to the ease of blendability.
Loving Tan: Dark brown/black upon application, due to this a bit more difficult to blend in.
St. Tropez: Medium brown, easier to blend. More foamy.
Winner: St. Tropez
This category was a bit difficult to judge. We found that both of these formulas had very similar end color payoffs. Loving Tans formula being darker in color showed am immediately darker color until it was rinsed off in the shower. Although difficult to see in pictures, Loving Tan offered a slightly darker, and more olive end tan. For this reason we gave the W to Loving Tan, by a hair.
Loving Tan: Darker upon application
St. Tropez: Camel upon application
Winner: Loving Tan
After having both Loving Tan and St. Tropez applied for five days, we reevaluated the lasting power of both formulas. Both looked the fairly similar when comparing over different types of lighting. With that being said, the lasting time is a tie!
The breakdown in cost is pretty plain and simple, you get more product for your money with St. Tropez. They take the pretty obvious win in this category.
Loving Tan: $10.75 per fl oz (4.01 fl oz bottle priced at $43.00)
St. Tropez: $6.47 per fl oz (6.7 fl oz bottle priced at $44.00)
Winner: St. Tropez
Ingredients are a HUGE factor when it comes to any product you slather your body in. Allergies are very common in products that have long ingredient list that contain chemicals. You should always do a small patch test with any new product to make sure you don’t have an allergy before you cover yourself in these tanning mousses. Both St. Tropez and Loving Tan offer their products without parabens and alcohol and use 100% natural DHA. St. Tropez wins this category due to the fact it’s formulated withOUT Sulfates, and Phthalates.
Loving Tan Ingredients:
Deionized Water, Dihydroxyacetone, Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Erythrulose, Witch Hazel, Decyl Glucoside, D Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Julans Nigra (Black Wallnut Extract), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Fragrance, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Sodium Bisulfite, FD & C Red 40 (CI 16035), Red 33 (CI 14700), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Caramel, FD & C Blue 1 (CI 42090).
No Parabens, No Alcohol
St. Tropez Ingredients:
Water, Dihydroxyacetone, Caramel, Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Glycerin, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Decyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Melanin, Fragrance, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium Metabisulfite, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, CI 14700 (Red 4), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1).
Formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates.
100 percent natural DHA
Loving Tan: Organic DHA, No Parabens, No Alcohol
St. Tropez: Formulated w/o – Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, 100 percent natural DHA
Winner: St. Tropez (no sulfates)
Overall these products give the same result, a warm flawless tan.
Loving Tan: 8.5/10
St. Tropez: 9/10
Winner: St. Tropez
The Best Self Tanner
If you happened across this page on your search for a quick and easy tan in a bottle, we would recommend St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse. This tanning mousses offers more versatility in desired color payoff which is great for those who are new to the tanning scene. Loving tan is a cult favorite for many, and for good reason, they make a consistently good Tanner that offers amazing results. When cost per oz and variety is taken into consideration we think St. Tropez delivers more so then Loving tan.
Self Tanner Tips
Get to Work in the Shower by Shaving and Exfoliating!
While Loving Tan and St. Tropez do not explicitly recommend shaving, we found from customer reviews it makes for the smoothest canvas.
Exfoliating is an important step to the process, this removes the dead skin cells and helps avoid a patchy application. For exfoliator we used a DIY coffee grounds and sugar scrub mixed with a bit of coconut oil, but use what works for you!
While there are a ton of exfoliants on the market, you most likely have something in your kitchen to whip one up. St. Tropez recommends this step to be done 24 hrs prior to use, while Loving Tan simply states to exfoliate before application.
This step is vital before application. Both Loving Tan and St. Tropez recommend applying moisturizer to dry areas like your hands, feet, ankles, wrists, knees and elbows. We used CeraVe moisturizing cream over the entire body and waited 30 minutes before the tanning mousse application.
Pop your Tanning Mit On and Start Applying
Loving tan recommends you apply mousse directly to body, and buff into skin using circular motions. St. Tropez recommends long sweeping motions for applications. We found a combination of long sweeping motions and circular motions apply the products best. Some assistance may be required when applying to the middle of your back.
- 【LUXURIOUS SOFT TOUCH VELVET TANNING MIT】Unlike many cheap foam mitts, this luxury premium velvet sunless tanner mitt is both soft and luxurious to the touch, helping your self tan glide onto the skin beautifully. Long-lasting fully re-usable and washable velvet self tanning mitt applicator perfect for delivering totally even self tan applications time and time again.
- 【DOUBLE SIDED SELF TANNER MITT WITH THUMB】The sunless tanner mitt is double sided so you can use them on either hand. Plus, the thumb area gives you extra control in keeping the mitt right where you want it so it doesn't slip off of your hand like straight tanning mitten tend to do.
- 【HIGHEST QUALITY STITCH CONSTRUCTION】GAIYAH self tanning mitten is carefully sewn together with highest quality stitch construction. This creates a mitt which will outlast any on the market in durability and use.
Let it Sit
Once tanner is applied, both Loving Tan and St. Tropez recommend you wait until product is dry, about 60 seconds before getting dressed.
Loving Tan and St. Tropez require you to shower a few hours after applying the product. Loving Tan requires 2 hours while St. Tropez requires a 3 hour (for dark color payoff).
Wait for Your Tan to Develop
After you shower off the excess product, its recommended to avoid perspiration or submerging body in water during the time it takes for the tan to develop. Loving Tan takes 6 hours to develop and St. Tropez 8 hours. After the tan has developed, your bronzed skin should be glowing from anywhere between 5 – 10 days. Both Loving Tan and St. Tropez recommend you moisturize, exfoliate regularly and reapply when desired to maintain the most even tan.
If you are a beginner we recommend St. Tropez over Loving tan for a number of reasons. The overall cost along with the ingredient list and option of color payoff makes St. Tropez the ideal sunless tanner. St. Tropez sent has a very apparent floral perfume added to the product, but if scent is not an issue we love everything else about this product. Loving tan has a shorter leave on and development time in comparison to St. Tropez, but in the end both of these products get the job done.