*Disclaimer: I have absolutely no affiliation with any of the products mentioned.
As a pale English girl living in Australia, I feel qualified to give advice to others on fake tan. I am regularly compared to the colour of a jelly-fish and so naturally I’ve experimented with fake tan since my teenage years.
Over the years, I’ve learnt to embrace my pale skin so have cut back on fake tan products. I do however like to use it for special occasions and have turned to ‘eco-friendlier’ products for my skin and the planet. Australia also has the highest rate of skin cancer so if you like tanning, cover up and fake it for your health.
“Regular sunscreen use by young and mid-aged adults under 55 brings cosmetic benefits and also decreases the risk of skin cancer.” Dr Adele Green, lead author of a sunscreen report, an interview with CNN 2013
The below brands are in order of my personal choice and I’ve tried and tested all of them over the last few years.
First thing first – what makes a tanning product eco-friendly?
An eco-friendly tanning product simply means it doesn’t contain synthetic or harmful chemicals. The majority of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our body and therefore it’s important to read labels. A product can also claim to be ‘natural’ and not be, therefore it’s important to research brands and ingredients; accreditation labels can also help.
Check labels, read ingredients, do your research, practice sun safety and #BewareOfBS’ Sonya Driver, Eco Tan website 2017
Sunless tanning products generally use dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as an active ingredient, a chemical derived from sugar. There has been a recent claim from a study that DHA in spray tans are connected to cell damage. However, using fake tan is still healthier than a real tan and using products with more natural ingredients are better for the planet and your health.
1. Eco Tan
Eco Tan set up by Sonya Driver in Australia is an organic and natural tan and sun care company. The company made Australian history in 2011 by becoming the first and only certified organic tan manufacturer.
The ‘Invisible Tan’ product (RRP $34.95) is my personal favourite which gives a natural glow after eight hours and lasts about a week (even with swimming). Clearly I’m not the only fan as the product was awarded the title of ‘Best Self Tanner’ in the Beauty Shortlist Awards.
Here’s why it’s a popular sustainable tan solution:
- Certified Organic by Organic Food Chain (under the Australian government)
- Certified Toxic Free by Safe Cosmetics Australia
- Cruelty free (PETA approved)
- Vegan friendly
- Recyclable bottles and tubes
- Recycled packaging
This organic self tanning oil product (RRP $52.50) is pricey but worth it if you prefer a lighter tan. The organic self tan is 84% Aloe Vera and is absorbed into the skin really quickly once applied. The ingredients are also listed and explained online so you can see what you’re putting on your skin.
- Natural & organic ingredients (certified by Organic Trust and the Ethical Company Organisation)
- No perfume or fragrances
- No parabens or harsh chemicals
- Cruelty free (PETA approved)
3. La Mav
La Mav‘s gradual tanning moisturiser (RRP $39.95) is environmentally friendly and available to buy online. Made in Australia, this natural product has a pleasant smell and contains nourishing Argan and Macadamia Oil.
- 100% natural
- Certified Organic
The Sukin ‘Sunless Bronzing Gel’ (RRP $18.95) is a great go-between tanner, using some natural ingredients such as lemon myrtle but still includes alcohol which can be drying on the skin. The gel itself gives a natural glow and lasts about a week. The Australian-owned and Australian-made brand has products available in most pharmacies at a reduced cost.
- No Sulphates
- No artificial colours
- No EDTA or parabens
- 100% Carbon neutral
- No animal testing
If you’re packing for a summer holiday or just a weekend at the beach, check out our Eco-Friendly Beach Summer Essentials Guide. It will help you prepare accordingly.
Do you use any eco-friendly tan products? Which ones work for you? Feel free to share your recommendations below.