Fake Tanning: Budget or Blowout – Skinny Tan vs. Solait

I’ve said it in a previous post; I have a total love-hate relationship with fake tan. Recently, that’s shifted to more of a love relationship, probably because I decided to invest in higher end brands. But I also won a stack of fake tan products in an Instagram giveaway and wanted to try them out! All the products were pretty budget brands and I’ve been stuck on my Skinny Tan and Bondi Sands recently. I wanted to see how the budget brands would compare to the cheaper alternatives.

Today, having spent 2 weeks trying to scrub off a slightly streaky tan, I decided to put two products to the test. I decided to see how my Skinny Tan Express Mousse 1 Hour Tan held up against a cheaper, but nearly identical alternative, Solait Mousse Express Tan Dark. The Solait product was sent to me in the giveaway – I did not choose the colour and have no idea if it comes in a lighter shade. I’ve already tried and tested the Skinny Tan product – read my review of that here.


You can pick up a bottle of the Solait Mousse Express Tan Dark for just £4.99, whereas the Skinny Tan Express Mousse 1 Hour Tan will set you back about £27.99 (according to the Superdrug website on 06/06/17). Whilst price is a good driver of whether a product will sell, a lot of people will instinctively reach for the cheaper product. The massive difference in price can be quite telling, but I don’t think the products should sell you on price alone. If I had to pick a winner, I’d say Solait wins. I’d be more likely to grab a cheaper product, but I’m a student so that might be the unpopular opinion.


Both products apply exactly the same way – exfoliate, moisturise you drier areas of skin, and then rub on using a tanning mitt. After 1 hour, wash it off and pat dry. The only difference is that once the Skinny Tan Mousse has been washed off, it’s game over. The tan is done. The Solait Mousse promises to keep intensifying for the next 8 hours after you wash it off! This can be hit and miss, as you may have the colour you want after 1 hour, and have no way to stop it developing. In my opinion, it’s easier to keep layering tan until you get the colour you want, so Skinny Tan wins on that factor! However, despite similar consistencies, I found the Solait tan much easier to spread. So, I guess this round is a draw…


The Skinny Tan packaging is really quite pretty, with stripey patterning and, usually but not in this case, pastel colouration. The Express Mousse has a black and white stripey pattern and comes in a little cardboard box. The Solait Mousse follows the rest of the brand, with pastel pink packaging and gold, turquoise and black branding. I think they really reflect their respective price ranges, and the Skinny Tan packaging is much nicer really. I’d be more drawn to it if it was on a shelf.


Skinny Tan is pretty renowned and a very popular brand, whereas Solait is Superdrug’s own tanning range. Their initial reputations probably mean you’re more likely to have heard of Skinny Tan. So if you went into Superdrug on brand alone, you’d probably already know you wanted to buy Skinny Tan. So straight off the bat, Skinny Tan wins. They’re also both vegan and cruelty free products, so neither one outdoes each other on that front.

Tan Colour

I applied both of these in the same way and as instructed. Skinny Tan is an olive/brown toned tan, whereas Solait is a golden/orange coloured tan. This sadly puts Solait at a higher risk of having a nice, orange mishap. Sorry Solait, but Skinny Tan wins on colour.

Colour immediately after application – Skinny Tan on right leg, Solait on left leg.


It’s very rare now to find a fake tan that actually smells like fake tan! Both of these actually have gorgeous smells! But whilst the Skinny Tan smells like coconut, the Solait tan also has a not altogether bad smell. It’s a little more perfumey, but stronger than Skinny Tan. I think Skinny tan might be slightly nicer, but it’s overpowered by the Solait one. The Solait product I think has the highest potential to eventually smell more strongly like fake tan. So Skinny Tan does slightly better here!


At this point, the tan has been on for 35 minutes and the Solait side looks much more developed. After washing off, it should be less in colour. But the Skinny Tan looks a little more natural. I think the Solait has a much quicker development potential, whereas you’d need a few layers to get Skinny Tan to the same amount of development. So I’m going to give it to Solait here. Solait will also continue to develop for 8 hours after you wash it off. So it has this edge too. Some may not like that (I’ve said before I’d rather layer it), but as far as development goes it might just save you some time!

End Result

After 1 hour I hopped back into the shower to wash off the tans. Skinny Tan had a light scent of fake tan, and Solait had a slightly heavier scent. Skinny Tan had mildly lightened my current skin tone and looked really natural, and the Solait product had a similar look – neither one left a heavy, dark tan. Overall, the darker result came from Solait, but only just! I didn’t really have a preference when both tans came off – they have really similar end results! It doesn’t look like either of them streaked either – bonus! After a further 8 hours, the Solait tan hadn’t really developed further, and my Skinny Tanned leg looked pretty similar. I made my boyfriend double check and his verdict was that the difference was negligible, but the leg with Solait on it looked slightly more tanned.

Overall Impression

At the end of this, whilst Skinny Tan has been a consistently better product, I’ve been pretty impressed with how the Solait Express Mousse has worked. Both of my legs feel equally moisturised too! Skinny Tan has a much higher price tag, and so I guess it makes sense, but if you want a fake tan and don’t want to splash out, you can’t go too wrong with the cheaper Solait alternative! I really liked them both and can’t recommend them enough!

Do you have a preferred fake tan product? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel xxx

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