Review: Skinny Tan Body Glow Aftersun and Instant Tanner

Now that summer is over, it seems a little late to be posting a review of what is pretty much a holiday essential. But bare with me. I know the sun is gone, and aftersun is less necessary than it was in the previous weeks. But it took me a while to get around to trying this product. And I wanted to drop in my review before summer really was over.

I purchased a Skinny Tan deal with the recent restock of their Coconut Tanning Water. It came with both that product, the Body Glow Aftersun Cooling Gel and Instant Tanner I’ll be reviewing here, an exfoliating mitt, the After Glow Gloss, and the Gradual Tanner. When it arrived, I was short a Gradual Tanner, and had been sent the Pre Tan Exfoliater instead. A quick email and a few weeks later, the Gradual Tanner was sent out to me. So I ended up with 3 new tanning products, a pre tanning product, and post tanning moisturizer. At that point, I had no interest in the Aftersun, so I chucked it aside and focused on testing out my other products. I’m going to post a bumper post of my Skinny Tan collection soon. But seeing as the Aftersun didn’t fit with the other products, I thought I’d review it separately!

Flatlay style image of the Skinny Tan Aftersun Cooling Gel and Instant Tanner, on a grey tartan background with various products scattered around it

The Aftersun is on the cheaper end of Skinny Tan’s product range, retailing at just £9.99. It promises to smooth and soften skin after sun exposure, whilst adding a boost of Skinny Tan Instant Tanner, which washes off. It contains the usual Skinny Tan formula of Guarana berries to tone skin, and added aloe vera to moisturize and hydrate after a day in the sun. The point of the product is to re-hydrate your skin after sun exposure, whilst adding a hint of tan to boost your natural colouring after sunbathing all day. And, on paper, it does that pretty well.

For me though, I didn’t use this product all summer. I took it on holiday with me, only to buy another aftersun with no tanner in it. I’ve used tan boosting/enhancing aftersuns before (the Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Tan Maintainer is a godsend!), and whilst these contain fake tan too, it’s a longer lasting one, not instant. As you apply the aftersun each day, it builds your tan and sustains it when you get home. Genius and a bit of lifesaver for girls like me, who don’t tan naturally. However, the Skinny Tan Aftersun contains Instant Tanner, which washes off with soap and water. So this is a bit pointless for me!

Girl holding the Skinny Tan Aftersun Cooling Gel and Instant Tanner, whilst reading the information on the back of the bottle

Basically, if I want to tan, I need to fake it. I like that tan to last. I love Skinny Tan products – the Express Mousse is my favourite by a mile. I don’t see the point of coming home after a day in the sun, applying a fake tan, washing it off the next morning, and going back to being white as a sheet. If you’re on a girls holiday in Ibiza, where you spend all day by the pool, then go to your room, get dressed up and go out partying, I imagine this product would be great. Apply as aftersun, and then you’re tanned for the evening. Wash off the next morning, and get back poolside. But for those of us who’s holidays include a bit more exploring and a few less evenings out, this product is resigned to life at the back of the cupboard before the lid has even been unscrewed. Sorry!

Last night, I finally gave in and tried it, just to say I had. I slathered a quick layer on my legs to see the effects. I’ll start with the positives. The colour was beautiful – a berry brown that leaves no orangey hues. Because you can see where you’re rubbing it in, it’s very difficult to streak. It absorbs quickly, and feels very cooling on the skin. My legs felt super soft after applying this! And because it absorbs so quickly, building it up to a deeper colour is easy. The tan is a medium shade, and will easily build up to a darker shade. I’m tempted to use this just as an instant tanner when I need a quick fix! It certainly does the job. And it’s cruelty free and vegan, which is always a plus!

But it’s not perfect. All Skinny Tan products have a synthetic coconut scent, which works better in some products than others. In this product, it’s drowned out by the overwhelming scent of aloe vera. With both scents reacting, the final scent is just a bit much, and it’s weird. My boyfriend usually loves the smell of Skinny Tan products, but from the other side of the room, he commented this one wasn’t great. Also, despite claiming to be a wash off tanner, the fronts of my hands were still darker than the backs of my hands after 2 washes. I think my hands just absorb fake tan quicker than the rest of my body, but still. I put a layer of the aftersun over an already developed tan from the Express Mousse, and ended up washing it off and adding a layer of gradual tanner instead. This boosted the tan a bit more, and I know it will last!

Overall, I know Skinny Tan had their hearts in the right place when they created this product, but I’m not sure it’s worked. An aftersun with a gradual tanner would be so much better in my opinion. I will use this as a instant tanner, but when it runs out (which will take a while!) I’ll be buying their Instant Tanner instead – just seems easier and a little more to the point!

Have you tried any tanning aftersuns? Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!


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