Opinion Piece

Can a Self-Tanner Really Smell Good?

Self tanning lotion without the chemical smell coming soon!
Self tanning lotion without the chemical smell coming soon!

I have never been a human guinea pig before (knowingly unless you count eating GMO food but that’s for another post), but when an opportunity came along to try a self-tanning product claiming to be made of non-toxic ingredients, free of parabens and formaldehyde releasers, and to smelling good, I raised my virtual hand.

A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter from a company I buy some of my face products from.  Lately, I have not been reading newsletters, especially the really long ones, but I made it all the way to the bottom of this particular ad.  There I found a request for volunteers to test an amazing self-tanning product that is not yet available.  I was intrigued because, well, I am very, very white.  Fair-skinned with a capital F.  My body has not seen the sun in many years.  Once I started getting moles removed at the dermatologist’s office, my relationship with the sun ended.  Yes, it’s probably too late, but God knows I don’t want to heap on more trouble.

Living in Southern California and avoiding the sun is difficult but not entirely impossible.  Writing in my blue room with the blinds closed is definitely hermite-like behavior, bordering on troll.  Only a sliver of light makes it through the bottom of the dust laden slats.

And yet, I long to have that healthy glow a tan provides.

Tanning products I have tried in the past have a distinct odor, an odor I do not like.  Because my desire for a honey-brown hue is high, I attempted to wear the products anyway.  A sensitive nose makes it nearly impossible for me to deal with the fragrance of self-tanning lotion, however, and I always end up scrubbing the products off in the shower before they had a chance to work.  I have been known to leave stores that have a bad smell and never return; my nose is a smell snob.  And my husband is worse; he’s constantly sniffing the air for offensive odors.  Imagine if I were the offendor!!

My daughter punctuated my distaste for smelly products sometime last summer when she came into my room to hang out and watch TV with me.  She hopped onto my bed and got into TV viewing position (lying on her tummy at the end of my bed with her feet in the air, which, incidentally, completely blocks my view).  A few minutes passed, and even though my bedroom windows were all open because we were having the hottest summer on record, I asked, “What’s that smell?”  Without waiting for an answer, I asked, “Do you have self-tanning lotion on you?”  Initially my darling daughter claimed ignorance of what I was asking but soon fessed up.  I told her she had to leave because I didn’t want her chemical smell polluting my sanctuary.

She left in a huff but agreed later that self-tanners really do stink.  If I remember correctly, she took a shower shortly after her departure.  Apparently I am not the only one turned off by the smell of self-tanners.

The newsletter claims the self-tanning product will revolutionize the self-tanning industry because it does not have the usual smell, and more importantly, it’s not full of scary chemicals.  That would be a first.  I cannot wait to see if what they say is true.  Stay tuned to find out if the product is effective and still manages to smell good.

What is your experience with self-tanners?  Which one has worked for you?  How do you feel about the smell?

Disclosure:  I will be given the product for free but my opinions will always be real and unaffected by gifts.

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2 thoughts on “Can a Self-Tanner Really Smell Good?

    1. So far, so good. The self-tanner I am being the guinea pig for smells absolutely amazing. It works as a moisturizer and smells so fresh and fruity. Because my skin is so sensitive, I am using the self-tanner on my leg rather than my face, and the results have been very encouraging. I feel that my leg looks natural in color, although maybe a tad orange?? But once I give my feedback, perhaps that can be improved on.

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