Self-tan: Xen-Tan Review and a Comparison with St.Tropez

sreda, julij 11, 2012

Since I ran out of St.Tropez self-tanning mousse, I decided to try out the next highly praised self-tanner. I got both the Xen-Tan dark lotion and the transform daily self-tan. The original review for St.Tropez mousse can be found here, but in this post I'll also make a comparison of the two.   

Xen-Tan dark lotion
The packaging is a plastic bottle with a pump and you get 236 ml of product, so the same amount as St. Tropez (the big version) but for a cheaper price. It looks dark chocolate brown right out of the bottle, so when you apply it, there is a colour guide and you can see where you applied it. However, I do find that the colour guide is a lot fainter than at St. Tropez, which does bother me a bit. It is actually very moisturising and does not dry out my skin like St. Tropez does, but because of that it takes a lot longer to dry and it leaves your skin tacky and sticky for quite a while. Because it takes longer to dry, this gives you more time to apply the tan evenly and really blend it in. I always apply it right before I go to bed, so I put an extra sheet to protect my bedding from getting any of the colour. But it never stained my bedding, still it's good to be a bit careful. The scent is very sweet, it smells like marzipan, although I don't find the scent as strong as at St. Tropez. The typical self-tan scent does appear, however, it is very, very faint. I find it fainter than at St.Tropez. But St.Tropez's scent started to get a bit stronger the older the bottle was, maybe something similar might happen with Xen-Tan. The tan looks very natural, I even got I few compliments about how tan I look and if I was on the seaside. The tan is a bit darker as at St. Tropez and it lasts about a day longer, somewhere around 4-5 days before it starts washing off. Tan disappears faster on my wrists and lower arms, because I wash my hands often.
I like both of the St.Tropez and the Xen-Tan. Both a great self-tanners, the best I've tried so far. But if I had to choose, I'd look at the price tag. I'd decide for the one that is cheaper at the time of purchasing a new bottle. Usually Xen-Tan is a bit cheaper. I buy both from 

           St. Tropez self tan bronzing mousse
                            + dries a lot faster, doesn't leave a tacky feeling
                                                            + better colour guide 
                                                            + stronger floral scent
                                          - more expensive than Xen-Tan
                                          - dries out the skin
                                          - stronger DHA (the typical self-tan) scent
                                          -  because it dries so fast there is less time for application

      Xen-Tan dark lotion
               + moisturises the skin well
               + more time for an even application before it dries
               + darker than St. Tropez
               + lasts about a day longer than St. Tropez
               + cheaper than St. Tropez
               + marzipan scent

                           - leaves your skin tacky and sticky, takes a long time to dry
                           - fainter colour guide than at St. Tropez
                           - fainter DHA scent than at St. Tropez


The Transform daily self-tan is a gradual self-tan for face and body. It smells very fruity, like lemon candy (like Fru Fru or Softi lemon candy for Slovene readers). It's a very good moisturiser, I use it on my face and it leaves my skin so soft. It has more DHA than regular gradual self-tanners, but it still takes a couple of uses to get a nice tan. I didn't detect any of the typical self-tan scent. As I said I use it on my face (gets me from Healthy Mix 51 or Mac NC 15 to HM 53 or about NC25-30 in about four uses) and on my body to prolong the tan. I'll definitely repurchase and keep using it as a face tanner because it's more moisturising than the Clarins one (I have quite dry skin at the moment).
I also use Clarins Liquid Bronze self tanning for face and decollete which is a very light lotion and doesn't moisturise that well, but it's a great self tanner and you can get a very light tan (by using it every few days) as well as quite a dark one if you use it everyday. 

Another self-tan that I currently own is SunDance transparent self-tan in a spray can. They reformulated the old formula that I used to use and I don't like the new one as much as that one. The old one had a nice floral scent, while the new one doesn't have any particular scent at all. But I find that the typical self-tan scent does not develop, so it's even fainter than at Xen-Tan. Tan is quit light, it takes a couple of uses to get a really dark tan as with St. Tropez and Xen-Tan. Also one bottle doesn't last long, but you can get a very even application with the spray. It's probably the nicest tan available in Slovenia for the price (less than 5€).

A couple of tips about self-tanning and how I do it: 
- make sure your skin is moisturized . Use a good moisturizer at least the day before if you don't have a habbit of using a moisturizer every day. I use either a body butter or an oil.
 - use a scrub before you tan. I like the L'Oreal Exfotonic or I just make one myself with sugar and olive oil. Or I just use an exfoliating glove/mesh bath sponge in the shower. Make sure you don't have any dry patches, because the tan will make those areas a lot darker than the rest of the body.
- use a light moisturizer on your hands, feet, elbows and knees right before applying self-tan. This is to make use you don't end up with darker areas, because skin tends to be drier on the elbow and knees. Also it's important to make a lighter transition on tan on the hands and feet. You can also use a gradual tanner on those areas, but I prefer just using a bit of moisturiser and I blend what's left on the mitt, so the tan there is lighter. 
- use a mitt to apply fake tan. It makes such a difference in application. The tan looks even also the application is much faster. I currently use the Xen-Tan one and I prefer it to St.Tropez one, because it's smaller and fits on my hand better. 
 - use a gradual tanner or a regular moisturizer to prolong your tan. This also helps to make your tan fade more even and it doesn't get so patchy after a while. 
- apply tan before you go to bed. Allow the tan to develop over the night rather than applying it in the morning/during the day. Be sure to go over the back of the hands and the area by the wrist after you washed your hands (just use what's left on the mitt). Contact with water or perspiration removes the self-tanner leaving you with streaks (even an hour after application).

Hope this helped and thanks for reading.

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