Product Review: CLARINS Self Tanning Instant Gel

CLARINS Self Tanning Instant Gel, 125ml/4.4oz., US$35.00
CLARINS Self Tanning Instant Gel, 125ml/4.4oz., US$35.00

Clarins has always been one of my favourite brands. Some brands make good cosmetics but not skincare; some the other way around. But like Dior, I find Clarins makes equally good skincare and cosmetics. It is also one of the leading manufacturers to ditch animal testing decades before most others caught on.

I had used this many times and purchased the same product more than once, which is saying a lot since I always love to try something new. This self tanner is a tried and true product for me. It works fast, and it works fabulously!

As the name suggests, this is a gel consistency self tanner that can be used on face and body. You put this on at night and wake up to a shade (or two) darker than your natural skin. If you don’t know how self tanning works, it basically dyes your skin; it’s not permanent and it will fade over the course of a few days, sooner if you use any exfoliants (such as retinol, AHA, salicylic acid, etc.). What I love about this gel is that it does not streak. It gives a very natural tan instead of the fake orangey shade you get with some cheap self tanners from drug stores.

For your reference, I go from a OC10 to OC30 with one application which lasts approximately 4 days (towards the end I lighten to about OC20). It’s not drastic but more gradual. This is also fairly forgiving because I don’t go all crazy exfoliating right before tanning and it leaves no streak. It is recommended that you exfoliate, especially in areas like elbows to avoid the pigment accumulating, which will result in dark blotches.  To keep the tan, before it completely fades out, simply reapply at night and it will give you a tan just like the first time. To achieve a darker tan, apply a few nights in a row. You will still need to use sunblock during the day.

In addition, this ‘instant’ gel gives results in just 2 hours, and doesn’t stain your clothes like many self tanners do. You can get dressed after the application! It absorbs very quickly and doesn’t feel oily. Like most self tanners, there is an odour, but it’s not offensive and doesn’t bother me. My skin is sensitive and it does not react to this product.

I first started using this product a year ago, and somehow forgot to review it. As summer is drawing to a close, I thought I would conclude it with a seasonal product!

Here are the ingredients: (click to enlarge)

CLARINS Self Tanning Instant Gel ingredients
CLARINS Self Tanning Instant Gel ingredients

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