REVIEW St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

I first tested this self tan a couple of weeks ago when it was included in the Alice Hart-Davis beauty box. I’d been meaning to try it for ages and as the box was such good value – before a couple of items were substituted *arched eyebrow*, I thought it was an ideal time to try it out.

This ground-breaking, one-of-a-kind tanning lotion was the first product to use water to promote a gradual tan, with a unique, streak-free formulation that activates on wet skin in just three minutes flat.

Easy to apply with a luxurious lather (it has never ‘lathered up’ on me. It might be because my shower setting is too cool, I keep the temperature on the lower side of warm), that guides application on wet skin.

HOW TO USE (with tips)

  • Wash in a warm shower (and have your timer set up so you only have to tap it on)
  • With the shower off, generously apply the product to wet skin in circular motions with your hands to create an even coverage (a bit tricky at first!)
  • Wash palms after application (or have a wet flannel at the ready to wipe your hands on)
  • Wait 3 (long) minutes (imagine how awful this would be in winter)
  • Fully rinse off with warm water only (rinse, rinse, rinse)
  • Gently dry yourself, before getting dressed (thoroughly pat yourself dry)

After showering, the self-tan actives will naturally start to work, developing gradually and deepening with regular reapplication within the shower. Apply for 3 consecutive days to achieve a healthy looking tan to suit all skin tones.

The first couple of times I used it, the colour was nothing to write home about, it was a pale, sickly yellow. I thought I’ll try it again, but this time I’ll apply a thicker layer.

Unfortunately, I made a right pig’s ear of it and obviously didn’t wash it off properly. I was also cautiously ‘dab drying’ myself in case I rubbed any of it off, I can tell you now that it doesn’t work like that, the water ‘locks in’ the tan.

I woke up on Sunday to a faint ‘biscuity tan’ smell which I could live with, plus, it didn’t stain the sheets. But to my horror, not only did I have very obvious huge blotches of fake tan colour on my legs and ankles, but much worse, brown marks in between my toes which made my feet look dirty and IT’S SANDAL WEATHER!

I’m going to have to suck it up though, because nothing and I mean NOTHING, not even nail polish remover (yes, I went there), will remove it. My only solution is to cover my legs with an even darker fake tan to try to ‘even out’ the colour.

Thankfully, I see lots of fake tanning disasters out and about, so at least I’m not alone!


If you have to use it at least 3-4 times to gradually build a colour, that 200ml tube is not going to last very long and it’s going to get expensive.

Plus, it’s slippery to hold on to in the shower, St. Tropez should’ve put some ‘grip’ on the tube, a little ridge or something.


There’s a newly launched darker version, called ‘medium’ which I assume means less applications and therefore cheaper.


I found this when I was looking for a cheaper price online (it usually retails for £14.50), Superdrug have it on offer for £9.65 and even better, 25p from every sale goes to the wonderful and very worthy Marie Curie organisation.

For now though, I’ll stick to Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster


  1. June 6, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    I love the St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse and couldn’t wait to try this out. I got a deluxe sample free in a magazine and i have to say, I’m so glad i never bought it. No colour and when i tried to build it up, it just kept getting patchier and patchier over time. Awful! I exfoliated and moisturized my skin as well. I’m sticking with the mousse. Even, lovely golden brown colour and no odour. Didn’t like all the waiting around in the shower either.

  2. June 7, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Hi Mandy,

    I love the mousse too, but it’s just a beat too dark for me. Having said that, I’ve got a pair of mahogany stained legs today to cover up the patches! I agree about hanging about, you can’t actually DO anything.

    I’ve tried a lot of fake tans, only because I’m deathly white, but the Clarins ‘body’ one above beats them hands down.

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