Editor-Tested: The Easiest Self-Tanner You Can Use in the Shower
The first of its kind, St. Tropez's new In-Shower Gradual Tan promises to deliver a sun-kissed glow in just three minutes when blended onto wet skin in the shower. InStyle.com Assistant Beauty Editor Marianne Mychaskiw put the product to the test to see if it lived up to its claims—keep reading to find out if it really worked, and for her tips on how to use it.
I have a warm, medium-toned complexion, but living in New York, I don't get into the sun as much as I'd like. That being said, I'm a sucker for a good self-tanner, especially in the warmer months, but the ramen-esque smell and bronze streaks traditional formulas would leave on my clothes, towels, and sheets left a lot to be desired. As a general rule, I wouldn't really use them unless I had dropped a bottle of nail polish on my bed (a weekly occurrence in my life), and the comforter was in need of some serious cleaning, as that DHA aroma would stick to everything I touched. The new St. Tropez In-Shower Gradual Tan ($25; sephora.com) seemed like a godsend. You spread on the formula in the shower, wait three minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. The pre-tan step of exfoliating and shaving could be knocked out right before, and the best part? No lingering DHA smell. I knew it was one that I had to try.
The process seemed easy enough—turn off the shower, apply the lotion to wet skin, and wait three minutes before rinsing with warm water—but I'll admit, I was a little skeptical. What happens if I forget to rinse off a spot? Would I turn orange if I left it on longer than three minutes? What was I supposed to do for three whole minutes? Luckily, placement was pretty easy as the formula creates a slight lather as you blend it, and to ensure I didn't miss the three-minute mark, I applied a hair mask and made the most of my Spotify premium account by playing Beyoncé's "Ring Off" in the background as a timer while I waited for both to work their magic.
Once the song had finished, I turned the shower back on to remove everything. I didn't notice an immediate glow while I was in the shower, but after I dried off and applied lotion, the gold tint began to set in and continued to deepen over a few hours. Since the formula is gradual, it's sheer enough for self-tan novices to try out without resulting in any obvious zebra stripes, and as promised, no traces of the telltale after-tan scent lingered. One quick tip: After rinsing, make sure to hit your feet with a pumice stone to ensure they don't pick up any of the color from your shower floor. Suffice it to say that my self-tanning regime just got a lot easier—and cleaner, for that matter.