St.Tropez Self Tan: Tanning Advice & FAQs

Mar 22, 2020 | Tips & Tricks

With one St.Tropez self tan product sold every fifteen seconds and one St.Tropez spray tan performed every minute, St.Tropez is the leading tanning brand chosen by influencers, celebrities, professionals and beauty editors alike. St.Tropez’s wardrobe of products provides a natural-looking, streak-free tan to suit every skin tone and lifestyle. Our multi-award winning, salon-inspired formulations are paraben-free, easy-to-apply, contain 100% natural tanning agent, as well as our bestselling scents for no self tan smell.

Which St.Tropez Self Tan is right for me?

St. Tropez self tan

@shoppers_gibson via @sttropeztan on Instagram

Although every skin tone is different, our wardrobe of products are tailored to provide a natural-looking glow to suit every skin tone – whether you’re looking for an instant fix for one night only, a sunkissed everyday glow or a golden streak-free tan that lasts for days. Try our Tan Finder to find your perfect match!

Generally speaking, you can expect the following results from each of our award-winning ranges:

St.Tropez instant tan

  • A no-commitment tan that washes off with soap and water
  • With Rainmac Technology™, these easy-to-use lotions are water and transfer resistant
  • Available in Light/Medium for a golden tan or Medium/Dark for a deeper bronze result, simply apply with an Applicator Mitt and wash off as desired
  • Ideal for first time or nervous tanners, a last minute instant fix or one-off special occasions


Gradual tanning lotion

  • A subtle sunkissed glow that you can build daily to achieve your desired depth of tan, with no need to wash off
  • Available in Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. Ideal for nervous or first time users or regular tanners looking for a subtle glow/fits into their daily skincare routine
  • Use our Gradual Tan Body or Face Lotions in place of your usual moisturiser once a day or every other day as desired to maintain an everyday natural-looking tan


St.Tropez classic range

  • Apply a one-off application using a St.Tropez Mitt using the tinted formulas to guide application
  • Allow to develop over 4—8 hours before showering off to reveal a natural-looking, streak-free golden tan that lasts up to 10 days
  • Ideal for weekly, occasional tanners or those nervous of a patchy tan


St.Tropez Purity Waters

  • Apply a one-off application using a St.Tropez Mitt using the light sheen to help guide application
  • No rinse, no transfer & a new tropical scent
  • Allow to develop over 4—8 hours before showering off to reveal a natural-looking, streak-free golden tan that lasts for days
  • Transparent and ultra-hydrating formulas packed with natural skincare actives
  • Ideal for weekly or occasion tanners and those short on time tanners


Self tan express range

  • Apply a one-off application using a St.Tropez Mitt using the tinted formulas to guide application
  • Choose your depth of tan by when you rinse off. Rinse off after 1 hour for a sunkissed glow, 2 hours for a medium tan or 3 hours for a deep, dark tan that lasts for days
  • Ideal for weekly, occasional tanners or those short on time


St.Tropez dark mousse

  • A one-off application range that contains innovative Melanin Technology to ensure your tan tailors to your individual skin tone. The tanning agent (Vegetan Premium) targets more of the brown pigments in the skin for a darker, but natural tan taking you a few shades darker than the Self Tan Classic range
  • Tinted formula to guide application, delivering an olive based tan that lasts 4—7 days
  • Ideal for regular tanners or those seeking a deeper, darker bronze that lasts for longer


Prep and maintain


What is the difference between St.Tropez Self Tan and Gradual Tan?

St.Tropez Self Tan contains a higher concentration of the tanning agent (DHA), which provides a natural-looking tan that lasts up to 5 days after just one application. Self Tan Classic, Express and Dark contain a tinted guide colour for ease of application (so you can’t miss any patches) and also benefit from an instant wearable colour while your self tan develops underneath. Self Tan should ideally be left to develop between 4 to 8hrs (excluding Express) before showering off the tinted guide colour to reveal your natural-looking tan. The developed colour will then last between 3 and 10 days, depending on which product was used and how the tan is maintained.

St. Tropez classic mousse

@midsizemagpie via @sttropeztan on Instagram

St.Tropez Gradual Tan contains less tanning agent than Self Tan, providing a light sunkissed glow. It does not contain a tinted guide colour which is ideal for discreet tanning every day and should still be left on the skin to develop over time (although you will see results from 4 to 12 hours). This product range is ideal for those who wish for a light tan or to build up their depth of colour. Gradual Tan can be applied daily or every other day to build greater depth of colour, but it will not develop as dark as a Self Tan product.

How do Self and Gradual Tans work?

The main active tanning ingredient used in St.Tropez formulations is Dihydroxyacetone (also known as DHA), which is derived from plant sources such as wheat and rapeseed. St.Tropez uses a 100% natural form of DHA called Vegetan. This is combined with a unique blend of skin conditioning ingredients (including Vitamin E) that protect and hydrate the skin whilst providing a natural-looking tan. The DHA reacts chemically with the amino acids found in the upper epidermis (top layer) of the skin, producing different tones of colouration from yellow to brown. Each person has a different level of amino acids which is why we all naturally tan slightly differently in the sun. In the same way, every self tan result is individual to you and tailors to your individual skin tone. DHA should be left to develop on the skin between 4 and 8 hours for optimum results. Vegetan Premium (used in St.Tropez Self Tan Dark and our Professional Express Mist) has additional brown/black plant pigments to achieve a deeper tanning result.

Are St.Tropez products suitable for the face?

St. Tropez self tan

@claire.bridges via @sttropeztan on Instagram

All St.Tropez products can be used on the face. However, we also have products that have been designed specifically with delicate skin in mind. For the easiest way to tan your face, try our Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist. This tropically scented transparent tan requires no rinsing or blending so you can simply spritz and glow under or over makeup, day or night. Infused with hyaluronic acid and natural skincare actives, your glow will subtly develop over 4-8 hours. Find out more about how to tan your face.


How long do I need to wait before showering after applying St.Tropez self tan?


What should I do if my tan looks yellow?

St.Tropez products develop to your natural skin tone to provide a tan to suit you, so they won’t turn the skin yellow. If you do experience any colour variation, simply remove with our Tan Remover Mousse in just 5 minutes and reapply, ensuring your skin is clean and dry. Keep your natural-looking tan fresh by exfoliating every 2-3 days and moisturising daily.


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