After a long cold winter, I was more than ready for some sunshine and a little color on my skin. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to sit around in the sun, and we all know how bad it is for you anyway, but I didn't want to look so pale when it was time to go out in shorts. On Mother's Day I decided to treat myself to a self tanner and see if any of the new ones on the market really work. I tried one in the past and that was a total disaster. After testing, smelling and reading many labels, I decided to give the Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion a try.
While I was shopping, I was amazed at how many self tanners there are on the market, and how different they all are. Some give you immediate color, some take a few hours for color to show up while others can take days. They also differ greatly on how long they last, with some washing off immediately with soap and water, and others giving you a tan for almost a week. The one thing they all do seem to have in common, though, is the bad smell. It is really strong for some of them, and I don't understand why companies can't find a way to make it any better.
So, why did I choose the Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion over the others? Well, the label states that this tanner offers deep dark color that is self-adjusting for a natural look, is streak free and good for all skin tones, which was everything I was looking for. It was also in my price range and much less expensive than some of the other brands so if it did not work, I would not be out all that much.
I found the lotion to have a nice consistency. It is not runny and spreads easily. It is oil-free and enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. The color takes several hours to fully develop but they have given it a slight tint so you can see where you are applying it, which helps you get it on evenly. This is very important because if you apply too much in one area or do not rub it in all the way, you will get dark patches that will stand out and look streaky. Once the color has fully developed, in about 2-3 hours, you then can go back and apply another coat if you want to go darker. I would say my skin tone is a medium and the color looks great on me, and gives me a natural looking tan without being orange. A few days ago my daughter even asked me why my legs were so much tanner than the rest of me, so it fooled her, and she is a big critic of people who look orange.
As I stated earlier, this self-tanner takes about 2-3 hours for the color to fully develop, but it does dry in less time than that. For about the first hour, I am careful about what I touch since there it the possibility of transferring the color to clothing or other items if it is not fully absorbed into the skin or dry. Once the color has developed, it lasts for several days which means I only have to apply it about twice a week to keep my color going. It does not wash off with soap once it's dry and even holds up to shaving and exfoliation. This is great unless of course you happen to do a bad job of applying it and have any dark or missed spots. If you do, you will have to live with those mistakes for several days. Use caution when applying to areas of your body that have natural wrinkles like elbows, ankles and the sides of your feet because it does pool in the cracks and will leave a very unnatural color pattern that will surely give your secret away. When you apply it and immediately wash your hands with soap and water, it washes off so there are no orange or discolored palms to worry about.
The only real complaint I have is the smell. Of all the lotions we smelled when we were shopping, this Banana Boat one had one of the least offensive smells of all of them, but it is definitely still there. I find the smell is the strongest when it is wet but I can still smell it for the entire first day. I usually wait several hours for it to fully absorb and then apply my regular skin lotion over the top to help to mask the smell a little.
All in all, I have enjoyed using this product and I will not only recommend it but I will also buy it again in the future. It was fairly inexpensive as far as self tanners go, and it actually works.