Tanwise Self-Tanning Face Gel

This stuff works, but at what cost? The cost of your beautiful, blemish-free skin! This self-tanner is king at clogging pores.

This is a cheap find at Sally’s for $7. I went in to Sally’s a few days ago and noticed that the packaging for all Tanwise products had changed since I bought my bottle, so I’m not sure if that infers an ingredient reformulation was done as well.

This comes out as a white gel-cream. The smell is a little tough to describe, and there’s nothing “flowery” or “fresh” covering it up: you know that smell you smell, when you walk into a hair salon…? That’s what this is. It’s easy to spread, you really only need two pea sized dollops to cover your whole face.

The gel will very quickly develop on your skin and turn your skin a reasonable shade of brown, I’d say about 2-3 levels darker than your base even after the first usage, which to me is a pretty good result. And, it’s not orange! I never had an issue with the color getting blotchy or streaky, even after layering other products over it. Which brings me to my next point, this lotion works very well with anything else you use before or after it, moisturizers or makeup. The staying power of this self-tanner is pretty good too, even if you wash your face frequently — two to three days will pass before you’ll need to go in with another application.

The bad news: this stuff makes me break out like crazy! I see benzyl alcohol has snuck in the second line of ingredients. So that might be the culprit (or it might not be, but I’m blaming it on that!). After a day of using this, I tend to wake up to find 4 or 5 brand new spots on my face. Not good.

It’s really too bad because this is a really nice facial tanner otherwise, and it lasts much longer than anything else I’ve tried before. Heck, it doesn’t even devolve into that infamous DHA stink after 12 hours! But it’s definitely not worth the breaking out for. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 4/5

How much I actually like this product: 2.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No

Tanwise Gradual Tan Moisturizer

I wouldn’t say this is the best self-tanner on the market. I can’t even find it now that I’m googling it, and it looks like Tanwise has rebranded anyway since I bought this a year ago. I grabbed this at Sally’s for $9, figuring it was cheap enough to give it a shot.

This is a brown gradual tanning lotion. Gradual tanners obviously aren’t the answer to getting dark within a day or two, but I tend to think their end result is a little more natural and less blotchy than instant formulations. This product unfortunately missed the mark in both categories.

It went on as a white lotion. No guide, since it’s a gradual tanner. If I recall it was pretty notorious for getting under my fingernails and between my fingers, which is unusual for a gradual tanner, so in hindsight I probably should have used a glove. It does smell really good on application — fruity, very sweet — but after a day, this changed into one of the worst DHA smells I’ve ever smelled in my life.

With most gradual tanners, you should be able to use the lotion every day, causing the color to be darker the longer duration you use it for. But this was BAD in terms of being blotchy, and producing sections of extreme dark tan where another patch of skin would have almost nothing, despite efforts to spread the color evenly. Showering would also cause streaks after day 2, which is also very unusual for a gradual tanner.

The one good thing about this tanner (besides the initial smell) is that I think it’s actually ok for sensitive skin. I wouldn’t recommend it for the face, but for the rest of the body it was fine. Sometimes DHA products can briefly produce a very faint, temporary rash, but I didn’t experience that with Tanwise.

Looking around Amazon, it doesn’t seem like Tanwise has great reviews for most of their products, except for their mousse. Maybe that will be my next purchase, but their gradual tanner was definitely a miss. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1.5/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 2/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Maybe