Self Tan Test Drive The Quest For The Great Aussie At-home Tan

Jo Munro

The Savvy Shopaholic

Oct 30, 2020

Heal your post-summer skin.


Spring is here – hooray.  Winter weather seemed to last forever this year, partially because we Melbournites were in lockdown at home, with curfews and limited daily shopping and exercise time. 

Now the weather is sunnier, warmer and the lockdown is being rolled back, it is time to get serious about popping on a dress, glamming up and getting back out in the world looking and feeling great.

My spring gardening this year has managed to give my white Scottish/English heritage skin an ever-so-pale tint, but I yearn for a healthy glow.  Not only, as it is time to expose more skin, but also to get back out in the world feeling revived.

I asked around about what are the best at-home tanning products.  My friend, a world-renowned underwear stylist, raved about Bondi Sands and all the feedback she and her clients have shared about the colour, ease of use and fragrance of the products.  The last time I regularly tanned was using products that were more ‘orange-Trump’ than a natural tan and smelled like a toxic dump.  I must admit I was curious when I was told that home tanning products could smell good and look natural. 

What can I say, I immediately thought – Test drive time! 

Firstly, I headed to the Bondi Sands YouTube channel to check out what to use in their range and how to use it.  All of those gorgeous girls in bikinis made the instructions easy to follow however just a little intimidating for a middle aged, chubby shopaholic.  If I can do it, surely anyone can.

As a woman with some years and kilometres on the clock, how would I find these products?  How natural would the product look on my really pale skin?  Would the tan be complimentary on my older skin?  What happens if I really make some nasty mistakes?

So that is the set up for my test drive.  Let’s see how the product sized up to my criteria.

The range of products was extensive.  Gone are the days where you slop on some product and scrub your hands clean.  The preparation products were interesting so I lined up an array of options to try.


Naturally, the idea is to make sure your skin is smooth, moist and a blank canvas ready for application.  A couple of days prior to the test I started using the self-tan friendly body wash and body moisturizer. Self-tan friendly or not, I would use these products any time. They are delicious.  The subtle coconut fragrance was a delight to the senses.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to head to the beach or drink cocktails with little umbrellas. Regardless, the fragrance evokes sunny holiday feelings.  The body wash is refreshing and gentle.  The body moisturizer is luxurious and nourishing without being greasy leaving a soft, youthful, happy skin.

Tanning products

I love the range of product options to assist with a professional at home application.

Decisions on which product to use was a little complex and as this is a test drive I wanted to sample a couple of them.

Aerated Self Tanning Foam 1 hour express

Self Tanning Foam – Dark

Everyday Gradual tanning milk body moisturiser

On checking out the information and ingredients there were a couple of items that caught my attention.  The product is Australian Made, paraben-free, SLS free, cruelty-free and vegan friendly. I also liked that there is a Self Tan eraser too. Given my concerns about making mistakes, this gave me some comfort.

Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk Body Moisturized is where I started. This cocoa butter fragranced moisturiser is a subtle way to build up a tan particularly if you are as pale as I am. I used it on my face, décolletage and arms. It gave me a gentle, gorgeous golden glow that looked natural like I had been to the beach for the weekend. With daily use, this product would build to a more golden colour. It is perfect for those just wanting to build a gradual tan over weeks.

The Self Tanning Foam was easy to apply with the application mitt and the colour looks like a real Aussie tan. The 1 Hour Express Foam, also easy to apply and the perfect product for that emergency night out where you just want to have glimmering, golden skin. I used these on my legs and wow, did they look like I had been a dedicated tanner. The colour was very natural and my skin looked healthy. It was not drying at all.

Test Drive Results

The products not only lived up to what I had heard, they exceeded my expectations. They were not drying, smelly or difficult to apply. On the contrary, they were easy to use, the fragrance was all holiday and no chemical smell, and the results were great. The range of products ensures there is something for everyone from the pale to the sunkissed.


By Jo Munro

The Savvy Shopaholic

Jo Munro is best known as The Savvy Shopaholic with the tag line 'Shop More, Save More'. She is The Carousel's resident shopping expert and a regular TV presenter on Ch9's Today Show and A Current Affair. In Jo's book The Savvy Shopaholic, she shares over 20 years of savvy shopping expertise, business wisdom and channel management with those who want to turn their shopping skills into cash. Much loved for her luxe for less shopping tips and wide-brimming smile, she's always keen to share her passion for shopping and savvy tips to get the most out of your dollar.



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