Argan Milk Glowing Skin Natural DHA Self-Tanning Serum Unscented
Josie Maran’s Argan Milk Glowing Skin Natural DHA Self-Tanning Serum Unscented features a fragrance-free formula that we’re ecstatic to recommend. Not only does it deliver a believable faux tan, the addition of good-for-skin ingredients sweetens the deal.
Dispensed via opaque pump bottle, this self-tanner has a fluid, milky-lotion texture that spreads easily and absorbs nicely—no slick or greasy feel (after allowing a few minutes for dry down). Our bottle came with a mitt for application, which is nice and something you may find helpful, although admittedly it also soaks up some of the product, so you may want to skip it. Application with hands works just fine.
Josie Maran’s signature argan oil is front and center, lending moisturizing and antioxidant properties to the formula. Hydration-enhancing glycerin also tops the list, right after dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is the self-tanning agent responsible for producing the faux glow.
We found the color takes a little longer to develop fully than some other self-tanners that we’ve tested recently (around the eight-hour mark instead of just a few hours), but once it does, the tan looks very natural.
This also happens to be one of the less “stinky” self-tanners we’ve reviewed. Even though Argan Milk Glowing Skin Natural DHA Self-Tanning Serum Unscented omits fragrance ingredients (which is best for the health of your skin) some users may still notice a slight aroma as the tan color develops on skin. This is caused by the DHA’s chemical reaction within skin (FYI: this is how all self-tanners work). The odor varies depending on your individual body chemistry, so not everyone experiences this. In our testing, the aroma was negligible.
We do have to point out that the brand’s claims around the lactic acid being plumping and exfoliating are a bit far-fetched. Lactic acid does offer hydrating properties, but we wouldn’t go as far as to call it plumping, and the pH here is slightly above 4 which limits the exfoliating properties.
That aside, kudos to the Josie Maran team for delivering a safe, elegant way to tan skin! By the way, even though the instructions for use are geared toward body application, you can absolutely use this on your face.
Note: The brand also sells a scented “juicy melon” version of this product, which would not earn as high of a rating from us due to its potentially skin-sensitizing fragrance.
- Delivers a safe, natural-looking faux tan.
- Additional skin-beneficial ingredients (including argan oil) up the ante.
- Absorbs nicely (not slick or greasy feeling).
- Fragrance-free formula doesn’t present a strong “self-tanner aroma.”
- Claims around exfoliating and plumping properties are exaggerated.
Get a safe, natural-looking, glowing tan with our Argan Milk Glowing Skin Natural DHA Self-Tanning Serum. This 3-in-1 sunless tanner provides exfoliation to refine skin’s texture; helps deliver deep moisture to prime and balance skin for the most even application for a rich sun kissed glow. The deeply moisturizing body rejuvenating serum has the perfect dose of natural DHA sunless tanner.
Josie Maran At-A-Glance
Strengths: The sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; well-formulated daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; excellent tinted moisturizer for dry skin.
Weaknesses: Expensive; some products are potently fragranced.
The Josie Maran brand was founded by supermodel and former Maybelline spokesperson Josie Maran. Almost every Josie Maran product is centered on the ingredient argan oil, which the brand attributes many beneficial qualities, some of which are true, and some claims made stretch the facts a bit. According to the brand, this non-fragrant plant oil is said to do everything from reduce wrinkles to heal acne, while giving you younger-looking skin.
Argan oil does contain beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants, but we should note that it isn't the only oil with such properties. Even more to the point, no single ingredient does it all for skin. It's just like your diet: if you eat only one type of food, you'd soon be malnourished. Skin is the body's largest organ, and it requires a variety of useful ingredients to look and function at its best.
Fortunately, the Josie Maran brand does include many beneficial ingredients in some of its best products, and does have some unique offerings to consider. It's worth pointing out also that although argan oil does have benefit for skin, its less beneficial to include it in products like eyeshadow and mascara. It does add a unique quality to some makeup, however, especially in a few of the brands lip formulas.
We should note that while the brand relies heavily on the natural theme in its marketing, it doesn't talk about the beneficial ingredients used that aren't so natural. There isn't anything wrong with using naturally-derived ingredients, but it strikes us as disingenuous to not tout the benefits of synthetic ingredients such as silicones, preservatives, coloring agents and film formers that also appear in many of Josie Maran products.
As is the case with many brands that use predominantly natural ingredients, there are some fragrant oils to be wary of, as these can be problematic for any skin type (but especially so for those with sensitivity concerns). However, there are a few products here that are absolutely worth considering and unique, see our individual reviews on the brand for more details.
For more information about Josie Maran, call (855) 461-6512 or visit www.josiemarancosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.