This spa-like kit consists of a washcloth and a small bottle of plant oils that are said to remove excess self-tanner so your skin is ready for a new sunless tan. It sounds like an intriguing concept, but in reality it’s not the oils that are removing the self-tanner, it’s the abrasive action from the washcloth (and even that isn’t foolproof).
Most troubling (and the reason Tan Detox is a Tan Do-Not) is that most of the oils are fragrant and can cause acute irritation. The irritation from the fragrant oils damages your skin’s ability to produce healthy collagen, leads to dryness, and impairs your skin’s healing process. If you want to try the oil-and-washcloth method of removing self-tanner (although it’s not all that effective), we advise using a non-fragrant oil such as olive oil or canola oil instead.
St. Tropez At-a-Glance
Strengths: Good body wash and body scrub; well-formulated Skin Illuminator; some intriguing tools to make self-tanner application easier.
Weaknesses: Expensive, and the self-tanning products are not superior to those that cost a lot less; almost all of the self-tanning and bronzing products contain fragrance chemicals that cause irritation, which hurts your skin's ability to heal and act younger.
St. Tropez (pronounced "Saint Tro-pay") claims first and foremost to be all about getting a safe, sexy tan from self-tanners, but loading up your skin with fragrance that causes irritation runs a close second!
It isn't often that we rate self-tanning products poorly; after all, the vast majority of them use the same one or two ingredients (dihydroxyacetone and/or erythrulose) to turn your skin tan. And, most of them are formulated in pleasant, although basic, lotion, cream, gel, or liquid (aerosol) bases to make application smooth. Generally, the formulations of self-tanning products are a minor detail; much more important is your technique in applying it.
We rate almost all of St. Tropez's self-tanning options poorly because they contain numerous fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation. Examples of such ingredients are eugenol, citral, linalool, and limonene.
If a leave-on product contains only one or two of these fragrance chemicals and only low amounts, it's not a deal-breaker for your skin, but when several of them are present, even in low amounts, the combination can add up to an incredibly irritating product that hurts your skin.
What kind of hurt? Daily, chronic irritation from the litany of fragrance chemicals in these St. Tropez products can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124135 and November-December 2000, pages 358371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 1519; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 7882; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13S22.)
Given that this group of products is unusually expensive and that it puts your skin at risk of irritation: Why bother? Besides, there are hundreds of self-tanners and bronzers that do not contain these problematic ingredientsso you can enjoy a sunless tan knowing that you're continuing to take the best possible care of your skin!
For more information about St. Tropez, call (800) 366-6383 or visit www.sttropeztan.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.