If you’ve been reading my other fake tan reviews you’ll know that I’ve yet to discover the holy grail – a self tan that doesn’t smell. But I never expected to. DHAs cause your skin to go browner, but they also cause that biscuity smell, and there’s not getting around that no matter how many special ingredients you throw in to cover it up.
But what about a product that doesn’t rely on DHA to tan?! BeautyLab’s Peptide Tanning is a completely different approach to bronzing. The product contains a peptide that encourages melanin production in the skin, producing what is essentially a faked natural tan. Think of it as sunshine in a bottle, without the UVA damage.
So why am I cautious? Well, to be honest, it seems to good to be true. How does this £17 bottle of miracles give me this golden glow without any smell or staining? And more importantly if it’s all about stimulating melanin production why does it behave exactly like all fake tans when it comes to streaking and pooling?
Well, at it turns out, as well as the peptide this does contain a little bit of DHA to boost that colour. When I first used it, I applied it just to my legs and there was no smell, and it gave the most beautiful colour. When I tried it again over my whole body, the colour was just as beautiful and streak-free, but there was a bit of that telltale odour.
There’s no denying the results from this are good. I wasn’t sure how careful I needed to be with application because it’s not a traditional tanner, but it turns out I do need to be as careful, if not more so. On the bits where I’d been a bit slapdash (around ankles, knees etc) it was a bit streaky and I had a big white patch on one foot. Elsewhere, it was really smooth and not at all orange. The idea is this takes you the exact colour you’d go in the Sun, so the shade is beautiful, never OTT and very natural-looking.
The beige coloured cream itself has a bit of fragrance (melon) but there was no developing smell when I used it sparingly. With a heavier application it was a bit stinky, but no way near as bad as most. There was also no staining on my PJ bottoms despite the fact I jumped into bed 5 minutes after application. It developed overnight into the kind of tan I never thought I’d get without two days smelling like digestives for days.
Now I know I’ve been hard to impress in these fake tan trial, but what the hell, it gets 5/5! I’ve searched long and hard for a tanner that gives me a natural, golden glow without any developing smell, and I’ve found one that very nearly does that. Though I will be keeping my eye on what’s said about Peptide Tanners in the future, I will be liberally coating myself in this pre-holiday and reaping the glorious results for the timebeing. I might even wear a white dress for the first time in my life!
Beautylab Peptide Tanning Lotion £17