Bronzed Beauty

How times have changed since the Second World War when, deprived of nylon stockings, women painted their legs using gravy browning – the desire for smooth brown limbs is nothing new.

These days self-tanning is much less complicated. Some 21 years ago, St.Tropez changed the experience by creating a self-tanning range that offers a natural-looking sun-kissed glow, often referred to as “skin finishing”. Long-term fans include Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Cara Delevingne.

St.Tropez has won more than 100 awards in the last four years alone and claims 30 per cent of the UK tanning market which in total is worth £60 million. Globally St.Tropez is the number-one best seller distributed in more than 22 countries with a bottle of St.Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse sold every minute. Having started in salons, St.Tropez pioneered spray tan technology and remains the professional spray tanners’ favourite in 4,000 salons in the UK alone.

“The St.Tropez difference is that we only make self-tan products,” says Jacqueline Burchell, global marketing and product development director with owners PZ Cussons Beauty. “And our mission is constantly to push the boundaries of self-tanning.”

St.Tropez has revolutionised the market yet again with Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

St.Tropez reinvented self-tan with an easy-to-apply technique and most importantly a realistic colour to give the effect of smoother skin, a healthy glow and the appearance of a week in the sun without the health risks. One of the key St.Tropez technology breakthroughs is the patented AromaguardTM fragrance technology that not only reduces the traditional biscuity smell, but is an attractive aroma in its own right.

St.Tropez offers a range of products for different tanning desires. Self Tan develops a long-lasting tan within an hour or up to eight hours depending on the choice of product. Gradual Tan develops progressively allowing you to build a tan over days and is the entry product into self-tanning for many. Instant Tan gives immediate colour that can be washed off, a favourite backstage at London Fashion Week and at the Oscars. Devotees are well looked after with different textures from the St.Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, Lotion and Spray to the luxuriously hydrating new Self Tan Luxe Dry Body Oil and Luxe Facial Oil.

St.Tropez has revolutionised the market yet again with Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion, a breakthrough patent-pending product that uses water to promote a gradual tan – in three minutes flat. Simply wash, apply to wet skin, wait three minutes with the shower off – the perfect time to apply a hair mask – rinse off, pat dry and the streak-free formulation will develop,  reaching the optimum colour after  three days’ use, no body moisturiser required as Sweet Almond Oil in the formulation keeps skin hydrated.


“As a busy mum, I wanted to make tanning as easy as possible,” says Ms Burchell.  “There are always the worries that people have – the fear of streaks or an unnatural-looking colour, plus the time that self-tanning takes.”  The “aha” moment came in the shower. “Every woman takes a daily shower, so we set ourselves the challenge of making tanning and showering work together so it can become part of everyone’s daily regime.”

Not so easy for the scientists as it took two years to develop. “But by using vegetan, a natural tanning agent, dihydroxyacetone, known as DHA, that comes from wheat and sugar, we were able to create a formula that didn’t entirely disappear when washed off after just three minutes,” says Dr Paul Evans, technology innovation director at PZ Cussons Beauty. “The skin colouration comes from a reaction of DHA with the amino acids present on the skin, called the Maillard reaction. We have DHA in the skin already – and the colouring effect of DHA was first observed in the 1950s.”

Proven safety, natural-looking colour and now an in-shower game-changing three-minute product? No wonder at 21, St.Tropez holds the key to the door of the future of self-tan.