Update: I can no longer recommend the use of sunless tanners at this point as new research has come to light since posting this review. The second ingredient in this product is Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is the developer, and has been linked to genetic alterations, DNA damage, and cancer. Up until now, the biggest concern has been the inhalation of this chemical (even though it is naturally derived) but now it seems DHA might be able to penetrate deeper into the skin unlike previously thought. Since one typically applies a great deal of self tanner onto most of their skin, this worries me and I am not willing to take that risk or endorse the product. The gals at No More Dirty Looks have done an excellent job of breaking down this concern and I encourage you to read this post and to do your own research to determine your comfort level in using Chocoalte Sun, or any other self-tanner.
In the past, sunless tanners had never appealed to me. I felt like they would take too much time and I didn’t want to incur the risk of streaking and turning orange. Hence, I steered clear. Then I came across Chocolate Sun’s Shea Sunscreen for Body SPF30 at the SpiritBeautyLounge website and promptly ordered it. When that purchase was a success, I figured their Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream would be worth a shot and while I was at it, I gave Cocoa Illume For Face a trial run as well.
Here are a few important details before I get to the self tanner review: my skin is light to medium and olive in tone, so I chose Cocoa Glow which is their sunless tanning cream for medium tones. The “lite” is for paler skin and “absolute” is for darker skin tones. The Cocoa Illume for Face comes in light and medium/dark, so I opted for the light.
I hinted in my previous Chocolate Sun review that my sunless tanning experiment went very well, and indeed it did. The body cream is applied with ease, just like a daily body lotion. I use one pump per leg, and one pump for my arms, chest and upper back. I have used the body cream at least 4-5 times and have never had any streaking, only a lovely sunny glow sans orange. The Cocoa Illume for Face is just as simple to use. I’ve applied it three times, after washing my face in the morning and again, no streaking to be found. The Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream has a pleasant, albeit strong scent of bittersweet cocoa butter that lasts for several hours.
The ingredients in all of Chocolate Sun’s products are 100% natural and the “developer” in the sunless tanners is derived from beets. The bottles have extensive application directions on the labels which I find much more practical than searching for a pamphlet each time I put it on. (I like to refresh my memory regarding their recommended techniques while I’m in the newbie stage). But in reality, the directions are almost unnecessary as they are so easy to use.
So now that Chocolate Sun’s body and face sunscreens are working out so well for me, I really do need their sunless tanners to keep up my summer glow. If sunscreen wasn’t such an important part of any skincare regimen, I’d be a little suspicious of a Cocoa Glow conspiracy!
Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream is available at SpiritBeautyLounge, $40 for 8oz.
Cocoa Illume For Face is available at SpiritBeautyLounge, $17 for 2oz.