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Reader Review: Aviva Labs Sunless Tanning Gel

Is a Solution for:
Sun Protection for Body
March 20, 2009 Reviewed by TIA Community Member 3 Comments

Posted by Chris

I'm always on a quest for new products, especially sunscreen and self-tanning products, that have the least amount of chemicals as possible. So, I was excited to try a self-tanner that has mostly natural ingredients and has eliminated most of the additives usually found in self-tanners. Truth be told, there aren't many "natural" self-tanners available.

The product I tried was a pearly/clear gel, which had a light, fluid consistency that made spreading the product quick and easy. The fragrance was a little strong on application but faded pretty quickly. What I really liked was the fact that there didn't seem to be the "tanning skin smell" that typically accompanies self-tanners. That being said, I could easily apply the product on a Saturday morning and go about my day without people giving me strange looks.

A nice tan developed within a matter of hours (be sure to EXFOLIATE before application to get an even color). Definitely not a gradual tanning product, so if you need a nice tan - TODAY - this is definitely the product for you. The color was very believable - not the fake-bake orangey color that can occur with some self-tanners.

Aviva Labs Sunless Tanning Gel ($20) is a little pricier than my former favorite, St. Tropez, but has some definite benefits beyond the fact that it's a natural product, whereas St. Tropez is not. I used the St. Tropez mousse, which was not as easy to spread as the Aviva gel. The St. Tropez mousse also had a brown color, which was nice in that you could see if you missed a spot, but made wearing gloves a necessity as the brown coloring was difficult to remove from my hands. I had no problems with stained hands with Aviva- just wash hands immediately after application.

All in all, I would rate this product highly as a self-tanner in general, but given the fact that it is so much more natural than other self-tanners, I'd give it a 10. And I will be ordering a refill when my sample runs out!


Aqua (purified water), xanthan gum (plant-derived thickener), dihydroxyacetone, decyl polyglucose (from corn), isopropyl myristate (from coconuts), propylene glycol, citric acid (from citrus fruit), tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene (vitamin A), soy sterol, arginine, serine, threonine (Skin Revitalizing Complex), magnesium chloride (Dead Sea Salt), fragrance, propylparaben, methylparaben, diazolidinyl urea.

  • October 3, 2013

    by liz

    how can they advertise this as paraben free when it has propylparaben and methylparaben listed in the ingredients

  • August 1, 2009

    by Paula H.

    I'll definately will try this brand. I've been using Bare Escentuals tanner. It's in a bottle and spreads pretty easy... What I really like about it is that it looks natural. It looks like a real tan. Funny though, it looks like mud when you put it on. I thinks it gives me a more natural color.. not orangey.


  • March 20, 2009

    by Theresa

    I like the feel of some of St. Tropez products and the scent of some of their moisturizers.

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