Before heading to Florida last weekend for an engagement party, I did a full body once-over in the mirror. It occurred to me then that my skin had never looked so pasty, probably on account of my newfound devotion to SPF and fear of the sun. I needed to remedy this situation immediately to avoid running into my ghosts of the past- while resembling a ghost myself. But I knew that a deep tan would look foolish and fake on my nearly translucent skin. Aviva Organics sunless tanning Face Creme and Body Creme seemed like the perfect solution.
Both creams are meant to impart a subtle sun-free glow, which is just what my skin needed. Yet, I was a bit skeptical of its promises of "flawless, natural color," since so many times I have been duped by this line only to find streaks and clots of color all over my body. Considering my former missteps with sunless tanning products, the last thing I wanted was to show up looking like a diseased zebra or a dirty giraffe.
Aviva Organics delivered on its promise, and more. I was delighted with its citrusy sweet fragrance, which brought back memories of those rare mornings of my childhood when I was permitted a bowl of Fruit Loops for breakfast. If sugary cereal sounds like a sickening scent to rub all over your body, trust me- it's a vast improvement on the gag-inducing odor that usually emanates from lotions loaded with DHA (dihydroxyacetate), a natural additive derived from sugar cane that reacts with skin to give it a tan color. Moreover, the fragrance is obtained from natural sources and tends to fade after the first hour.
Another key difference that separates Aviva Organics from the rest of the sunless tanning pack is its highly organic formulas (78% in the Face Creme and 85% in the Body Creme). The ingredients list of each product reads like an ode to botanical extracts, from the gently stimulating rosemary down to the calming rose hip. You'll find antioxidants aplenty and essential oils galore, without a paraben in sight. Aviva Organics has formulated two creams that manage to not only nourish and protect the skin, but also to make it glow.
The texture of both creams is luxuriously moisturizing. Even though the face cream is rich, it doesn't feel heavy or contain pore-clogging oils. As instructed, I exfoliated with some body polish beforehand and was very careful with my application, making sure to wash my hands afterwards. It's easy to forget that the creams contain reserves of dormant color waiting to reveal itself hours later.
But when the color does emerge, it leaves a healthy, understated radiance. On my first try with Aviva Organics, I couldn't even tell whether there was a marked difference the morning after application. So I did a spot test on my white-as-snow stomach. Sure enough, the next morning I lifted my shirt to find a patch of natural-looking, slightly darker skin. Because of the relatively low concentration of DHA in the formula, slathering on multiple layers of lotion results in a deeper color on the skin.
And what of feigning that I had basked in the Florida sun? On my first evening at the party, many miles from a frigid New York winter, one of my friends asked me if I had been out on a boat that day. Nope- I'll take a soft, natural tan from a bottle of Aviva Organics over a cancer-causing sunburn from a boat ride any day.
Ingredients in Face Crème:
Aqua (Water), Organic Rosemarius Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Extract, Organic Zingiber Officinale (Ginger Root) Extract, Organic Lippia Citriodoro (Lemon Verbena) Leaf Extract, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Peel) Extract, Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hips) Fruit Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Cetearyl Glucoside, Dihydroxyacetone, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Caprylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Natural, Glycine, Potassium Sorbate
Ingredients in Body Creme:
Aqua (Water), Organic Rosemarius Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Extract, Organic Zingiber Officinale (Ginger Root) Extract, Organic Lippia Citriodoro (Lemon Verbena) Leaf Extract, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Peel) Extract, Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hips) Fruit Extract, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Organic Glycine Soja (Soy) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Dihydroxyacetone, Glycerin, Cassava Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Cetearth 20, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Aroma (a blend of Essential Oils), Caprylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Natural, Glycine, Potassium Sorbate