Review: St Tropez Naturals

I'm currently looking out at a very flat grey sky which seems a far cry from the beautiful sunshine we had in London a couple of weeks ago. I'm just back from a few days in Wales and couldn't believe that on our third day, we were driving through a snowy blizzard! Why isn't it summer already?!

It's about this time of year that I start getting excited about long, leisurely evenings outside with friends, lunchtime in the park and investing in some summery additions to my wardrobe. In my head, I have visions of myself bronzed and relaxed in an endless sunny haze. The main problem with this fantasy is that I am pale, almost to the point of transparency. A tan for me is a few freckles and a slight darkening to off-white. 'So what?' you think. 'Get some fake tan on!' This is where the story takes a cruel twist. Yep, I'm ghostly pale and I'm allergic to fake tan. Allergic.

The chemical in fake tan that reacts with skin to turn us beautiful bronze - DHA - is what I'm allergic to. Once the tan has developed, I'm left with itchy white bumps across my skin which no amount of antihistamine can clear. I resolved last year after trying L'Oreal Sublime Bronze that there was really no hope for me. That was, until I discovered St Tropez Naturals.

Naturals uses Vegetan - a 100% natural, vegetable-derived tanning agent - and happily for me, no DHA. It's not completely without irritation for me, generally giving me tiny patches on my shins, but it's nothing a preemptive antihistamine won't solve. 

As with the main St Tropez range, the colour is beautiful, although much lighter (it can, of course, be built up for a darker tan). As well as being perfect for sensitive skins, this would also make a great choice for those without allergy who are just very pale. While the campaign image would never be considered a tan by TOWIE standards, for pale skinned redheads like me, it's a perfect glow that looks both healthy and natural.

One thing I'd really hoped for was a move away from that weird fake tan smell that lies somewhere between biscuits and sulphur. Well, it certainly doesn't smell like that: it smells a lot like aftershave. I've not quite got into a routine with tanning at night yet, so I spent a Saturday wafting around the park smelling like a teenage boy on his way to the school disco. That said, the sun was shining and I was watching my skin turn a beautiful light golden brown. The next day, all traces of aftershave scent eradicated, I went to Zara and tried on a cream blazer over my knee length black dress. I stood looking in the mirror for a good five minutes, quite unable to believe that the honeyed limbs in front of me were mine. Thank you, St Tropez, for bringing some colour to a pale girl's life!

I used the St Tropez Naturals Self Tan Lotion available here at £26.55.

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