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30 Seconds to a Natural Tan? Josie Maran Self Tanning Body Wash Review

I Bought it Myself
Josie Maran Self Tanning Body WashIf you’re a fan of 15 Minute Beauty on Facebook, you may have noticed that I was excited about Josie Maran’s Sunless Tanning Body Wash. I’m a pale girl, and I’ve embraced that, but really by default. I can spend a ton of time laying out, but the only thing that happens to my skin tone is that I get some random clumps of freckles, which look like dirt from more than 3 feet away. So, I get premature aging and look dirty instead of a nice glow. Winning.

So, I ordered the Josie Maran when it was the special deal of the day (though that 24 hour price was available before the date and now, weeks later, it’s still there). QVC sent my product pretty fast, it was there a day or two before I expected it, so I was very happy.

The product is really easy to use. It should be the very last step in your shower. You want to be wet, but not under the water and don’t want things like shampoo to get washed over it since those will result in streaking. Either turn off the water or be far enough away from the stream that you won’t get any spray on you.

You use 1 pump of product for each major part of your body. 1 pump per leg, 1 for your chest/stomach, etc. You can apply with the included pouf or for a more intense color they recommend using gloves and applying it all over. It’s basically impossible to be very careful with where it goes (especially with the pouf), so for those of us that are usually very careful around ankles and feet… forget that. Just apply everywhere. In theory you wait 30 seconds, but really that isn’t quite enough time to get it all spread around so I waited a minute or two after it was applied and then rinsed it off.

The product itself is a deep brown color, similar to a cola. It comes out of the pump with air added to add volume, it’s almost like a loose mousse. It has basically no smell. I’ve read on-line that it smells like chocolate, but it doesn’t really to me. (Maybe it was all that time spent making fudge in a candy store in high school, I have a distorted sense of chocolate smell?) To me it smells just a little bit sweet, but absolutely nothing like an old school sunless tanner.

I put a pump on the pouf and then spread it around. I once made the mistake of putting a lot of it in one spot and then spreading it around from there (on my leg), and even though I was fast, that area still was a little darker than the surrounding areas. It’s better to do 1/2 pump below the knee and then pump another 1/2 to do above your knee, things will be much more even. I just spread it all over without paying attention to my toes and ankles other than to be sure I’ve hit every spot.

After waiting for a little bit, I just rinsed everything off. You can see the dark brown color easily when rinsing, but it rinsed off of me and my shower completely and easily with just the water spray. There was no mess, no staining of the shower and I couldn’t feel any residue left behind. It was just like any other body wash. Once you’ve rinsed it off, I felt clean, the shower was clean, no issues. I patted dry and applied body lotion like usual, there was still no scent.

Josie Maran Self Tanning Body Wash Results
So, I am super, super fair. Above you can see my inner arm (which was the same color as my legs pre-Self Tanning Body Wash), and my leg. I’ve used the product 4x here, and while the results are subtle, I do notice a difference. No one would look at me and say I’m tan, but they wouldn’t necessarily call me a ghost, so that’s a bit of an improvement. The color is natural, I don’t look dirty or orange at all. I also have very even color and it looks natural on my feet, which is always a difficult area for me with self tanner.

I’ve only used the product on my legs, so a total of 8 pumps and my bottle is about 1/8th gone. On the QVC spot Josie said it was enough for 4 months, I have no idea where that timeline came from. I think I should probably be using 2 pumps per leg (I have really long legs), and I haven’t even done my body once.

I think that the product was fast and easy, but overall the results were a bit underwhelming for me, and the amount of product used for the price…. I probably won’t repurchase. I’d like a little bit more of a tan color, something recognizable to others as a little tan. If they ever reformulate to make it a more intense color or offer more product for the price, I would probably buy it. This is definitely the fastest tanning product I’ve tried!

Josie Maran Self Tanning Body Wash

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 5.23.13
    Amber said:

    What an unusual idea for a product! I like the idea, but it doesn't look like it works all that well! Thanks for trying it out in the name of beauty! 🙂

  2. 5.23.13
    Deb said:

    Hi Christine. I actually have this on my QVC shopping list but have yet to purchase. I was waiting for reviews so thanks for doing this. Question for you: the product info says you can use it daily until you build your desired color. You noted in your review that you used it 4x and saw only a very subtle difference. Was that 4x in a row? Or did you wait days in between using it? Seems weird to me that if you use it day after day, it never builds in color intensity. If that is the case, then I will definitely pass. Thanks.

  3. 5.23.13

    @Deb- I did it 4 days in a row, though I used the pouf each time and haven't tried just smearing it on with gloves yet. They show much darker tans on the show and say that it "individualizes" itself to the person, but really I can't imagine that it would change THAT MUCH. I'm going to keep using it until it's gone, I"ll try using it with gloves and I'll update here if it changes things that much.

  4. 5.24.13
    Kelly said:

    Would you say this product was easier than the normal lotions or creams you put on dry? Did you get any streaks at all? I am very fair like you and I always end up with streaks!

  5. 5.24.13

    It was definitely easier than a traditional self tanner, though I don't know that it was any easier than the gradual lotion tanners. I didn't have any streaks!

  6. 5.24.13

    Great review, Christine! I was curious about this product. I applaud Josie for trying something new and innovative, but like you said the results are a bit underwhelming. I've been using the St. Tropez tanning mousse and I like it quite a bit (have to use the glove). It's easy and I get quick results.