In the goal to avoid skin cancer, many celebrities and sun worshipers are resorting to sunless tanning using products like Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray and Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray. The only problem with using the spray version of sunless tanning products is, of course, the likelihood of streaking and giving an uneven color due to nozzle unreliability, drips, inconsistency, formula, and improper application. Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray and Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray are both products that claim to give a natural, easy to apply, cancer-free tan. I was skeptical.
I don’t tan. Well, that is, I can’t go out in the sun and expect to get any color to my pale skin – almost. One hour in the sun, and I still look like an anemic vampire on an Eskimo holiday. There has never been an explanation for this. When I was younger, my sister and I would lie out in the yard under the warm Indiana sun on an old quilt and I’d come back in the house sticky from the cooking oil she smeared all over me, but no tan whatsoever. She would be typically golden tan and beautiful, which went stunningly well along with her bleach-blonde hair and blue eyes.
After two hours in the sun, I’d resemble a fire engine with a lobster-red sunburn and my skin crispy, like “fresh out of the oil” pork rinds. You could almost hear me sizzle. Six days later as my sister worked on darkening her tan, I’d be peeling dead skin off my shoulders and back, itching like an iguana four days late to molt, wondering why she had been granted the great skin. I don’t think she ever dealt with a single pimple either. The genetic trait lottery can be cruel.
Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray and Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray both claim to have the cure for my pasty skin without exposing me to the sun, who I had declared my enemy after a disappointing faulty tanning expedition the summer of my sophomore year. I used both products, each with a stretch of a few days and then completely allowing the product to wear off between switching. This was not on purpose; I’m not some genius scientist or consumer reviewer trying to alert the public. My goal was to discover which product I personally preferred. This is what I found out:
I paid less than fifteen dollars for my Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray. The container was a sturdy metal with an aerosol type of nozzle under the cap. I kind of felt the can looked like a metallic tangerine, which would have been a great foreshadowing if this tanning incident was part of a humorous novel.
The can of Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray was 5.3 ounces in weight; the instructions for applying the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray seemed easy enough. Just spray six inches from your body. Since I had no plans for the next few days, I went ahead and took a shower. I then sprayed the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray on very carefully, had my boyfriend help me with hard-to-reach (I think he had too much fun) areas, washed my hands, and walked around the house until it dried. Lucky for me, it dried quickly and wasn’t sticky or irritating. It also had little to no chemical odor, and that was a big plus, as I hate some products for their strong smell.
Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray did not cause me to break out or have any sort of discomfort. At times, it slipped my mind that I had even applied it. I figured that the tan would happen right away, but it did not start working until a few hours later. I looked in my full-length mirror once I noticed my arms had begun to change color to see how the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray actually did.
There were . . . streaks. Even though we had been very careful to follow the directions, my body was patchy in some areas. In addition, the color did not look very natural. The development of the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray was disappointing in the beginning, but as time progressed, I was horrified to realize it was becoming quite orange. I kept thinking, okay now it’s going to stop developing, but it didn’t until I looked like cooked citrus.
Once, a friend’s daughter ate too many carrots, and she turned orange kind of like this, the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray made me look like a tangerine. My boyfriend, who is a singer, started kidding me with the Led Zeppelin song “Tangerine” every time he saw me. It was terrible. Perhaps it was just my view of it and it wasn’t as awful as I remember it being. I swore off all sunless tanning spray that night.
I was very, very reluctant to try Au Courant Sunless Tanning spray. It was a whopping thirty bucks and came in a six ounce spray bottle that was plastic with a pump. I had bought Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray at the recommendation of my sister. She chuckled when she came to visit my Oompa Loompa self and recommended I try the product she had been using.
To tell you the truth, my sister looked to me like she had a natural tan that day, but my sister assured me that she had been using Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray because at thirty, she had started to worry about skin cancer and she was too busy at work to pursue a tan anyway. At thirty bucks, I hoped she was right.
Au Courant Instant Sunless Tanning Spray goes on very quickly and dries very quickly. It smells like bananas. My sister helped me with the spray this time, so I don’t know if that is why I had no streaks, but the Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray did not leave funny blotches or patches and the color was even. Of course, we used gloves to rub it even. After my Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray tan, my skin felt good, so it must have worked very well. It took a few hours to start the tan working.
The Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray tan looked very even and natural. For the first time, I looked tanned and healthy, and I did not have to visit a tanning bed or lay in the sun to do it. I did like Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray better than Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray because of its more natural shade. I also was able to get a color guide with the Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray (brown tint to see where I applied it), and it was a lot easier than dealing with just clear product. My sister recommended I start out with this bronzer color guide first until I’m used to spray tanning products.
In the end, the Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray worked much nicer than the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray. I don’t know if it was my pale complexion that triggered the ugly burnt tangerine color, but paying twice as much for what I really want is better than looking like a cartoon. Hopefully the Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Spray works for some of the people who buy it. I threw mine away. As far as Au Courant Sunless Tanning Spray, I’m now using it along with a cream and a face product. It works wonderfully and is now my spray tanner of choice.