Alba Botanica is a vegetarian skincare brand that has been a staple in health food stores for a long time. Their sunblocks are very popular, but one item on the display recently caught my eye: a natural SELF TANNER.
Yes, please.
Because like good boys and girls, we’ve all been wearing sun protection every day to protect us from the harmful rays of the sun that not only prematurely age us, but also contribute to dark spots, uneven texture, and skin cancer, so we’re all starting off the spring ghostly pale, yes?  Of course.  Glad we’re on the same page and your legs are as green-white as mine.  Before you go Jersey Shore on it and hop into the tanning bed to get a “base” to begin the summer, consider the increased risk of skin cancers involved in even occasional artificial tanning, and opt for a safe, sunless option instead. Here is my review for Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty:
Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner is a water-based formula that absorbs and dries quickly without leaving a slick or tacky feeling on the skin.  The formula comes out of the tube as a white, smooth cream. True to its name, I found this formula to in fact be quite emollient.
alba sunless tanner product shot

alba sunless tanner product shot

The bottle says to allow 15 minutes to dry, and recommends you wait 3 hours after application before engaging in any rigorous sweaty activities such as running or swimming to allow the color proper time to develop.  I did one leg to show the comparison (see how I suffer for you?) and then sat down to read the latest InStyle.  The Alba Sunless Tanner felt dry and ready before I was even through ripping out the smelly perfume ads so I could read without getting a headache.
Which brings me to my next point about this sunless tanning product; most have that very distinct, gross, chemical self tanner smell that to me just smells…er, orange and fake?
The fully developed color starts and ends more yellow than orange toned, which for me as a fair skinned Latin@ is reasonably believable. The first application was the tiniest bit streaky because the formula does not have a tint to it that lets you see where you have already applied and I didn’t  squeeze out enough product to get even coverage but it was very easily remedied by paying better attention the second time around!
The color is easily buildable though, and it just takes a little time and patience to be thorough on the initial application and to touch up any areas that look uneven. Self tanning is somewhat of a science and art especially when you’re dealing with large surface areas. Take your time, blend well, and be sure to prepare properly first!
before and after using Alba Sunless Tan. (applied to my left leg) Yup, I'm so pale I'm green.

before and after using Alba Sunless Tan. (applied to my left leg) Yup, I’m so pale I’m green.

The bottle did not provide any guidance so I winged it. I would suggest using quarter sized dollops to start.
From the Alba Botanica website:
Contains natural oils and extracts: Sweet Almond oil, Shea Butter, Safflower oil, Calendula, Ginko Leaf.
Tan begins gradual and finishes into a nice, natural glow within hours
No animal testing
Free of parabens


Aqua (Water), Dihydroxyacetone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, C12-15 Alkylbenzoate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil (1), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Erythrulose, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lactic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Citrate, Steareth-20, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance (Parfum) (1) Certified Organic Ingredient

Overall Grade: A-