Self-Tanner Reviews Part 2: COOLA Sunless Tan


It's the second part to my series on reviewing a ton of self-tanners, and you can read the first part about Tan-Luxe here. There are so many options out there these days, and COOLA (typically known for SPF options) now has an organic sunless tan collection! The only product I'm missing in the collection is the dry oil mist, which just offers a different dry oil finish than the one's I'm testing now. None of these products have built-in SPF or sun protection, so keep that in mind also! I feel like this line is good for those looking for a more subtle self-tan with the option to build up, so if you're interested, read on!

Sunless Tan Sculpting Mousse
7.0 oz, $48

What is it: A daily use gradual tanning mousse. There are some lofty claims that some of its ingredients can offer firmer looking skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. 

Scent/Color Guide?: This is supposed to have a natural pina colada scent, which I can catch a hint of when initially applying. After an hour or so of developing I can start to smell the typical self-tanner scent, but it was still pretty tame and not overpowering. There's a pump nozzle, and the mousse actually comes out white and then spreads on clear, so no color guide for this one.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Dihydroxyacetone, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water*, Propanediol, Decyl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Caffeine, Centella Asiatica Meristem Cell Culture, Nephelium Longana Seed Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract*, Quillaja Saponaria Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Heptyl Undecylenate, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides Polyglycerin-10 Esters, Glycerin**, Lecithin, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glyceryl Oleate, Alcohol Denat.**, Xylitol, Caprylic Acid, Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid

Application method: Using your hand or a mitt (I opted for the mitt), dispense a generous amount and massage in circular motions onto the skin. Since there's no color guard, make sure you're doing your due diligence to really blend out the edges! Let dry before putting on clothing. The tan should develop in 2-4 hours, and you should allow 6-8 hours before showering. I did notice it developing a stronger color around the 3 hour mark.

Finish: In the first hour or so of application, there is a slight tacky feeling on the skin that eventually dries down. The tan looks natural with no distinct orange tinges, and I didn't have any issues with streaking or it developing uneven. A single application of this took my skin to almost a shade deeper, but nothing jarring or too deep- which is where I think the "gradual" aspect of it comes in. You can add more the next day for more depth, but I found that a single use gave me just enough color for my legs to look even and give them a subtle healthy glow. Great for people who don't want a super dark or strong tan.

Longevity: This fully faded in about a week's time, and I didn't have issues with it fading patchy or uneven. And any parts around my ankles or knees where there were bits of stronger pigment, it was easy to scrub away in the shower. 


Sunless Tan Firming Lotion
6.0 oz, $46

What is it: A daily use gradual tanning and firming lotion that is supposed to tan, tone & tighten.

Scent/Color Guide?: This is supposed to have a natural pina colada scent like its mousse counterpart, but it's pretty subtle. After an hour or so of developing the self-tanner scent pops up but it's not strong at all. This is in a squeeze tube, and the lotion is a white creamy gel that rubs in clear, so no color guide here.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dihydroxyacetone, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin**, Coco-Caprylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Caffeine, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract*, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Protein, Glyceryl Stearate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Tocopherol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Carrageenan, Fragrance, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

Application method: Using your hand, apply to the skin and spread evenly in circular motions on the skin. Let it dry before getting dressed, and the tan should develop in 2-4 hours. Layer as needed, and wait 6-8 hours before showering. Don't forget to wash your hands unless you want weird tan hands!

Finish: After application, the lotion sinks in pretty quickly and there's no sticky feeling. I initially underestimated the color that develops from this lotion, but it for sure develops into a color similar to the tanning mouse (almost a shade deeper). No orange tinges, just a healthy, subtle, even glow that's easy to apply & reapply if you want to keep building.

Longevity: I found that this faded quicker on me than the tanning mousse, although around day 5 there were still remnants of the tanner left on my skin. Similar to the other products, it is one that can be built up on to add more depth to your tan, and to make it last longer. It faded really seamlessly, with no patchiness or streaks.


Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum
1.7 oz, $54

What is it: A daily use gradual tan treatment for the face with anti-aging benefits.

Scent/Color Guide?: The fragrance of this is super light, but I can catch the hint of the pina colada scent that runs through the other products. This has pump packaging and the product is white and then rubs in clear, so no color guide.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Dihydroxyacetone, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Heptyl Undecylenate, Argan Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Centella Asiatica Meristem Cell Culture, Hydrolyzed Algin, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides Polyglycerin-10 Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Cetearyl Glucoside, Alcohol Denat.**, Maris Aqua, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

Application method: Spread a small amount onto clean, dry skin. I use about 2 pumps and apply to my face, making sure to spread evenly and all the way to my hairline, as well as down my neck. If you want a less deep bronze, you can mix the serum into a moisturizer and then apply. The tan should develop in 2-4 hours.

Finish: The serum glides on easily, has a slight slip to it, but dries down with no tacky finish. It's not the most hydrating serum, but it isn't drying either, although I look to it more as a self-tanner than a serum treatment. The initial application of the tan is pretty subtle, and a sheer healthy glow if you just use it one day. But since this is called a "daily-use" gradual tan treatment, my guess was that it's intended to be used continuously to either build up the tan or keep it consistent. The tan is definitely buildable over a few days, but it's great that it's pretty subtle so you can control the color.  

Longevity: When I just applied this as a single application and not a continuous use during the week, it lasted about 2 days until it was pretty well faded. Since this is considered a "daily-use" product, you can easily extend the life of your tan or add more depth with continuous application during the week. It's pretty easy to dial it up or down, especially since one application is pretty subtle and easy to slowly build on. The fade of the product wasn't patchy or streaky either, so everything looked good as it went away.

*all products were gifted, but opinions are my own

Coming next week: Luna Bronze