Monday, March 17th, 2008

XEN-TAN is all about bringing you that gorgeous, bronzy tan in sunless form. I tried three stellar products from the line, and as someone who started off knowing just about nothing about the art of the self-tan… these products made it incredibly easy and pretty much foolproof. I was totally showing off my bronzy sun-goddess stomach and thighs to my boyfriend within an hour!

Deep Bronze ($23.00) gives you an intense deep bronze tan, and it is supposed to last for a full seven days. Unlike some self-tanners, this smells delightful–it says vanilla, but I swear it was a little chocolate-y, too! You’ll notice your skin instantly start to darken, and like most self-tanners, the color will fully develop within three hours. It contains shea butter to help moisturize while applying (since moisturizing beforehand can often disrupt results).

Transform Gradual Self Tanner ($17.00) is Xen-Tan’s answer to helping maintain your newly developed self-tan over the week or so that it lasts. I personally use gradual self tanners on areas of my body that are naturally darker (e.g. arms since they’re more often exposed to the sun). I also use this on my feet and hands so I can control the darkness and make sure to avoid any orange palm illnesses. What is great about this gradual self tanner is you can use it to get your initial tan and then re-apply daily to maintain that one. No funky self-tanner scent either!

Face Tanner ($16.00) works well on face, neck, and decollatege. As I’ve mentioned in our self-tanning guides, it is important to know what tanning products to use on your face–namely, never use a body product on your face without at least diluting it. I prefer to minimize mistakes by opting for a tanner specifically for the face (which works for neck/upper chest area, too — all delicate areas).

Xen-Tan self-tanning products are generally paraben-free and contain shea butter, aloe, green tea antioxidants, and ginko biloba leaf extract. The brand also offers mousse and spray tanning options for those so inclined, as well as airbrush products. Head over to or visit select Nordstrom’s to purchase.

Don’t forget our self-tanning guide: Part 1 – Preparation, Part 2 – Application, Part 3 – Maintaining

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15 thoughts on “Self Tanners 2008 – Xen Tan Deep Bronze, Transform, Face Tanner

  1. I love products that build up the tan gradually. I use them in place of moisturizers so I do two jobs at once – moisturize and tan. I have not tried xen-tan before, but it sounds positively delicious. I do not mind paying more if I get natural ingredients based product that will look after my skin instead damaging it.
    I am looking forward to trying it.

  2. Melanie

    Anyone know if this is available in Canada anywhere?? I’m not a huge fan of ordering online.

  3. As a pale gal, I am an ardent user of self-tanning. I have not given this a test-drive, but I will! Great three-part series.

  4. RMG

    Does “generally” paraben free mean truly paraben free? I cannot use them as I get rashes but am seeking a nice paraben-free sunless tanner for my face and body.


    • Hi RMG, from what I know, it is paraben free, but the BEST thing to do is e-mail the company asking for an ingredient list and specifically let them know you’re allergic to parabens!

  5. RMG

    Thanks Christine —

    I found an ingredient list online that shows both methlyparaben and propylparaben, so it is not truly paraben free. Not a problem for most, but this just means I can’t use it.

  6. Even if you do NOT get a rash from parabens they are not a good thing and pssobly if not probably cause breast cancer

    Researchers in the U.K. released a report a few years ago that shows a link between parabens and breast cancer. Trace amounts of parabens were found in breast cancer tumors, leading some experts to believe that parabens can promote the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors.

  7. Used this product quite happily last year but sadly they must have changed the formula because it smells not too good. but i am still satisfied with this product