Fake Tan on Trial: Johnson’s Holiday Skin reviewed

JohnsonsholidayskinI am a woman on a mission, folks. It’s the same mission I undertake every summer: find a fake tan that doesn’t:

a) streak
b) stink or
c) dye all of my clothes, towels and bedsheets a suspicious brown colour

Each of these three points is of equal importance, but having risen from my bed once again this week to find the sheets resembling the Turin shroud, with a perfect imprint of my body in fake tan, the situation is getting desperate. What I’d also like:

A fake tan that:
d) isn’t orange
e) is absorbed quickly, so that I don’t have to walk around naked for an hour after application.

So here’s how it’s going to work: I’m going to gradually work my way through each and every fake tan on the market, not stopping until I find my Holy Grail fake tan. And I’m going to review them all here at Hey-Dollface. I’d love it if those of you who’ve tried the products being tested could leave your own comments on the review in question, so that we can build up a fuller picture on how well each product really works.

This week we’re kicking off with a classic:
Johnson’s holiday skin

. My review is after the jump…

I used:
Johnson’s Holiday Skin for normal/dark skin. Being a redhead with pale skin, I would normally have gone for the version for fair skin, but I’ve found it to be too subtle for me, meaning that I just end up having to use more of it.

What is it?
Holiday Skin falls into the "fake tan moisturiser" category of fake tanning treatments. The theory is that it’s mostly moisturiser, with just a dash of fake tan. You apply it every day, as you would a normal body lotion, and the tan builds up gradually, leaving you with a nice, natural looking tan. That’s the theory, anyway – but does it work?

Appearance and Consistency
Thick, white and gloopy.

It’s really hard to describe the smell of Johnson’s Summer Skin. Where it’s nowhere near as offensive as "regular" (non-moisturiser) fake tans, there’s no denying that it does leave a lingering scent of something – it’s what that scent is that completely eludes me for the moment. I’ll be honest here, too: this tends to be my default fake tan, and over the months I’ve been using it, I’ve reached the point where I no longer notice the smell, and so has my husband. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t smell, though – it just means that I’m possibly walking around smelling like feet, and just not realising it.

Goes on relatively easily, although as it’s white it disappears into the skin immediately, meaning that you can’t see which parts you’ve already "done" and which parts you haven’t. This is distinct from coloured tanning lotions (like St Tropez, for instance) which make it much easier for you to see where the white bits are likely to be appearing tomorrow.

How fast does it absorb?
While your skin will be dry to the touch after 15 minutes or so, my skin normally still feels a little "tacky" for up to an hour. I’m wary of putting on skinny jeans, say, during this phase because anything that’s too tight against the skin will just rub the tab off again before it develops.

Developing time
The tan starts to develop within a couple of hours

A nice, golden brown, although can start to look orangey after a few applications. The colour will, of course, depend on your skin tone.

Does it streak?
Sometimes. It depends on how badly I’ve applied it. The benefit of a fake tan moisturiser, though, is that because the colour builds up gradually, if the first application is a little streaky, the second application will generally even things out. I find this to be streak free 8 times out of ten.

Does it transfer?
Again, sometimes. It’s pretty good on bedsheets and white clothes (although if you try to get dressed too quickly after application it will leave a mark), but it does tend to cause discoloration on the underwired areas of my white bras.

Marks out of ten: 8/10
Summer Skin loses most of its marks on absorption. I just don’t have time to walk around naked for long enough for it to absorb properly, and while it’s by no means "slow" to absorb, my Holy Grail fake tan would be absorbed much faster.

Buy it:
Marshall Ward are selling a
Johnson’s holiday skin pack

which gives you two bottles for £10.

Have you tried this? Tell us what you thought of it…