Monday, 11 April 2011

Xen Tan Review

I'd been looking forward to reviewing this product for ages - after all the constant hype, the fab reviews and me finally finding a cheaper price I decided to bite the bullet and invest in Xen Tan. I've been a fake tan addict for ages - I'm naturally very milky white and have become a bit dependent on fake tan over the years. I'm not one for risking my health on sunbeds (see my post here) so much prefer to reach for a bottle of the fake stuff when I feel like my skin is lacking that all important glow.

I've tried countless fake tans over the years; some good, some bad. I've tried gradual tanners, mousses, lotions... and thought I'd finally found my holy grail tanner in the form of St Moritz. I think I'd been using it for about 2 years when I decided it just didn't cut it anymore. As much as I love the colour it gives me and the ease of application I'm just not thrilled by how long it lasts. After 3 days my skin becomes patchy and I absolutely HATE how much it dries my skin out, fading completely uneven and generally making my skin look a little bit nasty (I'm talking scaly skin here - not a good look) St Moritz is SO hard to exfoliate off - I find myself scrubbing for a good half hour to get anywhere with it, and even then there's a lot of tan still left on my skin.

Therefore, I gave my skin a good week and a half of being pale (and completely St Moritz-free) before having a go at using Xen Tan. I'll be honest, I was expecting BIG results. After all the fabulous reviews (and the steep price tag - I paid £17.99 for mine on - cheapest I could find it) I was expecting an amazing tan that ticked all the boxes. When I first applied it, I was immediately hit by how good it smells. Yes, this is definitely the best smelling tan I've ever used - it really does smell like almonds and marzipan - yummy! However I did find the smell kind of turned into the nasty biscuit smell after a while - although no where near as strong as most tans I've tried. When I was applying the tan, I'll admit I came across a few problems. I use a mitt but even so I found that Xen Tan kind of stuck to my skin, making it really difficult to smooth out, and after a while if I felt I needed to apply more it would bunch up and look really nasty (you know, dried up bits of tan sitting on the skin). Luckily the tan DID look really even in the morning, but that didn't help me stressing out whilst applying it! Another thing I struggled with (but I'm owing this purely to the fact it was the first time I'd used it) was how much to apply. The base colour is dark, but no where near as dark as St Moritz. I was really worried about applying too much and waking up far too tanned in the morning, so I didn't go too mad with it. The next day I looked in the mirror and was really impressed - I looked REALLY tanned but not TOO tanned, so I was happy.

Then I stepped in the shower. I'm used to the base colour washing away, which Xen Tan's does, but when I got out I was shocked at just how much tan had vanished. I looked tanned, but not really as tanned as I'd like. I just felt as though going in the shower had washed a lot of the tan off, and I much preferred how it looked before. To be honest, it felt a little bit like I'd just used a gradual tanner. I'm guessing this is a tan you have to build if you want a really glowing colour. However, for the price tag, I'd really want to use Xen Tan as little as possible (I'm talking once a week). This is where my final issue arrives - and the reason I WON'T be purchasing Xen Tan again. For £17.99 I purchased a 236ml bottle of Xen Tan Dark Lotion. I'd been using it once a week for three weeks, and a few days ago I applied my fourth application. I was suddenly aware of how light the bottle had got - and when I went to use the pump, I was really struggling to get anything out. Now I'd not been using an excessive amount each time I used Xen Tan, I used the same amount I would usually apply any fake tan. This is why I won't be buying Xen Tan again. Although I think there is probably enough left in the bottle for one more application, I just don't think I can justify spending £17.99 a month on fake tan. My usual £2.99 bottle of St Moritz usually lasts me well over a month at least. For the price of one month's worth of Xen Tan I could have 6 months worth of St Moritz. It just seems ridiculous to me.

My main reason for purchasing Xen Tan (as well as the obvious fact it's been hyped up so much) is that I'd heard a lot of reviews which claim it fades 'elegantly'. Yes, it does. But that doesn't mean I'm not STILL left with some uneven patches, and I do still get the dreaded scaly effect - although it's not half as bad as other tans I've used. Overall, I think that Xen Tan is a good fake tan - it fades pretty much evenly, smells good, and leaves a natural colour. However, I don't think it gives as good a colour as a tan like St Moritz - it's just not dark enough for me and it calls itself a 'dark lotion'. I think obviously if I applied more than one application per week I'd be happier with the colour, but considering how quick I got through the tan when applying it once a week I just don't think it would be possible. I hate being negative but I just don't think this tan is as fantastic as everyone makes out. Maybe it just hasn't worked well for me (I am very pale so maybe it didn't take to my skin well?) I did love how moisturizing it was, I love the smell and the fact it doesn't leave me with really nasty patches, but I won't be forking out on it again. Another thing I need to add is that Xen Tan stained my sheets like no other tan I've used before. I'd actually heard the opposite about it so was SO shocked when I found my bedsheets covered in the stuff. Not a pretty sight.

I've kind of come to the conclusion that I'm going to go back to using St Moritz - but this time I'm going to make moisturising every day a priority. My main issue with it was obviously the fact it dries me out so much, yet I'm one of those people who really avoids moisturising - I just never seem to find the time. However I know it is CRUCIAL in stopping the nasty crocodile skin so I'm going to make sure I moisturize regularly and hopefully this will make it fade better. I applied some the other day and to be honest, I don't know how I've gone this long without using it. St Moritz is such a lovely, dark colour without being 'too much' and I feel so much more confident wearing it, after just one application. St Moritz, I'm sorry I ever doubted you!

What do you think to Xen Tan? What is your holy grail fake tan?


  1. Oh such a shame, I have been dying to try Xen Tan after seeing many rave reviews but I will definitely think twice now. At present I use St Tropez spray self tanner which I like because it smells nice and is easy to apply but it does take a few applications to get a really dark colour. I really want to try an actual spray tan at a salon to see how good that is. Thanks for the review! xx

  2. Ohh tahts a shame, you saved me from wasting money though.
    Thats really annoying, great review :)
    izzy xx

  3. I'm a huge fan of st moriz, although the smell put me off completely! I was thinking of trying xen tan soon, but i might not now as im very pale too! Thankyou for the review!:) xx

  4. I've never really understood the hype about Xen tan. It does smell nice but apart from that I wouldn't really have anything else positive to say. It's expensive, time consuming to rub in, smells the next day, runs out quickly, turns orange on my almost albino skin and fades badly.

    Agree with everything you said, great review! xx

  5. I was sent Xen Tan to try out last year and was bitterly disappointed. Find it bizarre how everyone else seems to love it! Xen Tan "gradual tanner" made my skin very orange and very patchy! Not at all what the product promises. When I use St Moritz or St Tropez I get a nice even colour, so I know it's not down to my application skills. Hmmph. x

  6. I completely agree I used to use st moritz religiously! I then got a spray tan with xen ten and it was really dark and lovely then I heard all the hype about the dark lotion and hated it, the colour was light and it was messy to apply. I've since found my HG tan. Tan solutions (used to be called sun labs) you can get it from sallys beauty supplies or online. Its a lovely colour and stays on, it helps to use the maintainer lotion, the products last a long time as you don't need to use alot. I really think you would love it, the smell is abit fruity but when you have a shower in the morning theres no smell. If you ever try it out get the lotion for dark skin and the maintainer :) x

  7. Great review. Like you I NEED my fake tan and I'm in a constant battle to find perfection. Was considering this but after all the comments I'm going to avoid! Sounds far too dissapointing xx :o)

  8. this review is EXACTLY what i've been thinking. i started using xen a year before it got popular because i knew someone who could get hold of it for me and loved the colour- people would ask if i'd been on holiday. i then used st moriz and loved the colour and price but got so peed off with the patchiness so went back to xen. they changed the bottle and im pretty sure the formula too, as you said it feels like all the colour is in the guide which gets washed away!

    sorry for extra long comment but i thought this was a really good review! x

  9. :O I was going to purchase Xen Tan once my St Moriz ran out but now I might just repurchase my trusty St Moriz.
    Thanks for the rewiew.

  10. ah good review, i love my st morz but was considering tryin xen tan, i think ill just stick to my trusty £2.99 tan :) xx

  11. I have had the same problem with tanners! But i've just used Beyond Bronze by Fake Bake and actually really like it, I'd like to be a bit darker but can just apply more each day to get the darkness you want. I'm just enjoying being a normal colour and not so pale I'm almost transparent haha. I'd like to try a professional tan in a shop one day though.


  12. Interesting review! Very informative - thanks. :)

    I've never used fake tan much. I'm trying a gradual tanner at the moment, but have only been using it for a week and noticed no change. Not sure how long they generally take.

    I use st moritz religiously! and have done for the last 2 the colour pay off, the price & how easy it is to use, its just the smell...just the usual fake tan smell, which I can get fiance on the other hand hates it!!!
    The search goes on...
    but for now I LOVE ST MORITZ.

  14. Such a great review - thank you!
    I've never been much a fake tan person, mainly because theres just SO many to choose from D:

  15. I used the Xen Tan Absolute Luxe Dark Lotion, you can get this from around £30.00 on which is where i got myn from. I was literally expecting miracles with this stuff considering the hefty price tag, unfortunately it really doesn't live up to my standards, i like a dark, deep glow but from this i'd say it just gave off a normal tan like any other product! Disappointing! Like you, i think it's time i reverted back to the god that is st moriz! x

  16. Amazing review! So glad I read this as I'd been thinking about buying Xen I think maybe not!xx

  17. I use xen tan dark lotion and feel too much colour washes off :( what a great colour before guide is washed off,im very pale and need 2 coats,i apply with disposable gloves ,I get streak with their tanning mitt :(

  18. I have used nearly every tan out there and my favourite is Famous Dave dark spray, So give it a go it's expensive but smells nice, wears well and does not take hours to scrub off

  19. I've never fake tanned before, so after reading this review i think st moritz will be a good place to start!!

  20. F-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c ! I was looking for similar projects last week, and now i see this post. I normally use breadboard to do this type of work, with one of these, job will be more easy. I was thinking, and searching others projects to do my own PCB. So, let me try my luck, maybe i can win.
    Spray Tan in NYC


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