By Emelie Stenman
I love having a tan, I think I look healthier and honestly, I feel much more confident in a bikini when I have a sun kissed glow. I love spending time at the beach, laying in the sun, especially accompanied by a Pina Colada. But there is a downside to endless hours spent in the sun; skin damage.
In recent years more and more of us have started to understand the real threat of excessive tanning. As many as 90% of melanomas are estimated to be caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure and several studies have consistently shown that tanning increases the risk of developing all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Wow, that is some serious risk to be taking only to obtain that bronzed glow!
When I was younger I used to be a total sun-worshipper. I spent a lot of time out in the sun partly because I have always been a very outdoorsy and active person and partly because I loved having a tan. As I have grown older (and hopefully a little wiser) I have realised the huge risks that excessive UV & UVB exposure pose to my health and my skin. Another important thing to consider from a beauty point of view is that the sun's UV & UVB rays account for around 80% of premature ageing. Now if you are not concerned about the health implications, you will certainly be concerned about the fact that you are causing your skin to prematurely age. Looking 75 when you are 50 isn't really that great now is it? Despite all of this information, I still very much want the tanned look so my options are 1. damage my skin 2. use sunless tanning lotions and creams. There is only one real option here.
Since changing my behaviour from being a sun worshipper to a much more cautious sunbather, I have tried quite a few sunless tanning lotions but I have always been disappointed. Although I don't want to be pale, I certainly do not want to become an Oompa-Loompa and in my experience, a lot of tanning products do just that. I have gone through a few high street brands, some cheap ones, some gradual moisturisers and some high-end tanning lotions. Unfortunately, I have never found one that I really liked. They are either really smelly or streaky and others actually make me sweat throughout the night. It's a horrible feeling to wake up in the middle of the night, being all hot and bothered, stinking of burnt biscuit! But worst of all almost all of them block my pores. As a girl who suffers from problematic skin the fact that most tanning lotions cause me to breakout is probably my biggest concern. I fight day in and day out trying to keep those pesky pimples at bay so to then just end up with spots after all that feels so pointless. I got to a point where I had lost all hope (and a lot of money) that there would be a sunless tanning lotion that would suit my problematic skin. I felt like it would be pretty much impossible to find a product that would give me a great colour, wouldn't cause me to breakout and didn't smell. But that was before I discovered Australian-born Luna Bronze.
Let me introduce you to this vegan, organic, cruelty-free little miracle worker. I recently discovered Luna Bronze on Instagram and straight away I was intrigued. Their feed was filled with beautiful imagery that made long to look like a bronzed goddess that spends most of her days at the beach. But it wasn't until I realised what the brand stood for and discovered the ethos of this company that I got fully hooked.
Luna Bronze pride themselves on being a company that really does care about the ingredients they put into their products. They have really done their research and the fact that they are vegan, cruelty-free and organic is just another level of caring.
I felt excited and just had to try just one more product in the hopes that I would find what I was looking for and low and behold I did!
Luna Bronze had literally targeted all my issues with sunless tanning lotions, as if they had heard me swearing in my bathroom because my skin was orange and spotty and that they had felt my pain when I kept on waking up in the middle of the night not being able to sleep due to applying fake tan hours before. Don't get me wrong, Luna Bronze does have a fragrance but the scent is simply divine. It's a very citrusy, fresh but still a subtle fragrance and reminds it me of a light fruity lotion that I used to use when I was younger. Plus there is NO biscuit smell whatsoever! It goes on easily, it's not greasy but yet moisturising.
The first time I tried it I was just so happy to not have to experience that awful fake tan smell but to tell you the truth, I was a little sceptical. Maybe it would turn on me and still give me that annoying smell after a few hours, maybe I would still wake up during the night sweating and maybe it would still block my pores and give me an orange glow.
Nope, none of that happened. Once the lotion was applied, it took about 2 minutes until I had completely dried and I couldn't believe it!
The next day I woke up to a wonderful tan and I looked like I had been enjoying a relaxing holiday in the Bahamas. Seriously, the colour was exactly the same as I would have achieved in the sun and there was no Oompa Loompa colour in sight. I was seriously impressed but now I only feared that I would cause me to breakout within the next 48 hrs as usual. Two days later, my skin was completely spot free, it still had a gorgeous glow and felt really moisturised ( I suspect witchcraft has been used to create these products!).
Then came judgement day, I had a close-up beauty shoot so it was now time for my tan to get seriously critiqued. Funnily enough, the make-up artist complemented me on my tanned complexion and asked if I had been abroad “No” I replied with a smile and told her all about my new found love.
I have used all their products for over 4 weeks and I haven't had any breakouts, no flaky skin, no streaks, no sweaty nights and NO suspicious biscuit smell. This is by far the most natural looking tan any tanning lotion has ever given me and you seriously wouldn't be able to tell that there was no sun involved in creating this tan. Plus my skin has been in excellent condition since I have started using it!
Rather than calling Luna Bronze a tanning range, I would like to consider it to be an organic skincare range, a type of skincare range that will make you look like you have been spending some “me” on an exotic beach somewhere and who doesn't want to look like that?