Review: St.Tropez Self Tanning (The Best Starter Kit?)

In terms of the self tanning category, St. Tropez’s Self Tan Starter Kit and their bronzing products, in comparison to everything I have tried on the market (from drugstore brands to higher end spray products that often do not come cheap), has been the highest performing product set in the category I have tried to date.

If you are seeking a natural aesthetic, which is extremely difficult to come by in the category, for the face, body, or both, St. Tropez self tanning products are generally the only ones I would recommend- and their starter collection makes the entire process even easier, more natural in finishing aesthetic, and is ideal even for novices.

For years, even during the colder winter months, I have made attempts to enhance a rather fair complexion (to try to avoid the term “pale”), by using different formulations available on the market in the category, which has not been an easy endeavor. Results are often orange tinges to the complexion, patchy areas all over the body, and oddly discolored hands and patches- despite following the directives fairly perfectly, exfoliating prior to use, and washing my hands several times following applications.

In the worst scenarios, I have ended up with people openly asking what happened to my skin complexion (be it orange, yellow, or some combination of both), along with residue leftover on clothes that fails to defeat several wash cycles.

While you may have given up on this category and self tanning products entirely, the cause and hope is not lost!

In discovering St. Tropez’s line of self-tanning products (suitable for the face, body, or both), along with their applicator mitt, Tan Enhancing Body Polish (an exfoliant), and Tan Enhancing Moisturizer, I have finally found a suitable collection and product line that can be safely recommended from a transparent point of view.

The best part is, all of these products are included in the starter collection, which is ideal for novices or those who have become understandable skeptical given past errors or results with the use of tanning products. As an additional bonus, all of these products are sold in a collection with a vast savings in comparison to retail value, so for $25, you can get a solid collection and tanning system that provides actual efficacy following use.

Review: St.Tropez Self Tanning (The Best Starter Kit?) 1

Review: St. Tropez Self Tanning

St. Tropez’s Self Tanning Starter Kit includes one Classic Bronzing Mousse, one Tan Enhancing Body Polish, and one Tan Enhancing Body Moisturizer. Additionally, convenient applicator mitts are also included to help aid with the application process.

This is an ideal starter collection for those new to the tanning category, and may also be beneficial for those who are already doing spray tans and more expensive treatments and seeking an over the counter product that actually provides efficacy following use.

When using all of the products in tandem, users are left with a radiant and natural aesthetic, that never looks “orange,” patchy or unnatural, and is touted by a cult-following and celebrity users alike.

The tanning product included in the set is by far the best product that actually provides a natural finishing aesthetic following use, and for $25, the set is quite a steal in comparison to quality, ingredients, longevity, and overall features following use.

I would recommend this highly for those new to the category, but it also makes a great collection for those who have tried countless products in the self-tanning market with limited or no success following use. Unfortunately the latter applies to the majority of those of us who have tried these products in the past.

St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit Model 1
Image Credit: St. Tropez

St. Tropez Self Tanning: The Starter Kit

Here are some briefer reviews on all of the products included in the set and some corresponding benefits to use:

St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse (1.69 oz.)

This bronzer has a gentle mousse-based formulation and is one of the only products I have found to date that actually produces a natural finishing aesthetic that is akin to a natural sun-kissed glow.

The product glides on smooth and the texture is not greasy, sticky, and does not leave any residue behind. Out of all of the products I have tried in the category to date this product produces the most radiant, natural, and “fresh off of the beach” aesthetic in comparison to any other brand product or item in this category.

The scent is soft and lovely, and users can expect to receive compliments following use. As per the directives, this should be used in conjunction with the other products provided in the set. It is most advisable to use this after the exfoliating product provided and hydrating lotion, and follow with the same regimen after using.

I would highly recommend this product, especially for novices in the category, who are looking for a radiant and natural finishing look, and a product that provides actual efficacy and exceeds initial claims of benefits with use.

It is important to note you should let the product dry on the body prior to putting on your clothes or sleeping with any fresh linens or blankets, however the drying process is very quick.

St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit Bronzing Mousse
Image Credit: St. Tropez

St. Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Polish (2.53 oz.)

The exfoliating product included in the set is ideal for the body or face, and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin (barring any specific allergy to an ingredient in the formulation).

It is ideal to use about 24 hours prior to the application of the tanning product, and greatly helps in eliminating any patchy effects, discoloration, or general unevenness.

In terms of exfoliating products in comparison to others on the market, this one is certainly suitable, however it is not the best formula I have tried. While the ingredients are certainly all high quality, the scent leaves something to be desired, and it does not always work unless a high degree of product itself is used.

While it makes an excellent addition to the collection and certainly works in helping the tanning product provide maximum benefits following use, it is not generally something I would opt for simply as a standalone product in the exfoliating category.

St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit
Image Credit: St. Tropez

St. Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Moisturizer (2.53 oz.)

The moisturizer included in the set can be used both prior to and following application of the tanning product itself, and is extremely hydrating without feeling sticky, greasy, or heavy on the skin.

It is similarly suitable for all skin types, and provides balance while nourishing the skin. While I cannot say if it improved the quality or duration of the actual tanning product, the scent is lovely and the process seems quite luxurious. Additionally, it’s ideal for ensuring there are no dry patches of skin which could potentially lead to an uneven aesthetic or lead a user to miss spots while using the product.

Again, a great addition to the set and a hydrating lotion, but it makes more sense for this type of product to be included within the collection itself rather than purchased as a standalone item.

If you’re a novice to the category or seeking to really perfect the process, following the directives and using this lotion before and after the process will generally help produce the best finishing aesthetic.

St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit Moisturizer
Image Credit: St. Tropez

St. Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt

This product is fairly self-explanatory and merely serves as the best way to apply product and ensure the product glides on to the body and/or face with an even distribution.

It helps prevent any patchiness, uneven application, and helps the product evenly glide on to the body to provide the most natural finishing aesthetic. It also helps prevent the dreaded orange or patchy hand effect experienced with some products on the market.

If you are trying to reach areas on your back, you can even turn the mitts around and use the same gentle gliding techniques following the process noted below.

St. Tropez Self Tanning: A Step by Step Guide

For best results, those using the tanning kit should follow the directives as per the manufacturer to obtain the most natural finishing aesthetic, for that perfect sun-kissed glow:

  1. 24 hours prior to use, exfoliate the entire body and face (depending on desired tanning areas) using the Tan Enhancing Body Polish featured in the collection
  2. Prior to tanning and actual application of the product, use the Tan Enhancing Body Moisturizer included in the set, ensuring to moisturize any dry patches of skin on the body
  3. Apply the Classic Mousse (self-tanning product) using the applicator mitt provided in the set
  4. While applying, it is best to apply the product in gentle sweeping motions beginning at the feet or ankles and working your way up
  5. Ensure the product has been adequately distributed and applied to the body, and gently apply to the hands if desired (ensuring even application)
  6. Wait for the product to dry before getting dressed or touching any linens/sheets (this should not be a long drying process)
  7. If desired and for optimal results, continue using the exfoliating product and moisturizer on the days following, and repeat the same process as needed to maintain the desired aesthetic
St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit Before and After
Image Credit: St. Tropez

St. Tropez Self Tanning Positives & Negatives

Here are some key positives and negatives to bear in mind prior to purchase:


  • Perhaps the greatest pro about this starter set and tanning collection is that the finishing aesthetic is completely natural (devoid of any orange tones, patchiness, uneven tone, and general strange looking complexion following use)
  • For all of the included products, $25 in comparison to retail value is a steal, and this definitely proved value and longevity
  • This is an excellent introductory item for novices in the self-tanning category, with a high degree of ease of use, actual efficacy, and very clear instructions provided to follow
  • The included products are safe and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, barring any allergy to an ingredient contained in the formulation
  • Even with sensitive and acne-prone skin, none of the included products created any redness, irritation, product reaction, or breakouts
  • The self-tanner itself has a lovely soft scent and is definitely the best quality product in the category I have tried to date
  • All of the included products are gentle and nourishing in texture and none feel greasy or sticky on the skin upon application
  • Perfect product for all year, particularly during winter months when the skin may become dry and/or pale (and during the summer or prior to trips)
  • For those who use salon or spray tanning methods, this is an ideal way to skip pricey treatments and opt for a natural at home glow
  • Cruelty-free company: products are not tested on animals, and no animal product is used during any manufacturing process or during the making of any products
  • None of the included products contain any parabens, sulfates, or harsh chemical additives and are considered completely safe even for the most sensitive skin


  • While the exfoliating product works, the scent is a bit unpleasant (I would recommend following with your favorite scented soap or shower gel)- with that in mind, it does work in providing results as promised prior to the tanning application
  • If you are applying the product to the face, it is not advisable to do so prior to bedtime, as there is a risk of spillage on to the sheets and linens (if you do need to do the process right before sleeping, I would recommend using a dark colored towel, as you would after a hair dying process)
  • While the product is safe and suitable for any skin type, there were a small amount of reviewers claiming they did break out and experience rashes while using the products- while this was not a personal experience even with sensitive and acne-prone skin, spot testing is always advisable prior to the use of any topical product simply to avoid any potential allergen contained in the formulation
St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit Model
Image Credit: St. Tropez

St. Tropez Money-Back Guarantee

Especially if you have experienced poor results or troubleshooting errors in the self tanning category prior to use, the return policy in this case may be a highly important factor for you.

The manufacturer, St. Tropez, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, and this policy favors the consumer, both new and returning.

If you are dissatisfied with the use of the included products, or if they do not work for your skin or finishing aesthetic to provide suitable benefits, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulation, you may elect to return it at any time.

In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the item.

St. Troper Self Tanning Starter Kit Model 2
Image Credit: St. Tropez

Review: St.Tropez Self Tanning (The Best Starter Kit?) 1

St. Tropez Self Tanning: Worth It?

Whether you are a novice to the self-tanning category in general, or if you are already someone who has exhausted other methods without success (a common reality), this collection is an excellent product that provides a natural finishing aesthetic and is a true rarity in its category.

Even if you regularly spray tan, or are looking for a product to use prior to an event, I would highly recommend trying out the St. Tropez self tanning collection. If for any reason it does not meet your expectations, you can bear in mind the return and exchange policy.

However, based on countless personal experiences, this product truly exceeds initial claims of benefits and fails to produce the common issues seen with the vast majority of other products in the category.

Ultimately, if you’re seeking a starter set for the perfect sun-kissed glow and trying to avoid so many of the common issues which are often met with a mix of embarrassment and regret, St. Tropez is definitely a line worth investing in.

Compared to retail value and benefits with corresponding use, this is a product that we highly recommend and there are little complaints to be made with the use of this collection. The most important factor to bear in mind is simply following the product directives.

Highly recommended, for newbies and those with more experience alike!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our other reviews on Sun Basket (for health and beauty from within to without), and Stitch Fix (for more beauty and style from head to toe)!



St. Tropez Tanning Starter Kit

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