It’s no surprise that Sivan Ayla’s perfect tan gained a cult following on social media. The lifestyle influencer regularly shows off her year-round glow on Instagram, an enviable bronze that’s admittedly obtained not from the sun but from the careful use of filters and edits. When Ayla tried to recreate the look IRL with tanning products, however, she realized there wasn’t an offering on the market that provided a long-lasting tan without the dreaded self-tanner smell. So she decided to make her own.
“I created +Lux Unfiltered because I felt there was a gap in luxury tanning,” says Ayla. “I wanted the process and products to feel elevated, sophisticated, and just as luxurious as your skincare routine.” The brand’s first product—N°32 Gradual Self-Tanning Cream $32—promises to deliver a gradual-looking glow without any unwanted fragrance, build-up, or residue. It’s housed in chic, minimal packaging and available in two delicious scents (Rosewood and Santal). Unsurprisingly, it immediately began popping up all over Instagram after it launched.
After the success of the brand’s initial offering, Ayla expanded the line to include bronzing face drops, a soothing lip balm, and a body cream. But where does a flawless, sunless tan start and end? With exfoliation, of course, which is why the brand’s latest launch was the natural next step. Ahead, we tapped Ayla to learn more about her flawless tan secrets, the recently re-released N°28 Exfoliating Body Polish ($34), and more.
It’s no secret that social media has a way of portraying unrealistic beauty standards. We can edit, blur, and filter until our photos are unrecognizable. But instead of being discouraged by this unachievable standard, Ayla found motivation in it.
“The inspiration behind +Lux Unfiltered is to make people feel just as great in ‘real life’ as they do online,” Ayla tells us. "I wanted to create a product that’s easy to use, gives the most natural-looking color, and smells expensive," Plus, it had to be transfer-proof so that it didn’t ruin her neutral-colored clothing and bedding, she says. “We launched with N°32 Hydrating Self-Tanning Cream and have since branched into luxury body care.” And since no body care line is complete without a skin-smoothing polish, the brand knew they needed to create the perfect one.
The Redesigned Body Polish
+Lux Unfiltered’s mission is to make the self-tanning experience more enjoyable from start to finish, which is why after the initial launch of their N°28 Exfoliating Body Polish, the brand decided to make some adjustments.
“We decided to change our packaging for N°28 to make the process of using the product smooth and easy,” says Ayla. Initially, the product came in a tube that some customers found to be less than shower-friendly. The relaunched version comes in a slip-proof tub, so it’s easier to access and store. It also now comes with a bamboo spoon, which Ayla says is designed “to help mix the body polish, so you get a good amount of oils with every application.”
Despite the packaging upgrades, the brand’s fan-favorite formula hasn’t changed. The polish contains a blend of crushed sugar, passion fruit oil, shea butter, and Vitamin E and is finished in their signature Santal fragrance. Plus, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without parabens, sulfates, gluten, silicone, paraffins, and phthalates.
How to Use
N°28 is a powerhouse that works as the first and last step in your tanning routine. “There are two key steps to a flawless tan,” Ayla tells us. “The first is prepping your skin by exfoliating to shed dead skin and ensure an even application of self-tanner.” She recommends applying a generous amount of the exfoliating body polish to create a clean slate to apply your tan on. Once your tan has set, you can again go in with a little polish on damp skin to scrub away any remaining tanning residual.
“The second step is hydration,” Ayla explains. “By keeping your skin hydrated, it prevents any flaking or fading from occurring, which keeps your color looking fresh and lasts longer.” She says the N°14 Conditioning Body Cream ($36) is her secret weapon for in-between tanning days to keep her skin dewy and glowing.
I have sensitive skin that doesn’t react kindly to harsh scrubs, and I had no irritation with N°28. The sugar is crushed so finely that the formula is gentle and non-abrasive. My skin was left silky smooth and prepped for my sunless tan, without the dry, tight feeling I get from many exfoliators.
I’ve struggled with KP (keratosis pilaris), which causes rough patches and bumps primarily on the back of my arms and legs. It’s a tricky condition because it requires equal parts exfoliation and hydration, so it really is a balancing act. I’ve been using the N°14 Conditioning Body Cream after I exfoliate with the polish once a week, and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in the texture of my skin. Plus, I’m partial to aesthetically pleasing products, and the wooden spoon makes for a great addition to my shower tools.