I Was Skeptical of Self-Tanners But St. Tropez's Bronzing Mousse Proved Me Wrong

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4.5

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

st. tropez self tan purity bronzing water mousse

 Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

What We Like
  • Doesn’t have that self-tanner smell

  • Mitt prevents streaks and discoloration on hands 

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other self-tanners

  • Washing the mitt is an extra step

  • Color is less noticeable than some self-tanners

The St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse is perfect for anyone looking for an even, sun-kissed glow—full stop.

4.5

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

st. tropez self tan purity bronzing water mousse

 Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

We put St. Tropez's Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I’ll be the first to admit that the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse initially came off as a little intimidating. Ever since I begrudgingly ditched my summer tanning efforts about a decade ago for safety reasons, I’ve been a fan of self-tanners. I tend to opt for the lotions over sprays or mousses, simply because I feel like I have more control over the distribution of it. Imagining spreading a tanning mousse with a mitt sounded like something that could go very wrong very quickly.

I was proven wrong, though—it was actually the easiest, least nerve-wracking self-tanner I’ve ever used. Read on for my full review.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

Best for: Normal, oily, combination, dry, or sensitive skin. 

Potential Allergens: Made with 100% naturally-derived and vegan-friendly tanning agents, an allergic reaction is unlikely, but always check with your dermatologist if you’re concerned.

Active ingredients: Dihydroxyacetone, glycerin, butylene glycol, decyl glucoside

Byrdie Clean?: Yes 

Price: $42

About the brand: Known for its variety of self-tanners in the form of sprays, lotions, and mousses, St. Tropez provides a sun-kissed glow without sun damage.

About My Skin: Fair and freckled

I’m half Irish, so I’ve always been on the fairer side and prone to freckles. I do have slight olive undertones, though, which gives me the ability to get a little bit tan in the summer. For that reason, I’ve never felt like self-tanners looked that weird on my skin, and if applied correctly, they enhance the accidental base tan that I seem to get every summer no matter how much sunscreen I apply. 

The Feel: Refreshingly lightweight

Self-tanners can be so heavy. I have the most experience with Jergens lotion, and it tends to leave a thin layer on my skin, serving as an annoying reminder that it’s there. This mousse is incredibly lightweight, and once spread evenly with the mitt, it’s easy to forget it’s there at all. 

st. tropez self tan purity bronzing water mousse
 Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

The Scent: Not bad, for once

Anyone who has ever used a self-tanner knows this to be a fact: They smell really bad. I always know I’m wearing a self-tanner because I can smell it on my skin and clothes. A lot of self-tanners have aimed to solve this problem, but St. Tropez seems to have achieved it with their bronzing water mousse. Although the bottle boasts a tropical scent, I didn’t smell anything at all—and that was fine by me. 

Although the bottle boasts a tropical scent, I didn’t smell anything at all—and that was fine by me.

Drying and Irritation: Nonexistent 

While I’ve never had a crazy reaction to self-tanners I’ve tried, they do tend to leave my skin a little bit dry. Because I was nervous about trying the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse, I followed the instructions exactly and exfoliated beforehand. St. Tropez calls their water mousse a “hydrating formula,” and while I didn’t feel extra moisturized after the fact, I wouldn’t say my skin was dry, either — which was a win for me as far as self-tanners go.

st. tropez self tan purity bronzing water mousse
 Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

The Results: Even and subtle

As recommended on the package, before using the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse I exfoliated my skin. Once it was fully dry, I squirted a few dollops of mousse onto my skin and distributed them with the mitt using a circular motion. 

The result was the most even fake tan I’ve ever been able to give myself. I usually discover streaks a few hours after applying self-tanner and cross my fingers that no one will notice, but those were nonexistent here.

It was also refreshing to not have to rush to the sink to wash my hands because I was worried my palms would turn orange.

One thing I will say: If you’re looking for a dramatic contrast to your usual skin tone, the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse probably isn’t for you. The initial results were a very subtle glow, and while the color did deepen within an hour or two, it wasn’t by much. While it didn’t turn brown, my skin did look more even and vibrant, which is enough for me right now. 

Another thing to note: While I didn’t have to wash my hands, I did have to carefully wash the mitt with soap and water and hang it on a rack to dry, which was an annoying extra step. 

st. tropez self tan purity bronzing water mousse
Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

The Value: Worth it

Retailing at around $40, this isn’t the most inexpensive self-tanner you’ll find, but it’s not crazy expensive either. When you factor in the mitt, lack of bad smell, lightweight feel, and ability to get a streak-free, natural-looking fake tan, it’s totally worth it. 

st. tropez self tan purity bronzing water mousse
Byrdie / Leigh Weingus 

Similar Products: You have options, but it’s hard to beat this one

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer ($11): The self-tanner I’ve used most often is Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. Usually retailing for between $8 and $11, it’s certainly cheaper than St. Tropez’s Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse, but it also comes with a noticeable not-so-great smell and a side of streaks. 

St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Mist ($35): I’ve also tried the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Mist, which is a little cheaper than the mousse but not as effective in my opinion. While I like the idea of the spray, the tan wasn’t quite as even.

Final Verdict

No, your skin won’t turn a drastically different color when you use the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse, but it will give your skin an even, vibrant, streak-free look. And as a nice bonus, your palms won’t turn orange!

Specs

  • Product Name Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse
  • Product Brand St. Tropez
  • SKU 2059038
  • Price $42
  • Ingredients Water Dihydroxyacetone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Decyl Glucoside, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Saccharide Isomerate, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Fruit Extract, Sodium Metabisulfite, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Linalool, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Sodium Citrate

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