As someone who loves a glowy skin look, I am well-versed in the world of self-tanning. And with the help of mitts, foams, and spray bottles, I have achieved various degrees of fake bake success. Still, finding a reliable facial tanner is always a challenge, which is what makes Tan-Luxe's The Crème ($49) all the more exciting.
With their first-ever facial moisturizer, Tan-Luxe is taking a holistic approach to self-tanner. Glow isn't the sole focus of the formula; there are plenty of other skin benefits, too. "The Crème is the world’s first barrier-repairing and cellular-rejuvenating gradual self-tan moisturizer," Marc Elrick, CEO and Founder of Future Beauty Labs, tells Byrdie. "[It's] a daily moisturizer that supercharges your skin whilst competing with the best moisturizers on the market."
Ahead, learn more about Tan-Luxe's new moisturizer, and read our honest reviews.
Tan-Luxe The Crème
Best For: Face, neck, and décolletage
Key Ingredients: Leucine, glycine, L-phenylalanine, squalane, rice bran extract, birch bark extract, 4% DHA
Product Claims: Gradual self-tanner that supports, hydrates, and strengthens skin
Why We Love It: Builds a natural glow while keeping skin smooth and hydrated
Tan-Luxe takes a skincare-first approach to all of their formulas, and The Crème is no different. With this launch, in particular, the brand mirrored the current trend toward barrier care and protection. "Barrier care is less about instant gratification, and more of the nurturing, gentle hydration that the skin and the microbiome actually need," Elrick explains. "This is why when it comes to self-tan, we always formulate with a skincare-first approach, borrowing textures like lotions and serums from your beauty regime for a totally familiar, easy way to apply."
Though familiar and easy, applying this moisturizer is meant to feel like a luxe experience that enhances your skincare routine. "The luxuriously rich, buttery soft texture melts seamlessly into the skin providing unparalleled hydration and an instant boost of radiance to the overall look and feel of your skin," Elrick adds. The goal was simple: Make this moisturizer so great, people would want to reach for it even if it didn't give them a glow.
There are three prongs to The Crème's skincare-forward formula: first, supporting skin's collagen and elasticity; second, hydrating skin while nourishing its microbiome; and third, giving skin a gradual, sun-kissed glow.
"The potent actives such as glycine, leucine, and L-phenylalanine penetrate deeply into the skin and work at a cellular level to help restore skin elasticity so skin appears plumper whilst reducing the appearance of dark spots and fine lines," Elrick explains. Meanwhile, a blend of hydrating ingredients including squalane, birch bark, and rice bran deliver intense moisture and work to restore the skin barrier for a soft, supple finish. DHA 4% finishes off the formula and gives the skin a subtle, gradual glow—perfect for daily use.
"The Creme deeply hydrates and regenerates the skin as well as providing a radiant glow," Elrick adds. All in all, the formula is designed to promote "healthier, hydrated skin that functions at its best."
How to Apply
Every self-tanner is only as great as its application process. Fortunately, when it comes to The Crème, there's no need for complicated tips or tricks. A smooth application doesn't take a practiced hands—just clean ones.
Elrick explains, "We recommend applying The Crème as the last step in your skincare routine, morning or night, by upward sweeping motions across your face, neck, and décolleté. To maintain your glow, you can apply daily for healthy and hydrated skin."
One important caveat: Wash your hands after applying. There's nothing worse than a blotchy palm print that will result from skipping this step.
Holly Rhue, senior editor
I absolutely love the warm glow this product gives me. After three nights of use, I woke up with the perfect amount of tan—nothing too dramatic or orange. It's exactly the boost of color I crave for my skin during the winter. And as a bonus, it didn't stain my white pillowcases or leave any clear lines of demarcation on my skin. Just be sure to blend thoroughly past your jawline and into your neck, and wash your hands immediately after you apply it (I did a lazy job and had a little bit of pigment in-between my fingers).
Eden Stuart, associate editor
I was kind of surprised at how quickly this product worked! I noticed tanner skin after just one application. I'm currently in the middle of a breakout, and I appreciated the way this subtle, even tan helped to diffuse some of my problem areas. The formulation is elegant and smooth, and definitely hydrating; it left my skin glowing. I will say: I did wash my hands immediately after applying the product, as the directions instruct, and still noticed a very faint tan to my palm. However, that definitely wouldn't be enough to deter me from continuing use.
Hannah Kerns, beauty news writer
Like most people, I can be pretty particular about the skincare products that go directly on my face. I don't want to sacrifice my skin health for a temporary glow—and with sensitive skin like mine, that's a real concern. For that reason, Tan-Luxe's products have been my go-to self-tanners for some time now. Still, I really think they outdid themselves with The Crème.
I put the moisturizer on as the last step in my nighttime skincare routine. It was rich, a great salve for my dry (and pale) winter skin. And although I was slightly worried I would wake up with an orange face, the next morning, my skin had a subtle glow. I loved the way it looked—and more importantly, I loved the way my skin felt.