Self-tan products can be exasperating to use. Trial and error has shown that a few, however, really do as they say they will do.
Travel Essentials: Look fresh off the beach with these self-tanners
St Tropez self-tan bronzing mousse
Pioneering St Tropez has become the best-known name in self-tanning for good reason: its products go on smoothly, blend easily and don't have that tell-tale smell of DHA that characterises some self-tans. We're rather impatiently waiting for the well-known brand's new wash-off tanning spray to hit the shops here in the UAE, but in the meantime go for its classic self-tanning mousse. Containing skin-conditioning aloe vera, the product dries in 60 seconds and develops in four hours. Costs Dh170 for 120ml at Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates in Dubai (www.malloftheemirates.com; 04 409 8888).
The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan
From the saintly Organic Pharmacy, set up by a pharmacist disillusioned with the toxicity of mainstream medicines, her small chain of all-white pharmacies in London (with deliveries worldwide) are favourites among many health-aware people (Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna included). The active ingredient in this all-natural self-tanner is derived not from "evil" chemicals but innocuous sugar beet. The only downside? The hefty £30 (Dh176) p&p on an order of £30.95 (Dh181) for 100ml at www.theorganicpharmacy.com.
Dr Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate
What looks fine on your legs can look far too harsh on your face. Enter dear chemical-free Dr H. Besides being all-natural, this gives a lightly sunkissed-look that's hardly a tan at all, evening out a paler complexion and making base or foundation unnecessary. Just add a tiny bit of concealer where needed. Costs Dh120 for 30ml at Organic Foods and Café at Dubai Mall and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Visit www.organicfoodsandcafe.com.
More of the most durable and practical gear to take on your next holiday at Travel Essentials.