The Best, Natural, Sun-Free Tan, Period.

How Now Brown Cow – Fun to Say, Easy to Use

Do you want soft, tanned skin without feeling dry and patchy? How about a sunless tan that fades evenly? How about a million dollars and an in-house chef? Well, we can give you 2 of those…okay maybe 2.5 – hope you love instant noodles! We love the sun but achieving a golden glow naturally can come with some pretty harsh consequences – sun damage, premature ageing, you get the gist. But don’t worry because you can still achieve that golden glow naturally without the sun (see what we did there?), using natural ingredients, of course! Our natural, hydrating gradual self-tanner not only means you’re saving your skin from sun damage and the not-so-healthy ingredients in many tanning products, but you’re also giving it a bit of TLC. What did your skin do to deserve you?! Spray tans and at-home self-tanning products have come a long way but most of the ones we came across just weren’t natural, hydrating or effective enough for our liking (we can be very fussy cows). That’s why we got to work and made our own natural gradual self-tanner: How Now Brown Cow – fun to say, easy to use and looks great on everybody. 

How Now Brown Cow Gradual Tan is our very own creamy, hydrating and natural, daily tanning lotion. It’ll leave you with an even and undetectable sunless-tan that’ll leave even the most experienced tanning connoisseurs guessing whether you’re born with it or spend your days at a nude beach. And better yet, when it’s time to go, your tan will fade slowly, quietly and evenly without a clue. We can’t guarantee this, but it may even change the sheets, scrub the shower and even leave you a little thank you note on the dresser (how sweet!).

Real Ingredients – Fake Tan

We wanted to put some realness into fake tans, not only in the ingredients we use but with the discussion around the topic. You ingredient savvy peeps out there will already know that traditional fake tan products can come with some really nasty ingredients. And for those who don’t, don’t worry because we really love banging on about this stuff (couldn’t ya tell?). The main ingredient in most self-tanners and daily tanning lotions is Dihydroxyacetone (aka DHA). This combines with the keratin on the top layer of the skin and changes it to a nice tan/brown colour. We too use DHA, but only the natural version, of course.

What’s the difference between natural and synthetic DHA?

The difference is HUGE. Synthetic forms of DHA are often combined with penetration enhancing chemicals that work to weaken the skin’s surface. They do this to allow for quicker product absorption so that the tan can develop quickly, giving you perhaps a tiny bit of convenience in return. In our opinion, this is risky business. We recommend erring on the side of caution with anything that claims to work faster than others (this includes sunscreens, food and people) – to us it’s just not a race worth winning. Many of these products also commonly contain other nasties like Parabens and other synthetic preservatives like Phenoxyethanol, artificial fragrances and mineral oils – all ingredients already on our “no thank you” list.

All our skincare aims to give you the best results without compromising on ingredients or effectiveness, and our daily tanning lotion How Now Brown Cow is no exception. We call it a ‘natural tan’ for a few reasons. First, we only use natural ingredients in our formula, and secondly for the natural-looking golden-brown shade it gives you. Nothing is worse than that tell-tale orange “tinge” that resembles more of a 2001 Paris Hilton rather than a golden sun-kissed goddess; we know which one we prefer, but we love Paris too. To go along with our natural DHA, we combine it with another tanning agent called Erythrulose, a natural glucose-based ingredient that reacts to the amino acids on the skin, creating a golden hue. These 2 tanning ingredients combined are the secret to the natural colour we create – ssssssh! And to sweeten the deal even more, we put it all into a moisturiser to keep skin hydrated, make it super easy to apply, and keep patchiness and flakiness far away #winning.

How do self-tanning products work?

Most daily tanning lotions have self-tanning ingredients like canola oil, glycerin or sugar-based ingredients that combine with the amino acids on your skin. Various amino acids combine differently, producing different tones of colouration from yellow to orange to brown. So very simply, the self-tanning ingredients make a tan coloured pigment on the skin that looks like a real tan but is not a genuine tan which happens when our skin is exposed to UV. Because the colour is made by using the outer layers of skin, the colour will gradually disappear over some time as the skin sloughs off. So, to keep the colour, it should be re-applied now and then. How long does self-tanner last? How long your tan lasts on the skin depends on a few factors. The effects should last about 4-5 days without fading. However, it all depends on the hydration levels on your skin. More on that below in our tips and tricks section! As ours is a ‘gradual’ tanner, we recommend applying it every day, or every second day, until you’ve built up your colour to your desired shade. Once you’ve reached your ideal shade, apply 1-2 times a week (or more if you need to) for maintenance. 

How to reMOOve self-tanner?

Daily tanning lotions pigment the outer layer of the skin and this skin sloughs off over time. However, if you want to start from scratch with a clean canvas then we recommend giving yourself a good scrub-a-dub-dub with a physical exfoliant like a, loofah or a coffee scrub, or you can even opt for a chemical one such as an AHA body wash – now isn’t that fancy? Do both if you’re feeling flaky.

How to apply gradual tanning lotion?

Apply tanning product of choice to clean damp skin all over the face and body using either your hands, a mitt or gloves. Our How Now Brown Cow Gradual Tan absorbs fairly quickly, so you won’t be restricted to a naked star-shaped stance in front of your fan – unless that’s something you like to do (no judgment here), or 1 night a week sleeping in a dark coloured tanning sack to make sure you don’t ruin the good linen. Even so, wash your hands thoroughly, put on your baggy 2004 half-marathon t-shirt and wait a minimum of 3 hours before washing it off, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. If you can’t decide when to wash it off…we recommend that you sleep on it (see what we did there?). That way you give it the most amount of time possible to soak in and create a golden hue.

Extra tip! When you wash it off the following morning make sure to have a cool shower and use a gentle wash like our Milk Wash as this will not only help to not strip back any colour but it will lock in the tan as well as your skin's moisture, which in turn helps your tan last longer.  

And there you have it, no streaky legs, no patchy elbows and no more excuses. This very well may be the closest thing to a natrual tan without going in the sun. Warning: you may feel sudden waves of confidence and an increase in hair flicks and short shorts. For the best tanning application and self-tanner hacks from the Herd, head to our blog post 11 Best Tanning Tips Your Skin Needs for the best ways to utilise our How Now Brown Cow Gradual Tanner.