Like most sunless tanners, Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner relies on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and erythrulose to produce a tan appearance on skin. What makes this formula different is its use of natural and organic ingredients. It contains several plant oils -- namely aloe vera, chamomile, gingko biloba and green tea -- which leave skin soft and moisturized. Paula Begoun says, "Those additions are helpful and make this worth considering as something more than just a self tanner." The sunless tanner only comes in one shade but it can be reapplied for more intense color.
Reviewers say that Very Emollient Sunless Tanner is easy to apply and produces even color that looks natural. One reviewer points out that it takes quite a while (24 hours) for the tan to develop. Once it does, though, users say that it lasts for up to a week.
Users at MakeupAlley.com also point out that the formula is buildable and can be reapplied daily until your desired color is reached. As with all sunless tanners, reviewers recommend exfoliating before application for the best and longest-lasting results.
Alba Botanica Very Emollient is among the most moisturizing sunless tanners available. That's because it's loaded with plant oils and antioxidants. The natural ingredients and added fragrance lend to what users call a pleasant scent. Don't be fooled: The scent serves more as a cover-up to conceal the telltale odor of DHA reacting with skin. This is true of all sunless tanners.
Sunless-tanning lotions generally take longer to dry than other formulas and Alba Botanica is no exception. Reviewers say it takes about 15 minutes to dry but they don't complain about the wait. Manufacturers say to avoid showering or strenuous activities for three hours while the tan develops.
Alba Botanica sunless tanning lotion relies on natural and certified organic ingredients, a combination that's hard to find in beauty products and especially self tanners. It's recommended for those who are conscious about ingredients and prefer earth-friendly products. Alba Botanica doesn't contain any parabens -- a group of controversial chemical preservatives commonly used in cosmetic and skin care products. The company is also favored by many watchdog groups because they do not participate in animal testing.
The sunless tanner is also highly recommended for anyone who has dry skin. A few reviewers at MakeupAlley.com say that it caused an allergic reaction when used on the face but skin sensitivities vary greatly from one person to the next. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, it's important to read the ingredient label before applying any product to your skin.
Paula Begoun gives Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner a "good" rating. She says that it is a step above other formulas, because it contains many moisturizing plant oils and antioxidants but insists that it would be even better if it didn't contain fragrance.
Review: Very Emollient Sunless Golden Tanning Without the Sun by Alba Botanica, Paula Begoun, Dec. 20, 2011
Alba Botanica sunless tanner only receives a handful of reviews from consumers at Amazon.com, but the majority of them are favorable. The self tanner earns an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars from about 20 reviewers. Most say that the resulting color looks natural and lasts up to a week. Many also like the scent compared to other tanning products.
Review: Alba Sunless Tanning Lotion, 4 ounce, Contributors to Amazon.com
Beauty blogger Dianna Baros tests and reviews Alba Botanica Golden Tan Sunless Tanning Lotion (now Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner). Although she says it produces only subtle color and takes 24 hours to develop, it smells good and covers flaws well.
Review: Beauty Review: Alba Botanica Golden Tan Sunless Tanning Lotion, Dianna Baros, July 12, 2010
TheDailySupplement.com gives Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunless Tanner the thumbs up for using certified organic and all-natural ingredients. It doesn't have any harsh chemicals and is easy to use, editors say, adding that it smells like pineapples.
Review: Rays of Hope for Golden Tan Sunless Tanning Lotion by Alba Botanica, Editors of TheDailySupplement.com, April 29, 2010