MAY 26 2016

Safe Self-tanning: Vita Liberata

It’s finally summer! Nothing makes me happier than shedding the cold-weather layers and dressing for warm weather. I can start wearing the clothes I’ve been dreaming about all winter - tanks, shorts and breezy dresses. But given that I’m naturally quite pale, I need to get my tan on first. The sunless kind, of course.

Sunless tanning, aka self-tanner, is obviously the safest way to tan. But just like makeup and skincare, most self-tanning products contain potentially harmful ingredients. The active ingredient in self-tanners is DHA, which is naturally derived from beets or cane sugar. It’s a simple carb that reacts with the amino acids in the top layer of your skin to produce that nice tan color. The challenge is finding a self-tanner with natural DHA and no extra chemicals like dyes (the thing that makes it look brown topically), synthetic fragrance (to mask the strong chemical smell many self-tanners have), and synthetic preservatives.

In my search for the perfect, non-toxic tan, I’ve tried more self-tanning products than I can count and have finally found two favorites: Chocolate Sun and Vita Liberata. These are the ones I rely on to take me safely from pale to bronze. For my review of Chocolate Sun self-tanners, click here.

Vita Liberata

When you can’t get your hands on Chocolate Sun products, this is your next best option. Vita Liberata is sold in 26 countries and counting. It’s so widely available, and so effective, there’s no need to reach for your mainstream drug or department store self-tanner. Although the ingredients are not 100% pure like Chocolate Sun, Vita Liberata products are formulated without parabens, perfume, alcohol and most chemicals of concern.

Why I love it:

  1. Long-lasting. Vita Liberata's newest innovation is the pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan. The brand copy calls it “the world's longest lasting tan, giving you a tan that lasts up to 4 times longer than regular tans”. I haven’t counted exactly how much longer it lasts, but definitely noticed it lasts longer than any other self-tanner I’ve used. It comes in fair, medium and dark shades, and two formula options: a fast drying mousse and a hydrating lotion. I use the mousse in the medium shade.
  2. Closest thing to a suntan. The color payoff I get from this line is just like the shade of my skin after a suntan (when I used to suntan, that is!). It’s obvious that Vita Liberata put a lot of R&D into creating the most natural-looking color possible. What’s more, the formulas are packed with certified organic plant extracts that leave skin soft and hydrated.
  3. Gives an instant tint. Both the mousse and lotion have a bronze tint that helps guide your application and minimize mistakes. It’s also perfect for those times when you need to look tanned right away and can’t wait 4-8 hours for your tan to develop.
  4. Even fade and no odor. My tan fades so evenly that I don’t even notice - just like a natural tan. There are no tell-tale streaks or patches as it fades. Plus, Vita Liberata hates that strong self-tan odor as much as we do, having gone as far as to trademark an Odour Remove™ Technology that guarantees zero self-tan smell. The products do however have a noticeable scent which, although quite pleasant, is something to be aware of if you’re sensitive to fragrance.

Vita Liberata is available at Sephora, Ulta, Boots, and, among other retailers.