Compare self-tanning brands Bondi Sands, Le Tan and Dove on drying time, quality, value for money, longevity, smell, packaging design, ease of application and overall customer satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Self-tan – it’s such a love/hate relationship. We love looking gorgeous and bronzed, but there’s nothing worse than ending up with weird blotches, patches and unwanted streaks that literally scream, “I applied this myself!” While self-tanning does require a bit of trial and error, a good formula is most important to getting that summer glow without ending up like a spotted Oompa-Loompa on your night out.
So, which brand do Aussie gals and guys love the most? To find out we’ve surveyed over 200 consumers across the country to get their critique on the self-tanner they most recently purchased and used from a supermarket or pharmacy. Note this refers to a home use product, not a spray tan in a salon. Results are based on drying time, quality, value for money, longevity, smell, packaging design and ease of application. Three major brands received the minimum sample size to be included in our inaugural self-tan ratings but only one earned five stars for overall – Bondi Sands.
Our 2018 self-tanning review saw the following brands rated in the following order overall:
Home grown Bondi Sands topped the ratings with five stars for drying time, quality, value for money, longevity, packaging design, ease of application and overall satisfaction with four stars for smell. Le Tan got four stars overall as well as for quality, value for money, packaging and application with all other factors sitting on three stars. Dove also received four stars overall and for drying time but just three stars for all other categories.
Our list is not exhaustive but it might be a good starting point as there are so many brands out there. Other self-tanners you’ll find in supermarkets and pharmacies include:
Our survey found that 70% have tried multiple brands of self-tanning products and by looking at the list above, it makes sense! If one brand doesn’t cut it, you can simply move onto the next one! Before we dive into each key factor driving customer satisfaction, here’s what else our survey has found:
Aside from the major brands, our survey identified the following drivers of satisfaction in the following order:
Slow drying time is a big no-no when it comes to self-tan, especially when you just want to get on with your day. Almost two in five (39%) said they’ve ruined clothes or bedsheets because of their fake tan, so you’d want to have something that dries quickly. Some brands claim to dry in seconds, leaving you with a natural tan that can be washed off after just one hour.
Quality is the second biggest factor affecting customer satisfaction. If you’ve experienced a self-tanner that left you with a streaky, orange-tinted look, you’ll know what we mean. The quality of the product is important to help avoid those disappointments and get that sun-kissed Aussie tan you hoped for.
Self-tans typically last about a week so there’s a lot of re-application required to maintain the look. In our survey, 21% said they buy the cheapest brand and 18% said they buy fake tan in bulk. On average, consumers spend $35 a month on their self-tanner with Bondi Sands users paying around $26. Sometimes a product that costs a little extra might be worth the money if it gets the job done.
The goal is to make sure a fake tan lasts you the whole holiday. However, in the Aussie heat, it’s easy to sweat off the tan before you even get on a plane. Finding a brand that lasts is crucial! Typically, brands claim their self-tanners last between 5 to 7 days.
Smell isn’t the most important factor, according to our review and this might be because many brands do aim to offer refreshing coconut and vanilla scents. However, some fake tans can override a perfume or cologne you’re wearing, so you might like to keep this in mind.
While packaging doesn’t have an impact on the end result, it helps to have a product that’s well designed and easy to open. In addition, you might be drawn to one brand over another if it stands out from the crowd.
Last but not least – there are different application methods for your self-tanner, whether you’re using a spray, lotion, mousse or something else. While they all aim to do the same job, some users may prefer one over another if it works best for them. When asked what type of self-tan product consumers recently purchased, 42% said lotion, 28% said foam, followed by gradual/daily moisturiser with tint (12%), spray (12%) and oil (5%).
With so many brands on offer, you’re bound to find the right self-tanner for you!
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used self-tanning products from a supermarket or pharmacy in the last 3 months – in this case, 224 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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