This past year I’ve seen Isle of Paradise self tanning products promoted by beauty bloggers and beauty editors and couldn’t help but be drawn to their gorgeous pastel packaging and interesting formulas. Since the summer season in the Northeast US is on its way, I wanted my pasty skin to be gone, so I figured it was time to give their products a try.
I’ve used so many self tanners over the years and the ones I always return to provide an even tan and a relatively easy tanning process. When I came across Isle of Paradise products, I was immediately attracted to the cute packaging but wondered what set them apart from every other self tanner out there. Turns out quite a bit. Not only do they have innovative formulas (tanning water!), they also use color-correcting actives in all of their products.
Isle of Paradise products are made from certified organic ingredients, actives formulated at ideal pH levels, hypoallergenic ingredients, and pure oils. Before I discuss my results with the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops and Self Tanning Water, let’s take a look at the company and product formulations.
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Isle of Paradise
Isle of Paradise was launched by Jules Von Hep, a celebrity tanning expert, who has worked in the tanning industry for over 10 years. You can’t help but be drawn in by Jules’s focus on self-love, inclusivity, and body positivity. It’s uplifting and like a breath of fresh air.
After working with clients and applying color corrective makeup like powders and concealers after applying spray tans, he decided to combine color corrective technology with self tanning into one product that could be used at home. The products are scented with eucalyptus and peppermint which is inspired by Jules’ time spent in Australia.
In addition, the products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and organic. When they say their products are organic, they mean that the products are formulated with plant-derived and naturally occurring ingredients, including the purest non-toxic synthetic ingredients that are necessary for the formulas. Isle of Paradise products are made WITHOUT parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, petrolatum, sulfates, gluten, GMOs, and toxins.
What is color correction? Color correcting occurs when colors that are opposite to each other on the color wheel cancel each other out. In the beauty world, this would occur when orange-hued concealer cancels blue-toned under-eye circles. Color correcting actives are used at a base level in all of Isle of Paradise products to brighten skin, reduce redness, and even out hyperpigmentation and other discolorations. In the MEDIUM products that I purchased, green color-correcting actives cancel out red tones to provide a gorgeous medium golden tan.
How Isle of Paradise Addresses Common Self-Tanning Issues
We’ve all been there. Streaky tan lines and blotches show up in the wrong places hours after applying self-tanner. If you happen to be lucky, you can cover them with clothing! Isle of Paradise’s solution to this is their Triple Glow Technology. Tanning actives derived from avocado and coconut oil are formulated at a low pH. This formula reacts with amino acids on our skin to support melanin without staining the skin the unpleasant colors that some self tanners create.
Dryness & Uneven Fading
Isle of Paradise’s Super Sponge Moisture Complex addresses dryness and uneven fading with superstar skincare ingredients: avocado seed oil, coconut oil and aloe vera (all organically sourced) work their magic and improve skin elasticity. They also prevent photo-damage and dryness and moisturize the skin. Vitamin C and E bring their antioxidant protection to the formulas to hydrate and improve firmness of the skin.
Unpleasant Self-Tanning Scent
The unpleasant self-tanning smell that unfortunately comes along with most self tanners is minimized in Isle of Paradise products. They formulate their products at a low pH and blend their formulas with Eucalyptus Oil to impart a gentle light natural fragrance on the skin.
Key Ingredients in Isle of Paradise Products
Coconut Oil is high in essential fatty acids, making it a very healthy oil that hydrates and smoothes the skin.
Avocado Oil is rich in vitamins A and C. Excellent hydration and improvement of skin elasticity are achieved with avocado oil since it penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin.
Chia Seed Oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and helps support the skin barrier and helps the skin retain moisture leading to hydrated and more radiant-looking skin.
More Than Just Pretty Packaging
One of the things that jumps out at you is the pretty pastel colors of the products. I can’t help but smile when I look at the soft pretty pastels. But there is more to it than just cute colors. Isle of Paradise products are color-coded, or shall I say pastel color-coded based on your desired shade of tan.
Peach – Light
The lightest shade of the self-tanners, PEACH, will provide a LIGHT sun-kissed glow. PEACH products contain Isle of Paradise’s OXY-glow Technology. This technology is derived from amino acids and will deliver oxygen to the surface of the skin for a brighter complexion. Choose PEACH for brightening and illuminating the skin and for anti-inflammatory benefits.
Green – Medium
GREEN Isle of Paradise products will provide a MEDIUM golden tan. These products contain Isle of Paradise’s SuperBalance Complex. This complex will reduce redness and inflammation and even skin tone. Extracts of the Agastache Mexicana flower will soothe stressed skin.
Violet – Dark
Use Isle of Paradise VIOLET products to get a deep bronze tan. Their proprietary HyperViolet Complex will neutralize orange, yellow and ash skin tones while improving clarity and radiance in the skin.
NOTE: While I would consider my complexion light, I self-tan my face year-round and self-tan my body in the warmer months. Whenever tanners come in Light, Medium, or Dark options, I usually choose Medium and have success. In my experience, the same holds true for Isle of Paradise products.
I chose Medium (Green) and I happy to say that in both the drops and tanning water, the color payoff is just what I want. Plus I don’t need to use a lot of the product. The nice part is that you can control the color of these two products. Just choose how many sprays or drops you apply.
While you can use Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops for both face and body, I purchased Isle of Paradise Medium Self Tanning Drops with the intention of using them for my face, saving the tanning water for my body. In the MEDIUM products, green color-correcting actives cancel out red tones to produce a medium golden tan. Unsurprisingly, the medium shade is Isle of Paradise’s best-selling shade that enhances all skin tones.
Mix with Moisturizer
The instructions on the bottle say that you can mix 1-12 drops with your favorite moisturizer. The more drops you use, the deeper your tan. The formula is somewhat of a running gel that incorporates well with moisturizers. Their website notes that you can also mix it with oils, serums, or foundations, but I stick to mixing it with my moisturizer, and that works well for my skin.
For my light skin tone, 2-3 drops added to the last step of my skincare routine (moisturizer) at night. This gives me a beautiful and natural golden tan that lasts for a few days. I only need to use these drops 2-3 times per week depending on how much I am exfoliating my skin.
This is a nice break from self-tanning every evening with Clarins Liquid Bronzing Self-Tanning that I’ve been using for several years. The Isle of Paradise drops are definitely more potent, as the Clarins self-tanner tends to fade faster.
Isle of Paradise equates the shade desired to the number of drops used:
2-4 drops = sun-kissed
6-8 drops = golden
10-12 drops = bronze
How many drops you’ll need depends on your skin tone. Color should develop within 4-6 hours. With this and all self-tanning products, be sure to wash your hands after application to avoid unwanted color on your palms and in between your fingers!
I love the natural looking golden color that I get from the drops. My skin looks so much healthier and imperfections like dark circles are minimized. It fades evenly and lasts longer than other facial self tanners that I’ve used. Love these drops!
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Waters have no guide colors, so while they don’t block pores or transfer onto bed sheets or clothes, you do need to make sure that the tanning water is spread evenly across your skin. I purchased Self Tanning Water in Medium that is scented with Isle of Paradise’s signature cucumber and eucalyptus scent.
I use it on my arms, legs, chest, and abdomen after moisturizing really well. That’s the trick to avoid streakiness or splotches on particularly tricky areas like knees, ankles, elbows, hands, and feet. While Isle of Paradise notes that you can use this self-tanning water to set makeup, I prefer to tan my face using the drops mixed with moisturizer at night on my face.
I use several sprays of the tanning water over large areas to make sure that my skin is saturated. I’ll blend either with my hands if I am in a hurry or their tanning applicator mitt with sweeping circular motions for an even application.
I can’t get over how natural this color looks, especially on my pale untanned arms and legs. This is really giving my recent favorite, St Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Mousse, a run for its money. The tanning water is really easy to use as well. I’ll use it a few times a week to touch up my color and just make sure to wash my hands really well after application.
NOTE: If it’s particularly hot, you can store the tanning water in the fridge and enjoy a cool mist when you spray it on your skin.
UPDATE APRIL 2021
Since the summer is right around the corner, I tried two additional products from Isle of Paradise: Hyglo Self-Tan Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, a self-tanning serum for your face, and their Self-Tanning Butter, a self-tanning body butter.
Isle of Paradise Hyglo Self-Tan Serum with Hyaluronic Acid is a hydrating self-tanning face serum. Formulated for all skin types, this self tan serum contains good-for-your-skin ingredients plus self tanner for a golden glow.
It contains hyaluronic acid for hydration and plumping, grapefruit oil to brighten and calm the skin, and avocado oil, which is rich in vitamins A and C, to support skin elasticity.
Directions say to use between 4 to 12 drops on your face. I apply this self-tanning serum to my clean face in the evening. I decided to start with 4 drops on my face and 2 drops on my neck to see the effects on my light complexion.
This amount of product every other night or a few nights a week (4 drops on my face and 2 drops on my neck) hydrates well, provides a lovely golden glow, and fades really evenly. It sinks in quickly and doesn’t interfere with other skincare products.
You may have to try a few different dropper amounts to get the optimal results for your skin tone.
Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Butter is a gradual self-tanning body butter that uses Isle of Paradise’s color-correcting technology to even out skin tone.
It contains coconut oil, rich in fatty acids, to smooth and hydrate the skin. Avocado oil is rich in vitamin E and helps to improve skin elasticity. Chia seed oil is rich in fatty acids and helps to support a healthy skin barrier. Eucalyptus leaf oil has antibacterial properties, while peppermint oil refreshes the skin.
This self-tanning butter is a little thicker than a body lotion and has a subtle shimmer. Like any other self-tanner, you need to make sure that it is blended well to avoid any streaks or discoloration. After one use, it provided a lovely golden tan to my pale skin. It does have that fake tan smell, but that goes away after your next shower.
This is a great choice if you want a 2-in-1 body product. You get an excellent body moisturizer thanks to the rich body butter formula and a sunless tan, too!
Related Post: The Best Drugstore Mineral Sunscreens
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops and Water – Final Thoughts
From the packaging to performance, Isle of Paradise really hit it out of the park with these products. On top of the fantastic performance of the products, I love that these are clean products with a very body-positive message.
Please keep in mind that these products, like other self tanners, do not contain sunscreen. It is important to protect the skin on your face and body from the harmful rays of the sun by using sunscreen after your skincare.
Have you tried Isle of Paradise products? I’d love to hear your results. Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, and until next time…