Argan Self Tanning Cream
4 fl. oz. for $32
Category:Skin Care > Self-Tanners > Self-Tanners
Last Updated:03.20.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is a standard self-tanning lotion for normal to dry skin that's not prone to breakouts, but it's not without its problems. It contains the same ingredient (dihydroxyacetone) found in almost every other self-tanner, many for a fraction of this price. So, despite the claims of using a naturally derived ingredient, everyone is using the same self-tanning ingredient, derived from natural sources—it's not as though Josie Maran's is the only option.

Where this self-tanner derails a bit is with the inclusion of several skin-constricting ingredients. Although Maran claims to include them as a way to reduce cellulite, they don't work for that purpose and there is no research showing otherwise. Instead, they pose a risk of irritation, and that's never the goal when using a self-tanner or any other product.

Between this formulary drawback and the cost, there's no reason to consider this self-tanner over lots of others. And, if you were thinking this was best because it contains plant-based argan oil, please see More Info below to find out the facts about this ingredient.

  • Will turn skin a convincing tan color while moisturizing.
  • Expensive; you can get great results from self-tanners sold at the drugstore.
  • Contains several ingredients that can constrict skin, leading to irritation that hurts its healing process.

More Info:

All of Josie Maran's products contain argan oil. Despite how they market this ingredient, it isn't a cure-all or a must-have for your skin. Argan oil is merely a good, non-fragrant plant oil that's best for dry skin. Like all non-fragrant plant oils, it is a natural source of beneficial fatty acids (skin-repairing ingredients) and antioxidants. You can read more about the folklore and genuine benefits behind argan oil here.


This mess-free, ultra-lightweight daily cream delivers the appearance of an even, healthy tan to your face and body any time of year. Formulated with DHA, an ingredient derived from sugar beets and sugar cane, it reacts with your skin’s proteins to produce a safe, natural self-tan without dyes or UV rays. Caffeine molecules naturally wake up your skin cells and burn cellulite while toning and tightening the surface.


Aloe Vera Juice, Glycerin, Sclerotium Gum, Dihydroxyacetone (Bronzer), Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Carnitine (Amino Acid), Caffeine, Paullinia Cupana (Guarana) Seed Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Extract, Saccharum Of?cinarum (Sugar Cane), Matcha Tea Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Arginine (L-Arginine), Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin

Brand Overview

Josie Maran At-A-Glance

Strengths: The sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; well-formulated daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; excellent tinted moisturizer for dry skin; smooth, natural-looking pressed powder; uniquely effective gel blush.

Weaknesses: Expensive; the cleansers contain irritating citrus oil; malodorous lip gloss; lackluster to poor mascaras; the Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation is an epic fail.

The Josie Maran brand was founded by supermodel and former Maybelline spokeswoman Josie Maran. By almost any definition, Maran is an iconic beauty. Like Cindy Crawford before her, who launched a namesake product line, Maran used her notoriety from modeling to do the same thing.

Anytime a model with celebrity status launches a cosmetic line, the curiosity among consumers is intense. The question lingers: Is Maran so beautiful because of these products? Of course not! She was magnificent long before her products were launched, and being born beautiful is not a sign of skin-care knowledge.

Almost every Josie Maran product is centered around the allegedly miraculous argan oil. This non-fragrant plant oil is said to do everything from reduce wrinkles to heal acne, while giving you younger-looking skin. Argan oil isn't a bad ingredient, as it contains beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, as well as vitamin E and other antioxidants, but it isn't the only oil that has these kinds of properties. Even more to the point, no single ingredient does it all for skin. It's just like your diet: if you eat only one type of food, you'd soon be malnourished. Skin is the body's largest organ, and it requires a variety of useful ingredients to look and function at its best.

It's worth pointing out also that although argan oil does have benefit for skin, it's gimmicky at best to include it in products like eyeshadow and mascara, but that's what you'll find in Maran's line. Oil in a mascara and eyeshadow will make those products slip and slide off your face and lashes, but there is barely any in her makeup products so not to worry. Even if argan oil had benefit in makeup, it wouldn't remain stable—it would quickly turn rancid when exposed to air.

Despite some high points, the makeup fails overall because when compared to less expensive options at the drugstore, Maran's color options are more average than exceptional.

Although makeup comprises the bulk of this line's offerings, Maran has several skin-care products, too. None of them are must-haves, although a handful of them have decent formulas. Like most lines that use predominantly natural ingredients, there are some fragrant oils present that smell great, but they can irritate your skin and lead to collagen breakdown.

Many of Maran's products are labeled as having a "natural formula," which often is not the case; there are plenty of synthetic ingredients present, including silicones and a synthetic film-forming agent. Those are not bad for skin, but it just shows that you can't trust the company's claims.

For more information about Josie Maran, call (855) 461-6512 or visit www.josiemarancosmetics.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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