Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion SPF 15, Medium Natural Tan
5 fl. oz. for $9.49
Last Updated:06.20.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Self-tanner with sunscreen may seem like a good idea (hey, it’s 2-in-1, right?) but in actual usage, it’s not. Why? Because self-tanner should be applied sparingly in thin layers for best results while sunscreen must be applied liberally to ensure you’re getting the stated level of protection. Applying a self-tanner with sunscreen liberally could result in streaky color that’s darker than what you intended. For best results, consider a self-tanner with sunscreen as a self-tanner, and be sure to apply a separate sunscreen once the self-tanner has set (remember, a self-tan provides no sun protection on its own).

As for this formula, its sunscreen includes avobenzone for reliable UVA protection. The texture is a thin lotion and this self-tanner contains dihydroxyacetone to turn skin color, just like almost all self-tanning products do. Although the formula contains alcohol, the amount is too low for it to be cause for concern. Of greater concern is the range of fragrance ingredients this self-tanner contains. All of them can be sensitizing and given how many self-tanners do not contain these ingredients, there’s no reason to choose one that does.


Moisturizing skin-smoothing formula with AHAs + Vitamin E. Broad-spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen protects your skin while a smooth, streak-free perfect tan develops.


Active: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), Oxybenzone (6%) Other: Water, Propylene Glycol, Dihydroxyacetone, Alcohol Denatured, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tri C14-15 Alkyl Citrate, Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Phenoxyethanol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Disodium EDTA, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Polysorbate-80, Butylphenyl Methlyproprional, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Hexylcinnamal, Linalool, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Benzyl Salicylate, Sorbitan Oleate, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol

Brand Overview

L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.

L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.

L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.

The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.

Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.

For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.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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