Tan Optimiser Body Butter
6.7 fl. oz. for $20
Last Updated:06.14.2011
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This tube-packaged body butter contains some great emollient ingredients for those with dry skin. Most of the plant oils provide an antioxidant boost, which is always helpful for creating healthier skin.

With all of that praise, why the Poor rating? This body butter contains numerous fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation. The irritation hurts your skin’s ability to produce healthy collagen and also impairs its healing process. Given the number of body butters (and body creams) that omit these irritants, there is no reason to settle for a product that includes them. Your skin deserves better!


Well nourished, deeply moisturized skin is our top tip for a natural looking tan. This richly indulgent balm, bursting with cocoa butter and natural oils simply melts into your skin.


Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerine, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Disodium Edta, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, 2-Bromo-2 Nitroprpane-1, 3-Diol, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Eugenol, Cinnamal, Isoeugenol, Sodium Hydroxide

Brand Overview

St. Tropez At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good body wash and body scrub; well-formulated Skin Illuminator; some intriguing tools to make self-tanner application easier.

Weaknesses: Expensive, and the self-tanning products are not superior to those that cost a lot less; almost all of the self-tanning and bronzing products contain fragrance chemicals that cause irritation, which hurts your skin's ability to heal and act younger.

St. Tropez (pronounced "Saint Tro-pay") claims first and foremost to be all about getting a safe, sexy tan from self-tanners, but loading up your skin with fragrance that causes irritation runs a close second!

It isn't often that we rate self-tanning products poorly; after all, the vast majority of them use the same one or two ingredients (dihydroxyacetone and/or erythrulose) to turn your skin tan. And, most of them are formulated in pleasant, although basic, lotion, cream, gel, or liquid (aerosol) bases to make application smooth. Generally, the formulations of self-tanning products are a minor detail; much more important is your technique in applying it.

We rate almost all of St. Tropez's self-tanning options poorly because they contain numerous fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation. Examples of such ingredients are eugenol, citral, linalool, and limonene.

If a leave-on product contains only one or two of these fragrance chemicals and only low amounts, it's not a deal-breaker for your skin, but when several of them are present, even in low amounts, the combination can add up to an incredibly irritating product that hurts your skin.

What kind of hurt? Daily, chronic irritation from the litany of fragrance chemicals in these St. Tropez products can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)

Given that this group of products is unusually expensive and that it puts your skin at risk of irritation: Why bother? Besides, there are hundreds of self-tanners and bronzers that do not contain these problematic ingredients—so you can enjoy a sunless tan knowing that you're continuing to take the best possible care of your skin!

For more information about St. Tropez, call (800) 366-6383 or visit www.sttropeztan.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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