By now, most people with the faintest interest in skincare know that exfoliation is the glue that holds together an effective skincare routine.
Our beauty cabinets are filled with scrubs, AHA serums, BHA spot treatments, enzymatic cleansers and peeling toners. The result is some seriously smooth skin - but also a complexion that is a different colour to the rest of your body.
As much as I love my Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector, my face is now three shades fairer than the rest of my body - on a good day. Sometimes it looks like more. And it's not because I use fake tan on my body. It's just that exfoliating products have gradually lightened and brightened the medium-deep skin tone on my face over time.
Foundation is an easy fix of course. But what if you're heading to the beach? And what if you just don't feel like wearing makeup?
Enter face tan water. A game-changing revelation since the first iteration emerged a few years ago. A clear, weightless substance with the consistency of water that can lightly and evenly tan your skin over the course of a few hours. Apply it as part of your regular skincare routine and presto, a glowy complexion colour that now more closely matches the rest of your skin.
The latest face tan water to grab my attention is the St Tropez Purity Vitamins Serum.
This new, bronzing water is special for a few reasons. It gives an even and subtle colour that develops over about four to eight hours, an it's buildable. You can add another layer is the tan is developing for a deeper tan. The shade itself I found to be very flattering. It's devoid of that horrible Oompa Lumpa undertone you see when you use a colour that is either too light or too dark.
But the real selling point for me is that this serum really has been designed to work as a serum. It includes a spectrum of antioxidants, namely vitamin C and vitamin D. These of course help to brighten but also fight skin damage, and add an extra layer of complexion protection under your SPF. And, it also includes everyone's favourite active, hyaluronic acid to help plump and hydrate
With our skincare routines increasing in steps and products as each week passes, I for one am glad to find one product that can do it all: tan, brighten, protect, plump and hydrate. This makes it a fabulous product to travel with. Who needs to pack a portfolio of different serums when this one does a bit of everything?
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Finally, it's nice to know this one is mostly natural. It's made with 93% natural ingredients - including a natural tanning agent. It's also vegan, phthalate-free and paraben-free.
I'm calling this one a summer beauty must-have. It hasn't left my bag since I discovered it.