Review: Elemis Tan Accelerator


Elemis Tan Accelerator is marketed as a pre-tanning skin “preparation” and promises, with 2 weeks of use prior to tanning, to give you a natural, golden tan that develops quicker and lasts longer.

This, and all other Elemis products are available from a variety of outlets (such as and John Lewis) however my favourite supplier is QVC UK. Why? Because this product retails individually at £19.60 for a 125ml tube but at QVC you can get two for £30!! (Item number 213961). Elemis claim, alongside Gatineau, to be the market leader in this kind of product having retailed a “tanning accelerator” product before the high street even knew the concept existed- QVC has stocked this item as long as I have been a customer (which, without giving away my age, is ten years at least!!).

Elemis recommends that you use this product daily for 2 weeks prior to tanning in order to “prepare” your skin for the sun. Although it’s not specified anywhere, I imagine the product does this by optimising moisture in the skin, hence encouraging the skin to tan more naturally.

Now, I should start by saying that I have quite an unusual skin tone. Im pale and freckled but my hair is naturally dark, so I tend not to burn. I usually use P20 when I go abroad and it’s normal for me to pick up a good colour but I very rarely go super-dark and it’s been known for me to have a spray tan on the day I get back!!

The product itself has a lotion like-consistency and smells absolutely divine; what I imagine a South Pacific beach at cocktail hour to smell like! It is quite a heavy scent, it could be described as overpowering, but it’s so nice I don’t care. The lotion soaks in easily and has a slight golden shimmer to it, in fact I wonder if this product contains a small amount of false tan as when I use it my white bedsheets always look a bit groggy the next day and the golden shimmer doesn’t seem to wash off. Anyway, it’s definitely uber-moisturising and I always feel like I’ve had a really luxurious spa bath when I use it.

125ml seems like a small amount, but one tube will be enough for me to do my entire body (and there is quite a lot of me) every day for 2 weeks AND have enough left to use as an after-sun lotion whilst I’m abroad. In fact, because of the lovely shimmer, this is actually a perfect “evening” product for your holidays and it contains SPF4 to keep your skin safe in that inbetweeny phase after you’ve had your shower and got dressed for your night out but it’s still daylight! (IYKWIM)

SO, down to the nitty gritty. Did this have an affect on my tan? Yes, I’d say it did. As usual, I didn’t burn, but I did pick a lovely all over colour and, since I continued to use this as an after sun and for a few days whence I returned home, my colour looked lovely until all of my work colleagues had seen me!

Any negatives? Well, maybe only one. I’ve never before suffered from prickly heat and for the first time this year I ended up with a patch of it around my neck. We were in Majorca and the temp was approx 24 degrees, I’ve certainly been to hotter climes and not suffered with prickly heat so I can’t help wondering if this product had something to do with it. I’ve googled and can’t find anyone with a similar problem. I should also say that I’ve suffered with eczema for years and it may well be that the detergent used on the hotel bedding or even the cheap shower gel I bought when I was there could have caused the problem. I’ve never had an eczema flare up brought on by Elemis before and I tried the majority of their range.

Would I use this again?Absolutely, even if I wasn’t going abroad I’d consider making this a Blighty Summer essential 🙂

(My tan on day 3 of our holiday, next to my best friend who has a similar skin tone to me)


2 responses »

  1. My teenage daughter has been using this before our holiday and it has really irritated her skin. She rarely suffers from eczema but has had a really bad break out and this is the only thing that she has used different from usual.

    • Well, I must say that I used this for a couple of weeks after my holiday and the prickly heat didn’t subside. It certainly wasn’t hot anymore so I started to wonder if it was indeed eczema. Sounds as if your daughter may have suffered the same ill-effects 😦

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