Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Karora ~ a truly natural Instant Tan

I can’t help be amused at the number of self tanning products originating from Ireland, this rainy little corner of the planet… Karora is the latest I’ve tried in a list that includes He-Shi, Rockstar Tan and Vita Liberata (all incredibly impressive formulas I hasten to add!).  

With a head full of candy coloured Spring/Summer fashion (& makeup to match!) I’m over winter woollies already and thinking about getting my legs out (I just said thinking about it…). I’m even planning to join a gym again for the first time since pre-children (7 years!!) to help said legs (& the rest) look more presentable... and of course self tan will have a role to play in this!

Regular readers know that I’m a huge self tan fan and becoming increasingly fond of natural, skin-friendly beauty products.  Karora products combine natural and organic formulas with skin firming, anti-ageing and hydrating treatments.


The product range includes self tanning mist (different sizes and shades) and a micro peel… I was sent Karora’s newest product, a wash off Instant Tan as well as the Gradual Bronzing Moisturiser with spf 15.

Instant Self Tan


Packaged in an equally pretty and user friendly tube, Karora Instant Tan (€14.99/£12.99) is packed with supernatural botanical ingredients like grape seed oil and horse chestnut extract to keep skin nourished, protected and smooth. 


· Grape Seed Oil – powerful nutrient and antioxidant to keep skin supple and smooth.

· Horse Chestnut Extract – soothes and minimises the appearance of minor veins and blemishes

· Sweet Almond and Macadamia Oil – fine textured, sweet smelling oils to soften the skin.

· Argan Oil – signature KARORA ingredient to keep skin intensely moisturised.

· Pure Pearl Mineral Powders – evens out skin tone and rejuvenates dull, dry skin for a luminous finish.


The fragrance is lovely and fresh and stays that way on the skin.  I’m always nervous about instant tans (haunted by memories of early Rimmel formulas) but was quite taken aback by how easily this applied and how natural it looks on the skin.  When I first started to rub it in my heart was in my mouth…as it looked alarmingly dark, but it quickly blends in beautifully and I love the finished golden colour - I think it looks very natural. I did the splash test (actually I held my hand under a running tap!) and there were no streaks or water marks, so the water and transfer resistant claims are true - I’d be confident about getting caught in the rain with this on!


The above photographs were taken shortly after my winter holiday when I had a slight base tan (despite constant use of spf30) - the next lot was several weeks later when I’d returned to a whiter shade of pale…

KARORA Instant Tan wash off 125mls RRP €14.99/£12.99

Gradual Bronzing Moisturiser spf 15


This fruity fragranced lotion (melon & lavender) is essentially a moisturiser with a touch of organic tanning agent for a subtle golden glow.  It contains “natural botanicals and protective sun filters to hydrate, protect and leave skin glowing.”

“Fused with a proprietary blend of sweet orange extract, jojoba, vitamin E and essential oil of argan, this luxurious formula glides on the skin leaving a citrus fresh fragrance.”

I struggled to get photos that really do it justice… the after pics do show a slightly deeper colour, especially bearing in mind that they were taken two days after it developed, but in reality it is a much more impressive light golden shade. Zero orange, zero streaks and only a slight biscuity smell as it developed. 

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There is just one negative and I’m not sure if this only applied to my bottle, but the pump dispenser only released a teeny amount each time, which is fabulous if you just want to use it on your face (and hurrah, it’s suitable for the face) but required rather a lot of pumping and patience for a full body application.

While I was very impressed with the colour and everything else about the Instant Tan, I do like to have a constant glow and can therefore see me using this product the most.  I’m particularly fond of gradual, moisturising tans at this time of the year when I don’t want a full on deep tan - just not to make people jump or blind them if they catch a glimpse of flesh. Plus it stops me wincing when I see my own legs first thing in the morning.

KARORA Gradual Bronzing Moisturiser SPF15 200mls RRP €19.99/£16.99

The company will donate €2 from every online purchase to the Irish Heart Foundation throughout February. You can purchase at or from Unicare pharmacies. KARORA is available from Bradleys & MediCare pharmacies and select salons in Northern Ireland.

Karora is also on Facebook and twitter.

Have you used self tan recently?

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