In Los Angeles, it is currently 95 degrees in September. The sun is (almost) always shining in Southern California so people here are tan year round. While I used to bake in the sun for hours, I quit that dangerous habit years ago, so I am always on the lookout for the next best self tanner.
Tan Towels are self tanning wipes that you can use on your face and body. They have been in my travel bag for years because of their convenience and size. Keep reading for an in-depth Tan Towel review, including how to apply the towelettes, before and after photos and whether or not they are worth the price.
(THIS POST IS CURRENTLY MISSING PHOTOS: This post was 10 years old (!) and has recently been updated. I am working on retaking my photos with better lighting, so I apologize for the stock photos. They are temporary 🙂 )
TAN TOWEL REVIEW // PLUS & CLASSIC TOWELETTES
WHAT ARE TAN TOWELS?
Tan Towels are individually packaged self tanning wipes that work with each individual’s own proteins and amino acids in their skin to achieve a natural, healthy looking tan.
Instead of normal self tanners that come in liquid or cream form, Tan Towels are tanning wipes. You simply rub the towelette on your skin and wait for it to develop.
With TanTowel you can choose from two different formulas, their Classic towelettes or the Plus towelettes. The Classic is geared toward those with fair-medium skin tones and the Plus is for medium-olive skin tones.
You also have the option of using a half body towelette or the full body towelette, which is slightly larger and designed to cover more surface area.
HOW TO APPLY TAN TOWELS
By design, TanTowel makes application extremely easy.
As with any self tanner, you will see the best results if you exfoliate in the shower prior to application. I also like to shave before applying tanner, as I feel it makes the results much more smooth and even.
After opening your individual wipe, simply unfold the towel and rub it on your body. The first towelette I used, I just slapped in on and rubbed in which resulted in a streaky mess. The key to an even application is to use circular motions.
The towelettes have no initial color so it makes it somewhat difficult to know if you’ve missed a spot or applied too much. I recommend saving your knees, elbows and face for last when there is less product on the towel. This will keep you from developing too much color on these more difficult areas.
Avoid getting wet for at least 4 hours after application. The tan starts to develop within 2 hours and can keep getting darker for up to 24 hours after application.
I prefer to tan at night because I have less chance of messing up the developing process if I’m asleep.
DRY TIME & EFFICIENCY
The Tan Towels dry extremely fast. I was able to apply my tan, and get dressed almost immediately.
Even though one Full Body Towel is supposed to cover your whole body, I notice that they do dry out pretty quickly. Unless you are super tiny in size, I feel like 1 Full Body Towelette + 1 Half Body Towelette are more realistic in order to tan an average sized body.
For the same price, TanTowel sells 5 Full Body Towelettes or 10 Half Body Towelettes. I recommend always purchasing the Half Body Towelettes even if you plan to tan your full body.
Just use 1 towel for your upper half and 1 for your lower half. You will get more product out of the application and more value for your money if you have a new, fresh towel for each half of your body.
When applying Tan Towels, you’ll notice a light, pleasant scent. It smells somewhat citrusy and isn’t too overpowering.
After several hours, once the tan begins to develop, it does give off that familiar self tanner scent, but it’s not nearly as bad as most, and it washes off easily in the shower.
With the Plus towelettes, my tan lasted about 5 days before wearing off. It didn’t crack or look splotchy like some self tanners, it just faded away naturally.
There’s no way around it, Tan Towels are expensive as far as self tanners go.
For $29 USD, you can get a pack of 5 full body tanning wipes. That’s $5.80 per application!
For $29 USD, you can get a pack of 10 half body tanning wipes, which is more cost effective at $2.90 per application. But of course, you only can tan half your body.
HOW TO GET 2 FREE SAMPLES
It’s not common knowledge but TanTowel will actually send you 2 free samples if you send them a self addressed envelope with 3 stamps on it.
You can choose the Classic, Plus or both and they will mail back 2 towelettes for you to try before you commit to the full price!
ADDRESS Tantowel Inc., 2677 West Cheyenne Avenue, North Las Vegas, NV 89032.
BUDGET FRIENDLY TAN TOWEL DUPE
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly tanning wipe dupe, check out the L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tanning Wipes which come out to less than half the price for 6 towelettes, as opposed to 5.
TAN TOWEL BEFORE AND AFTER
THIS POST IS MISSING PHOTOS! This post was written 10 years ago (!) and has recently been updated. I am working on retaking my photos with better lighting, to show my before and afters more clearly. Please check back soon .Thank you for your patience.
After about 4 hours I could see the tan starting to develop. I prefer the results of the Plus towelettes more than the Classic. The color looks extremely natural on my skin, and is not orange at all.
I’m not as dark as I expected to be (or prefer to be), but it still looks like a healthy, natural tan.
With the Classic towelettes I was barely able to see a color difference, even after waiting the full 24 hours.
I would recommend the Classic towelettes for those with very pale skin, or for those who want more of a healthy glow than a full tan.
FINAL THOUGHTS // ARE TAN TOWELS WORTH THE MONEY ?
If you are a regular self tanner, you will probably find that the prices of these tanning wipes will definitely start to add up.
While I do like really like the final tan, I feel like you can find the same color and results in other products, for cheaper.
RELATED POST: KARORA REVIEW // TINTED SELF TAN MIST
PERFECT FOR TRAVEL
The thing I do love about TanTowel is the convenience they provide when I travel.
I travel a lot (psst.. have you been to my travel blog?) and self tanner is one of my least favorite things to pack. It’s so risky that I usually double bag it, just in case.
With Tan Towels I can easily throw a few towelettes in my bag. They don’t count as part of my carry-on liquid allowance and they are so small and easy to pack, they barely take up any room.
If you travel regularly, or have a trip coming up, I highly recommend packing this tanner.
WILL IT BE GOING IN MY KIT?
No, I don’t use self tanner in my kit.
IS TAN TOWEL CRUELTY FREE?
Yes! Tan Towel is listed on PETA.org as a cruelty free brand.
TAN TOWEL INGREDIENTS:
TAN TOWEL CLASSIC
Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Dihydroxyacetone, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Metabisulfite, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.
TAN TOWEL PLUS
Water (Aqua), Ethoxydiglycol, Dihydroxyacetone, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Erythrulose, Sodium Metabisulfite, Fragrance (Parfum), Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.
HAVE YOU USED TAN TOWELS? WHAT DO YOU THINK? LEAVE A MESSAGE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
PIN IT: TAN TOWEL REVIEW // CONVENIENT AND TRAVEL FRIENDLY SELF TANNING WIPES
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. Some links within this post are affiliate which means if you click them and purchase something, I receive a small commission.