California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse Review

Review of: California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse

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Comprehensive review of California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse. See what real experts and actual users have to say about this self tanning product.

California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse ReviewProduct Name:  California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse

Overall Rating:  Self Tanning Rating 2.75/5

Product Type:  Mousse

Size:  6 oz

Price:  $18.00

Cost Per Ounce:  $3.00

Where To Buy:  Click Here

Top Ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Dihydroxyacetone, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Isopentyldiol, Decyl Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Melanin, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose

Overall Opinion:

This self tanner earned 2.75 out of 5 stars from me after testing it out.

So it’s slightly better than your average self tanner on the market.

I like how it smells when you first apply it; the scent is light and fruity.  I also like the drying time, which was pretty average at 25 minutes.

The price is right, and application wasn’t that hard.  It was just a little hard to blend in.

But for me, the color payoff just wasn’t there.  This is an instant tanner, so I left the product on for 2 hours (you can leave it on anywhere from 1-3 hours), before showering it off.  The next morning I only had a light tan, which was a let down for me.  I was expecting at least a medium shade tan.  I do like that it was streak free and natural, but it was barely noticeable to me.

I also find “Instant” tanners inconvenient to use.  I’d rather just apply my self tanner before bed and wash off in the morning.  For me, that’s just easier.

If you’re only looking for a light tan, you may like this one, as it does have a few positives.

Overall I ranked it 2.75 out of 5 stars.

Detailed Opinion:

Look and Feel

This mousse is a dark brown caramel color.  It pumps nicely out of the bottle, and holds its texture pretty well.  It’s bubbly, light, and airy.

If you don’t use a mitt, it may melt in your hands however.


I used a mitt to apply this one, and I found it a little hard to blend in.  After I applied, I was left looking a little streaky, but not as bad as some of them I tried.

Besides the streakiness, it was pretty easy to apply and it only took me like 10 minutes to cover my entire body.

Drying Time

California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse dried in about 25 minutes, which is a pretty average drying time.

While I was waiting for it to dry, I felt sticky, but not wet.  The stickiness bothered me a little, but at least I didn’t have to put up with it for long.

Smell (Before Application)

While I applied this one, it actually smelled very pleasant.  It has a light, fresh, fruity smell.  I really enjoyed the smell even though it’s not very strong.

Smell (After Several Hours And The Next Day)

Now, as my tan developed over the next 2 hours, the DHA smell became very apparent and unpleasant.  So this is like a lot of self tanners out there that start off smelling good, but end up stinking as they develop.

Color Produced

This product is an “Instant” tan, so you only need to leave it on for 1-3 hours to achieve a tan.

I left the product on 2 hours before showering it off.  I like that you only need to leave it on or an hour or two, but for me these instant tans are actually more inconvenient.  It’s hard for me to find the time to apply it and sit around for a while as it develops (all while not touching anything so it doesn’t stain).  So I prefer your normal self tanners you apply at night time and they develop while you sleep.

After 2 hours, I rinsed the tan off and was back to being my pale, white self.  I then went to bed to let the tan develop further, and when I woke up the next morning, I’m sad to say I still wasn’t very tan.  Based on the directions, I should’ve had a medium tan because I left it on for 2 hours.  I’d say my tan was a light shade, and was hardly noticeable.  No one would look at me and think I just got back from a beach vacation.

The color was pretty smooth and even, but it wasn’t as dark as I was expecting or would like to be.  You’ll probably need to leave this one on for 6 hours (not advised) to have a dark tan.

How Long It Lasts

My light tan lasted about 4 days.

As it faded, it still looked pretty natural, and didn’t fade unevenly.

OK For Men?

If you’re only looking for a light tan, you may like this one.


California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse is $3.00 per ounce, which is less than your average self tanner.

Where To Buy

To buy California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse, Click Here.

California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse: Summary

Factor California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse
Overall Rating Self Tanning Rating 2.75/5
Look and Feel This mousse is a brown color with an airy, light texture.
Application It’s a little hard to blend in, but not too bad other than that.
Drying Time It took around 25 minutes to completely dry.
Smell (Before) Smells good.  It has a light, fruity scent.
Smell (After) The smell became very bad as it developed, smelled like DHA.
Color Produced My tan was a light shade, but it was even and smooth.
How Long It Lasts It lasted 4 days before fading.
OK For Men? Only if they’re looking for a light tan.
Price It’s $3.00 per ounce, which is less than average.
Where To Buy Click Here

California Tan Instant Sunless Mousse Review

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Category: Self Tanning Reviews