Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan Review

by Molly Gardner

I still remember the first time I ever used self tanner.  As a pale kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, seeing self tanner for the first time felt like some little secret miracle that the world had been sitting on.  Why had no one told me about this before?

People were just starting to really understand how damaging real tans were, but even if I wanted to get one in the early 90’s my skin had other plans.  I turn pink within five minutes of being in the sun.  I go from see-through, to pink, to red.

When I grabbed that bottle of self tanner, I knew my life was about to change.  And it did.  I just didn’t realize it was going to take years of self tanning mishaps before it did, ha!  That first tan was all the mistakes.  And I mean ALL: the gap in the middle of the back, a bright orange glow, and wrists that looked the a combo of tie dyed orange and milky white skin.

Since then, I’ve tried a ton of tanners and had good experiences with a lot.  But something happens in the winter and my skin gets so dry that most self tanners make me so itchy that I can’t use them.

My friend Candace reps this line, Rodan + Fields, and swears by their self tanner for a perfect glow.  She’s just slightly one shade deeper than me and does look great.  Here’s her {post} on her results.

The self tanner retails for $24 for a 4.2 oz bottle.  The tanner is a liquid in a pump container that turns into a foam as you pump it.  I use mine with the best tanning mitt ever from this set, it’s honestly the best mitt on earth.


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The first time I used it, I had to adjust to the foam being colorless.  I did get some splotches, but I loved the scent (mild) and my biggest “favorite” I discovered in my morning shower…

That next morning rinse down is usually when 50% of the tan that I wake up with, feels like it goes down the drain.  The first time this happened with the St. Tropez express tan, I thought “Dear Heavens, what is actually happening, I am a human that is molting.”  It was disturbing to say the least.

What I love about the R+F tanner is that the next day wash off is very minimal.  Barely any of the tan washes away. The color you wake up with is pretty much the shade you’ll be!

I loved the minimal wash-away and wanted to give the tanner another shot.  To avoid any splotches, the next time I was super careful and made sure to do lots of small circles and really get the tanner rubbed in and paid attention to make sure all areas got covered evenly.

The next morning…success!  No bare spots and a nice even glow.

That’s another plus I found.  There is no orange or fake looking tan, just a pretty, sheer glow.  If you want that body-builder super strong tan, this is not for you.  But if you are fair like me, you’ll love the glow this gives.  It looks super natural.  I felt awesome.  Glowing and healthy looking, I was definitely less see-though, ha!


I also love that the scent is very mild and the tanner doesn’t itch my skin.  This is huge for me.  I have had some tanners that dry out my skin so badly that it flakes off and itches all damn day, not matter which body lotions I use.  The R+F left it feeling very normal.

There are only two downsides for me: 1 – is that you can’t find it in stores, you have to order it online exclusively.  And 2- the bottle lasted 4 tans for me, I wish it had lasted me for around 6 (which is how long most foam tanners last me) but I might have gotten heavy handed with the last two tans being so obsessed with making them even.  But honestly, that it didn’t dry out my skin and make it itch cancels out the downsides for me!

I think this is a great winter tanner!  It gives such a believable glow, is mildly scented, and won’t dry out your winter skin.

{Here} is Candace’s page to order the tanner.

And her blog, which I LOVE:

And if this is your first time to my blog, welcome!  Feel free to dig around and check out a few more posts.  Also, I have a line of clip-in hair extensions, girlgetglamorousHAIR, that are matched off of real women’s hair colors, so they match right out of the box.  You can check them out by clicking on this very fancy button.

Thank you for reading!  How is everyone else coping with their winter skin?  If you get super dry like me, this post might be helpful…

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Jen April 4, 2016 - 12:45 am

Did you use this on your face as well? If so, how did it work?

Girl Get Glamorous April 8, 2016 - 10:57 pm

Hi Jen!

I only tried this on my body, as I find that foams are a bit too tricky to work with on my face. 🙂 Molly


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