RRP: currently £8.49 at Tesco
available in 3 SPFs: 6, 15, and 30; also available in the form of an oil spray
--What does the promo say?--
"The non greasy and non sticky formula of the NEW PIZ BUIN® Tan & Protect™ Tan Intensifying Sun Lotion intensely moisturises your skin, which helps prevent peeling and contributes to a longer lasting tan. PIZ BUIN® Tan & Protect™ Tan Intensifying Sun Lotions are sweat and water resistant. Combines UVA/UVB HELIOPLEX™ sun filters with Melitan, which helps enhance your skin's own natural tan. So now you can build a gorgeous, natural tan without compromising on your level of protection."
The gorgeous dark brown and gold colour scheme really evokes ideas of the sun and summer, and stands out on the shelf compared to the bright primary-coloured packaging that's often available from other brand. The plastic squeeze-bottle and tapered nozzle also makes it easy to decant the lotion into smaller bottles for travel as well as making it simple to apply directly onto skin.
Simply rub into clean dry skin before sun exposure, and reapply after activities such as swimming. The lotion absorbs quickly and is non-greasy, making it pleasant to use.
A white cream that leaves no visible residue on the skin (so no white streaks as can be seen after using some sunscreens). Almost more like a body moisturiser than a sunscreen!
Nothing out of the ordinary here; just like an ordinary sunscreen, but not heavily scented.
--Texture and consistency--
As mentioned, this absorbs well, with there being none of the stiffness, stickiness or difficulty blending that can occur with other sunscreens. Intensely moisturising. In short, a delight.
--Effects on the skin--
I was pleasantly surprised to see (after perhaps not really believing it would work) that I got a good, natural tan on my legs while using this for only a couple of hours. No looking like you've been tangoed with this! Tested during one of Cardiff's rare moments of sun, it also protected skin well from the sun (no burning) and kept skin moisturised too (no peeling, dryness or tightness).
--Value for money--
The oil is slightly cheaper at £7.99 from Tesco at the time of writing (although Boots has it on for £17.99, so don't know what's going on there), but either way I think both products represent great bang for your buck. Sunscreen is expensive anyway: with one or two exceptions (Boots Essentials and some Soltan products), you are basically looking at £6.49 just as a starting point. Piz Buin is also on BOGOF currently at Boots, so is even better value. Their price point seems perfect, especially given that Simple sunscreens are more expensive than this (£10.99, Simple? Come on). Given that it feels more like a moisturiser than a traditional sunscreen, and not only protects your skin from the sun but also makes your tan look even better, it seems to me to be a fantastic summer purchase. The fact that it's available in multiple formats (the PR at Piz Buin tells me that it simply comes down to what you prefer to use; it's not that the oil is more effective than the lotion or vice versa) and in multiple SPFs serves as yet more selling points. This is all despite my initial reservations about how the product works (see below). My only criticism would be the lotion's lack of availability in major outlets as yet (the oil spray is much easier to get hold of), but I am sure this will change soon. In short, would purchase again.
I was a little baffled/worried by how the product works initially, but having done some research I am now feeling a little more relaxed. To be honest I think Piz Buin should include a little leaflet with each of their tan accelerating sunscreens to explain this to consumers. The Piz Buin products, and other similar products, are designed to produce synthetic melanin in the skin (as do oral products like Oenobiol Solaire). Melanin is secreted by the skin to protect your skin from the sun. This makes your skin darker. Melanin production is stimulated by the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). Companies therefore want to make products that either contain this hormone or at least replicate its action. Synthetic melanin is not known to increase cases of skin cancer and works also by helping to limit the breakdown of melanin, resulting in skin darkening and the tan lasting longer. This only significantly affects the surface layer of the skin and is very temporary.
Tan Intensifying Sun Spray, £17.99
Tan Accelerating Oil Spray, £17.99