Eco Tan Invisible Tan Product Review



Eco Tan
Invisible Tan
— Lotion

Price:  $13.95


With sun beds out the window, the market is saturated with self-tan products, particularly those gradual tans that have the added benefit of moisturising the skin. On the top of the list are ones that we don’t have to wash off in the morning – dream! Eco Tan’s Invisible Tan is just that – a gradual tanning lotion infused with Avocado, Aloe Vera and Rose Geranium for a soft, nourishing lotion to hydrate and soothe skin while providing it with a sun-kissed glow.

As for the invisibility, the tan colour is what isn’t obvious. The lotion is a cream-colour, meaning you need to be careful when you apply it. The lotion develops best after 8 hours, as dihydroxyacetone (commonly referred to as DHA) – the active ingredient in self-tanners and third on the list of Eco Tan’s Invisible Tan’s ingredients – needs about 6-10 hours to fully develop. This ingredient is a colour additive that temporarily darkens skin.

This product was also awarded 2016 WINNER of the Natural Tanning Category in the Natural Health International Beauty Awards UK and 2017 WINNER of the Best Self Tanner in the Beauty Shortlist Awards. 


Who are Eco Tan?

Eco Tan made Australian history by becoming the first and only certified organic tanning manufacturer by the Organic Food Chain under the Australian government. The brand was awarded winner of Best Global Organic Beauty Brand by Lux Global Excellence Awards. It’s a pretty incredible achievement for such a niche range. They are accredited toxic free by Safe Cosmetics Australia and Choose Cruelty Free. Eco Tan are proudly using only natural and organic ingredients and specify the derivatives of each on their ingredient listings.


First impressions

What you’d probably expect is a strong fake tan chemical scent. It’s heavily scented with rose flower, however still has a slight chemical smell due to the DHA component. Comparatively to other fake tans, it’s much easier to tolerate.

There is a creamy texture to the Eco Tan Invisible Tan. It’s a thick lotion, but not tough. It’s rich and smooth consistency means it’s able to spread across your body easily - exactly what you’d want out of a self-tanning lotion!

This self-tanning lotion has a really natural colour, perhaps due to the fact there are no artificial colours that aim to mock any skin shades, rather an ingredient that reacts with the user’s skin. Because of this, there are no sheet stains or leftover colouring on clothing or hands. The one tip is to make sure it’s applied properly – as you can’t see the colour, this will affect the end result.

Although this product is recommended for any skin type, if you have any cuts or abrasions, I’d recommend steering clear while they heal, as the DHA ingredient is not recommended to travel past the outer most layer of your skin (particularly into mucous membranes or the bloodstream).  


Ingredient watch

read our full Formulation Analysis

The Good

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice is a soothing, anti-inflammatory plant extract.
Rose Geranium is a flower oil used for the treatment of ageing, particularly wrinkled and dry skin.

The Questionable

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a synthetically-manufactured sugar that is used in self-tanning products.


Packaging review

This product uses 3 types of plastic in its packaging and a plastic label.

Tube: HDPE- See more about HDPE and its impact
Cap: PP- See more about PP and its impact

Eco Tan has packaged The Invisible Tan in a HDPE tube – a type of plastic that is known for being one of the most versatile plastics. It’s one of the most common, durable and long-lasting, and as far as plastics go, is probably the most environmentally friendly.

The cap is made of Polypropylene (PP) plastic, which again, is very durable. It’s biodegradable and doesn’t generate toxic gas when burned correctly, however it’s commonly used in packaging and construction applications leading to a vast amount of wastage.

Unfortunately, due to both HDPE and PP’s durability, it takes hundreds of years, and potentially forever for them to biodegrade.


Formulation full analysis

The Good

Rose Geranium is dermatologically used for the treatment of ageing, particularly wrinkled and dry skin, due to its ability to minimize the appearance of wrinkles through tightening facial skin. Its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties allow rose geranium oil to fight external infection, and enhances skin by fighting inflammatory conditions such as acne and dermatitis. This ingredient in Face Tan Water is certified organic.

Aloe Vera is incredibly soothing for many skin types, and serves as an anti-inflammatory. It’s incredibly hydrating due its high-water content and includes many rich antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C, as well as active enzymes that nourish the skin surface. Many manufacturers find this ingredient particularly useful in large quantities due to its effectiveness as a skin moisturiser, as well as its ability to cool the skin. Not only is this music to a beach-goer’s ears, but those who naturally hold more heat in their skin will benefit from buying skincare products that use Aloe Vera as a core component. This ingredient in Face Tan Water is certified organic.

Avocado helps with protecting the skin from the damaging effects of the sun through their healthy, protein-packed oils. Its skin-loving antioxidants, Omega -3 and -6 essential fatty acids as well as Vitamins A, D and E provide free radical scavenge and deep hydrating properties to the skin.

The Questionable

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a sugar that can be manufactured synthetically from sources like Glycerin or come from natural derivatives like beet or cane sugar. Regardless of where it’s from, DHA is still DHA.  The sugar interacts with amino acids of dead skin cells, which are found in the top layer of the skin, producing a chemically-reacted pigment. DHA does not penetrate past the surface layer of the skin, illuminating a low-risk hazard to users.

The trouble is, that while the FDA has approved DHA to be “externally applied”, there are restrictions on its uses – such as not using the ingredient on the lip or nose area, or any other area that has a mucous membrane. The dangers also lie particularly when a mist is involved, where consumers could be inhaling the product. The ABC published an investigation on the unknown dangers of DHA exposure, and the overexposure linking to genetic alterations and DNA damage. Read more on the article here. It’s worth noting that the product was approved for its original intended use in self-tan back in 1977, with no review since, even though self-tans have improved and saturated the market for better, lasting results. 



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