Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Dove. They invited me for an overnight stay at The Gainsborough, a luxury spa hotel with its own thermal spring waters in the centre of Bath. They brought a small group of bloggers together to learn about their latest range of gradual self-tanning moisturisers for summer, and to give us their full Summer Revived experience.
We were treated to massages, a cocktail masterclass, the most ridiculously indulgent 6 course dinner, and a yoga class the next morning before heading home. We were all very much in the summer frame of mind by the end! I can’t believe I’ve never been to Bath before since it is only an hour and a half on the train outside of London. When the city came into view from the train, I actually gasped. It was unbelievably picturesque, even in the rain. As Catherine described it, you feel like you are walking into a Jane Austen novel. Needless to say, I’ll be back. I wouldn’t stay anywhere other than this hotel either; it is a four minute walk from the station and is an oasis of unpretentious luxury right in the centre of everything. I can’t fault a single thing; the staff was friendly, the food was amazing, the spa treatments were a dream, the rooms were pristine and fresh, and the bathrooms even have heated marble floors (I know. Goals).
My legs are never NOT self-tanned!
Now, self tanners… a subject that I feel particularly expert on, given my blindingly white skin. Years ago when I used to tan in the sun, my face would catch a bit of colour, my arms and shoulders got slightly less colour, and my legs and my stomach remained as resolutely white as they are at Christmas. Since my legs don’t tan at all, I’ve ALWAYS had to use a gradual self-tanner on them just so they look somewhat consistent with the rest of my body. Throughout the year, I use either a wash-off leg bronzer (when I’ve not planned ahead) or a gradual self-tanner (when I have planned ahead) to protect the innocent from the glare of my shins. You may look at my blog photos where I show bare legs and think, ‘Oh wow, she has seriously white legs… poor lass’. Well, I can assure you that every photo you have ever seen of my legs has either self-tanner or bronzer on them. Not once have you seen my un-bronzed natural colour, and you never will! Once upon a time (before I had my son) I had spray tans in the summer or before an event, but now, I don’t have the time or patience. Also, because spray tans are quite drying, after a few days they create a dappled snakeskin effect on my chalky legs which looks pretty terrible, and seems to only get worse as I’ve gotten older.
A few weeks before the event in Bath, Dove sent me two products to try. One was their Visible Glow gradual self-tanning lotion, and the other was their DermaSpa Summer Revived gradual tanner. If your skin is at all dry, I’d say go for the Summer Revived one (my personal favourite). It is packed with glycerin (an expensive ingredient for body care) and also contains some patented skin Cell-Moisturisers™. The more hydrated your skin is, the longer your self tan will last (and it avoids the dappled snake look I get two days after a spray tan). As the DermaSpa name suggests, it is a bit ‘extra’ for a self-tanner. The ingredients are such high quality that you can even use it on delicate facial skin as well as your body. I’ve even used it on my face, which has always reacted poorly to self-tanners. I exfoliate so frequently and use glycolic acid almost daily on my face, so there isn’t really much point to self-tanning it, but every now and then (especially on holiday) I will. I don’t want to look super tanned, I just want to have a subtle healthy glow and take the whiteness of my legs down a few notches. Because I’m impatient by nature and want my tan ready and waiting for me when I wake up the next morning, I really like these gradual self-tanners a lot; I always have. I remember the early days of self-tanners when I used to wrap myself in an old sheet, like a moth in a cocoon, so I wouldn’t get orange tanning lotion on my nice bed linens. Luckily, modern formulations (especially these gradual tanners) are so much better and they don’t stain my clothes and linens. They’re easy to apply, so I don’t bother exfoliating first anymore. Also, exfoliating always gave me a streaky tan anyway, despite the advice of most self tanners to do so. Even the smell is so much better now; the Dove ones have a pleasant fruity floral scent that smells like a holiday to me.
I’m not much of a beach girl, but I’m so looking forward to my holiday on Ile de Ré next month. I’ll definitely have this in my suitcase so I won’t look like I’ve flown in from the North Pole!
Thank you to Dove for sponsoring this post, for the products, and for the delightful stay at The Gainsborough hotel.