About Tan Physics

Tired of self tanners that leave you stinky, streaky and orange? Even if you can’t get away to an island vacation, Tan Physics Sunless Tanner promises to nourish, hydrate, and feed your skin for and envy-inducing bronze — minus all those nasty UV-related risks.

Unlike many beauty products that need to do double or triple duty to stand out from the pack, a good sunless tanner need only meet a few requirements. It should give good, natural-looking color to a variety of skin tones. It should offer an easy-to-blend and streak-free formula and the option to build up color depth with reapplication. Finally, it shouldn’t leave you smelling like the back room of a dry cleaners.

So, is Tan Physics Sunless Tanner a great way to get your glow? We’ll take a closer look.

The Tan Physics Promise

Tan Physics claims to deliver a natural-looking, streak-free tan using only “the most exclusive skin care ingredients.” The website also claims that Tan Physics is easy to apply and blend and is “very forgiving” — presumedly meaning it won’t streak or blotch. The lotion is supposed to be formulated for use on both body and face.

What about for shoppers with extra-fair or olive skin?

Tan Physics Sunless Tanner claims to use a True Color formula that adjusts to your specific complexion, giving a tan that’s perfect for all skin types and tones.

On top of their promise of superior sunless tanning, Tan Physics claims to deliver “serious and nourishing skin care” that keeps skin soft while enhancing the depth of your tan.

Tan Physics also states that their products are made in the USA and never tested on animals.

What’s Inside the Bottle?

Tan Physics states that their tanning formula consists of a naturally derived sugar base and includes the following ingredients for enhanced skin care:

Argan Oil: Tan Physics claims that argan oil is included to protect the skin against wrinkles, diminish the appearance of crows feet, fade stretch marks, and reduce skin irritation. This trendy ingredient is indeed very high in vitamin E and is known to ease dry skin.

Matrixyl: Reported to activate collagen production and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Matrixyl is a small protein that has made big news in the anti-aging community. While relatively new, there is evidence that Matrixyl stimulates skin for increased cell turnover.

Coconut Oil: Tan Physics claims that coconut oil forms a protective barrier, locking in moisture and your tan. While the natural ingredient does provide serious moisture without irritating sensitive skin or clogging pores, any effectiveness at locking in a tan are washed away after your next shower.

Caramel & Sugar-Derived Tanners: Tan Physics claims that theirs are the highest quality tanners on the planet, blended and kept in a climate controlled lab. However, they give no additional information as to how their caramel or sugar-based formulas are chemically different from others that temporarily darken your skin.

Hydrolyzed Collagen: Tan Physics claims that their sunless tanners include hydrolyzed collagen to refresh and restore the strength and elasticity of your skin. Sounds fancy, right? But hydrolyzed collagen is actually just a common ingredient in gelatin food products. Additionally, there are no scientific studies substantiating the claimed benefits of hydrolyzed collagen in skin care products.

Regardless of what claims a self tanner makes about unique formulations, all tanners use the same active ingredient: dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a colorless sugar that's often derived from sugar beets or sugar cane. When applied to the skin, it reacts with the amino acids in the skin's very top layer (i.e., the dead skin surface layer), turning it brown.

DHA concentrations range from about 1-15%. Gradual self tanners contain low percentages of the ingredient, allowing you to build your tan over several days. Full-strength formulas have more and give you a darker tan in one application.

It’s important to note that Tan Physics doesn’t state what concentration of DHA their Sunless Tanner includes. So, it’s impossible to gauge how strong your initial tan will be without just giving it a go.

Tips For Applying Self Tanner

Before you reach for a bottle of Tan Physics Sunless Tanner, follow these extra steps to make sure you look more like a bronzed goddess than a striped Oompa Loompa:

  • Exfoliate and shave before you let self tanner anywhere near your body. Use a mild exfoliant to make sure you're sloughing off any dead skin cells before the self tanner goes on.
  • Stand between two mirrors to apply the self tanner, so you can see exactly what you're doing.
  • Be extra mindful of the knees, hands, elbows, feet, ankles and face. These are the areas where self tanning mistakes show up most. Use a minimal amount of tanning lotion in these areas, and consider wearing latex gloves or a tanning mitt to apply it.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid any staining on palms and in between fingers.
  • Avoid sweating or showering for six hours after application.
  • Once you've applied your self tanner, keeping your skin hydrated is the key to making it last. Apply lotion daily.

Tan Physics suggests that you allow 15-20 minutes for the “sun” to soak in and for your skin to absorb all the oils, vitamins, tanners, and skin-enriching products. Your tan should begin to develop in 3-6 hours, and will be fully developed in one day.

Since DHA only reacts with the very top layer of your skin, the effects of any sunless tanner will only last for a few days — until your skin naturally exfoliates itself (or you scrub it off).

Tan Physics Pricing & Return Policy

When attempting to purchase Tan Physics Sunless Tanner, shoppers will find that they aren’t shown prices until after entering their email address into the order form — which, in our opinion, is kind of a slimy way to get your email address for future promotional emails.

Once on the product page, shoppers are given the option to order a one month supply (one bottle), of Tan Physics Sunless Tanner for $29.95, plus $9.95 shipping and handling. Or you can choose from these additional pricing options:

  • Two bottles for $49.95
  • Three bottles for $69.95
  • Five bottles for $99.95

Don’t feel like paying the extra $9.95 for shipping? No worries! Just try to close the page and you’ll be given an offer for free shipping and handling upon checkout.

Tan Physics offers shoppers a 100-day money-back guarantee and claims to refund your entire payment, though the website does not specifically mention keeping or refunding shipping and handling fees.

What Customers Are Saying About Tan Physics

Out of sixteen reviews of Tan Physics Sunless Tanner currently on Highya, only 39% state they would recommend this product to a friend.

The most common complaints are:

  • The product resulted in an orange or unnatural color
  • The product left noticeable stains on user’s hands
  • The product made some users skin dry and gave off an unpleasant smell
  • Results were disappointing or barely noticeable
  • High cost compared to other formulas

It’s worth noting that several Highya reviewers appear to have really enjoyed the results of Tan Physics Sunless Tanner, and several say it’s the best they’ve used yet.

However, Tan Physics appears to leave limited recourse for unhappy customers: The company is not yet registered with the BBB. Additionally, a quick glance at the Tan Physics Facebook page shows many more potential customers who have posted questions for Tan Physics and are still awaiting a response.

Bottom Line on Getting Bronzed with Tan Physics

Tan Physics might include some extra moisturizing ingredients, but their claims of skin rejuvenation on top of body bronzing fall short without any clinical trials or labels listing actual ingredients and concentrations.

And at $29.95 (plus $9.95 shipping and handling), it’s difficult to suggest shoppers splurge on this product when so many more options are available at reasonable prices from your local drugstore or cosmetics counter:

Whether you’re new to self tanning or a mitt-wielding pro, we suggest shopping around for a sunless tanner that doesn’t require you to break out a gold card to get your bronze on.

20 Customer Reviews for Tan Physics

Average Customer Rating: 2.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 3 4 stars: 3 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 4 1 stars: 10
Bottom Line: 35% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 20
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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Stinks, It really it stinks

    • Washington, DC,
    • May 26, 2015

    Again, it stinks! and the color is horrible. I like Nivea better.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Don't waster your money

    • Salem, OR,
    • May 12, 2015

    I feel like I was scammed. I've put on five applications and can't see any results. I've even applies more than generously. Don't waste your money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Didn't work for us.

    Tan Physics did not perform the way they hyped it up to be. We used it and did not shower for two days and when we did it washed off and left my skin with blotches.

    It does not live up to its hype. Too bad because it smells real nice and dried fast but it did not moisturize your skin like they say it does/

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Great customer service.

    • North Carolina ,
    • Apr 27, 2015

    After a mix up on shipping, I got a phone call within five minute and the problem was handled very professionally to my complete satisfaction. I have not tried the product yet. Just letting you know they are a stand up company so far.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 15 people found this review helpful

    I thought it wasn't bad

    • Feb 20, 2015

    I personally don't really have any issues with this product other than you must wash your hands immediately after use or you're stuck with dark palms and weird half and half coloring through your fingers. I saw my tan within 3 hours from my first time. I have a nice glow and skin is soft.

    I only bought the tanning bottles, 5 to be exact, pretty silly of me. Try to put less on the face and really work it in carefully.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 31 out 34 people found this review helpful

    Best Self Tanner I have found!

    • Midwest,
    • Aug 22, 2014

    I am in my mid-50's and have tried every self tanner out there. I am very sensitive to smells and could not wear a lot of self tanners for that reason. Tan Physics doesn't bother me in that regard and it gives me a very even and natural glow. I get a lot of compliments on my 'tan.' This product drys faster than any tanner I have tried and does not come off on my clothes or sheets. I use latex gloves when applying as it will stain my palms. My knees and elbows do not get dark with repeated applications like the others would. I'm not afraid to apply this to my face either. I usually apply every 3 or 4 days. I really can't say anything bad about this product. I would recommend this to anyone!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 26 out 28 people found this review helpful

    Tan Physics Stinks and made my skin dry

    • Jul 20, 2014

    I got this product based off reviews from the website (now I understand fake reviews apparently), well I was very disappointed. It smelled like a mix between PineSol and Orange Glow. It stained my bed sheets, and when I woke up and took a shower, I didn't see any difference. I applied the next day and I had streaks all over and my skin was dry. I called for a refund and they told me they would only refund if I did not open the bottle, just my luck. Do not buy. 

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 20 out 23 people found this review helpful

    Surprised at the negative reviews

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 11, 2014

    Must admit that the day after using for the first time I was extremely disappointed, hardly any color change at all especially on my legs. But I decided to give it another try and proceeded with a second application and then the following day a third. At last, I have a tan and a very natural one at that.

    This product smells great, dries within 15 minutes so you can wear your clothes, does not leave you feeling sticky and for me, moisturizes and leaves my skin feeling soft. It also does not come off on you clothes or sheets as much as other self tanners.

    I'm about to buy another bottle. I do however think it should be darker, you need to apply every couple of days so the bottle certainly does not last long and is therefore expensive.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 21 out 22 people found this review helpful

    I think this product works well.

    • Jun 25, 2014

    I cannot believe all the negative comments. I think this product works well. I don't think purchasing the exfoliator is necessary as long as you exfoliate with a washcloth. I was surprised that the tan extender was tinted as well; but I still like it. The one negative is that without using a body lotion after, my skin looks and feels dry. And if you wash your hands after applying, like all self-tanners, you will not see any stains.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 14 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Amazing Product

    • Houston, TX,
    • Jun 21, 2014

    I wonder about all the negative reviews on this site. I just started using Tan Physics and I could not be more pleased. It tans evenly and naturally. It would not be as popular as it is if it were not a good product.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 26 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Was not happy

    • Almo, Idaho,
    • Jun 12, 2014

    I have read all the reviews from real people as well as all the reviews on the web-page... I too was not satisfied with any of the three products that I purchased.. I followed the instructions to the T and did not see the results as promised. Although I have found that using rubber gloves helps with the orange hands. I still did not like the results of the products. I kept applying like it says and did not color my legs in the least. I was very disappointed and I still have a lot of product left and want to return all three bottles.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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