About Tan Physics

By HighYa Staff

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.

The fact of the matter is that all tanners use dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as their active ingredient (usually with a concentration of anywhere between 1% and 15%), since it turns the top layer of skin brown by reacting with the natural amino acids it contains.

Some self-tanners are gradual, since they contain low DHA percentages, while those labeled as “full-strength” often contain more and work faster, with more pronounced darkening.

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:

  • Before applying self tanner, shave and use a mild exfoliant to get rid of as many dead skin cells as possible.

  • When applying, standing between two mirrors can help you see what you’re doing (as well as the results you’re getting).

  • Mistakes are often found in areas like the knees, hands, elbows, feet, ankles, and face. This can potentially be avoided by applying a minimal amount of product in these areas.

  • Orange palms can be avoiding by wearing latex gloves or a tanning mitt. Even then, wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

  • Don’t sweat or shower for at least six hours post-application.

  • After the whole process, apply lotion daily to help keep your skin hydrated and help your results last longer.

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.

As your skin naturally exfoliates over the next few days, your tan will gradually become lighter and lighter, until your natural tone once again appears.

Tan Physics Pricing & Return Policy

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.

Tan Physics Reviews: What Are Customers Saying About It

Out of 26 reviews of Tan Physics Sunless Tanner currently on Highya, only 38% 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.

Does Tan Physics Sunless Tanner Really Work? Our Test:

We decided to test Tan Physics True Color Sunless Tanner to see if it delivers on its promises:

For more product tests: Click here to subscribe to HighYa’s YouTube channel.

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.

Read Next: How to Find the Best Self-Tanner for Your Skin Tone

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Read 40 Tan Physics Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 11 4 star: 7 3 star: 1 2 star: 6 1 star:  15
Bottom Line: 48% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 40
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  • 54 out 56 people found this review helpful

    Crap. Returning it.

    • St. Louis ,
    • Jun 8, 2015

    I bought the 2 month supply, the Pre-Tan Exfoliant & the Tan Extender. The 1st time I used it, not wanting to turn orange or get streaks, I got on their site & followed their instructions on the 'How to use' to a tee. The next day, I didn't see any color at all, neither did my husband. They do say you'll see color the 1st time you apply it. The site also says if you want to get darker, apply again the next day.

    I figured I've already dropped over a $100 bucks on it so I'll try it again. The next day I did another application. I finally saw color on my feet. I did try it one more time, a total of 3 applications & really only saw color on my feet. And no matter how much I wiped my hands off when applying it & scrubbing them after, my palms looked like they had a dark nasty nicotine stain. I applied 3 days in a row & never seen any color other than my feet. They say it suppose to hydrate & moisturize your skin, but my skin was so dry and my face & chest actually broke out. I tried their Tan Extender to help moisturize & only got to my legs. The Tan Extender dried my legs out even more, made them look ashy.

    Save your money, Tan Physics is a way over priced self tanner. I'm going to return all of it. Hopefully they'll stick to their money back guarantee.

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

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    • Mar 21, 2014


      Thanks for taking the time to post your review. You've saved me and many others the hassle and expense of trying it.

    • Sep 30, 2014


      If used correctly and in combination with the before and after products this tanning lotion does exactly what it promises. I am extremely happy with it and most people I know that use all 3 are equally as happy. leave a very gorgeous natural looking tan. Be sure to use their or at least some type of good exfoliater to rid dry skin in shower. Then apply nice even coverage everywhere wanting a tan. Cover lightly around knee's, ankles and palms this is common knowledge with any tanner. Then after you have applied it and built it to the tan color you like add the Tan extender after product to keep the tan longer and keep you moisturized. Use the tan extender as often as you please seeing it has a great moisturizer in it to keep your skin looking and feeling great. Come on people it's not brain surgery this is easy stuff and if done correctly leave you looking wonderful. LOVE IT!

  • 43 out 43 people found this review helpful

    Sucks! Return my money please

    • California ,
    • Jun 26, 2015

    This product sucks! Sticky, makes you look orange, creates streaks and smells very strong. I agree with everything St. Louis said. My palms are the most tanned after extensive washing. It is practically chocolate syrup. I am never putting it on my face again. Completely overpriced after seeing the low quality product and bottling. Tan does not look natural. Jergens is still the best.

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

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  • 35 out 35 people found this review helpful

    Terribly drying product.

    • St. Simons Island. 31522,
    • Jun 28, 2015

    I used Tan Physics on the basis of their own reviews. Mistake. It's three days later and my legs are flaking off skin and I have a grossly spotted tan. It is truly ugly. A friend tried it too, with similar results.

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

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  • 27 out 27 people found this review helpful

    Doesn't Work

    • Lafayette, IN,
    • Apr 14, 2014

    Tan Physics did no more for me than any product you buy off the shelf in the store! After trying it for several days in a row, I saw no difference in color on my body or face. Disappointed, and have returned the item!

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

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  • 31 out 31 people found this review helpful

    Worst Tanning Lotion Ever Made!

    • Remlap, AL,
    • May 8, 2014

    I need to see how to send back order for a full refund. This is by far the worst tanning lotion I have ever tried. It leaves skin splotchy, orange & breaks me out. A friend's husband asked me why I was orange & said I looked like I had jaundice. Save your money! Terrible isn't even the word for this stuff not to mention the price!

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

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  • 20 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Not satisfied

    • May 23, 2014

    The product left me orange and streaky. I am completely not satisfied.

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

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  • 26 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Not what they had promised

    • Murrieta, CA,
    • May 23, 2014

    Like so many other I am very disappointed with this product. The plus is that it doesn't smell bad and I didn't have any trouble with it drying my skin. The minus, and a big minus, is that it does not work very well at all. I too will go back to using what I was previously.

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

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    • Jun 27, 2014


      What did you use previously, please?

  • 37 out 39 people found this review helpful

    Tan Physics Stinks and made my skin dry

    • Jul 4, 2015

    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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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Don't waster your money

    • Salem, OR,
    • May 16, 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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  • 11 out 13 people found this review helpful

    Stinks, It really it stinks

    • Washington, DC,
    • May 31, 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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  • 62 out 67 people found this review helpful

    Major SCAM

    • Melbourne,
    • Oct 25, 2015

    Yes I am one who unfortunately fell for this scam (sigh). Being in Australia this purchase ended up being $63 and it is the WORST self tanner I have ever used. It smells like toilet cleaner, and once setting that familiar fake tan smell comes out, although they claim it doesn't smell! I have used many self tanners and this one instantly dried my skin, then made it orange. I did not have a healthy glow. It made me look older and my skin looked rough and it brought out all my flaws (and yes I applied properly). I looked at many reviews and wished that I have had done that before a spontaneous purchase, as all my research supports my claims of this being the worse product. I went onto their site to try to find return instructions to get a refund and there wasn't any (red flag). I sent them an email and am willing to bet the process of a return will be a big long drawn out nightmare. Which is how they make their money.

    I am disgraced at this product. Go for model.co, which is never more then $10. It is so much better and much, much cheaper.

    P.S. it has 1 star because it was the only way I could post the review. It should be zero.

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

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    • Jan 18, 2016


      My take on these reviews: SCAM. I've been using this particular product for over two years and wouldn't go back to any of the drug store brands. I wear white pants in the summer, and this is one product that did not leave a stain.

Showing 1-11 of 40

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