Skinny tan review: We put the Wonder Serum to the test

Find out what our tester thought of Skinny Tan's Wonder Serum.

skinny tan review

by Lorna White |

As summer approaches, it's normal for our skin to be on show a lot more, so it’s understandable why you might want to bronze up your skin a bit with some fake tan. We know how damaging the sun can be, so if we’ll find you slathered in factor 50 under the parasol this summer, fear not - there are plenty of natural looking fake tans on the market to give you a subtle glow.

Ahead of the summer season, we reviewed the ever-so popular Wonder Serum from Skinny Tan. Read on to see how this tan performed.

Wonder Serum overview

Skinny Tan’s Wonder Serum is Tanning, meets skincare! The brand's bestselling and top-rated Wonder Tanning Serum contains Q10 along with Vitamin E. These magical ingredients work together as a full body anti-aging skincare treatment perfect for mature AND dry skin!

The guide colour allows you to see where the tan has been applied, and the tan develops over 6-8 hours. After this time you can wash it off to reveal a natural looking tan.


Very natural colour

Fades nicely

Doesn’t transfer onto clothes easily


Dispenser doesn’t dispense an even amount of product every time


Key Features

Formulated with anti-ageing and antioxidant Q10

Fake tan can often be very drying to the skin, so it’s understandble why it doesn’t always look so good when applied onto more mature skin. The Wonder Serum was different, and the product covered any skin discoloration, varicose veins, stretch marks and other skin imperfections with ease, without settling into any fine lines or dry patches. It gave my skin a real healthy and youthful glow, and as someone with a very pale complexion, it made me feel very confident when wearing sleeveless tops or shorts.

Serum consistency for a smooth and silky application

The consistency of the product isn’t as smooth to apply as other foam formulated tans I have used in the past, but it did feel nice on the skin. Using a soft, good quality tanning mitten is a must when it comes to this product - you can’t get away with using a cheaper alternative.

It’s also essential to apply a good amount of body cream to elbows, feet, ankles and any other dry patches you have on your body otherwise the tan will cling to these areas and you will look patchy.

The only part I wasn’t keen on with the application process was the dispenser. It wasn’t the easiest product to squeeze out of the tube. Some squeezes a good amount of product came out but others, it was more like a dribble. I think this is something that Skinny Tan could improve on, as it does make it more tricky to apply.

wonder serum

Contains hydrating aloe vera

If you don’t already moisturise your body every day, I would definitely recommend doing so when wearing the tan. Although it’s not as drying as other tans, my skin did feel like it needed moisturising daily when wearing the tan.

Compared to other products, this tan fades beautifully. While many others can leave your skin looking flaky after a few days (not a good look!) this tan faded evenly and naturally with no patchyness or flakyness.

Coconut and vanilla scent – no biscuit smell!

Personally, the smell of fake tan doesn’t bother me, but as far as tan smells go, this one was a lot more pleasant than others I have tried, and definitely reminded me of summer beach holidays.

Natural colour and tan transfer

When applying the tan, the guide colour wasn’t as dark as other tans I have used in the past. Luckily, as my skin is so naturally pale, I could see clearly where I had been, but it’s worth thinking about if you have darker skin.

I didn’t like the shimmer aspect of the tan and wasn’t really sure what the point of it was as it washed off in the morning (which for me was a good thing).

The biggest thing I was impressed with was how this tan didn’t seem to transfer onto my clothes. I chose to tan before bed and sleep before washing it off in the morning. The nights I tanned, I made an effort to wear lighter coloured pyjamas like white tshirts and light pinks, but in the morning, no tan had transferred to my pyjamas or my white sheets! This was game changing as normally i’d have to wash my sheets after sleeping in the tan, but not with The Wonder Serum!

In the morning, I hopped in the shower to wash off the guide colour. In the past, other tans have totally washed off to the point where I barely look like I have tanned. With The Wonder Serum, there was a minimal amount of product that washed off, and the colour was perfect - I got so many compliments of how glowing my skin was!

skinny tan wonder serum

Testing the Wonder Serum

Tested for Yours by digital writer Lorna White. As someone who is very pale (to the point where people always think I’m poorly or have anemia), I love experimenting and testing out the best fake tan products to try and find the perfect one for me.

I’ve tested most tans including St Moritz, Filter by Molly-Mae, Isles of Paradise, Bondi Sands, St Tropez, Dove and Garnier to name a few, and I can honestly say I am most impressed with The Wonder Serum by Skinny Tan - I even went out and purchased some of their other products to try!

I tested the tan in a variety of ways - with exfoliation, without exfoliation, with moisturiser and without and also with two layers. I found the best way for me was after exfoliation, with moisturiser on dry spots and moisturising daily after tanning.

How does the Wonder Serum compare to previous versions

Skinny Tan offer a huge range of self-tanning products, so if you’re new to tanning, it can feel a little overwhelming.

When it comes to the Wonder Serum range, Skinny Tan do this version, an express version (which develops in just 1-3 hours compared to 6-8 making it ideal for last minute plans), and a gradual serum - ideal for everyday application. Whichever one you prefer really depends on your preference and how much time you have.

Skinny tan before and after

How does the Wonder Serum compare to rival products?

Discuss how the product weighs up against previous versions and provide a comparison table.

There are a number of rival products which can give you the glowing skin that this tan does, such as the Vita Liberata body blur, but this is a product which washes off when you shower so it’s not always the most practical - especially when you’re on holiday.

St Tropez also have their own hydrating bronzer gel, similar in formula and texture to the Wonder Serum. It’s slightly more pricey than the Wonder Serum, but it has received rave reviews. For me personally, I find the St Tropez tans are a little yellow in colour for me, and I much preferred the tone of the Wonder Serum. It all comes down to personal preference and your own skin tone, so it’s worth giving a range of tans a go before you settle on one.

Final thoughts

I have to say this product is my new favourite tan. The colour was glowy and natural on my pale skin tone and it was the first tan that I received compliments for. I was always a big fan of mousse based tans, but this serum felt much more moisturising on the skin and lasted much longer. It faded beautifully and did a good job at hiding any skin imperfections - I think I'll defintiely be repurchasing!

Full Product Specs

Skinny Tan Wonder Serum has 96% natural ingredients for a flawless finish every time.

Skinny Tan is always paraben & sulphate free. Vegan friendly and cruelty free.

Formulated with anti-ageing and antioxidant Q10.

Serum consistency for a smooth and silky application.

Contains hydrating aloe vera.

Coconut and vanilla scent – no biscuit smell!

Q10 Coenzyme: Our anti-aging and antioxidant ingredient which helps support the production of collagen & elastin and helps promote an even skin tone. Perfect for mature skin.

Vitamin E: A skin-loving ingredient known to calm and hydrate the skin.

Wonder serum review


How dark will this tan be?

If left to develop for the recommended 6-8 hours, the Wonder Serum will result in a medium to dark, natural looking tan that adapts to your skin tone. If you desire a lighter colour, we'd recommend leaving on for a shorter amount of time, or for a darker shade the tan can be reapplied and built as needed.

Can I apply this to my face?

Yes, all Skinny Tan products can be used for a fabulous face tan. We recommend using a small amount of serum and blending onto the face using the Mitt or our Miracle Brush.

NOTE: We**** would recommend carrying out a small patch test on the face before a full application as the skin on your face can be more sensitive than the rest of your body.

How long will this last on my skin?

Remember, a tan lasts longer on hydrated skin! Most people find their Skinny Tan lasts up to 10 days (based on 2 applications) and sometimes longer! For your longest lasting tan, we'd recommend moisturising after each shower to keep the skin hydrated and happy.

Alternatively, to keep building your glow, we'd recommend using their moisturising Gradual Tanner.

What is the difference between the Wonder Serum and the Wonder Serum Express?

Wonder Serum Express is an express formula and will develop in as little as 1-3 hours. Whereas our original Wonder Serum will develop into a medium tan in 6-8 hours. Wonder Serum Express will also develop into a deeper, darker colour.

Always perform a patch test on the skin before using a new tan.

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