Beauty Q&A: What Is a Tanning Water Mousse? (Hint: It’s Perfect for Your At-Home Self-Tan)

May 11, 2020
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
loreal paris sublime tanning mousse

Getting your faux-tan on is a great beauty skillto master during this time at home, and there’s an abundance of different formulas  available, just waiting for you to give ‘em a go. One of our favorites is self-tanning water mousse — a clear formula that foams up during application and is just about fool-proof as it gets if you’re looking to achieve a streak-free finish. Ahead, we spoke with Rocio Rivera, PhD, scientific communications vice president at L’Oréal Paris, about how exactly tanning water mousses, like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse, work. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Is a Tanning Water Mousse?

According to Dr. Rivera, a clear tanning mousse formula dries in seconds and develops into a golden glow within four to eight hours. “The Sublime Mousse will not stain your clothes or sheets and there is no need to remove it. The formula is enriched with real coconut water and vitamin E — which allows for hydration and softer, smoother skin.” she says.

What Are the Benefits of Tanning Water Mousses Compared to Other Tanning Formats?

Water mousse self-tanners are different from lotions and gels because of their airy, foaming formula. “The air-whipped texture allows for a much better diffusion of the ingredients which is why it develops into a streak-free finish,” says Dr. Rivera. Since the formula is clear, it also won’t leave behind overly-tanned patches or orange-colored clothes.

How to Use the L'Oréal Sublime Bronze Tanning Water Mousse

STEP 1: Start by cleansing, exfoliating and shaving the skin before application to ensure an even tan.

STEP 2: Next, moisturize the knees, elbows, ankles and any dry spots, to keep them from turning dark.

STEP 3: Make sure your skin is completely dry, and pump the mousse onto a tanning mitt. Apply it in sweeping upward motions starting from your feet and working your way up.

STEP 4: Let the formula dry and get dressed.

STEP 5: Wash hands after use. Avoid showering or sweating for six to eight hours to let the formula develop.


After you get your glow on, you can use the water mousse every five to seven days. If you want a darker tan, you can actually apply it twice within a 24 hour period to deepen the pigmentation. 


Remember: self-tanning is the only safe way to tan, according to Dr. Rivera. “Any tan that comes from the sun is simply the reflection of the skin’s mechanism to defend itself from harmful sun rays.” So go forth and get tan at home!