California Tan Butter

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Butter is one of California Tan's best products ever.

Mar 18, 2008 (Updated Mar 18, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:produces excellent color, very moisturizing, pleasant fragrance

Cons:was discontinued but has just been re-released

The Bottom Line: If you are serious about developing a dark tan, you need to look into California Tan's Butter line.


When I started indoor tanning again recently, I immediately searched far and wide (online that is) in an attempt to find myself a tube of California Tan Butter. I used to be really into tanning and Butter was one of my top three tanning products... and I had tried them all!

About This Product
California Tan Butter is a "step two" product which means that it is designed to be used when you hit a "tanning plateau": after you have developed a good base tan and are having difficulty achieving a darker color. It is sold in a 5.1 fluid ounce metal tube with a flip-cap at the bottom. After years of complaints from customers, the company started selling this product with a metal "key" that you could attach to the top of the tube that allowed you to turn it, curl the empty top portion of the packaging around it, and basically ensure that you were able to get every last bit of product out of the metal tube.

Butter contains CuO2 and TRF2000 which are ingredients that encourage more efficient use of oxygen which is supposed to, in turn, produce a darker tan. It also contains Pro-vitamin D which converts to the essential, actual Vitamin D when exposed to UV rays and milk lipids and monoi oil to hydrate and soften skin.

This product is a browning maximizer that doesn't contain any cosmetic or DHA bronzers. All of the color that you see in the day(s) after your tanning session is naturally produced.

Tanning With Butter
This product is not your typical tanning lotion and certainly requires a period of adjustment. Instead of being a thin, easily absorbed lotion, California Tan Butter is an extremely thick and rich cream. It is easy enough to spread across skin though isn't immediately absorbed. You can try to rub it in all you like but that won't help matters in the least. You will see a whitish-yellow layer of product sitting on your arms, legs, and torso when you get into the tanning bed, but Butter quickly will "melt" into your skin as the heat of the lamps warms it up. Ha ha... get it? Butter. *snicker*

After your session, this tanning cream is invisible and completely absorbed into your body. Skin is thoroughly moisturized and feels super-soft. Butter, in my experience, is one of the BEST products to use when you really want to see a boost in color. It has been known to darken my skin even more than bronzing lotions that contain self-tanning ingredients. As I mentioned earlier, I've used dozens of indoor tanning products and California Tan Butter is definitely one of the very best.

Cost and Availability
The suggested retail price for California Tan Butter was $35.00. If you used the suggested 1-1.5 ounces of product per session, you were paying $7-$9 a pop. That might sound expensive but salons usually sell 0.5 ounce cups of lotion for between $5 and $10. $9 for three times as much is entirely reasonable!

California Tan products are sold in professional tanning salons and also on many web sites. I always recommend purchasing them from tanning salons because you will know that you'll get fresh product and probably some bonus sessions or dollars too. I've seen many tanning lotions sold online up to 4 years after it was discontinued by the manufacturer. Gross.

California Tan Butter was, unfortunately, discontinued by the company a couple of years ago. The good news is that they listened to their many outraged customers and have re-released it in both Step 1 (Whipped Butter) and Step 2 (Dark Butter) versions so everyone can use such a phenomenal tanning product.

Overall Opinion
If you are looking for an effective indoor tanning product that will boost color and leave skin feeling smooth and soft, you need to try California Tan Butter.



Recommend this product? Yes

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