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Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Review

Updated on January 14, 2013

A Review of Neutrogena Build-a-Tan

Does the name Neutrogena sound familiar? It should. Neutrogena is one of the best known skin care manufacturers in the world. Not only do they help you improve your skin's appearance but they also work with the American Cancer Society to help prevent skin cancer.

Here is a little background information about Build-a-Tan and a detailed product description. It is a gradual self tanner that allows you to control the shade of you tan to better suit you. Like many of their products, it doesn't clog pores and moisturizes the skin as it works. It has SPF 15 to help protect you from the sun, and for all you fans of American made products out there, they make it in the United States.

The average cost of Build-a-Tan is around $10-12 and shipping depends on the delivery area. They complement their product with a 30 day return policy so you can make sure that Build-a-Tan is right for you. However, do take note that the conditions for a return include that the product be unused, damaged, defective, or falls under the 100% guarantee for makeup. A postage fee of $4.99 does apply for all returns.

I recently tried Neutrogena Build-a-Tan for the first time but I do regularly use Neutrogena face washes. I have found that for me, they work very well and represent a good value for the price.

One of the pluses of this product is that Neutrogena gives you an application process that is fast and easy. They are generally known for making products that are very easy to use, fresh, and highly effective.

The application process states that you must first, like any other sunless tanner, wash, exfoliate, and for best results; shave prior to use. Start by applying the product to your skin as you would any daily moisturizer and be sure to wash your hands with soap immediately after use. Try to avoid any contact with clothing until your product has dried. In their ad it states that the product dries in 5 minutes. In my experience, it does dry quickly but you will want to wait the full five minutes so you can avoid damage to your clothes. Wait at least 1 hour before bathing or swimming to allow the color to develop. You can always reapply the product to maintain or deepen you color but for best results, wait at least 8 hours between applications.

Here is a hint. In my experience with products that stain, if you lather the area of skin that you do not want color to appear on with hair shampoo and then rinse, the product will wash out more easily. It works with hair color as well. I color my hair dark once in a while and trust me, this process does work.

Neutrogena Build-a-Tan Customer Reviews

Here are some real customer reviews and opinions on this Neutrogena product. These are some actual user's comments. You may view them and find more on the web site.

Erin G in New York, NY writes:

"I had a terrible allergic reaction to the chemicals in this product. I am not allergic to anything, but my face developed a red itchy rash around my mouth and the next morning my eyes were puffy. I've always loved Neutrogena products, but beware of the strong chemicals that stay in your face to produce this effect; I'll never use a self tanner again! I give it no stars, but zero is not an option here."

Boosmom in Tennessee writes:

"I have used this product for years. I love it. My only issues are the same as previous comments about the smell and the color not showing up quick enough. I changed the way I use it and have a much better experience. I use it at night (though you're really not supposed to use anything with SPF in it at night) before I go to bed, and in the morning when I take a shower the smell is washed away and I have a glow. To enhance it I use a tinted moisturizer after my shower so I only need to apply the tanner at night."

If you are like Erin above and have allergy concerns, consider trying the Adonia Bronzing Serum which is an all natural self tanner. Personally it is one of my favorites. It is a little more expensive than others because the manufacturer blends it with organic ingredients but the color is great and it is a good choice if you have allergy concerns.

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    • profile image

      Hazel Evans 

      6 years ago

      I used Neutrogena sunless tanning lotion in september last year to get a little colour for my sons wedding.What a mistake I was fine for 2days on the third day I came out in a very very bad red itchy rash as if I had been burnt....The docter put me on antibiotics and steroid..The rash got a lot worse coming out in places i had not put cream on....Eight month on my skin is still not right and have 2 completely cover up when ever I go out in sun as what ever sun cream I put on I come out in a rash....Not happy just don't know what 2 do....

    • profile image

      julie t 

      7 years ago

      I have been suffering for just over 2 weeks now with a horrible rash as well. I stopped use as soon as I became itchy 2-3 days into use. I have tried 2 types of allergy pills, aveeno soak, silver solution, peroxide, aloe vera gel and now have been on a steroid prescribed from the ER 3 days ago and still nothing helps :( I have used many self tanners before and never encountered this type of problem nor do I feel there has been a counter reaction as I am not on any type of medication. So very frustrating when the horrible burning itch cannot be controlled. Very disappointed. Personally I would not take the chance on this product as by the time you realize you are allergic it is too late. I just hope it ceases soon.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am suffering from a terrible allergic reaction. I used this product on my arms. For the first 24 hours I was fine. Then, I broke out in a horrible rash, that is warm to the touch, the skin is flaming red and raised and I have tons of tiny blisters everywhere. Frankly, I'm worried I am goin to have scarring because of this product. It is miserable. Painful and itching at the same time. I've had the rash for three days now and it doesn't show any signs of abating.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I used it once and for 2 days was great, but then on day 3 I broke out in a rash and it won't go away! It's been 4 days now I guess I'll have to wait until it wears off to go away but OMG I'm so itchy!!!

    • lender3212000 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Dill, there's a product called Complexion Control by Adonia Organics that I use and have been very happy with. It's natural and doesn't contain any acids so it won't dry out your skin.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      what can i use to clear my acne, but not have my skin dry out?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      can Neutrogene good for a fair and light skin person

    • profile image

      Maria Cole 

      8 years ago

      I've never heard of Build-a-Tan before. I will take a look at at this product.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub. I really like the Neutrogena lotion, but not the foam.


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