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Don't you love facebooks targeted ads? Nothing quite like having tanning solutions thrown at you every time you scroll, reminding you that, yes, it is summer, and yes, you are so white you hurt peoples eyes when they look at you.

I am firmly blaming my genetics on this one.

Having paid for an ancestry kit and seen the long list of exciting lineages my friend can boast she has come from, with the glowing bronzed skin to prove it, my anti-climatic list of English Irish, Scottish and Welsh as my bloodline really solidifies that fact that my ancestors really did NOT get out much. Like, literally. They did NOT even leave the Island.

Much like them, I am making it my mission to not leave my property.

Unfortunately, the combination of these sparklingly bland genetics and my lack of outside meandering has meant my skin is FAIR.

So fair I have been asked if I have been wearing white tights before.

So fair I have had people shield their eyes when looking at my legs in the light of day.

To boot - both of these people were my parents so you can imagine the reaction the general public must have.

As a result - when PermaTan popped up on my newsfeed, promising a gorgeous tan with minimal (if any) sunlight, I was VERY intrigued.

The prospect of actually getting a hint of colour that wasn't tomato red sounded incredible - and the photos they were posting of results looked incredible.

Having perused their website, I was convinced.

The fact the whole website was on PREORDER only convinced me more - if it was so good it had sold out, it must be GREAT right?

So I committed. I bought both the nasal spray and the sublingual drops in the largest size possible.

This cost me around $400nzd. But spurred on golden skin dreams, I was invested.

Maybe this would be the first year I did not have to concern myself with the corneas of other humans when they saw me?

With my order placed on August 18th, I waited.

And waited.

On September 16th, they messaged me with a discount code saying they missed me.

I hadn't received my product yet, so was definitely not placing another order. Would have appreciated the 10% off a month prior however.

And waited.

On November the 4th - THE PRODUCT ARRIVED.

I was enthused.

Following directions, I used both products three times daily, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and was informing my fellow colleagues in the beauty industry that I was going to fabulously tanned any day, and no longer bugging them to give me weekly spray tans. (Shout out to Jody from Galaxy Dreaming, appreciate you and your fabulous tanning abilities - it's essentially a public service for the safety of anyone who looks at me. Saving lives. Saving corneas)

It is very important to note that I was still avoiding the sun at this point.

I figured it would be best to let my body develop a level of whatever magical bronzing agent it contained before sticking my head outdoors and attempting to tan naturally.

Of course, my SPF50 sunscreen was applied religiously, daily.

Approximately two weeks in, having taken both my drops and spray religiously, I was met with a less than joyous realisation.

On my still whiter than snow face, I had very, very dark freckles.

Not those, cute as a button sprinkling freckles people have over their noses and cheeks, either.

I had random, dark, in no obvious pattern, freckles.

It legitimately looked like a bug had crawled over me in my sleep and shat.


Having never been a freckly person, I was very confused.

I have always had a few freckles, but they had been very faint, not dark, any largely coverable with foundation. Photos attached of the pre-and two week post using PermaTan.

As you can see in the before picture - the freckle on my forehead is teeny tiny - not one you could notice if you were looking briefly. Note also there did not appear to be any freckle on the right side of the bridge of my nose, which appears on the after photo, and sun damage that previously was only visible under a woods lamp was becoming prominent on my cheeks.

Under eye circles were also something I was rocking, in a deeper purple hue than normal, despite being as rested as normal, and lathering on eye cream.

I reported these occurances to the two skin wise beauty people in the building - Jane and Jody - who were

1. Amused

2. Likely to make a fortune off me as I tried to remedy the multiple issues I had just created for myself

3. Adamant I needed to cease using the product IMMEDIATELY.

Unwilling to believe my dreams of becoming a bronzed goddess were over - I emailed PermaTan, outlining the occurrences, and asked if there was anything I was doing wrong.

The reply I got back was swift, asking how much time I had been spending in the sun since taking the products.

Obviously, being comprised of the genetic makeup of four of the whitest countries in the world and dubious about going outside even whilst using this apparent magic product, I responded with; None, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the amount of follow up I got back.

I even emailed PermaTan again to confirm if they received my email, and again, got ghosted.

Curious, I started stalking their facebook page, and found people commenting that they had experienced the exact same results from using their product, and received the exact same lack of reply from the company.

I took a couple of screenshots from the page, as for whatever reason, the negative comments were evaporating into thin air, much like the $400 I blew on this not so magical product.

I'm not actually sure they read what they post, either, as they seem to be loading all five star reviews regardless of what is posted. Also - comments are deleted, but they cannot remove the negative emojis people are dropping on the actual posts - some one is disgruntled!

Here are the comments:

In summary;

This product definitely isn't suitable for anyone who has skin pigmentation, sun damage, freckles they don't want to see darken, or anyone who wants reliable customer service.

The company is obviously using bots to market, and paid for fake accounts to like their posts back in October. Contrasting this to the zero likes each of their posts got in December, this is a massive red flag. Any product worth its salt only gets more popular over time, it doesn't dwindle out.

I highly recommend you save your money, but in case my review hasn't put you off - more than happy to on sell the ones I have sitting in the fridge.

Much too scared to continue using them, but as they cost a small fortune I can't justify throwing them away.

As for me, looks like fake tanning is firmly in my future!

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