L’ORÉAL Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Gradual Glow in Medium

Gradual tanning is one of my favorite methods to self-tan.

These products are good for everyone from the beginner to the pro. Everyone should have a gradual tanner in their arsenal of supplies. They can come in handy.

but what is it?

Basically it's a moisturizer with a small amount of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in it. 

If you remember DHA is the active ingredient in all self-tanners. It is a chemical derived from a sugar acid. DHA will bind itself to the dead skin cells on the outer layer of your skin. Those same dead skin cells will eventually fall off your body which is why your sunless tanner will have to be reapplied on a somewhat regular basis. The higher the amount of DHA the darker the tan it will provide.

Anyway, back to my question…What is a gradual self-tanner?

It is a self-tanner combined with a moisturizer or more truthfully a moisturizer combined with a little self-tanner. 

These products are not as intense as your average self- tanner. It does contain DHA so it will tan you just, as the name suggests, but at a more gradual rate. 
With standard self-tanner you will notice a, hopefully gorgeous, tan overnight.  Not so with gradual tanner, it takes a few days to notice color and each day it will get darker and darker until you achieve the desired look you are going for.
Gradual Taner is a little safer choice if you're nervous about using a self-tanner. You can get a beautiful tan with these but the threat of streaking and orange tinted ankles aren't as likely. You can streak with these products but it is less likely. 

Make no mistake, this is still a tanning product and you still should be cautious around your knees, ankles and elbows. I would still suggest the use of gloves. 

How does this help with your tan?

The daily use of this lotion will supply your skin with a constant supply of DHA. Making the time between reapplication of your standard self-tanner longer.

I have a gradual tanner that I have used for many years and it’s a L’ORÉAL product too, but it’s different than this one [more one that later].

I was pleasantly surprised by this product…


This is not a cream which is most typical. Instead, it has the consistency of body lotion…kind of a creamy liquid.

This one has a traditional pump top like your average body lotion which I actually love, to be honest.

It is infused with Vitamin E which makes it more hydrating than a regular self-tanner.


Not the best but not the worst.

It doesn’t have “THE” smell that one would generally associate with self-tanners. This one is kind of musky not floral or fruity.

It’s not something that would keep me from using this lotion, but it’s not Bath and Body Works either.

Ease of Use

This might be the easiest “lotion” type self-tanner I have ever used.

I attribute that to it’s consistency.

Since it isn’t too think it is easy to rub in completely. If you didn’t read my post on getting ready for self-tanning season you will want to check that out. My number ONE RULE on a successful sunless tan is…

Getting all the product rubbed into your skin.

Not leaving any to air dry.

This is just an easy product to accomplish that.

Like most gradual tanners, this one does not have a guide. Meaning it is white and not tinted brown to help you with application.

Quality of Tan

Now, this is where I was EXTREMELY surprised.

I was shocked at the quality of tan this lotion developed into. For a gradual tanner, I got DARK.

In my experience the only drawback to gradual tanners is that the tan they give you isn’t as dark as one you can get with more traditional sunless tanning products. Although, this one doesn’t quite hit that level it is…really…really….close.

I have never been able to get this level of “dark” with a gradual tanner as I did with this one.

Also, my previous love…L’ORÉAL Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer is great and worth picking up if you are in the market for a new gradual tanner…


there is one drawback to that one, I don’t mind it but some do.

The main difference between this one and that one is in the name “GLOW” that one will definitely give you some shine and sparkle. This one does not do that. In fact, it will give you a darker tan without making you glow. Your skin will tan to a pretty golden color that is completely matte.

So, if you are a girl that isn’t love with glowy products this one would be more for you.

My Recommendation

BUY it

GET it

You will NOT regret it. I love this product so much and I will use it this summer.

Generally speaking here is how I tan…

Monday || Typical self-tanner in either a lotion or moose form
Tuesday-Wednesday || apply gradual tanner
Thursday || Reapply the self-tanner from Monday (if necessary)
Friday-Sunday || apply gradual tanner

As you can see, I use a gradual tanner several times during my week. They are easier to use and makes keeping up my tan more low-maintenance.

I would suggest this to anyone looking to try self-tanning for the first time. It is super easy to use.

Below you will find my pictures for each day I tested this lotion. I did not use a filter for any picture…what you see is what ya get! I tried my best with the pictures but honestly it’s hard to really give the full effect in pictures. The amount of tan I was able to achieve with this product is incredible even if the pictures might not reflect it.

2 thoughts on “L’ORÉAL Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Gradual Glow in Medium

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