Hair. Brunette, Wavy, Medium
Hair. Black, Straight, Fine
Firstly, this stuff certainly works in terms of giving you a great tan and for that reason I would definitely buy it again. I am fair skinned and it usually takes two week-long holidays abroad with lots of tanning in my garden in between to build a decent tan. However, with Maui Babe I came back from one week's holiday with a gorgeous all over tan, the best tan I've ever had without a shadow of doubt and it was so even.
HOWEVER - it's very very questionable as to whether the tan you are getting from this product is a natural melanin tan or a stain. The reason I say this is because Maui Babe contains potassium iodide which supposedly reacts with heat (in this case from the sun) to produce iodine, which stains anything it comes into contact with (including your skin) with a yellowy brown colour! It could also produce the same reaction from UV light, although this is just a guess as I haven't found any science to back that up. Potassium iodide itself is a white powder but it can react to produce iodine, which is yellow/brown.
People used to mix iodine with baby oil when tanning in the sun to stain their skin and get a deeper tan. so I would guess that the reason Maui Babe works so well is because, in addition to the natural tan you are getting from the sun anyway, you are also getting a top up
from the iodine when you go out into the sun (or the direct/intense heat from the sun).
Sure the company that makes Maui Babe claims that the lotion accelerates the skin's tanning process naturally with their 'secret recipe' and that it is 'not a stain or self-tanner' but they don't seem like the most reputable company in the world (even though reputable stores seem to sell the product now) and without significant research and testing, it would be difficult to prove this is or isn't the case. They probably aren't even aware of the science behind their own product.
So if this is the case, does anyone care that the tan they are getting from this is actually a very real looking fake tan? I hate most fake tan because it looks bad, it's streaky and the colour is orange but with Maui Babe you are still getting a great, real looking tan. However if it means damaging your skin in the process to activate the iodine, is it worth it? At least normal fake tan doesn't damage your skin (other than the chemicals in it of course).
I might test my theory by putting the product on my arm when I reorder my bottle this summer and blasting a hair dryer on it for a while to see if it does anything! If it turns my arm brown, I think that's evidence that it's a heat reaction producing the iodine, and I might just use this trick in future to get the Maui Babe tan without the UV damage ;)