The greatest hits from Tropic Skincare from our weeks of testing
Launched in 2004 by Susie Ma, who you may recognise from her appearance on The Apprentice in 2011, Tropic Skincare is a beauty brand with an extensive range of make-up, skincare, body care, hair care and baby products.
With products made fresh daily by Tropic “chefs” at its Surrey headquarters, the brand has an eco-friendly approach, using recyclable and refillable packaging for its products which are all vegan and use responsibly sourced ingredients.
The brand can be shopped directly from its website, but it also employs a nationwide team of brand ambassadors from whom you can buy its products from in person, and online via a unique website link provided to each ambassador. According to Tropic Skincare, the collection is not sold in stores or through wholesale in order to minimise competition to its ambassadors.
We were keen to find out what’s worth adding to your online shopping cart from Tropic Skincare, and what’s best left on the (virtual) shelf, so we spent weeks putting as many products as we could get our hands on through their paces to narrow it down to our favourite eight.
From indulgent body scrubs to glowy tanning serums, make-up brushes and tinted lip balms, these are our top picks.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
The best Tropic Skincare products for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Tropic Skincare colour palette, £68, Tropicskincare.com
- Best body scrub – Tropic Skincare body smooth refreshing polish, £24, Tropicskincare.com
- Best body cream – Tropic Skincare whipped body velvet intensely rich buttermelt, £28, Tropicskincare.com
- Best lip product – Tropic Skincare lip fudge plumping conditioner, £12, Tropicskincare.com
- Best make-up brush – Tropic Skincare eco artist precision face brush, £18, Tropicskincare.com
- Best cleanser – Tropic Skincare smoothing cleanser, £18, Tropicskincare.com
- Best sleep aid – Tropic Skincare so sleepy pillow mist, £20, Tropicskincare.com
- Best tanning product – Tropic Skincare sun drops gradual tanning facial serum, £22, Tropicskincare.com
Tropic Skincare colour palette
Designed to streamline your make-up routine into one handheld palette, the Tropic Colour palettes are ingenious. The case is slim and narrow, opening up to a full-face mirror on one side and on the other space for trays of cream and powder products that you can fully customise. We chose “eyes on you in copper”, a cream copper eyeshadow, “brow boss in hazelnut”, a brow pomade, “blush crush in coral bloom”, a cream blush, “cream contour in sienna”, a warm creamy bronzer and “make it matte setting powder”, for keeping make-up in place and touches-ups on the go.
The palette is incredibly compact, and the pans can be bought separately too; they all fit into the tray magnetically. For small pans it costs £8, medium-sized pans are £16 and large pans are £20 apiece, so you can accommodate it to your needs and budget. It’s a great way to have almost everything you need for a full face of make-up in one slimline compact that fits neatly in your handbag.
Tropic Skincare body smooth refreshing polish
Best: Body scrub
While not, strictly speaking, an essential, this body scrub is the ultimate indulgence for your shower and if you’re keen to keep limbs baby soft, this is worth the splurge. It’s a generous sized-pot of mineral-rich sea salts that seals shut like a mason jar to avoid any spillages, and comes with a tiny wooden spoon to scoop out product, which may look gimmicky, but is a helpful way to keep it hygienic.
Using a ten-pence piece size scoop, we tried it initially on dry skin as instructed before rinsing off, but we loved applying it to damp skin also. As you rub it in, it’s a gritty texture that tackles drier areas on the elbows and knee nicely without being scratchy. Once it comes into contact with water as you rinse it off, it melts into a luxurious oil that has a zesty, refreshing scent of lemon sorbet. We’re not surprised it’s one of the brand’s bestsellers.
Tropic Skincare whipped body velvet intensely rich buttermelt
Best: Body cream
If you’re the type of person that can’t get out of the shower without moisturising every inch of your body, then you’ll love this. It’s a whipped buttercream texture that feels light and fluffy but leaves skin feeling like silk. It won’t absorb in seconds but does feel like a pampering treat for dry skin.
The formula is rich in apricot kernel, baobab and organic rosehip oil and scented with Madagascan vanilla extract which isn’t overpowering at all. It’s a lovely product that can easily be added into your routine and if you’re new to Tropic Skincare, this is a great entry point.
Tropic Skincare lip fudge plumping conditioner
Best: Lip product
This creamy two-in-one balm both soothes and hydrates dry lips and the shade “pink guava”, our personal favourite, also adding a wash of pink colour. It’s infused with peppermint oil which gives it a refreshing, pick-me-up scent. The texture is rich but not super sticky and leaves skin soft for hours after with a slight gloss that doesn’t look greasy.
If you prefer a tinted balm over a lipstick, this is ideal, especially for under a face covering. You don’t need a brush to apply, just use your fingertip for a speedy application. It’s a real winner if you’re prone to dry, chapped lips but still want a touch of colour.
Tropic Skincare eco artist precision face brush
Best: Make-up brush
This dual-ended make-up brush is also one of our top picks. The versatile tool is multi-purpose and we used it for applying powder, bronzer, blusher and even blending out concealer. You can use it for foundation too, but we found it works best with lighter cream, gel and powder textures.
It cleans easily without the brush hairs, which are all vegan, moulting; the handle is also made from sustainably sourced wood. For less than £20 you get two well-made brushes that fast became an integral part of our reviewer’s make-up routine.
Tropic Skincare smoothing cleanser
This creamy cleanser works brilliantly for both a morning and second cleanse – the formula is effective at removing make-up and SPF, while also not so rich it can’t be used on a bare face. It’s very lightweight with a delicate scent of jojoba oil, green tea extract and aloe vera juice.
If you are using it to take off your make-up, we’d recommend using a lukewarm wet flannel to ensure every scrap is removed, as simply splashing it off with water won’t be enough to break down mascara. Our reviewer has combination skin and found it soothed dry areas on her cheeks while also leaving an oily T-zone feeling comfortable too, with no greasy residue left on the skin.
Tropic Skincare so sleepy pillow mist
Best: Sleep aid
This lavender-scented pillow mist is a great helping hand if you’re struggling to get to sleep – the essential oil is known as a natural sleep aid that will make dozing off much quicker. It’s a very fine mist spray that doesn’t leave your sheets wet; we used two sprays and found that there was plenty, any more and the scent can be overwhelming.
It’s very calming and we found we continuously woke up the next morning feeling better rested, especially when during the last few weeks of lockdown, our sleep began to suffer as we got used to more social plans.
Tropic Skincare sun drops gradual tanning facial serum
Best: Tanning product
The gloopy, dark texture of this serum was off-putting at first, but it’s designed to be mixed with your moisturiser, and actually is easier to blend in than thinner tanning serums we’ve tried. It doesn’t leave skin sticky, nor does it leave behind that strong biscuity scent that a lot of fake tans tend to have.
The first time we used two drops before bed, and in the morning woke up with a more even skin tone and subtle glow. In the following uses we increased the drops and found the perfect amount was between three and four to customise the perfect sun-kissed look on fair, Caucasian skin. There’s no streaky finish, nor does it leave skin looking patchy.
The verdict: Tropic Skincare products
The colour palette is undoubtedly our best buy for its smart, environmentally friendly packaging combined with creamy, easy to blend products that completely streamlined our make-up routine. It condenses down bulky separate products into refillable magnetic trays without losing any luxury appeal or compromising on performance.
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