So now that it is summer those of us that are pasty white are looking for a tan. I don’t advocate tanning beds. Has anyone ever seen the PSA commercial where the tanning bed turns into a coffin? Creepy but it gets the point across. I’m not trying to bash anyone who goes to a tanning salon, but lets be real the truth is out there. Tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancer, premature wrinkling and general sun damage. I would much rather be pasty white than pay for any of those consequences. Not to mention the fact that when I was growing up tanning beds were strictly forbidden, in my family. The only UV rays we were allowed to receive were natural ones from the sun, and even then my mom insisted we wear sunscreen. Unfortunately, I hate sunscreen with a passion so I’m very glad that they have spray forms now. So how does one get a tan? Now self-tanning lotions, gels, sprays, and mousses are everywhere. There are a lot of brands in a lot of price ranges, that all claim to be superior. As much as I would like a nice tan I don’t feel like spending $45 dollars for 8 oz of anything, unless is a self-replenishing pot of gold. So I’m perusing through the self-tanning aisle at drugstores, and online reviews. I have found a few brands that are reasonably priced and have rave reviews. One of which is Jergens brand of self-tanning products. Last year I used Jergens Natural Glow on my arms. It was okay. The smell was tolerable. It smelled fine when you first put it on but after a while got a bit of the stereotypical self-tanner smell. It was a decent moisturizer as well. The color was pretty believable, not orange but sometimes it looked a bit like dirt was on your skin. Also when you first put it on it has some sparkles in it and is a bit glittery. This didn’t bother me as I put sunless tanner on at night, and most of the glitter disappears by morning. It was very blotchy when I stopping using it though, and it looked ridiculous until it all faded. This year I wanted to tan my whole body, or at least the parts that show when your wearing shorts and a shirt (legs, arms, shoulders, neck, face). So since I had some success with Jergens and everyone raves about it I figured I would try their express formula.
The good: it is a very natural color, more so than the regular version. It works fast. I only used it twice and was much darker (and healthier looking). A third time and I have no doubts I would be a full shade darker than I started (as advertised). It dries relatively fast. About 5-10 minutes after applied I put on my clothes and after maybe another 20 it is fully dry. It didn’t rub off on my clothes or sheets even though it wasn’t fully dry when I got dressed and went to sleep. The bad: the smell. The smell. The smell. Ew. Ew. Ew. Seriously the biggest complaint and the reason I stopped using it after two uses despite all the good things about it is the smell. It reeks. I understand that self-tanners smell, but this one smelled ten times worse then the regular formula. The original moisturizer formula smelled a bit. I would occasionally catch a whiff of it and wonder what the smell was until I realized it was the self-tanner. This one however smelled so bad, that I’m pretty sure everyone in the room could smell it. And if you sweat even slightly it makes the smell ten times worse. despite the fact that it worked well on my legs and arms the smell annoyed me so much after two uses I gave the bottle to my mom. The other cons are the formula is heavy and greasy. The first time I used it I exfoliated with a sugar scrub which left my skin moisturized and when I put the Jergens express on it made my skin so greasy and took 40 minutes to dry. Which is not okay. The second time I used it I didn’t exfoliate which helped but it still took 20 minutes to dry. Another con is although it tanned my arms and legs well it didn’t tan my neck collarbone or shoulders at all. Which made me look awkward. I also used Jergens face and had the same pros and cons as the express body version. It did even out my skin, which is nice because I have a lot of redness. But it smelled like sunscreen (because it contained sunscreen, which is pointless when most people self-tan before going to bed). And it was pretty thick and greasy like the body version until it fully dried. It also made my skin rough and gross feeling, when a moisturizer should leave it soft, and silky smooth. Overall not impressed and like I already said I gave it to my mom and basically said, “Good luck, with this stuff it stinks.” If it dried quicker, didn’t smell and tanned my neck and shoulders I would absolutely buy this stuff all the time because the color was great and lasts a long time. If Jergens comes out with a new and improved version I would be excited to try it. Now I’m trying another gradual moisturizer by a different brand, I also thought I grabbed a complimentary quick building self-tanner by the same company but grabbed a one day wash off tan. Which at first greatly annoyed me but might actually be good for days when I go somewhere out of the ordinary where I might want a bit more of a tan for at least that one day. So I haven’t decided if I will exchange it or not. But when I figure it all out and try out the products I’ll post an update.