While I claim to have embraced my pale, in the summer months I do yearn for a little bit of a tan. Not a lot, just enough that wearing a dress or shorts isn't embarrassing due to how bright white my legs are. Also, any help covering up bruises (I'm a big klutz) and making the hair that is still under the surface of my skin (dark hair and white legs= not pretty) less noticeable is always a good thing.
I refuse to actually expose myself to UV radiation to get this tan. Honestly, in my younger years I tried, and it just didn't work. My skin doesn't like to make more melanin to get a little tan. Instead, it likes to get freckly, but not in the cute spread out freckle way. No, my skin likes them clumped together to look like I have a smear of dirt somewhere. That, my friends, is winning.
So, I like to experiment with sunless tanners. But, nothing that really requires a careful and real application. I don't have time for that. I usually resort to things like sunless tanning body washes or gradual self tanners that are built into your lotion. I've actually tried out the Jergen's Natural Glow many times in the past (in 2011 and in 2008), though they reformulate slightly pretty often.
This year I grabbed the only tube of light to medium skin tone lotion that I could find at my local store, and it happened to be in the Firming formulation. Looking at the ingredients, I see that there is hydrolyzed collagen, which forms a film on your skin (it is way too big to be absorbed) smoothing everything out. (Read more about this over in my Pevonia Spa Clinica Active Ingredients Review.) I see quite a few moisturizers, but I don't see other ingredients that really firm anything/affect tone of the skin.
The lotion itself is a light yellow/tan color and it feels a bit sticky. It doesn't have a DHA smell, instead it is a little floral and overly sweet to me. After application I don't smell anything for a while, but about 2 hours later I do smell that typical "I have on self tanner" smell. It's pretty faint and not even my husband can smell it, but I definitely pick it up!
The lotion is thick and feels a little sticky during application, I've found that it takes about 10 minutes to fully absorb into my skin, which is longer that I remember previous versions taking for absorption. Once it absorbs, I notice that color starts to develop about 2 hours later (right around the time that the scent appears).
I had a noticeable tan develop with just 1 use, and after 2 uses, I turned a little orange in some areas! Usually this takes at least 3 or 4 uses to happen. I wonder if the lotion has more active ingredients this year or something? Luckily I was able to exfoliate a little in those areas to tone it down and have spaced out my use already. I'm still on the lookout for the light to medium facial lotion, it seems to be sold out in my area so I'll probably resort to drugstore.com or something.
My tips for a nice even glow:
• Exfoliate! Use a scrub (non oil based) or exfoliating mitt first, especially in dry areas like around your nails, knees, ankles and elbows. I exfoliate every day once I start using the lotion. Your skin will naturally exfoliate, but it tends to do so unevenly, which means your tan will fade unevenly. Exfoliating also seems to keep me from turning orange.
• Apply sparingly to areas that are usually "lighter" such as the underside of your arms, your arm pits, etc. As well, areas that are drier and tend to suck up self tanner should get a lighter coat, like your knees and knuckles. I usually apply up to those areas and then go back when rubbing in the lotion to spread onto them rather than directly applying.
• Don't apply another moisturizer first. We've all heard that you should apply moisturizer to those trouble spots before applying a regular self tanner (not sure if that tip really works well for me), but doing so with the Natural Glow will just result in streaking. Apply this to your clean skin right after a shower.
• Wash your hands and scrub them with soap right after application. I wash front and back, really concentrating on my palms and around my fingernails. Then after I dry I'll rub the back of my hand against any areas that are still absorbing the lotion (and therefore have a little extra to give up to my hands). No one wants orange palms!
Do you use Jergen's Natural Glow? What tips do you have for application?