Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Adventures in Self Tanning June 28, 2012

When winter finally ends in Chicago and I start wearing shorts and skirts I am always struck by how pale my legs or arms are.  Plus I have lots of prominent veins and capillaries on my legs that I really need to have professionally taken care of sooner than later, but in the meantime I am just trying to mask some of this unattractive feature.  This summer I decided that I should give Jergens Natural Glow for the body another try since now they had come out with a version with SPF 20.  I thought – perfect I’ll get my sun protection and a little color all at once.

I don’t want to look deeply tan or even medium dark – I just want a warmth to my skin instead of looking pasty white.  Of course, I knew that my skin should be exfoliated before application and that I should rub the lotion really well into my skin in order for the color, which appears after a few days, to look natural.  After reading the directions I realized I also needed to let the lotion dry thoroughly before I could get dressed.  This was difficult for me since I am always late and in a hurry in the morning, but because I didn’t want to get stains on my clothes I sucked it up and stood around my bathroom in my underwear and bra until I felt like the lotion was dry.  The lotion has, in my opinion, a strong scent which to me smells like artificial coconuts.  It isn’t my favorite smell, but I can live with it.

When I began using Jergens about two months ago, and even though I rubbed it in very well, it did not look good.  I had orange streaks on my feet, dark patches on my knees and elbows, and my hands were ghostly white since I wash them so much the self-tanner didn’t stay on them.  I tried to exfoliate the dark patches so that they looked more normal and gave up.  I just decided that stop using the lotion and live with my pale skin since I was so self-conscious about the results.

Less than a week ago I figured that I should just use up the self-tanner instead of chucking it.  And this time – wow!  great results!  No streaks this time, no ghostly white hands, and no dark elbows and knees.  The problem is I can’t figure out what I did differently this time from the time before.  Really.  Why did I get so-so, even bad results two months ago and nice, natural looking results this past week?  I wish I knew why.

I just finished the bottle this morning, and I don’t know if I am going to buy another one.  The smell bugs me, and I am afraid that my good results now were a fluke instead of what is going to go on all the time.

Please share your self-tanning tips and tricks below.  Remember – the only type of safe tan is a fake tan!

Extra Tips and Product Recommendations:

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8 Responses to “Adventures in Self Tanning”

  1. LeAnne Byrd Says:

    I always find that if I exfoliate really well and moisturize the elbows, knees and feet before I put the self tanner on that it comes out perfect. Of course I let the moisturizer dry before applying the self tanner. I also find that the more moisturized my skin is overall that the better the glow is and the more even the tan.

    • Great point about the moisturizing! I should have done that. I guess I figured since the self tanner already went on like a moisturizer I didn’t need another one. My mistake.

  2. Ilze Says:

    I love Jergens! I have been using it for years already. I agree about smell. I do not like the smell either, but since I love end result, I “close” my nose on smell. I get so many complements on my tan:-) Nobody believes it is from cream. Everyone thinks I got suntanned. If you can live with the smell for the first day of applying it, I say go for it.

  3. I have found this product great at doing just what you are describing — putting some color on my super pale legs and covering veins that seem to be showing up more and more

  4. Kimberly Adams Says:

    The spa where I work (Spa Sera, Pawleys Island, SC) just got the Versa spray tan machine. It’s great. No streaks, sprays and blows dry with warm air in less than 5 minutes. And best of all, NO SMELL. I look like I just got back from St. Maarten.

    • Thanks everyone for your comments and product recommendations. Yesterday was day three of me trying Jergens for the second time, and yet again I have orange knees and streaky feet. I think I am throwing in the towel and embracing my pale legs and arms!

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