I avoid the sun as much as possible. I'll spare you the lecture about the many horrors of sun exposure because I say it often enough already. (CANCER! OK, sorry, done.) But here's the thing: I used to tan. Thankfully, I've managed to avoid tanning beds all my life, but back in my teen days — let me just remind you, this was the early aughts, when "Laguna Beach" and "The O.C." reigned supreme and tanning culture was arguably at its peak — I'd "lay out" any chance I got. (In oft-cloudy suburban Cleveland, that didn't happen all too often.) I was one of those people who rarely burned and instead turned a nice, basted-turkey color after just a few hours. The point being: I have a naturally olive complexion, one that looks infinitely better when I'm a little tan. But because I now live my life as a sun-avoiding hermit, I'm almost always super-pale, my complexion tinged with a queasy sort of greenish hue. (That's what happens when olive tones are shielded from UV rays, apparently.) I'm the first to admit that most of the time, I look suspiciously close to one of Casper's scary uncles. (What was their deal?)
Sure, self-tanner is always an option. But with an already lengthy skin-care routine, it always seemed somewhat superfluous, not to mention streaky, smelly and orange. But then I got my pasty hands on a tube of the newest innovation from Jergens — a sunless tanning body lotion that you apply in the shower to wet skin — and I'm a full-on convert. When the brand sent me some samples of Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer, I didn't initially find it so alluring. Slathering lotion all over wet skin sounded thoroughly unpleasant/drippy/messy to me. But I was curious. And you know what? It's actually great.
I stash the tube in my shower, and then once I'm done showering as usual, I turn off the water and reach for this stuff instead of going directly for my towel. It's thinner than a typical moisturizer, and because you're using it on wet skin, it spreads super easily and quickly. There's a hint of that typical DHA scent as you use it, but it's much subtler, compared with every other self-tanner I've ever tried. Immediately after rubbing it all over, I towel off and go. It magically leaves zero residue or staining behind on my towel (or my clothes), and yet it keeps my skin feeling hydrated (but not coated in a layer of lotion). And the real kicker is that it imbues a subtle, buildable tint that's actually believable — not the least bit Oompa Loompa-like. And because it's so easy to blend, you don't wind up with streaks or splotches anywhere. So rather than being a superfluous step in my routine, it's actually cutting down on a step that normally takes longer (toweling off, applying body lotion, waiting for it to soak in a little before I get dressed). This stuff is without a doubt one of the better things to come out of 2017, if you ask me.
Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer, $8.69, available at Target.
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