Nivea Gradual Tan Moisturizer
It's that time again. Time to bust out your shorts and skirts and dresses and sandals!! This is one of my favorite times of year, mainly because by now I've gotten sick of all my fall/winter outfits and am ready for something different. I finally get to ditch the jeans and tights and let my legs be free. Too bad my legs are, no joke, 2-3 shades lighter than the rest of my skin. I think they actually REPEL sunlight. So, in addition to being skirt and dress season, this is also self-tanner season. I've tried just about every tanning product out there. I started dabbling in self-tanning in middle school, and I've been going strong ever since. Way back in olden times, during the turn of the century (21st century, mind you), I was using actual self-tanner. We're talking the kind you put on with plastic gloves and that turns your skin from white to not-so-white overnight.N Not to mention it will dye your clothes if you're not careful, and leave you with zebra stripes and streaks until you learn how to apply it juuuust right. Can you tell I'm not the biggest fan of self-tanner? But there was no other way to get a tan sans sun. That is, until some genius came up with tanning moisturizer.
Oh my God, I'm pretty sure I screamed when I first opened a magazine and read about tanning moisturizer. I knew it was the ultimate cure to my pasty legs. At first the only brand was Jergen's, and that was the one I used for years and years. I don't even know how many tubes I went through. The smell of that lotion followed me like a second shadow. In the past couple of years, though, I switched to Nivea, and I think it's a lot better.
I've been racking my brain for a reason, and I can't really explain why I prefer Nivea. I think tanning moisturizer preference is different for everyone. Jergen's may be your Holy Grail tan lotion for all I know. I do know that Jergen's lotion contains BHT, which I'm allergic to (and is a nasty chemical in general), so I'm sticking with Nivea.
The main thing about tanning moisturizers isn't the color they leave you with, or how well they moisturize, but the smell. There's a distinct smell that comes from the tanning part of the moisturizer. Every company tries to cover it up. Some succeed better than others. Again, it comes down to personal preference. I've found that I like the Nivea smell the best. Jergen's smells a little too much like candy, and Olay was too perfumed for me. I don't remember any others specifically (I've tried SO MANY. Really.), but I know that Nivea is just right.
Most recently I've been using Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin (because that's all they had in stock at Target), but before I always used Nivea Sun-Kissed Beautiful Legs. I don't really notice any difference between them, and I only use tanning lotion on my legs anyway. I do prefer the packaging of the legs version better. The tube is much more conducive to applying mess-free than the bottle the regular moisturizer comes in. But that's just me being really nit-picky.
I'm endorsing Nivea tanning moisturizer, but again, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. There are so many different tanning lotions out there, and they're all reasonably priced and readily available at Target or Walgreens or wherever you like to shop. Be adventurous and experiment to find the formula that's right for you. And if you're really brave, you can give real sunless tanning a try. Just remember to wear plastic gloves and blend till your hands fall off!
Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiant Skin/Beautiful Legs Lotion: Both $8