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Anna G. Larson, Published July 17 2013

Sunless tanner isn't scent-free but gives a glow

FARGO – It’s finally summer, and my usual uniform of black skinny pants and tunics won’t do in the heat. Time to try out sunless tanners so I can wear dresses without feeling too pale and “wintery.”

The first tanner I tried this year is Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Daily Moisturizer in fair to medium, $10.49 at CVS. A pink circle on the bottle exclaims, “Finally! Great color without odor!”

I’m skeptical of any “no sunless tanner odor” claims. I’ve only found one in recent years that lived up to that statement – a sunless tanner by Nivea that had no “tan smell” but rather a creamy orange fragrance.

I applied Jergens tanner each day after thoroughly drying off from the shower. It has a slight sunless tanner odor. Sure, it’s not the knock-your-socks-off stench some tanners have, but it’s there. No matter, I apply an even coat to my legs and let it air dry before dressing.

I repeat the process for a week since the tanner’s directions state that it takes about seven days to build “fabulous natural-looking color” while making cellulite “less noticeable.”

After the suggested seven days, I had a hint of color on my freckled, pale skin. I had no streaks (thank goodness!), and my skin didn’t look orange. The tan looked natural, and I felt confident.

The cellulite, well, it’s still there. Was it less noticeable while I used the tanner? Probably, but that’s because of the hint of color. I’ve done enough research to know a lotion isn’t likely to eliminate cellulite. I’ll stick to lunges instead.

The lotion scores a 6 (on a scale of 1-10) on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, meaning the ingredients in the lotion are moderately hazardous to health based on the EWG’s research.

The rating is mostly due to its fragrance (companies aren’t required to list the ingredients in a scent) and parabens (preservatives).

Bottom line: Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Daily Moisturizer gives winter skin a hint of summer without the risk of skin cancer, but I’d like it more if it was truly fragrance-free.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525