Every year as we start trying to erase evidence of winter on our lacklustre skin, someone comes out with a self-tanner that supposedly smells great. Often that new formula does smell nice (unless vanilla-esque notes are involved, but that’s just me), when you sniff the stuff in the tube and when you first put it on. But later comes that smell, that distinctive, musky, chemical odour, plus whatever potent perfume the brand used as a scent mask. Ack.
This year, one self-tanner collection is going beyond the “smells-great” strategy. Jergens Natural Glow is making a new “No Odour” claim.
“The main colourant used in self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA,” says Alisa Smith, senior manager of skin care research and development at KAO US, which owns Jergens. “The odour occurs at the same time as the colour is developing, and it’s as a result of the DHA interacting with the proteins that are in the skin.”
Body chemistry dictates just how pungent that smell can get. Some people found success when gradual self-tanners launched — the reduced amount of DHA in the mix was enough. Others do very well with formulas that contain fragrances designed to camouflage self-tanner’s signature notes. And then there are people like me, whose body chemistry puts up a smelly fight every. single. time. whatever the formula. Just like it is with perfume, “it’s all about the chemistry of the body and how the formulas interact with the skin, so it does vary from person to person,” Smith confirms.
However, the reformulated no-odour Jergens Natural Glow lineup doesn’t rely only on pleasant, nose-distracting fragrance. Rather, it focusses on blocking odour that arises as the chemical reaction begins in the skin. Ingredient details are proprietary, but according to Smith, the Jergens Natural Glow no-odour technology includes “materials that absorb the odour and materials that help block odour that may be left over.”
Does it work? For some people, it will. For me, not quite. Within an hour or two of having applied the no-odour Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer in Fair to Medium ($12.99, drugstores), that darned smell slowly began to waft up from my skin. But the odour-blocking technology does seem to work — the chemical scent did not reach the overpowering strength of any other gradual formula I’ve used. That’s something. Something promising.
Does your body chemistry put up a smelly self-tanner fight? Would noticeably reduced odour be enough for you?
Jergens Natural Glow (from $8.99 to $12.99) is available at drugstores and mass retailers.