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I'm a reformed tanning-bed addict, and this Jergens lotion gives me a natural glow — grab it on sale for $10

Rub it into wet skin after you shower for subtle summer color: 'It's hard to mess this stuff up,' fans say.

Once upon a time, I was a tanning-bed bum — I just feel more confident when my skin has a subtle glow. Eventually, I traded that habit for something safer: self-tanners. I've tried several kinds of self-tanning products, but the one that still amazes me is Jergens Natural Glow In-Shower Lotion. You apply it to wet skin just before you get out of the shower, pat yourself dry and voila! With regular use, you'll have a natural-looking tan, minus any mess. With summer fast approaching, I'm restocking while it's on sale for $10.

After a few applications, you'll build a subtle, natural-looking tan. 

$10 at Amazon
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$10 at Target$10 at Walmart

Some self-tanning lotions can cost well around $50, so 10 bucks for a 7.5-ounce bottle is a pretty good deal. Plus, it's way cheaper than going to a salon to get a professional spray tan, and of course it's safer than baking in the sun.

Again, I've tried a lot of self-tanners. The ones I don't like often have a strong scent, are hard to blend and have a weird orangey color. Jergens Natural Glow In-Shower Lotion is none of those things. Its scent is very light, it's easy to apply and the color is natural-looking. It's also mess-free, so it won't travel all over your bathroom or stain your clothes.

For best results, you should exfoliate before applying. Once you're done showering, while you're still wet, simply rub this moisturizer into your skin. Then, pat dry with a towel and wash your hands with soap. There's no need to rinse. The color is subtle and buildable, so after the first use, if you miss a spot, you probably won't notice. Just make sure you go over the spot on your next application. After a few days, you'll have a gorgeously even tan.

The self-tanning moisturizer blends with the water on your skin to glide smoothly and absorb quickly, so you don't have to wait to towel off or put your clothes on — it won't stain. The lotion also contains shea butter, so not only will your skin look good, it will feel good.

Jergens Natural Glow In-Shower Lotion comes in two shades: Fair to Medium and Medium to Deep. When in doubt, choose the lighter color — you can always build it to make the color deeper. It's a lot harder to get rid of a too-dark tan if you make a mistake.

Don't apply this haphazardly. Rub it in all over, using an even amount. Jergens suggests starting with a dime-sized amount on each arm and a quarter-sized amount on each leg. Use it sparingly on dry areas like knees, elbows and ankles, because those spots may become darker than the rest of your body. (This is why exfoliating beforehand is good!)

two hands holding bottle of self-tanner under a stream of water
Avoid the sun's UV rays and try this easy-to-use self-tanner instead. (Amazon)

More than 6,800 Amazon shoppers give this lotion a five-star rating. They love how easy it is to apply and say that it gives them a streak-free glow.

"This stuff does not smell bad and it's a nice little after-shower ritual," shared one loyal customer. "It has never stained my expensive towels and it always goes on evenly (even when I glob it on). It's hard to mess this stuff up because it doesn't leave streaks or stain spots. It's great as a moisturizer too. I've been through two bottles and I'll recommend it because it's a much better alternative to sun damage."

"I've always been scared of any self-tanners because they usually leave you looking orange and streaky, but this product adds the smoothest, most natural-looking glow to your skin," said one five-star fan. "Bonus, it smells amazing and actually leaves my skin feeling super-soft after a shower!"

Another customer confirmed: "I bought this last week and have used it every time I have showered, and am already seeing a difference! I’m very pale so this is great. No harsh smell and so easy to apply when you turn off the shower."

"So, I have very fair skin — I’m talking very Casper-like, and I have had some very awful experiences with self-tanners turning me orange, and also having lots of streaks," said another skeptical buyer. "But this stuff is legit. I used the Fair to Medium lotion and I saw results within the first couple of hours after use! I’m not the person who likes to be super-tan, but I do like a little color! It left minimal streaks (not noticeable at all unless you point them out)."

Other reviewers said they had a problem with applying the lotion and it actually did come out streaky. The lotion is white, so you can't see where you're applying it (unlike some tanners with built-in bronzer).

"I love how this makes my legs feel super soft, and it's definitely given me a bit of color after about eight applications," said one shopper. "However, it is a bit uneven. I'm not sure if I'm applying it unevenly, since it's just lotion and you can't really see where it goes, or if maybe it absorbs differently in different [areas]."

"I followed the directions so I’m not sure what went wrong," said a final reviewer. "My only thought is that I had too much in some areas, but was difficult to tell because the product is a white lotion and disappears as applying. Nice because it doesn't transfer onto clothes, bad because you don’t know where you put it! I will try again and hopefully have better results."

Choose the shade that best works for you, but remember that you can always apply more for deeper color. 

$10 at Amazon
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$10 at Target$13 at Walgreens

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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