This or That: St. Tropez Mousse Vs. Jergens Instant Sun Mousse (Comparison + Reviews)

Y'all, if I had one beauty regret (in addition to my awesome 80s bangs) it would be all of that sun tanning I did. I cringe just thinking about it. Now, I rely on sunless tanners. One of my favorites is St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, but it is pricey. A couple of months ago I saw Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse and had to grab it. Is it worth it? Find out in this week's This or That!

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
St. Tropez's best-selling product is perfect for anyone looking to get a natural-looking, streak-free bronze glow that dries in an instant. Infused with conditioning aloe vera and long-lasting color, St. Tropez's innovative Aromaguard fragrance technology eliminates the tell-tale self tan aroma by a minimum of 70% and instead gives a beautiful subtle, yet refreshing fragrance. Simply sweep on with an Applicator Mitt for a beautiful even tan.

  • 3 sizes
  • 2 colors (orig and dark. There is also an express version as well as other St. Tropez products)
  • $18-$42, depending on size (8 oz is the largest)
  • Sephora, Ulta, online
    • Gives a natural, subtle tan that lasts 3 days or so without reapplying. It is easy to use but can be noticeable in areas like elbows and ankles if not applied properly. Can leave darkness around toenails.  The odor does not bother me and I don't see it as strong. I feel the need to moisturize more with this post application than with Jergens.
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse
Note: Since St. Tropez has been on the market for years, and many of you are familiar with it, I am choosing to go more in depth on Jergens since it is a new product.

Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse uniquely works with your skin tone to mimic results from the natural sun, free of orange hues. The airy mousse allows for a more precise even application that dries in just 60 seconds.
  • 1 size (6 oz)
  • 2 colors (light is what I am reviewing)
  • $12.99
  • Ulta, mass chains like drugstores and box stores
    • You can use hands, but a mitt (not provided or sold by Jergens) works best. It gives an instant bronze that is a bit on the almost-orange side. The shade intensifies with additional applications. I did notice some leakage around the cap from the pumpLasts around 3 days or so. Jergens recommends additional products, like an exfoliator and an extender lotion to get up to a week's worth of tan. Didn't irritate skin. Does have an odor but I didn't deem it bothersome.
Products were tested individually as well as side by side for 1 month.
Pictured is Jergens vs. no tanner. I have KP on my skin, hence the texture.
I took over 30 pics and felt none truly replicated the colors of either tanner,
and even side by side it was hard to tell a difference on camera. Trust me, it is noticeable in person.

This or That:
  • Jergens Instant Sun definitely was more noticeable on the skin than the St. Tropez, but I didn't like the color that came with additional applications of Jergens. It looked more orange than bronze on me. I had fewer application issues with it than St. Tropez. I experineced no staining. It really did dry within 60 seconds as advertised. Only once did I experience a little stickiness on the backs on my legs after using.  I liked it but would not repurchase--give it a shot if interested, especially if you have a warmer skin tone. Instead, I would consider purchasing the darker shade but will probably stick with St. Tropez. I feel like I can build the intensity a little better with it. Not a St. Tropez dupe.
Have you tried either? What's your favorite self-tanner?

Extra Elle:
  • Poor Charlie ate something that hurt his tummy. I was up all night making sure he was fine. He slept great, but I was a mess! He is pretty much back to normal today. Whew.
  • Where did March go? I cannot believe it's April already! Btw am I the only one who doesn't find April Fool's Day fun? I never have. I don't get it. :)


  1. I can't stand orange looking fake bakes so I guess I will be skipping the Jergens, I just some Cocoa Brown tan sent to me for review and it looks like its going to be a winner so far. :)

  2. I like St Tropez very much, and have tried only two or three other brands (including one from Estée Lauder) and nothing convinced me to replace my St. Tropez. Last year I bought a version which was hydrating and firming formula and was sooo impressed!

  3. This is so good to know because I'm getting ready to bare those legs.

  4. Thank you for this review! I am always looking for the latest and greatest in self tanners. I am a huge St. Tropez fan, so it's good to hear that you prefer it and that the mousse is worth the money. Give Charlie a smooch for me.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  5. This review came at a great time. Dave's sister is getting married next weekend. While I'm usually fine with my pale skin, I feel like I should add a hint of color!

    (P.S. If you're interested, I'm giving away a Gerard Yosca jewelry set worth $250. Enter here.)

  6. An inviting blog and lovely post. Helpful review, I'm in the market as well. I don't want to expose my face too much in the sun so this is perfect. Take care x


  7. Awesome review! Very helpful with these warmer months coming up and I know I try to protect my skin from the sun so it's always nice to get a little help from these tanning products


  8. I never sunbathe and I confess I never used a self-tanning product, but nevertheless, the reviews are very instructive - the St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse seems to be better, because it gives a natural tan and for 3 days, while Jergens doesn't - as you say, that it is a bit too orange! And Oompa Loompa is not good :)

  9. Your timing is uncanny! I was just thinking about purchasing a sunless tanner now that bare legs season is upon us!

  10. I am still searching for my HG self-tanner, but the St. Tropez is appealing to me more than ever - it sounds so easy to use! I just wish the price wasn't so steep! :/


  11. I've been meaning to try both, and good to know that the St Tropez is better. I'll skip the Jargens then and go straight for this:) TY, Elle.

  12. Oh I was hoping this would be more of a dupe. Think I'll pass though since you say it's orange looking. I also do not get April Fool's day, never liked it.

  13. Confession, I have never tired self tanner or spray tans. GAH, I know. I just rely on the sun [i used togo tanning in college hangs head in shame], but man I'm pasty right now. Thanks for letting me know jergens isn't worth it, I appreciate crossing one off the list.

  14. I just saw this product over on Biana's blog and was intrigued, but now I'm not so sure! I'm not a huge self-tanner person, but I may give this a shot in the darker color before spending the money in St. Tropez.

  15. I have never tried either of these. The St. Tropez one has been on my wishlist for awhile... I may need to give it a shot! I would want something that is easy to build!

  16. I am trying to use self tanners to keep some color from my vacation - and prepping for a friend's wedding (her dresses are bright teal so I feel I need some sort of a tan) ;) Thanks for the review! I actually just ordered the Jergens moose, so I will be interested to try it and see how it works for me. I hate orange looks though - so we will see!

  17. I had the Jergen's one in my hands the other day at Target but decided to put it back. I wasn't a fan of the original Jergen's tanning lotion that came out back in the day and some things I think you get what you pay for. I had feared the fake color that you spoke of. I think I will either try St Tropaz or the Sun Laboratories one. Have you tried the Sun one before?

    I am not a fan of April Fools either, I don't get all the hype? Maybe because I am not a prankster and I am a terrible liar.

  18. I'm not one to April fools either. Though I am waiting for some of the men I work with to have a go at it. (;

    Being the extremely pale, redhead I am, I fear self tanners. I love the way they look on girls, but I truly feel I look better pale. It's strange to see a pale redhead. I've embraced my glow. (;

    Hope little Charlie feels better very soon! Girl you deserve a vacation from all the crazy in your life lately!

  19. So good Elle!! Looks like we might have to splurge on the St. Tropaz if we want to give self tanning a try. But super intrigued by the foaming Jergens. Like kids in a candy store, we want it all!

    xx 365Hangers

  20. I was up all night with dog stomach issues a few weeks ago. The worst!

    I think I'd stick to the St. Tropez with this one. I don't like the orange tone of the Jergens!

  21. I have the worst luck with sunless tanners, but I'm still on the hunt for one! I used this St Tropez one several times last year. I liked it as far as the color and application but as soon as I'd shave it was gone.

  22. I am sadly pale so I'm terrified of self tanner... Love this review though. Very helpful!

  23. I have never used a moose self tanner before! Seems like it would be easy to apply but I'm not into the orangey tint of the jergens!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  24. I've never used tanners, and pretty much avoid the sun (I'm like a vampire) ;). But if I were to use tanners, I'd probably go with the St. Tropez.

  25. I've never used tanners, and pretty much avoid the sun (I'm like a vampire) ;). But if I were to use tanners, I'd probably go with the St. Tropez.

  26. I'm with you, I don't believe in sun tanning. Even though I'm obsessed with it, it's hard avoiding it but I do.

    God bless,
    XO, Claire

  27. I do have to say I hate all self tanners! They stink! ;-) Have a wonderful day hun, xoxo, Sissi www.beauty4free2u.com

  28. Charlie is just having a bad year too... poor little guy!
    Tanning things scare me. I always come out a streaked mess.

  29. Thanks for the info! Good to know that the Jergens makes you orange-ish..not cute. Glad charlie is feeling better!

  30. This is great to know. I will definitely invest in the St. Tropez. Poor Charlie (and you!) I am glad he is feeling better.

  31. I am naturally on the darker side so I didn't have an issue with the Jergen's but I can see it being a problem on fair skin. I tried the St. Tropaz thanks to a sample from Ipsy and it gave me almost no color. There is another one I use, I think Neutrogena that works well.

  32. Luckily, I'm naturally tanned so I don't need this but I have heard great things about Jergens. I loved reading you review about it as well, I may just stick with my bronzer if I want more of a glow. And you are so right, March went by so darn fast. Bring on the warm weather lol.

    Kay of Pure & Complex

  33. This post makes me happy! I just ordered a small size of the St. Tropez mousse to try. I've been using one of those daily "glow" lotions, and it has been working out. So, I hope I can graduate up to the real deal. I don't like April Fool's either. It's just silly. lol

  34. Oooh good to know, I was looking at self tanners the other day. Poor Charlie - glad he's ok! And I HATE APRIL FOOL'S DAY!

  35. I don't really use these kinds of things because it is so hard trying to find the right color, some are so bad! haha. But if someone wanted to buy this this would so help them :)


  36. That's really good to know to just pay a little more and get a better product!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  37. Great review. I'm always looking for a great non orange self tanner. Oh and I don't find April Fools Day all that fun either.

  38. Thanks! I was considering getting that new Jergen's product, but I think I'll pass. If I don't have time to get any sunshine before my husband and I go on our anniversary trip to the beach, I'll have to get the Saint Tropez to tide me over ;-)

  39. Since I'm super pale I think the jergens would look orange on me. I tried their glow one that's suppose to be gradual and it was a disaster. I have a mini of the st tropez one from a sephora set but I haven't tried it yet

  40. I haven't had any luck with self tanners...I'm so fair that any application error I make is super noticeable. Even the Jergens Natural Glow Lotion when they made a "light" version looked streaky. If I tried one I'd try the St. Tropez, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to take the risk and shell out the dough! I'll just stay white!! :)

  41. So funny, I had just bought the new Jergen's one used it one time and noticed fading after one day in really weird patches, returned it and bought St. Tropez... can't wait to use it!! :)

  42. I was hoping that the Jergens would beat St. Tropez (mainly because it is a cheaper option haha). When I think about how many hours I used to spend at the tanning salon...I'm talking several days a week...I can't believe I used to do that---so terrible! But I did used to like being tan all the time...now I'm pale and don't really care haha
    But, sometimes I get so pale, I look sick (and like a ghost in photos) and that's where sunless tanner comes in. A little glow can really do wonders. I got an airbrush tan for the first time last year and it was amazing! Of course, that can be an expensive habit. I will have to check out the St. Tropez, but I'll also be taking a little looksy in the drugstore to see if I can find anything else. Have you hear about James Read products? I think they are new to Sephora...there's a Sleep Tan Face Mask and really intrigues me? You think you will be trying or reviewing any of his products on your blog? xx

  43. I picked this up after you said you were trying it. After the first application, I thought it looked very natural but wasn't dark enough. I definitely agree that it does have an orange-ish tent but I do have warmer skin tones so I didn't think it was very noticeable. However, I'm almost 5 days out and think it's almost completely gone. Bummer!

  44. I cant believe March is over either! Also bummer about poor Charlie hope he feels better soon - lol I obviously dont need a tan so I cant comment hehe


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