Equate Healthy Glow or Jergens Natural Glow?

So which self tanner lotion is better—Walmart’s Equate Healthy Glow or Jergens Natural Glow?

Equate vs Jergens self tanner

Equate vs Jergens self tanner lotion: Equate was the winner

The Winner.  I tested the Equate Healthy Glow and Jergens Natural Glow self tanners against each other: each morning for a period of ten days, I applied the Jergens on my left leg and the Equate on my right leg.  The results?   Based on my experiment, Equate won hands down, and yes, those hands were fake-tanned too!

Hey, I’m a ginger, and we gingers are naturally paler than most people.  And gingers typically don’t tolerate the summer sun very well when trying to get a real tan–we’ll never be like, say, “Tanned One” George Hamilton.  So self tanner lotions can be a ginger’s best friend, especially in the summer when bare arms and legs are a must to stay cool.  I’ve tried a variety of self tanner lotions for years, and Jergens Natural Glow always had been my favorite.  Until now, that is.  There’s a new self tanner lotion in town (in my town, at least), and it’s Equate.

Equate isn't afraid of Jergens

Equate says “Bring it on!”

Equate pretty much says “bring it on” on its label, comparing itself to Jergens.  My guess is that Jergens will lose business to Equate’s Healthy Glow.   Here’s why:

Better Price.  Recently at Walmart, displayed right next to the Jergens lotion, I saw for the first time Walmart’s Equate brand.  I found reviews on the Equate brand going back to 2012, so I’m not sure whether I totally missed the bus with having just seen it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, or whether my Walmart store just recently started carrying it.  Anyway, I was struck by the price difference:  The Jergens Natural Glow, as shown on my receipt below, is $8.64, but the Equate Healthy Glow is only $5.48.Equate is way cheaper

That’s a pretty darn big price difference.

Something else struck me:  The shelf for the Equate bottles was bare, except for one last bottle.  The Jergens shelf still had a lot of bottles.  Based on my observation of customers who buy out certain items that I also like in particular, my gut told me that these other buyers of Equate might be on to something.  So I snatched up that last bottle of Equate Healthy Glow, bought a bottle of the Jergens Natural Glow, and went home with a mission to determine which was the better tanner lotion.

Less Viscosity Means Even More Value.  The Equate lotion is actually a thinner and less viscous, so you don’t have to use as much of it for the area you are covering.  This is yet another savings, since both bottles contain 7.5 ounces.

Equate Healthy Glow or Jergens Natural Glow

Same amount of self tanner lotiion, but Equate will go farther

Better Color.  My rather unscientific experiment was to apply my left leg with Jergens and my right leg with Equate each morning for ten days, and then compare the results.

Equate color vs Jergens color

From the front: Equate leg vs Jergens leg

Here are pictures, front and back, of my legs, to show the results.  Which lotion gave the best color?  Both my family and I agreed that the leg with the Equate lotion, although not quite as dark, definitely looked more natural.  The Jergens leg was just slightly darker, but obviously more “orangey yellow”, especially at the ankle, as you can see.   American actor Alan Tudyk was quoted as saying “I can tan.  I get tannish.  It’s not really tan, it’s tannish.  That kind of color.”  As a heavy user of self tanner lotions, I know that it’s not easy getting “that kind of color” with a self tanner lotion.  Incredibly though, it seems that Equate has pulled it off.

Of course, these results are based on my test on my skin, which, untanned, may be paler or pinker than yours.  For someone with an olive or darker complexion, Equate might not make enough of a difference.

Apply it Right.  My only warning about the Equate is that because it is thinner, you need to be sure to smooth it on evenly in all directions; otherwise, it can streak more than the Jergens.  Again, you can use less of the Equate for the same area of coverage, and this probably will help avoid streaking.

Whichever tanner lotion you use, be sure to apply it correctly.  Based on my years of using self tanner lotions, I recommend that you avoid too much around the ankles or elbows, where it can build up and be obvious—I’m guilty of this, even after years of experience.  I also recommend that you either (1) wear disposable gloves to apply or (2) use your bare hands and then wash them thoroughly after you have applied the lotion to any place you want it except the back of your hands, using a nail brush with soap to get around the nails and nailbeds.  With either method, after you wash your hands, the last thing is to apply the lotion to the back sides of the hands carefully, using a tissue or even a QTIP along the backs of the fingers—the idea is to stay away from the nails and the palm-side of your hand, but also to let the backs of your hands and fingers match the color of your arms.  Avoid getting the backs of your hands wet for about an hour after applying the lotion there.

Equate Healthy Glow or Jergens Natural Glow

On the back of the legs: note the build-up on that one ankle

No Offensive Smell or Residue.  This can be a problem with some self tanner lotions, but neither the Jergens nor the Equate has an offensive smell.  After both lotions were smoothed on my skin, they both dried in the same amount of time, and neither left a greasy residue on my skin.

Conclusion.  Equate Healthy Glow or Jergens Natural Glow?  For this Ginger, the Equate Healthy Glow self tanner lotion was the clear winner over Jergens Natural Glow. Copycat store brands often disappoint, so I was somewhat surprised by the results of my test.  But I also was pleased:  As a ginger, I use a lot of self tanner lotion in the summer, and Equate Health Glow will save me some money while giving me an even more natural-looking tan.

I’d love to hear your experiences with self tanner lotions!  Feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Laura says

    Ran across a great tanner by Nature’s Gate a couple of years ago – goes on great, no streaks, can be layered as needed and still looks very natural. The ingredients are all healthy with no parabens and the price is comparable to other brands at about $8. I found mine at Earth Fare, however, have ordered it online since as I’m pretty sure they no longer carry it. Pretty impressive results every time!

      • Laura says

        Earth Fare is carrying this product again – still using it myself and highly recommend it – especially this time of year for a bit of color 🙂

        • says

          Hi Laura, and thanks for commenting! I think you’re referring to the Nature’s Gate brand. I saw that Walmart is carrying the Nature’s Gate brand now, which might help push down Earth Fare’s price of the same producet. Nature’s Gate is a rather expensive, but I agree with you–it gives nice color! The only other thing that I don’t care for is the scent on my skin…for some reason it smells like mildew or mold. Ugh, weird, I know! –G

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