Pros: Good moisturizer that lasts all day; nice, subtle scent
Cons: Doesn't deliver as promised; leaves a weird residue on the skin
I am a seasoned veteran of the hair removal wars. I started shaving my legs at the age of twelve when I went from no hair to coarse, black hair in the space of several months. (I completely skipped the downy, soft hair stage and jumped right to jungle girl.) In the last twenty-odd years, I have tried nearly every product out there in my quest for smooth, hair-free legs. After a nasty run-in with an epilator last year, I decided to stick with shaving. When I started seeing advertisements for Jergen's Naturally Smooth Shave Minimizing Lotion, I immediately thought, "Great! Now I won't have to shave every day!" Yeah, right.
There seemed to be a big campaign for this product, but while it seemed to be in every women's magazine I looked at, I couldn't find it at any store. Eventually, several months after its introduction, I was able to find it at my local Wal-Mart. As I eagerly read the packaging, one sentence jumped out and stuck in my mind: "...it has been proven to help you shave half as often in only eight weeks..." Wow, I couldn't wait to get started.
The next morning, I slathered on the lotion as soon as I stepped out of the shower. The first thing I noticed about it was that it is quite different from the Jergen's lotion I usually use. I am accustomed to Jergen's lotions being white, but this is more of a tannish color, like a cocoa butter lotion. The smell was also quite different. It is not strongly scented, but rather has a subtle scent, which, while nice, is not easy to identify. Sometimes I think it smells like cocoa butter (I think that has to do with the color), then other times I think it almost smells floral. I think the only way I could really describe it is as a warm, pleasant smell. The lotion also has a nice consistency. I dislike thin, watery lotions because they don't seem to moisturize very well. This lotion has substance without being too thick, and is easy to apply.
For me, the test of a lotion is not how well it moisturizes when you first put it on, but how long that moisturizing effect lasts. I was pleased to find that this moisturizer lasts all day. When I say all day, I mean all the way to the next day's shower. I was impressed with that, because with some lotions, I find I have to re-apply them at night if I don't want to wake up with itchy legs.
All in all, I was very pleased with my new lotion. I liked the scent and the consistency. It was a good moisturizer that kept my legs smooth and soft all day. Now I just needed to wait and see if it really cut down on my need to shave.
I applied the lotion faithfully every day, as soon as I stepped out of the shower. The back label promised that within four weeks, shaving would be faster and easier because the hair would be softer and finer. Four weeks came and went and I honestly didn't see any difference in the condition of the hair on my legs. I still needed to shave every day, and the hair was still just as coarse as it had always been. The label also said that within eight weeks, I would need to shave less often, but at eight weeks, I was still waiting for the miracles promised by week four. I reasoned that maybe my hair was coarser than average, and that it might take me longer to see results. That bottle lasted just short of sixteen weeks. I used it every day during that time, and I never saw any results.
There was, however, one strange development that I noticed almost immediately after starting to use the lotion. It leaves a strange residue on your legs. I first noticed it the day after I started to use it. When I shaved, there was a weird tannish-gray substance on my razor. I could see it in the shave cream before I rinsed it off the razor, and I could see it on the blades. I didn't worry about it too much, though. I just figured it was excess lotion that had not been absorbed by my skin. I decided to use a little less lotion the next day. I continued to find the residue on my razor, even after I cut back to using the absolute minimum amount of moisturizer. I started wondering if this gunk was building up on my legs, so I took a white wash cloth and scrubbed them really well with a mild soap. There was nothing on the wash cloth, which left me puzzled. Eventually, I decided not to worry about the residue. I exfoliate my legs several times a week anyway, so I figured whatever didn't come off on my razor would come off then.
One day, after I had been using the moisturizer for about eight weeks, I was absently rubbing at my leg when I realized I had gunk under my fingernails. It was like my leg had greasy dirt on it. I scratched my leg lightly, and this stuff just started coming off my leg. I was not happy. I went and got in the bathtub, and soaked for a while. The warm water must have softened the residue, because I started getting huge amounts of this tannish-gray sludge off my skin. The only places I had it were the places I had put the lotion: my legs. All the other areas of my body where I used regular lotion, like my torso and my arms, were fine. It took me a long time to scrub the stuff off my skin. I finally had to take a stiff nail brush and scrub one small area at a time with soap until it came clean. When I got done, my legs were raw, but I felt better having that stuff off my skin.
Now, I understand that dead skin and lotion and even soap will build up on your skin and can leave a film, but that is why I use scrubs and exfoliants regularly. I have never, ever before had a lotion leave residue like that on my skin. The only thing that has ever come close to it was the time I worked at a food booth at the local arts festival. The booth I worked at served fried food, and there was so much grease in the air that every night I had to scrub all the exposed areas of my body with a brush to get rid of the thick layer of greasy dirt.
I am no chemist, but I suspect that one of the ingredients in this lotion is a super-sticky greasy substance. Other lotions I have used just wash off with soap and a little elbow grease, but whatever this stuff is, it is hard to clean off your skin. I know some people may not mind that, but it really bothered me.
In all honesty, had the lotion worked as promised, I might have been willing to deal with the reside. I continued using it for another eight weeks after I discovered the sludge. Once a week, I would take a bath and scrub all the gunk off with a brush. Unfortunately, in the sixteen weeks that I used it, the lotion had no effect on the hair on my legs, and it had no effect on my need to shave every day. I am now back to using regular old Jergen's with Aloe, and I find it moisturizes every bit as well as the other stuff without leaving the gunk on my skin.
Ingredients: water, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, petrolatum, mineral oil, SD alcohol 40-B, ceteareth-20, sanguisorba officinalis root extract (herbalsilk), aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, stearic acid, glyceryl dilaurate, DMDM hydantoin, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, carbomer, sodium hydroxide.
Questions? see www.jergens.com