When Jergens Natural Glow launched in 2005, it was instant hit. A WWD report in December of that year proclaimed that “shoppers scrambled to find it, retailers couldn’t get enough of it and prestige beauty marketers rushed to launch similar innovations.” The franchise, which promised to deliver a healthy, tanned glow along with moisturized skin, was estimated to have made $50 million in retail sales in it first nine months on shelves.
Fifteen years later, Kao Corp.-owned Jergens is launching in the U.S. market a new self-tanner line for the selfie generation. Sol by Jergens, due in mass retailers such as Target, Ulta Beauty, CVS and Walgreens in March, consists of three self-tanning and bronzing products that promise a more intense tan than Natural Glow.
The Sunless Tanning Water Mousse and Towelettes, $19.99, come in medium and deep shades and promise color within four to six hours. The Tone-Enhancing Body Bronzer, $16.99, is an illuminating wash-off bronzer infused with coconut water and shea butter that offers a more immediate effect. Sol also sells a self-tan mitt, $5.99.
The products are designed to compete with the new crop of self-tan formats now available in the prestige market, and to appeal to a younger consumer who wants to look tan in selfies. Over the past two years, brands such as Tan Luxe and St. Tropez have ramped up outdated self-tan technologies, introducing oils, foams and sprays said to be easier to apply. The brand intends to advertise primarily through social media and influencers.
“She’s going to Sephora or Ulta and spending $40, $50, $60 on self-tanner,” said Karen Tlucek, senior brand manager for Jergens Global Strategy and Innovation, of Sol’s target consumer. “We’re bringing the prestige benefits to mass.”
Jergens also developed a proprietary technology to mask the smell of DHA, an ingredient used in self-tanners that allows color to develop on skin — it’s a particularly recognizable scent that has plagued self-tan brands for decades and has been a barrier to entry for consumers. According to Jergens, the Sol products are designed to smell “like an ocean water and passion fruit fragrance.”
While the Jergens Natural Glow products sit with hand and body products as mass retail, Sol will be placed next to sun-care products and other sunless tanners.