Getting back from the summer with an glowing tan can feel amazing, but living in rainy England, our tans start to fade from the moment that we step back onto home soil. Whilst it may be impossible to keep longterm, there are definitely a few tips to increase the longevity of your tan, be it natural or fake so I thought I would compile the best of them to help keep you glowing for longer.
From a scienc-y point of view, you tan because the sun activates colour pigments in the top layer of your skin, which unfortunately means that after about a week, when these cells die and are shed, your tan ends up going with them. However, there are a couple of ways that you can slow this process down, first of which would be to exfoliate. This should really be done prior to soaking up the rays, so that your skin is prepped for the tanning. Exfoliating will not only help to give a nice smooth surface to the skin, which will keep it looking pretty, but also to delay the next turnover of cells, thereby increasing the time that you keep your tan for. My favourite body exfoliator at the moment is the Karora MicroPeel*, a chemical exfoliant which makes the whole process really easy, more on which you can find in my recent post here.
My next top tip would be to wear sunscreen when soaking up the rays. Not only can they be incredibly harmful, but being burned can lead to peeling, and therefore a quicker loss of tan from your skin. Make sure to go for a high SPF, particularly at the start, when your skin isn't used to the sun, and slather it on at regular intervals. Next, hydrating well and moisturising the heck out of your skin are both really important tools in helping your tan to last. Water helps to extend the life of cells, and moisture can also help prevent the peeling commonly associated with after sun time. My favourites would have to be the b:liv Soothe and Splash for face, and Soap and Glory Smoothie Star for body, as well as a really good, strong after sun. Finally, when all else fails, cheat. A good gradual moisturiser like the St Tropez one will help to top up the natural tan and transition the colour as it starts to fade away. Do wait until the last minute to start this step though, as a natural tan is always nicer than anything that you can find in a bottle.
So, those are my top tips for keeping a tan as long as possible, what are yours?