Keeping your summer tan can seem as hard as keeping up with Jennifer Aniston’s love life, but it needn’t be – with these tricks and product tips you can hold the glow well into the new season…
We may be swapping our sun frocks for chunky knits but it doesn’t mean we want to lose our hot holiday glow just yet. Make your colour go the distance with these tan prolonging tips and tricks.
To ensure a long lasting tan it’s important to exfoliate before sun exposure, but not after. By prepping your skin with a good scrub you’ll reduce dryness which can lead to peeling and help your tan develop deeper and in turn last longer. Try to resist using harsh exfoliators once you’re tanned (whether it’s real or not), so that you don’t scrub it off – unless of course your skin is flaky, although the trick is to keep it hydrated.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise should be your after-sun mantra. For real results swap a normal body cream for a specialist product like Lancaster Tan Maximiser (£21, 0800 376 0688) that works with the skin’s own natural tanning ability and promises to increase your tan by up to 50%.
Whilst this will naturally extend your tan you can also give it a helping hand with a moisturising gradual tanner that will blend into and enhance your sun kissed colour. Our all-time fave is the Xen-Tan Transform Luxe (£23.95, xen-tan.co.uk). It may be pricey but it never streaks, gives a natural olivey (not orangey) glow and smells divine. For those on a budget reach for Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion (£4.99, boots.com) which is also pretty foolproof.
If you’re planning on topping up your tan at any time remember to also load up on sun cream. Even though you have your ‘base’ it will actually help make your tan last longer.
Swap your shower gel for an oil like Eucerin Bath & Shower Oil (£8.95, Boots) which is super-hydrating and replace your loofah or sponge for a wash cloth like the fab Life NK Japanese Wash Cloth (£18, spacenk.co.uk) which magically quadruples your body wash product and is machine washable so lasts for yonks.
Avoid waxing when you’re suntanned, always do you hair removal prep before, and if you’re a shaving kind of girl swap your wet razor with an electric shaver which won’t remove as many surface skin cells (i.e. your top layer of tan).
It’s never too late to keep up your pre-tanning routine during or after sun exposure. Little things like drinking plenty of water that hydrates you from the inside out will help prevent peeling. Also taking sun care skin nutrients like the Imedeen Tan Optimizer capsules (£19.97, boots.com) in conjunction with an SPF during tanning and a short while after will support the skins natural tanning and protection mechanism.
Burning is the ultimate health and tanning no-no. Not only does it increase the risk of sun damage, ageing and skin cancer it will ruin your chances of developing an even and long lasting tan in the short term.
However, if you have mistakenly over-exposed your skin there are products that can help reverse the damage. NIA 24 Sun Damage Repair for Décolletage & Hands (£45, spacenk.co.uk) is a nutrient rich anti-ageing body cream that promises to repair skin post-sun exposure. It contains patented pro-niacin which strengthens the skin barrier from within, improving the appearance of photo-damage. It may be expensive but Elizabeth Arden Prevage Body Total Transforming Anti-Ageing Moisturiser (£95, boots.com) also works wonders to reduce the appearance of discolouration, age spots and crepey skin that sun damage can cause.