We’re halfway through summer, which means it’s time to buckle down and get to work on that tan. Sure, you may be a sun-kissed god right now, but by the time autumn arrives will you still be looking so good and golden? If you want to keep your colour, you have to take care of it. Here are a few top tan tips for prolonging that handsome ‘statue chiselled from bronze’ look into the next season.
Keep It Fresh
First, a quick biology lesson: you get a tan when sun stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment that colours the top layer of your skin. That top layer sheds approximately every two weeks, so to maximise your tan exfoliate regularly. The exfoliation ensures that the cells at the end of their life cycle are shed and the fresh cells beneath are prepped to soak up the sun. Dry skin can also cause an uneven tan, making it all the more important to slough away dead cells.
Keep It Hydrated
Staying hydrated is skincare 101, but it’s even more important when you’re trying to maintain your summer glow. Dry skin is flaky skin is skin that sheds and takes your tan with it. Proper water intake (especially when you’re in the sun and more likely to lose water through sweating) can help extend the life of your skin cells and, along with them, your tan. Remember that water intake doesn’t have to mean drinking – foods like cucumbers have a high water content that lets you snack your way to hydration.
Keep It Protected
It sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out: wearing sunscreen is vital not only for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, but also for achieving a long-lasting tan. A burn provides colour for a bit, but it fades faster than the colour earned from a slower tanning process because your body is anxious to rid itself of damaged cells. Bronze is a good look; roasted red is not.
Keep It Cool
There’s nothing like a hot shower, but it isn’t helping your skin. That hot water can actually cause greater dehydration and dryness in your skin, leading to faster peeling and a farewell to your tan. Cool down the temp as much as you can handle, and use a moisturising shower oil while you’re scrubbing up.
Keep It Moist
Along with hydrating your skin from the inside, it’s also important to moisturise from the outside. A daily or twice daily dose of moisturiser will help keep peeling at bay, ensuring your tan stays put and your skin stays smooth. Pay special attention to the face, where tans tend to fade first.
……. And If All Fails Wear White
You can’t be whiter than a white suit, can you? It may technically be cheating, but we’re not going to turn our nose up at a tried-and-tested trick for tan-ness (perceived, anyway) when we’re feeling pale.