How to Make Your Tan Last as Summer Fades

As late summer drifts into early autumn, it’s easy to feel slightly wistful about the long, warm days we’re leaving behind. No more light-til-10pm BBQs, no more weekend trips to the seaside, your summer holiday now just a memory.

And what about your summer tan? You’ve had to work hard for that, slotting in your garden bronzing sessions around the inevitable summer downpours, paying for those two weeks somewhere genuinely hot to really kick the Vitamin D into gear. Now as the cooler months approach, it feels like it will all go to waste. 

There are, however, a number of things you can do to prolong that hard-earned tan even when the time for sunbathing has long since passed. Here are some useful tips to follow.

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Keep your skin hydrated

The problem with hot sun is that, as well as giving your skin a nice healthy bronzed glow (if you don’t overdo it, of course…), it also dries it out. If your skin dries out too much, it starts to peel, and your tan then fades quickly. One of the best ways to prolong a natural tan for as long as possible is to keep your skin well hydrated. Regularly applying moisturiser is one obvious solution, but a lesser-known tip is to turn down the temperature on your shower, as hot water can have the same drying effect on your skin and the sun. 

Exfoliate gently

Now, given what we have just said about peeling, purposefully trying to buff dead skin cells off your body might sound as if it will do anything but help to prolong your tan. But actually, dead skin cells no longer hold their colour, and the more they build up, the more they will dull the appearance of the Vitamin D-enriched healthy cells underneath. Using an exfoliating body rub once a week to gently remove the dead material will help to maximise your tan. 

Augment your glow

There’s an important distinction to make between fake tanning products and make up and body care products that are designed to enhance rather than replicate a natural tan. Making use of the latter can keep that just-off-the-plane look going for weeks. Products like tint and shimmer gels are perfect for applying to any exposed skin when you head out to give you that healthy beach body shine. Powder bronzer is great to use alongside your normal foundation to accentuate your facial tan. The trick for maintaining a natural look is not to use it as the base, but just apply it sparingly to places that are most likely to catch the sun – nose, cheeks, forehead – and blend to create a natural contrast to the rest of your skin. 

Transition to a bottle tan

Finally, if you are determined to keep your tan throughout the winter, there is no two ways around it – at some point, you will have to start faking it again. This should be a gradual process – start with a reasonably light tanning foam or mousse, apply it sparingly and leave it on for just a short time. The good thing about using fake tan when you already have a good base tan is that it is much easier to achieve a natural effect, but that can easily go wrong if you go all-in with a dark colour that instantly changes the tone of your skin. 

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Mirage Cosmetics is a UK-based wholesale distributor of beauty products and cosmetics. For more information, click here.


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