How to Make Your Sunless Tan Last Longer

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There’s something so satisfying about having that sunkissed glow. But if you’re trying to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays, you might be missing out on getting the glow you’re looking for. Luckily, self tanner is a great option to help you achieve the gorgeous golden brown you’d expect after a day at the beach — and you can get it without leaving the comfort of your own home!

But how can you extend the life of your sunless tanner and keep that glow looking amazing for weeks at a time? Here are a few ways you can get your self tan to last longer.

Shave or Wax Before Applying

When applying self tanner, it works best if you have a clean canvas to work with. This means that shaving or waxing beforehand will remove the dead skin cells at the top layer of your skin and allow for a smoother application process. Not only that but if you shave after your sunless tan, you are going to lose your tan more quickly because you are essentially shaving it off! Get all of your shaving out of the way before applying your self tanner to ensure you have a smooth canvas to work on and reduce the chances of needing to shave in the coming days.

Exfoliate Your Body

If you don’t exfoliate your body before applying the tanning lotion, you’ll find yourself applying lotion on top of your outer layer of skin (which is made of old and dead skin cells!). To increase the length of your tan, you want to remove this layer before application to ensure the tanner has a smooth surface to adhere to. When showering a few hours before using self tanner, use a washcloth or loofah to scrub your body and remove any excess skin cells.

Wait to Shower

Unless your specific self tanner specifies differently, you should avoid showering directly after application for optimal results. If you workout and sweat, shower, or sit in a sauna shortly after using tanning lotion, your sun-kissed tan will begin fading before it has even had time to really set. If time allows, wait more than five hours before showering. For best results, apply your self tanner at night and shower it off in the morning when you wake up.

Stay Moisturized 

Keeping your skin moisturized is important whether you’re using self tanner or not. But when hoping to extend the life of your sunless tan, staying moisturized is key! When your skin becomes dehydrated, you shed skin cells faster than you would have hydrated skin. This means that as you dry out, your tan will begin fading. Incorporate a hydrating lotion into your daily routine that you can use in the morning, at night, and following a shower.

Reapply As Needed

You might find that a particular area of your body is fading more than another. If this happens, you can reapply the self tanner to the area that has a fading tan to help even out the look with the rest of your body. Before reapplying, lightly exfoliate the area you’re going to be treating to ensure you have a clean canvas. 

Use a Quality Self Tanner

While any of the methods listed above are extremely useful in extending the length of your sunless tan, it also comes down to the quality of the product you’re using. Not all self tanners are created equal. Some might have more of an orange glow, they might leave you streaky, and others might create a mess in your bathroom. While it will take some trial and error to find the self tanner you prefer, you don’t want to skimp on quality here. The better quality the product, the easier it will be to maintain a beautiful tanned glow for weeks at a time.

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