Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
What’s the best part about summer? A summer tan! We all love that golden glow we get from a holiday and the hotter months, and then hate it when we start to see it fade. This guide will help you keep your tan looking better, for longer.
We all love a summer tan – it makes us glow from the inside-out. Unfortunately, every summer holiday has to come to an end, and the chances of sustaining our tan once back in the English weather is highly minimal. For this reason, we want our natural summer tans to last as long as possible. This guide will give you our top tips for maintaining our golden glows.
The Best Way to Get a Tan
Before you set out on holiday you should make yourself aware of the dangers of too much sun. Too much sun exposure can cause your skin more damage than good. As long as you tan smart, you’ll be fine. Many people ask “how long does a tan last?”. This is completely down to how you look after it.
What to Be Aware Of
It’s a common misconception that the longer you stay out in the sun, the darker your skin will tan. Wrong. “What does tan mean?” I hear you ask. Tanning occurs from UVA rays triggering our skin to produce melanin, which is the brown pigment your skin releases to protect your skin from burning, aka, the tan. Our bodies are only able to produce a certain level of melanin, so too much exposure will only make us burn, not go darker. Everyone’s bodies produce different levels, so get to know what your personal limits are. Don’t be afraid to seek shade to let your skin ‘breathe’ for a bit.
The right sun protection is essential. When buying your suncream, opt for at least an SPF30. Don’t forget to re-apply throughout the day. Suncream does not prevent your skin from tanning, only burning – don’t make this mistake.
Sunbeds should always be a no-no. They emit far more harmful UV rays than good ones, which naturally increases the risk of cancer and skin damage. If you really want a tan, go for a spray – but a holiday is much more fun. It’s up to you to take care of your skin. Make sure you bag yourself some sunglasses to take with you.
How to Tan Quickly
Does baby oil help you tan? A lot of people turn straight to branded ‘tan accelerating’ oils to get their glow quick, however, there are plenty of risks that come with this technique. First of all, never believe what you read on a bottle. Companies will do anything to make you believe that their product will turn you into a Dolce & Gabbana David Gandy in a couple of hours. In fact, when your skin reaches its max production of melanin, you’ll stop tanning, and no product you can rub on your skin will trigger more release.
Due to the nature of tanning oil’s ingredients, it will not stop you from burning. If anything, you’ll burn quicker. Tanning oil will rarely contain an SPF higher than 15, which is not good. If you insist on using tanning oil, remember to use sun cream too, and keep a close eye on the condition of your skin. Despite all of this, tanning oil does make you look radiant on holiday… Just use it sparingly.
How to Stop Peeling
Here are our tips on how to prevent peeling. The bad news – once your skin starts peeling, there’s very little you can do to make it stop. The good news – you can prevent your skin from getting to that scaly peeling stage in the first place.
Be kind to your skin. Before you go on holiday you should do an all-over exfoliate as it will get rid of dead skin cells (don’t exfoliate once you start the tanning process). Make sure you moisturise after this, allowing your skin to feel nourished and hydrated. Moisturising should be a priority throughout the whole of your holiday – if your skin gets dry it is more than likely to start to peel. Aid your body’s hydration by drinking plenty of water.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones and peeling post-holiday is an inevitable fate, you can help yourself by purchasing a dermatological cream such as E45. They have products specifically for dry skin, so this should help nurse your skin back to health.
How to Keep Your Tan
If you’re wondering how to prolong a tan, listen up. I’ve said it once (or a few times) and I’ll say it again: moisturise! Did you know, our skin cells have a life of 21-28 days? They are produced in our deepest skin level and rise to the surface before dying. This means we have to constantly take care of our skin to keep it healthy.
Hot water is harsh on the skin and can cause it to dry our skin out. When you have a tan, try to avoid having baths or showers in too hot water. We advise you also accompany your warm shower with an oil based shower wash, followed by your faithful moisturiser after. PLEASE do not exfoliate when you have a tan, this will quite literally rub off your dead skin cells which can cause peeling.
How to Maintain Your Tan
- Remember, a natural tan looks better and is better for you. If you insist on going fake, have a spray tan and avoid sunbeds so as not to damage your skin.
- Make yourself aware of the risks of too much sun exposure. You can end up burnt and prolonged sun exposure could have serious health risks.
- Sun cream is your friend! You might think that it interferes with your tan, but it doesn’t. It just protects the skin from burning and from UVA/UVB rays.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a moisturiser. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water, too.
On That Note
A tan can be the highlight of a summer holiday, but it can also go pretty wrong. If you allow yourself to burn, you’ll just end up peeling, and then it’s game over. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking that, somehow you are stronger and more powerful than the sun. It will destroy you! Keep on top of your sun cream, keep yourself hydrated and have a ball.
Feature image from Pinterest