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How To Make Your Natural Tan Last Longer

Getting a natural tan can be hard work, especially when you’re trying to do so responsibly. If you’ve been away on holiday and spent time in the sun, kept hydrated, applied sun cream regularly, kept out of the midday heat and avoided awkward tan lines, then chances are you’re heading home the darkest shade of brown you’ve ever been.

RELATED: How to apply sunscreen

After all that effort, though, you’re now faced with the challenge of keeping your natural tan from fading. Here we look at some methods that might help you.

Woman facing camera with arms behind her head, smiling and backlit by the sun.

How to prolong a natural tan

Avoid hot baths

If you want to prolong your tan, taking cold showers is the way to do this. When trying to maintain your skin’s healthy glow, you should aim to keep yourself as hydrated as possible and exfoliate as little as possible.

In hot water, your dead skin cells are more likely to flake off and wash away, meaning your tan won’t stick around for as long. Wash in cold water, avoid long, hot showers, try to avoid exfoliating washcloths, loofahs and sponges, and make sure the shower gel you’re using is moisturising rather than exfoliating. Avoid anything that has microbeads in, and instead opt for a creamy, moisturising alternative like the Avon Senses Buttermilk & Cocoa Shower Creme.

Hydrate and moisturise

When trying to prolong a tan, the main aim is to keep your body as hydrated and moisturised as possible. According to the NHS, you should aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Drinking water like this will help you stay hydrated and stop your skin cells from drying out faster and flaking off, taking your tan with them.

We can think of moisturiser as a drink for our skin. To help keep your sun-kissed look, moisturise morning and night with a moisturising cream, body butter or body lotion. We recommend looking for a product that has aloe vera as its main ingredient. You could even use a dry oil spray to help lock in your skin’s moisture. This will also give you a dewy, sun-kissed look.

Eat foods rich in beta carotene

According to Healthline, beta carotene is the vitamin A in certain fruits and vegetables that helps give them their rich, dark orange/red colour. Some examples of this include sweet potatoes and carrots. The theory is that eating this type of vitamin A will give your skin a similar orange tint.

Give the illusion that you’re browner than you are

As your natural tan starts to fade, there are a few ways you can make yourself look browner than you are. Firstly, wear white. Wearing lighter colours will contrast with the dark tones of your skin, making you appear darker than you are. You may also wish to use teeth whitening products as this can have a similar effect, making your skin look darker in comparison to the white of your teeth.

If all else fails, and as your tan starts to fade, top it up with a fake tan. For a more natural look, you might wish to use a product that builds a gradual tan instead, like the Skin So Soft Enhance & Glow Gradual Body Lotion.