How to Keep Your Summer Tan Intact

Make that self-tanner work harder.

Caitlin M.
ByCaitlin M.

Although we're big proponents of sun protection here at Influenster, we can't help but adore the kiss of bronze we get during the summer. (OK, so we might turn to a little self-tanner for the extra boost!) But after Labor Day, we notice that golden glow seems to fade as fall and dare we say it, winter, creep in. To help prolong that lovely tan—real or fake—as long as possible, we chatted with James Read, Tanning Expert & Founder of James Read Tan, to get his best tips!

Prep the skin: If you're a self-tanning fan, the best way to stop your bronze kiss from fading is to prep the skin. "Shave a day before applying your self-tan," explains Read. "And if you need to shave once you've applied the tanner, use an electric shaver and not a wet razor, as this removes the tan!"

Beat the fade: "A faux tan fades as the skin begins to turn over as the tanner sits on top of the skin and is not absorbed," he says. "As the skin is exfoliated, the tan begins to fade naturally." The same is true of a natural tan. As skin cells shed and turn over, new ones emerge. (Remember: A tan is technically a sign of damaged skin, so self-tanner is a safer bet!) If you're planning on continuing to be out in the sun, apply a waterproof SPF (yes, you always need it!). Lastly, avoid oily products, such as body oils. They might feel nice, but they can make a tan fade faster! Instead use an after-sun lotion or cream that's oil-free.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Probably the most important part to prolonging a tan is hydration. Drinking lots of water and consuming foods rich in oil and water is key. Read recommends carrots and avocados for healthy skin! But hydration doesn't stop there. Read says it's essential to moisturize daily to make your tan last longer and keep skin looking hydrated. (He recommends opting for a moisturizer rich hyaluronic acid!) "Use a hydrating mask on your face after a day or two to help extend the life of your tan," he adds. Also, if you did take the self-tan route, make sure you exfoliate after three days to allow the tan to fade evenly, he says.

What products do you use to keep your tan last into the fall? Let us know!

And don't forget to sign up for Influenster!

And watch our Facebook Live with James to get all these tips and more! 

About the Author
Caitlin M.
Caitlin M.
Runner. Music lover. All things nachos. Follow me on Instagram: @caitlinsmiller