We all love the healthy glow from our summer holiday tan, but living in the rainy British climate means that tans can start to fade from the moment we step off the plane. Because bronzed skin is born from the sun activating a colour pigments in the epidermal (top) layer of your skin, the colour will only last between six to 10 days due to the natural turnover of cells. Prolong your tan with these top tips to maintaining that summer glow:
- Exfoliate. This should be done before your holiday to ensure that your skin is hydrated and prepped for tanning. Dry skin can lead to peeling, and in some cases, an uneven tan, so slough away dead skin cells with a gentle exfoliator, such as Primavera's Organic Juniper Berry & Cypress Body Scrub (RRP £20.00 for 200ml). However, it's also easy to create your own body scrubs by combining a few heaped spoonfuls of rock sea salt with essential oils or your regular olive oil from the kitchen.
- Protect. Wearing sunscreen is vital when exposed to the sun, not only to protect your skin from harmful UV rays but also if you want a long-lasting tan. Not only is it dangerous to avoid wearing sunscreen but the colour achieved through burning will fade quicker as these skin cells have become damaged and will peel off more easily. Make sure to opt for a sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) and re-apply throughout the day.
- Hydrate. Scientists believe that water helps extend the life of your skin cells, so drink as much as possible. Melons, cucumbers and celery also have a high water content and make for the perfect skin-friendly snack this summer.
- Moisturise. In addition to drinking lots of water, it's also important to keep the peeling at bay with a daily dose of moisturiser. Moisturising is key to a healthy and long-lasting tan, to ensure skin remains hydrated and smooth. The face is the first area where tans usually fade, so remember to use a good quality face moisturiser as well as a body lotion. A product such as Olay's Everyday Sunshine (RRP £7.65) is a great face cream with just a touch of tan to maintain that sunkissed glow.
- Cheat. Similarly using an after sun such as Clarins' edition with Self Tanning (RRP £19.00) is a great way to top up your natural tan and extend the colour even as it begins to fade. However, when your golden hue has completely disappeared you needn't fear, take a look at our round-up of six of the best fake tans for a sunkissed look all year round.