As we approach the end of summer (yep - that's it in England!) and we're all going back to work/uni/school, we really want to hang on to that gorgeous summer glow that can only come from getting out and about in the sun. Now, the sun is super important for getting that Vitamin D but it's also seriously dangerous. Whilst I love getting a bit of colour, these days I'm super careful to not over-do it, start with a high number on the sunscreen and work my way down - I'm after a glow not to look like a lobster! For those who love a bit of summer glow and want it to last, I've put together these tips that I use to ensure it lasts.
#1 Pre-summer prep
Let's face it, if you want your holiday tan to last well into November (yes, it can!), you need to prep your skin back in Spring - having the perfect base is really the key to maintaining that glow into the autumn months. I usually start paying quite close attention to my skin in around April; I start shaving and exfoliating more (although really I should do this all year around - but you know, it's not like I get my legs out in winter!) and ensuring that I moisturise properly every day - this is something I'm really bad at but I try to force myself. This step is so important, without it, your tan will be patchy, it will peel and it just won't last.
#2 After sun is king!
While you're on your holidays you need to keep up that prep but at the same time looking after your skin when you come out the sun is just so important as well. There is a reason after-sun creams exist and it's important that we use them - although this is probably where I'm most fussy about my skin care. I have a secret product that I'm going to share with you that I can pretty much guarantee will turn any redness brown overnight and avoid peeling. I found this product years ago in Holland & Barrett and I now never go away without it - it's the Dr Organics Aloe Vera Gel. This stuff lasts for such a long time, I think I'm on year 2 of this bottle and it still works great. I remember being in Morocco last year and burning my leg in the sun, my skin just drank this stuff up and how I avoided peeling was a miracle! Pretty much anything with pure aloe vera in will do the trick - even better, actually taking it from the plant itself!
#3 Don't burn
Kind of goes with the above tip - the best way to ruin all that gentle colour build up is to go and blow it on the last day by burning. If you burn, you peel...fact. Unless you have a miracle product like the one above it really is difficult to undo the effects of sunburn and so it's most likely that even if you start to go brown, a week or two after returning from your hols and it will start to peel. Also...it's just SO BAD FOR YOU!
#4 Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
During and when your return from your hols it's absolutely vital that you do this step. I usually up my routine by moisturising an extra time before bed (if I can be bothered that is) and this really avoids your skin drying up and shedding away all that beautiful glow. If you imagine sticking a wet sponge in the sun all day and then picking it up - how dry and crispy that sponge would be? It wouldn't just be dry, it would be crunchy. That kind of applies to your skin - when it's been in the sun it's going to end up more dry than before you went away and so you need to really give it extra moisture to plump it up again. Also, drinks shed loads of water to keep your skin as hydrated as possible to avoid shedding.
#5 Fake it
When mine starts to fade I like to subtly add on a bit of the fake stuff to make it last just that little bit longer. This tanning oil from Bondi Sands really is a favourite of mine this year; it's more of a daily top up tan than an all out full coverage tan and so it's perfect for correcting patchy areas gone wrong/peeled and just keeping that natural glow looking natural for a few weeks more. It's also much better for skin!
What are your tanning tips?