Skin Care

How Long does Self-Tan Last, and how do I Make it Last Longer?



by Lydia


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Getting that bronzed glow can be a bit irresistible at times, and you might find yourself turning to self-tanning. Getting a self-tan takes away the trouble of standing out in the sun or lying on a tanning bed, which might be costly and less efficient over time. Sunless tanning has become popular over time because of how safe it is compared to other methods. Self-tanning also gives you control over whether you want to get a dark tan or a light tint.

Knowing how to apply self-tanner is the best bet towards getting a longer-lasting tan. Getting a sunless tan eliminates the chances of having no dead skin cells to deal with in your skincare routine. However, a sunless tanner will not last forever on your skin as it has to come off after a given period. Therefore, the big question is, how long does self-tan last?

How Long Does Self-Tan Last?

As your skin cells regenerate, the tan you apply to your skin starts fading off as well. The skin is quite a very active organ that regenerates every couple of days, and the sunless tanning products are most definitely going to fade away. Therefore, unless you reapply the tanner, even a high-quality self-tanner will last up to only about 10-days at a time.

The time self-tanners take on your body will largely depend on your skincare routine. For example, if you exfoliate often, the tan might not take as long as you might have desired. On the other hand, a long-lasting tan coupled with a conscious skin-care routine will give you days before you have to apply the skin tan again.

How to Make a Self-Tan Last Longer

If you want to wear your skin tan for a long time, you have to be intentional about maintaining and treating your skin. While the tan might give you an instant glow, even a deep tan will not withstand certain skincare routines. However, you can use methods to care for your skin to ensure the tan goes nowhere and remains natural-looking.

Note that there are different skin types, and the reaction of everyone might be slightly different. While it might take others up to ten days before the gorgeous tan will require a retouch, others might take only up to four days. After applying a self-tanner, you can use the following tanning tips to maintain a natural-looking tan for a long time.

1. Exfoliate Before Applying Tanner

Apply a self-tanner on clean and moisturized skin for a long-lasting experience. Sunless tanners work on appearance like a normal tan on the skin cells. However, when you exfoliate first, you give the self-tanner enough time to last longer than when you apply the self-tanner on almost regenerated skin.

Exfoliation will keep the self-tanner from clinging to patches of dead skin cells. However, if you have self-tanners that tan skin deeper to achieve a dark tan, you will not experience fading as evenly as you applied the self-tanner. Therefore, it is vital to remove the old tan before applying a new tan to your skin.

Exfoliating gives you the chance to apply the self-tanner more evenly on your skin. You want your self-tanner to be believable when you go out there. While not even the sun will give you an even tan, you have to try and get a natural-looking result whenever you use a sunless tanner.

2. Avoid Hot Tubs and Showers

We all know how the hot shower can sometimes be very relaxing. You can get more stories about hot showers and a long day than you will about cold showers. We all want to jump into the hot water sometimes and get rid of the stressful day. However, we must remember the glow that we worked so hard to achieve when we applied the self-tanner. Therefore, I am about to suggest that you avoid bathing in the hot tub for very long periods and good reasons.

Hot water affects the skin that may not go well with the self-tanner you just applied. When you shower with hot water, you tend to get dry skin instead of when you shower with cold water. When your skin becomes dry, its natural reaction is to try and shed off the dead skin cells to give space for a newer generation. This process of constant shedding will make your tan uneven as the upper layer of your skin is constantly changing.

The skin regeneration process happens naturally, and while it changes, it takes away the self-tanner with it. Getting a hot wash is a very relaxing process, and we would never want to take that away from you. However, you can minimize your time in the shower to avoid having your tan removed sooner than you expected. Avoid showering in extremely hot showers. Instead, you can use moderately hot water for your wash and keep your glow for a longer period.

3. Avoid Exfoliants and Some Skin-Care Products

While you can always keep your skin moisturized using different methods, including the cold shower, you may want to avoid some skin-care products. Several skincare products have the primary function of exfoliating your skin and giving room for new cells to regenerate. Unfortunately, while you have the luxury of using a daily moisturizer and a body lotion that will keep the skin from drying up, exfoliants are not very kind to your tan.

Once you use a self-tanner, you will have to say goodbye to using products that directly exfoliate your skin surface. In addition, self-tanning should not be a daily process, making it necessary to change your skin-care routine.

4. Moisturize Daily

When you moisturize daily, you are giving the self-tanner a chance to serve you for a long time to come. Moisturizing keeps your skin healthy and the cells put. Self-tanners sit on the skin cells right on the surface. When you do not use a moisturizer to keep your skin in check, self-tanners will not function the way you might like them to. Self-tanning is a conscious process that you must be aware of in all situations.

When moisturizing, you want to avoid concentrated oils like coconut oil. Oils make the self-tanners break unevenly. The structure of the self-tanner might be vulnerable to concentrated oils as well. Self-tanners will not do well with synthetic fragrances as those can be harsh. Remember that the self-tanner acts as a color additive to the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, and a competitor is not what you want to include in the equation.

You can get moisturizing lotions. A side note here would be drinking a lot of water as that will be a careful way of keeping your skin tanned at all times.

More Self-Tanning Tips

a) Extend Existing Tans

Whenever you have sun damage on your skin due to long periods of exposure, you will get a tan. Unintentional sun tanning is never even as good-looking as intentional tanning. However, it would beat the point to overly apply tan over the already tanned surfaces. Instead, you can extend the tan by using a self-tanner. Using a spray tan is better because it will blend in easily, and no one will notice the difference. In addition, a spray tan is easier to apply than using your bare hands. The spray tan has no contender in the versatility game.

b) Exfoliate Every 3 Days

Exfoliating often prevents your tan from developing patches and looking awkward. A sunless tanner can come off due to external elements like your skincare products and routine. Therefore, you want to ensure that the tan stays darker and natural-looking by having a new tan before getting one. The tanner has DHA that may react with the dead skin cells to produce a smell that is not very impressive, and exfoliating regularly helps sort a bit of that out. Be careful if you have in-grown hair issues or acne.

Remember that exfoliating your skin every so often can damage your skin and make it more susceptible to the sun or other products. So you need to take maximum care when going about this process.

Final Take

Introducing the self-tanner to your skin-care routine means making a lot of changes. You need to be aware and conscious of the changes you will have to make to get the best results out of your tanning journey. Remember that different skin types respond differently to skin-care products and routines. For example, we might suggest that you avoid oily products when your skin is naturally dry, or we might say that you should exfoliate regularly when you have sensitive skin. Know your skin type and respond appropriately to it. Be friends with your dermatologist every time you are about to make major changes to your skincare regimen.


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