You’ve been away (or fingers crossed we’ve had a BBQ British summer) and you’ve got your tan on. You’ve followed all the instructions to build the tan up gradually without burning and to drink lots of water and your skin is GLOWING.
You want to stay like this forever. However, you notice that day by day your tan is fading. It’s a sad inevitability caused by the fact that your skin ages and sheds - taking your lovely golden tan with it.
All is not lost! You can prolong your tan by changing one simple thing that you do every day. Showering.
The best way to make your tan last is to keep it moisturised and happy. Moisturised skin won’t turn over so quickly and you’ll stay browner longer.
One of our daily activities that is surprisingly drying for our skin is showering. The hot water and harsh cleaning agents strip the skin of oil. As soon as you step out of the shower that water in your skin starts to evaporate - and because you’ve removed the emollients from your skin, it takes out more water than you’ve put in. This is bad news for your tan. If your skin feels tight after a shower your skin is dry , skin cells will die and fall off quicker, taking your tan with them.
The trick is to keep your tan well hydrated in the shower. Here’s a pearl of wisdom from skin expert, Nichola Joss:
"Take every opportunity to moisturise your skin. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a shower oil instead of a gel, which cleanses but intensely moisturises at the same time."
That’s right, it’s usually shower gels and hard soaps that strip and dry the skin. Switching to an oil or cream cleanser will get you clean and prolong your tan.
And it’s important to keep your skin hydrated while your building up your tan in order to build a deep umber. Noella Gabriel, co-founder & managing director at Elemis says:
"Take your own shower cream and body oil when you are on holiday. Excess sun exposure will leave your skin dehydrated, so switch from a gel to a shower cream."
Shower creams work in two ways. They usually contain gentle cleansers that don’t strip the skin of oils, plus they actively seal in water from the shower. Dermatologist Dr. Ross Perry says:
"apply body oil or baby oil after showering and while the skin is still wet to trap in moisture"
Heat also strips oil from the skin. If you can manage to turn the shower temp down a degree or two, your skin will thank you for it. Beauty writer Carly Hobbs says
"Did you know that taking hot showers causes your skin to dehydrate and peel quicker? So, if you want to make your tan last longer, all you need to do is swap a hot shower for a cool one. It helps to use an oil-based shower gel, too, as excessive bubbles can actually rub away your tan."
Showering is something we do every day, maybe more than once a day if we’re on a beach holiday. If you do it right, you can end up looking healthy and glowing for much longer, and it’s not hard to do. Use a cream shower cleaner while on holiday and after, take cooler showers and moisturise.