For the record, we don’t condone natural tanning. Any type of tan is damaging to your skin — so makes sure you apply that sunscreen stat! To get that lounging-by-the-pool-all-summer look, we suggest using a great self-tanner, and it’s easy to keep the natural-looking color all summer long with a few simple tricks. (Who said you need a spray tan every week to get some great beach color like Nina Dobrev?)
A tan looks best when skin is hydrated. The St. Tropez Tan Optimiser Shower Cream ($15, sttropeztan.com) combines organic aloe vera with hydrating Mediterranean oils to cleanse the skin, which ensures the tan will fade evenly and will help avoid a patchy finish. To apply, use like any other shower gel; work into a lather while showering and rinse thoroughly. Also, opt for a tinted lotion like Vita Liberata Tinted Self Tan Lotion For Body ($37.50, sephora.com) for subtle color and hydration in one step. Apply every other day for color that builds up over time.
Yes, exfoliation does remove some of the tan, but it also eliminates build-up of dead skin cells, preventing dry, rough skin that can make your tan look uneven. “Using a light exfoliator will guarantee the tan remains and stays even during the duration of the tan and as it starts to fade,” says Skin Finishing Expert Sophie Evans from St. Tropez. One exfoliator we love: Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish ($65, sephora.com). Blended with natural oils, it’s gentle on even the most sensitive skin.
Skip The Wax
Avoiding waxing after applying self tanner because waxing not only removes the hair follicle beneath the skin’s surface, but it also removes a very thin layer of skin cells on the surface. As an alternative, shave with an electric shaver which doesn’t remove as many surface skin cells. To prolong hair removal even more, try Gigi Slow Grow ($11.50, sallybeauty.com), a clear lotion with argan oil that minimizes the appearance of new hair growth.
Just like a moisturizer, hydrating yourself from the inside out will also help prevent peeling. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re getting any natural rays over the weekend.
Read more: The 5 Rules Of Self-Tanning