A high-quality self-tanner can last anywhere from 3 days to a week. But with careful preparation and maintenance, you can get up to 10 days out of your faux glow.
A high-quality self-tanner can last anywhere from 3 days to a week. But with careful preparation and maintenance, you can get up to 10 days out of your faux glow. Here are our best tips for extending the life of your self-tan.
Choosing your self-tanner
If you're after a long-lasting self-tanner, then opt for a lotion. Lotions can be slightly trickier to work with, but you'll get impressive results with staying power. We recommend Clinique Body Tinted Lotion.
Pair such a product with a gradual tanner for top-ups in between tanning days. Try quick and convenient St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower to enhance and maintain your colour.
Applying your self-tanner
If you don't prep your skin before self-tanning, your colour won't last as long. Because self-tan clings to dry patches and dead skin, exfoliating is an absolute must. Exfoliation also helps your self-tan apply without streaks and blotches.
One of the most common mistakes people make is washing off their self-tan too soon, before it's properly developed. Full development can take between 6 and 10 hours, so avoid showering during this critical period.
Maintaining your tan
Everyone's skin cycle is different, but most outer skin cells shed every 5 to 10 days. Therefore, no self-tan will ever last longer than 10 days.
Your skin also sheds quicker in summer, when you sweat more and go in and out of swimming pools. However, by looking after your skin, you can make the most out of your tan and ensure it fades evenly and naturally.
Exfoliate your skin every few days, focusing on areas that tend to fade quickest: underarms, neck, and knees. Exfoliation will fade your tan slightly, but this step is essential to preventing colour build-up and removing dead skin cells. Use a light exfoliant, such as St Tropez Tan Optimiser Body Polisher, to minimise fading.
Moisturise daily, but avoid using products that contain citrus ingredients, as these can strip your colour. We recommend L'Occitane Shea Butter Body Lotion for a gentle but nourishing kick of hydration.
Have a monthly detox
If you're a regular self-tanner and want to maintain your sun-kissed colour year round, have a monthly detox to avoid unwanted colour build-up. When you start to notice your self-tanner isn't working as well and lasting as long, then it's time for a detox.
Start fresh every month with a hot bath or steam bath, and use a strong exfoliant to remove your tan fully. Working from a fresh base can work wonders!
It may take some time to work out the best self-tanning routine for your day-to-day life. Just be sure to correctly prep your skin, leave your tan to develop, and then maintain the colour in order to maximise the longevity of your self-tan.