Making Your Self Tanner Last Longer

Published: 09th April 2010
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Summer time is upon us, and you know what that means. It's time to break out the clothes that cover less, the bathing suits, and the self tanners to give us that sun kissed glow without the sun damage. I've already been applying self tanner for a few weeks now, getting back in the swing of things so I can expertly apply those weekly tans when I start wearing shorts and cropped pants again.

I've found a few new application techniques and tips that can work to both make your sunless tan prettier and more natural looking, sans that streaks and blotches that put so many people off. I've also found a few ways that seem to work really well to make your faux tan last longer.

One of the most annoying things about both real and fake tans is that they do tend to fade quickly. Especially if, like me, your skin cells turn over at very high rates. That's great for anti aging, but not so great if you're looking to make a sunless tanning lotion or spray last longer on your skin.

Since a self tanner essentially tans only those top few layers of skin, and you literally shed millions of dead skin cells every day, you can lose that tan very quickly. Here are a few tips to keep your sunless tan longer. First, you will want to not take long, hot showers.

That hot water may feel great beating down on your tired, weary body in the morning or at the end of the day. However, too much water, especially if it's very high temperature, will actually wash off your tan more quickly. Even though I love long, hot showers, I try to really limit my time in the shower when I've just applied self tanner earlier that day or yesterday.

I also do not use any harsh soaps, and I avoid using body soap that has any sodium laurel sulfate in it. Harsh salts, which are often used in soaps, can wear away at your tan and dry your skin out. Instead, opt for a glycerin based soap or a natural vegetable based soap.

Also, when you towel dry off from your shower, don't rub your skin, but instead pat it dry. This helps prevent the exfoliation of your self tanned skin right off on to the towel. I've actually seen the self tanner's brown color come right off when I rubbed too hard with a towel, so it's better to not exfoliate. Of course, that is unless it's right before you are self tanning, which is actually recommended for a more even tan.

You can use self tanner extenders also, which are essentially the daily use self tanners with a very weak concentration of the DHA ingredient. DHA is the chemical that is derived from sugar cane which actually "tans" your outermost layers of skin to provide the burnt sienna look of a real tan.

I like to make sure after applying my lotion or spray of choice that I have plenty of time to knock around the house in shorts and a loose fitting tank top. This allows the tan to "set" without interference from clothes. DHA actually requires oxygen to develop, so that less covered up you are, the quicker and more effectively your color will develop.

Oh, here's a great tip for helping to set your tanning lotion. Once you have it applied to every area of your body, get your hair drier out. Yep, that's right - the same one you use to blow dry your hair. Put it on it's highest heat setting, and blow it for a few minutes on every area of your body that you have applied your product.

This also helps to set the product, and gives you a very nice development, since it dries it and oxygenates it more quickly. Plus, it feels pretty darn good if you're doing it in the cooler weather - it warms you right up!

Danna Norek contributes to several websites on beauty, natural health, fitness and well being. She frequently reports on her many experiences in the realm of beauty, health and overall self improvement. Another huge concern for the summer bikini season is cellulite. For information on natural techniques and the newest product to fight cellulite, visit Products to Eliminate Cellulite. If you want to find more information on the best self tanners for the coming summer season, and tons more beauty tips and reviews, visit her blog at The Best Self Tanners.

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