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How to keep your tan
The trick to tan maintenance is all about your preparation. That is, what you do before you go on holiday rather than what you do afterwards. Exfoliation is one of those words that pops up pretty much every time we want to talk about cellulite, ingrown hairs and tans. It pops up so frequently in fact, that people tend not to realise just how helpful and cleansing it is.
By helping to clear away dead skin cells and stimulating those remaining cells, exfoliation boosts circulation and encourages healthy regeneration of the outer layers of your skin- i.e.: those most exposed to the sun.
In order to ensure a long lasting tan make sure that in the week before you go away on holiday and during your trip, you exfoliate daily using either a salt or sugar scrub or, as I prefer to do, an exfoliating brush. All of these can be purchased at the Body Shop or at Boots. I like to make my own using sugar or salt and olive oil although you may of course use a scented oil.
Step two? Moisturise. Every time you get out of the shower in which you have just exfoliated, moisturise your entire body. This will help to hydrate your skin which is crucial to getting an even and healthy tan.
So what to do once you’re actually out there? I cannot emphasise enough how crucial it is that you use suncream. Do not go near tanning oil. It amazes me that some people still do! The surest way of maintaining your tan is to build it up gradually. By this I mean that your first day on holiday should not be spent entirely on the beach as you’ll burn, then peel, and your tan will disappear twice as quickly at the end of the holiday. Start off with a couple of hours and then increase time sunbathing if you wish, exfoliating and moisturising as you go. Remembering also, to drink a lot of water.
Once you’re home, stop exfoliating but keep moisturising. You will find lots of products at your pharmacist's aimed at maintaining your tan. You can even purchase pills to do so. But the simplest and most natural way forward is the process described above. Just remember, take your time with it. As a rule of thumb, the faster you allow yourself to tan, the shorter its duration.
For your exfoliating pleasure:
One of my personal favourites is the self-heating sugar scrub from the Sanctuary range
Some top after-suns: