How Long Does Self Tanner Last?

When it comes to chocolate brown, bronzed, summer skin, all of us are down for some self tanner. First of all, because it is easy to get. Second of all – it is not as harmful to the skin, as the actual suntan. But the question, that worries many of the individuals, is: how long does self tanner last?

Self-tanner on the skin

Getting a spray tan or using any self tanning products by yourself can become really stressful. The application can get very dirty and, not to mention, you can almost say ‘goodbye’ for the light clothes or sheets. In upcoming days after the application, you are kind of obsessively looking for any streaks or spots and then watch for two weeks as your beautiful, summer bronze, sexy skin fades to a patchy and dry surface.

Well, on average, a high-quality self tanner can last anywhere from 3 days to a week. But it really depends. Several factors can influence how long a sunless tan can stay on your body. Some of them are the quality of the product that you use, how you take care during the application process and the things that you do after applying a self tanner. In general, many things play a role in your new tan’s longevity, but with some tips and tricks, it is possible for the self tanner to stay on to 10 days!

How Self Tanners Work

Basically, your skin is constantly changing. The skin cells of your body are continually forming, dying and being replaced by new ones. So, the self tanners work by interacting with the dead skin cells that form the skin’s surface layer to change their color and simulate a bronzed, summer tan.

The cells that self tanner targets, will ‘fall off’ within some time, in order for the new skin cells to appear. So, the glow that you get after the application will disappear within a few days. Since skin cells replace each other quite fast, the color of the self tanner will generally only last between three and seven days. As mentioned before, by taking good care of your self tan, you might manage to stretch it to 10 days.

Quality Of The Self Tanner

One of the main self tanner lasting power factors is the quality of the product. Gorgeous, long-lasting tan starts with a quality self tanner. Some products can leave you with streaks, patches, spots, unnatural coloration, and rapid fading. Good quality self tanners, that match your skin undertone, make it a lot more simple to secure a smooth, even glow that will be on your skin for days.

It doesn’t matter if you use a lotion, foam, oil or gradual tanner – choosing a product with better quality, from a trusted brand with good reviews, will allow you to get a beautiful summer tan that lasts for a week or even more.

How To Apply Correctly?

Self-tanner application

If you do not prepare your skin very well before self tanning, your color will not last as long as you wish. Self tanners stick to dry patches and dead skin, so exfoliating is for sure a must. Exfoliation also helps your self tanner apply without streaks, blotches, and spots. Also, avoid using oils on your skin before the procedure. The oils can block the even penetration of the self tanner.

Choosing a quality product is the right start for your self tanning journey. The next important step is proper application. Start by reading the product’s directions carefully and gather any tools that you are likely to need. When you start the application, take your time and apply the product carefully and evenly. Wear gloves or a mitt to avoid overexposing your hands to the product. Don’t forget to wash them after you’re done.

A good tip is to apply your self tanner or spray tan in the evening when you can stay at home, relax in the house, without thinking about being late somewhere. Go to the shower in the morning. This gives enough time for the tanner to develop and set, without being washed away by rain, sweat or your shower.

One of the main mistakes of many people is washing off their self tan too soon. The self tanner doesn’t have enough time to develop. Usually, full product development can take between 6 and 10 hours. It is recommended to avoid showers during this time of the period.

How To Keep Your Tan From Fading

Sadly, the self tanner is not supposed to last forever. But there is truth in the theory, that the darker the spray tan is, the longer it should last on your skin. The reason for that is because it usually contains a higher level of DHA. And DHA is short for dihydroxyacetone. It is an active ingredient in sunless tanners. Basically, a light, subtle tan will last for around five days, the medium tan will last almost seven or eight days, and dark tan should be able to last for 10 days.

Since lasting of the tanner depends on many things, one of the most important ones is how well you take care of your tan. And that includes your post-tan life. So, these are some tips on how to extend that spray tan staying power out at least a few days longer than expected.

  • Avoid Exfoliating The Skin.

Avoid exfoliants for the 24 hours before your tan, and also for the duration of your tan. If you are using any face or body products that have AHA’s in them, avoid them for at least 24 hours before your tanning session. AHA’s include glycolic, lactic, and citric acids. These cause your skin to exfoliate on a deeper, cellular level and the pigment starts to fade faster.

On the other hand, this does not mean you should stop exfoliating your skin at all. One of the keys to keeping a long-lasting tan is exfoliation. Very dry, dehydrated and flaky skin absorbs extra DHA. In this case, streaks and blotches start to appear. The main tip is to do all of your waxing, shaving, and exfoliating at least 24 hours before your tanning session.

Also, the easiest way to exfoliate is by using a washcloth. If you really want to use a scrub, make sure it is super gentle.

  • Don’t Forget About Your Period

Although it might be hard to believe, timing your spray tan around your period can help with prolonging its color. Some spray tan professionals claim, that their client’s skin does take the tan better when it is the week before their period, or they are on their period. So, the hormone levels can play a part in how well the pigment develops. As much weird, as it sounds, it might actually be true.

  • Choose The Right Moisturizer
Applying on the skin

The main thing you should avoid is oils. They are basically the death of self tanners. How does it work? Well, oils act as a barrier on your skin. It will prevent the tanner from evenly absorbing. In simple words, if you use an oil-based exfoliator or moisturizer before your tanning procedure, you are already making a huge mistake. The same applies to oils usage after the self tanner session. Oils are breaking down the pigments in the tan.

Remember – moisturizing is important. Cutting out oils does not mean cutting out the moisturizer. Opposite – it should help to maintain the tan and make it last. Use a light lotion with no oils on your skin daily. Your skin after self tanner should always be hydrated.

  • Important Extra Advice

In the end, no matter, how good you take care of your skin – the self tanner is going to fade at some point. You can still minimize the fading, though. Use a “topper”. It is a tint of some sort – to retain a level of glow.

In the easiest way, you can mix a few self tanning drops in with your regular moisturizer and apply it daily. Also, there are different types of daily moisturizers which are already infused with color-correcting components. They will boost your tan and add some glow each time you apply it.

Conclusion

Although your self tanner is still going to fade sooner or later, it doesn’t mean you cannot do anything for it to last longer. Keeping the fake tan on your skin looking perfect is hard work, but if you really wanna do it and have patience – go for it! It is really about creating the habits that will help you with maintaining the tan daily.

Good luck!

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