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Here for the long haul: 6 ways to make self-tan last

You’ve managed to achieve the perfect self-tan, without a streaky shin or orange-hued palm in sight. Which means about now, you’ll be asking yourself: how long does self tanner last? The longevity of your tan will largely depend on which product (and how much of it) you’ve used. Gradual self-tanning lotions, for example, build up colour over time. They’re easy to use and can be applied as often as you like to top-up your tan. Instant self-tan, or fake tan as it’s often called, is applied once and fades over time. Whatever your choice of product, here are our top 6 tips for a golden glow that really lasts.

  • 1

    Get your exfoliation on

    Taking the time to prep your skin not only helps fake tan go on more smoothly, but makes it last longer, too. Shave (if that’s your bag) and exfoliate beforehand, paying particular attention to rougher areas of skin, like your knees and elbows. Wait until it is fully absorbed before applying instant tan, or use a gradual tanner, like our new Dove Summer Revived Self-Tanning Lotion.

  • 2

    Give your skin a drink

    Dry, flaky skin is the enemy of every self-tanner, so before you begin, make sure you fully moisturize your face and body. Remember to wait until it is fully absorbed before applying instant tan, otherwise the moisturizer will act like a barrier, making it trickier to apply evenly.

  • 3

    Avoid hot baths

    Soaking in a hot bath might feel good for your skin, but it can also dry it out, leading to your tan coming off far too soon. To give your tan a chance to last, stick to showers, avoid ramping up the temperature, and use a mild soap or shower gel, like Dove Beauty Bar. Gently exfoliating every three days will also help keep your tan looking even, though it could cause it to fade a little faster.

  • 4

    Use waterproof SPF

    Once you’ve achieved the perfect, sun-kissed look, you’ll probably want to show off your tan in the pool – but chlorine (and sea salt) can break down fake tan faster than shower or bath water. If you want to boost your tan’s longevity, avoid the pool and sea. If you do decide to go for a dip, don’t forget to wear a waterproof SPF to help protect you.

  • 5

    Pick your workout threads wisely

    Sweat, plus heat, plus any potential chafing from your workout gear can equal a risk of rubbing off your tan. Protect it by avoiding outfits that rub unnecessarily, particularly around the ankles or ribcage (here’s looking at you, tight leggings and sports bra). Less friction = a longer-lasting tan and you’ll feel more comfortable too!

  • 6

    Use a gradual tanner

    If you’re struggling to work out the optimum time to fake tan in order to achieve that perfect glow, grab a gradual tanner. The Dove Summer Revived range offers a buildable glow that you control, in a mousse or body lotion. Available in light to medium, or medium to dark shades, gradual tanners can be used every day, for a tan that lasts as long as you need it to.


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