If you’re wondering how to keep a tan as fall gets into full swing, you’re in good company. Many of us want to hold on to a healthy glow for as long as possible. But keeping that glow is one thing. Doing it safely is another.
Far too many people turn to tanning beds in order to try to maintain their darker skin tone as the colder months arrive. That’s not a good idea. But there are methods of tanning that are safe and effective. Some will even provide an instant tan you can show off immediately.
Here are a few guidelines on how to keep that bronzed, golden glow throughout autumn.
How To Keep A Tan Into The Fall Season: Keeping Your Glow The Safe Way
Tanning is important to a lot of people, but thousands of people die each year due to exposure to ultraviolet or UV light emitted by the sun’s rays. There are two kinds of UV rays, UVA and UVB rays. Both can cause sunburns and dangerous skin conditions.1,2
So, how do you get a tan without putting your health at risk?
Stay Out Of Tanning Beds
If you swear by tanning beds, and look forward to your next tanning session, you might think they’re a safer alternative to sunbathing. That’s not the case. Tanning beds are not safer – actually, just one session can substantially increase your chances of developing severe health problems.
As a matter of fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers indoor tanning equipment to be so dangerous it requires beds to have warning labels.
Tanning beds can also increase your risk of suffering a burn that can severely damage your skin. They may also promote premature aging of skin.3
Try A Spray Tan Instead
The active ingredient in most sunless tanners, including a spray tan is known as dihydroxyacetone DHA. DHA combines with aminos in the skin to cause a browning effect. This browning is different and much safer from the reaction caused by UV rays as it only involves the outermost layer of skin.4 Just be careful to cover your eyes, mouth and nose while getting a spray tan. Inhaling the mist could be toxic.
Use Self-Tanning Products
If you’re looking for a darker complexion without having to hold your breath during the application process, self-tanning products are another excellent alternative to tanning beds or lying in the sun. Many people use it as part of their regular skin care routine.
How To Apply Them
A self-tanning lotion or spray is safe for just about any skin type. And it’s easy to apply. Some productions differ in application, so read the directions carefully for your specific product. Generally, self-tanning products will require you do the following:
- First, do a patch test, on a discrete part of your skin. Apply product per instructions on just a small area, and make sure you like the color before committing to a whole body tan.
- Use an exfoliation product to remove dead skin cells. Pay special attention to thicker areas of skin, such as the knees and elbows.
- Dry the skin so you can easily apply the tan product evenly. (Again, read the label. Some products are made to be used on wet skin).
- You can use a tanning mitt if you don’t want your hands to turn orange when using tinted lotion. Put it on your arms first, and then your legs and chest. If you don’t use a mitt, wash your hands thoroughly after you’re done with each section.
- Wait about 10 minutes before you put on any clothes. This will give the product plenty of time to dry.5
Most products are made to deliver a gradual tan with each application. Try applying the product every day or every other day until your desired color is achieved.
Drink Water To Stay Hydrated, Moisturize Your Skin, And Gently Exfoliate Dead Skin Cells
In order for your tan to look its best, your skin has to be healthy. Hydration, exfoliation, and moisturizer are key to any skin care routine. Here’s a quick look at why each is so important.
Hydration And Moisturizing
The skin is actually your body’s largest organ. Skin cells are mainly water, just like all the other cells in your body. If your skin doesn’t get plenty of water, it won’t function as it should. Peeling, flaking, and dryness are all signs that you need to take steps to stay hydrated.
One thing you might not know is that when you drink water, the skin is the last part of your body it reaches. The next time you take a shower, apply a coat of hydrating moisturizer to your skin within a couple of minutes of getting out.
Moisturizing your skin while it’s still slightly damp may help with absorption. Also, consider using a product containing aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to moisturise. Hyaluronic acid attracts a great deal of water into your skin and keeps it there. Also, drink plenty of water each day to help your skin stay its healthiest.6
Exfoliation is key to making your tan look great and last as long as possible. It removes dead skin cells from the surface layer of your skin. This clears the way for smooth, healthy skin to take its place.
Exfoliating your skin will also scrub away oil, dirt, and other debris that can rob your skin of its natural shine. The fewer dead skin cells you have, the longer your tan will last and the more even it will appear.7
Look for exfoliating products that contain salicylic acid to help rejuvenate the skin. It’s been used for thousands of years to address a variety of skin conditions, so you can rest assured it will be safe.8
Skin Health: Do Self-Checks And Keep Your Doctor In The Loop About Any And All Skin Abnormalities
No tan is worth risking your health. There are simple and safe ways to achieve that golden glow even in the winter months. Wear sunscreen each and every day and really cover up when spending time in the sun.
It’s important to check your skin for any abnormalities, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun. You should do a self-check each month.9
If you see any sort of odd growth or discoloration, or a mole that changes in size and/or texture, talk to your doctor immediately.
There’s nothing wrong with a year-round summer glow as long as you achieve it in a safe manner. For many, sunless tanners are a regular element of their skin care routine. Just don’t forget that you still need to use sunscreen on top of your new-found glow. Play it safe and smart. You’ll not only look fantastic, but your skin will be healthy.
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