Tips On How To Keep Your Summer Glow All Year Long

In this day and age, tan skin is associated with beauty. Having a sun-kissed glow on your skin means you're a sun worshiper, who's probably always vacationing across the seven seas and very likely an athletic gal who won't let UV rays get in her way. Golden brown skin radiates raw energy, and it is a huge magnet for the opposite sex. For this reason, about 38% of young U.S. adults head to hot stretches of white sand every summer and sunbathe until they get a bronze coat glowing all over their body, a study in the journal Preventative Medicine shows.

As an interviewee in the journal article "To Die For: The Semiotic Seductive Power of the Tanned Body" put it: "You know how it is: I mean for us girls, we normally wear less in the summer or spring than in winter, and it just looks bad if you're as white as snow in the middle of June or July." While we think people should feel comfortable in their own skin, there's no denying that tanned skin is considered hot by many. Celebrities who got people raving about their appearance — like the Kardashian sisters and Jennifer Lopez — all have great tans. However, a good tan takes time, and a natural tan usually fades when you return to a colder environment with little sunshine. Still, that doesn't always mean you must say goodbye to your tan once summer is over. Here are some tips for your summer glow all year long.

Jazz up your tan with a bronzer

Using a bronzer, on both your face and your body, is a good way to add more texture to your tan. According to Jergens, applying a tone-enhancing solution like a body bronzer allows you to add an instant all-over, sunkissed glow to your skin, or accentuate your pre-existing tan or natural skin tone — without commitments. You can build on the bronze if you want, or you can easily wash it off with soap and water.

As a general rule of thumb, look for bronzers with a beige base and just a little bit of shimmer, L'Oréal Paris advises. When it comes to your face, steer clear of shades that have red undertones to avoid ending up looking too orange-y. The same rule applies to your body bronzer. To lend your face extra warmth and glow, apply bronzer to the high points of your face where the sun usually hits, says makeup artist Maria Ortega to Ipsy. "You would generally apply bronzer to the cheeks, the temples, across your nose, chin, neck, and also forehead," Ortega explains. To apply bronzer to your body, start with your shoulders and collarbones in a circular motion. Remember to blend with all your might to give the bronzed skin a natural appearance.

SPF helps your tan last longer

If you think that sun protection and tanning don't go hand in hand, you'll be surprised to know that SPF might play into the longevity of your tan. "When you use SPF, your tan will last longer from the summer through fall and winter," Brazilian beauty influencer Camila Coelho tells L'Officiel. Echoing this sentiment, Camila Pierotti, the founder of the skincare line Sol de Janeiro, recommends to Elle that we should all apply SPF 30 sunscreen or higher all over our bodies to prevent our skin from being burned by UV radiation, which will peel and ruin your tan.

Remember to wait for three to four hours after a tanning session before showering. To ensure your skin gets sufficient hydration after sun exposure and prevents it from peeling, Coelho recommends drinking lots of water, cooling down with a shower, and moisturizing your skin with lotion (via L'Officiel). As part of your daily skincare routine, you can use a tan moisturizer on your face and your body to extend the life of your tan, giving your skin a streak-free glow.

Exfoliate to prolong your tan

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, physical exfoliation is crucial if you want your tan to last longer than your holiday, St.Tropez advises. Accumulation of dead skin cells can dull your sun-kissed radiance, so buffing those lackluster cells away regularly can help unearth your tan underneath. The melanin in your skin cells — what truly gives you a tan — is located in your epidermis and not affected by exfoliating movements, so you don't have to worry about buffing your radiant tan away along with dead skin cells.

To make your skin as smooth and oil-free as possible so that it can best absorb the tan, you should always exfoliate your skin up to 24 hours before tanning. Three to four days after your tanning session, gently exfoliate your skin to keep your tan more even and prevent it from getting dull, per Lucy Bee. To enhance your tan by giving it an extra dash of color, mix a moderate amount of self-tan drops with your moisturizer and apply the mixture to your face and your body. The color can be washed off or naturally fade away after three to four days.

Use a self-tanner at your convenience

Tanning doesn't always have to involve sunbathing. You can tan yourself without the help of mother nature via a technology called sunless tanning. Also known as self-tanning, this is a technique that involves the use of tanning products such as spray, creams, or lotion to give your skin a bronzed look from the comfort of your own home. Compared to getting tanned in the UV rays or on tanning beds, which are known to inflict enormous damage on your skin, self-tanning is much safer and recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. These self-tanners can give your body a golden shimmer whenever and however you want.

Before using a self-tanner on your skin, exfoliate your body thoroughly, Dr. Arielle Kauvar tells the Skin Cancer Foundation. After exfoliating your skin, apply a thin layer of self-tanner to your body, section by section. To avoid inhaling the product, wear a mask throughout the self-tanning process. Conventionally, you can't go wrong with two coats of self-tanner on the body and one coat on the face. Then, in a circular motion, massage the product into your skin. After you're done, wait at least 15 minutes before putting on loose, breathable clothes. If you exfoliate every two or three days and moisturize your skin regularly, you'll be able to keep your tan in tip-top shape for up to 10 days, per St. Tropez.

Take cool shower instead of hot shower

If you want your tan to last, bid farewell to hot baths, which can strip self-tan off your body. In fact, Marie McKeever, the head of training for Clarins U.K. explains, "Hot showers can dry out your skin, which makes it peel more quickly. To properly seal down your color, stick to cold showers and apply a moisturizing shower cream" (via Get the Gloss). For this reason, for as long as you want to maintain your tan, you might want to keep your showers cool and moisturize afterward to keep your skin from drying. At the same time, you should also steer clear of the swimming pool. Harsh chemicals like chlorine can bleach your tan and make it fade quickly, After Tan Co. warns.

Getting a tan can amp up your look beyond measure, but helping your tan outlive your holiday requires sacrifice on your part. In a gist, remember to wear sunscreen religiously, take cold showers until you no longer want to keep your tan, and moisturize always.