Best moisturisers to prolong your tan

·7-min read

I am a confessed sun worshipper. A tan-aholic, if you will.

I would spend every single minute of every single day basking in the glory of the sun rays if I could - but I live in London so that generally means I need to hop on a plane somewhere fabulous and far flung in order to give my pale skin the hit of vitamin D that we all deserve.

A holiday is typically well spent if it’s beside the pool, on the sand and my chair has been adjusted every hour to ensure the optimal positioning in order to prevent shadows and shade. SPF is of course applied and topped-up throughout the day and when the time comes to return to British soil, twice-daily moisturisation is essential in order to ensure my fresh-from-holiday glow lives on for as long as biologically possible.

This has put me in good stead to review moisturisers that will prolong the life of your tan and give you that sun-kissed and healthy complexion well after the sun goes down.

Look out for ingredients like aloe vera or shea butter that will hydrate, nourish and soothe – especially if you spent a touch too long during your sun-drenched exploits and your skin is looking irritated and red.

Aruj Javid, Pharmacist at LOOKFANTASTIC explains, ”Although it can vary for different skin types, a natural tan will usually only last around 7-10 days. Tans fade because your skin cells are constantly renewing themselves. But by following a few golden tips and tricks and avoiding some dulling mistakes, it’s easy to get some extra air miles out of your holiday colour.

“Avoid chemical exfoliators such as salicylic or glycolic acid and particularly retinol. Outside of the tanning world, retinol is a powerhouse skincare ingredient. However when it comes to looking to maintain a glow, this is one to avoid as it will dull your tan.”

She adds, “Showering or bathing in hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause it to dry out. Dry skin is what results in a flaky tan. Instead take regular cool showers/baths to help prolong your tan.”

Shop the best formulas for face and body below

Lancaster Golden Tan Maximiser After Sun Lotion

Monegasque beauty label Lancaster is on the forefront of sun and post-sun exposure skincare products - all with a premium twist. The brand was one of the first to offer a formula specifically designed to elongate the lifecycle of your tan and it’s an innovative holiday essential that soothes and calms irritation, while coating the skin with the included Tan Activator Complex.

The latter works to intensify melanin production (the substance that produces pigmentation) to encourage it to last longer and stops peeling or dryness at the same time. The creamy texture also boasts the brand’s subtle signature scent that will give you holiday feels even once you’ve deactivated your out of office.

Buy now £35.00, Cult Beauty

Saltee Tan Enhance Formula

If you have overdone it in the sun, keep this product on hand for an instant cooling effect the second it is applied. While it offers the same soothing effects as an aftersun, there’s a special ingredient in this one too that will push it to the top of your must-have holiday purchases.

The Tan Enhance Formula does what it says on the tin and can be applied to both the face and body, even on sensitive skin. The ‘MelinOil’ treats your complexion so you can maximise the positives of sun (aka a healthy glow) without the damage. Obviously SPF is still required come rain or shine.

The texture is oil-soluble to make it easily absorbed even with the slightly thicker consistency and there’s the added bonus of a pomegranate extract and shea butter cocktail for added moisture and rehydration.

Buy now £26.00, Cult Beauty

Institut Esthederm Tan Prolonging Body Lotion

Lather up with this body lotion after a sun-drenched day and your skin will certainly thank you. The luxurious label Institut Esthederm has formulated this spray to absorb instantly and get to work soothing any warm weather related dryness or discomfort on the skin. The texture is creamy and bringing hydration in spades. You won’t holiday without this.

Buy now £40.00, Net-A-Porter

EVY Technology Daily Tan Activator

The EVY Technology products can be used on all skin types - whether you have sensitive, eczema-prone or want to counteract UV or pollution damage. The formula has a mousse texture that sinks effortlessly into the skin without leaving a residue behind or clogging pores.

The Daily Tan Activator has a specific ingredient line-up that has been chosen in order to boost melanin production so you can enhance the appearance of your holiday tan long after you’ve unpacked.

This is achieve through antioxidants and chemicals like dihydroxy methylchromonyl palmitate. The name doesn’t roll off the tongue but it does react with the amino acid in your skin in order to deepen the shade. There is no fake tan contained within.

Buy now £25.00, Cult Beauty

Ultrasun After Sun Tan Booster

Suncare label Ultrasun has added a secret ingredient into this product so that as you are moisturising once returning from your far flung or city break, you will be subtly topping up your tan with a gradual faux variation.

This product contains a fake tan, which is very buildable. This makes it ideal for pale skin types who still want a touch of luminosity as well as those who didn’t quite do as much bronzing as they’d hoped. You will be bringing up the moisture levels of your parched skin, while never letting your tan fade. Win-win.

Buy now £16.20, lookfantastic

Lancaster Golden Tan Maximizer After Sun Serum

Lancaster has an expansive range of products dedicated to securing your bronzed complexion for longer than your typical and so we were hard-pressed to include just one.

This serum makes it even easier to regularly lather up as it has a silky serum consistency that can be incorporated into your skincare regime and even can be layered under makeup. It provides a natural luminosity, while soy extract conditions the skin and hyaluronic acid acts as a tall drink of water for the complexion.

It feels lovely on the skin with a buildable texture and leaves it silky smooth. A little goes a long way.

Buy now £24.00, Space NK

Isle Of Paradise Self-Tanning Butter

From the tanning experts at Isle of Paradise, this product takes a subtle approach than the rest of the faux tan-based collection. It’s a body moisturiser with gradual tanning agents included so whether you were able to catch the sun rays or want to top up on your return, this will do the job of creating a natural-looking bronze. There’s also the delicious concoction of coconut, eucalyptus and peppermint oils so it smells as good as it feels.

Buy now £17.95, Space NK

Skinny Tan Tan and Tone Wonder Serum Gradual Tanner

If the weather didn’t play ball or you spent most of your activity-filled trip unable to soak up the rays, you can still recreate that summer, sun-kissed complexion with Skinny Tan. This is a gradual product that hydrates as it goes with the inclusion of glycerine, aloe vera and antioxidants in the formula - and the brand even suggests it has a firming effect. What we can confirm is that it has a lovely texture that doesn’t feel tacky or sticky. The tan develops with a great colour over six to eight hours and it’s vegan.

Buy now £19.99, lookfantastic

Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Hydrating Tan Maintainer

You will want to cover yourself from head to toe in the soothing and hydrating formula of this Garnier Ambre Solaire product - but be warned, there is the addition of self-tan that is designed to enhance the natural one below. The product contains the nourishing powerhouses glycerol and vitamin E so it should leave your skin soft and supple without any greasiness or stickness and leaves out that tell-tale biscuity aroma that you can often find in fake tan products. Make sure you wash hands after use or apply using a mitt. Beware of streaks.

Buy now £10.00, FeelUnique

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