how long does it take for a tan to fade & tips to make yours last longer

Unfortunately, a natural tan doesn’t last forever and will eventually fade away. Many of us spend our holidays admiring our glorious tans, but they can all too quickly disappear once you step off the plane back home. In this guide, we will give you the answers as to how long a natural tan can last, along with some helpful tips and tricks to make that sun-kissed glow stay for a little longer.

Do tans go away naturally?

Yes, a tan will naturally fade away due to the exfoliation of our skin. It may not be the nicest thing to think about, but the human skin sheds and then generates millions of cells everyday. When the tanned skin cells are replaced with new, untanned skin cells, your body will gradually return to its normal colour. As much as you may wish your tan would linger for longer, this process of shedding/generating skin cells is there to protect us.

If you are returning from a holiday in the sun to a colder environment with little sun, you may notice that your tan will fade even faster. This is because, as the tanned skin cells are shed, the production of melanin (which causes a tan) decreases due to the lack of UV radiation from the sun.

How long does a natural tan last?

A natural tan will usually last for around 7-10 days, although this can vary for each different skin type and colour. However, any exposure to sun during that 7-10 day period could mean that your tan will hang around for longer, so the length of time it lasts really does depend on the individual. If you are living in a warmer climate, then this timescale won’t necessarily apply, as the frequent exposure to the sun will keep your tan fresh and more “topped up”.

How do I keep my natural tan for longer?

If you want to keep your golden glow for as long as you possibly can, then there are some simple steps you can take. These steps include:

  • Exfoliate gently once a week — you still need to exfoliate to help brush away the dead skin cells, which can contribute to duller looking skin.
  • Moisture regularly — this helps to keep your skin soft, hydrated and prevents peeling. There are many moisturising products you can use after spending time in the sun.
  • Take cool showers — taking hot showers can cause your skin cells to shed quicker, so swap out hot showers for cooler ones!
  • Drink water — water helps to keep your skin cells hydrated, therefore prolonging their lifespan.
  • Eat foods rich in beta-carotenes — these are foods that include a red-orange pigment, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots and mangoes.
  • Wear sunscreen all year round — to help protect your skin from sun damage. Here at Hawaiian tropic our sunscreens include skin-loving ingredients, such as shea butter to help keep your skin soft and fresh.

What steps can you take to achieve a great tan?

Taking steps to prepare your skin before basking in the sun is important when trying to achieve a healthy, safe and long-lasting tan. Firstly, before you head for the sun loungers, it is important to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating removes dead cells, which could otherwise cause an uneven tan, and ensures that the skin cells you wish to tan are not already at the end of their life cycles.

In addition, it is essential that you regularly apply sunscreen to help protect your skin. Sunscreen can’t block 100% of the sun’s UV rays, and this enables you to still tan whilst wearing sunscreen. There is no excuse for skipping the sun screen, as it will help to protect against sunburn, wrinkles, ageing and skin conditions, such as cancer.

Once you are out of the sun, make sure to apply an after sun moisturiser to ensure your skin does not dehydrate and help enable that longer-lasting tan.