• Geena Dinnis

How To: Keep the Appearance of a Summer Tan All Year Round

As featured in Pro Beauty Loft Magazine

As the grey clouds roll in and the sun goes away for another year, it’s time to say goodbye to that golden tan that you have spent all summer working on. Or is it?

If you are anything like me, I always feel my best with a tan, whether that be in the summer or winter months. For years now I have tried and tested countless tanners and bronzers (and trust me, I’ve had my fair share of fake-tanning disasters), therefore I want to share with you my best and most fool-proof tips for tricking a tan.

Keeping Your Holiday Tan for Longer:

As we journey into autumn, some of you may well have just come back from the last of your summer vacations. Although your holiday tan will not last the whole year, there are definitely ways to keep it for longer.

Keeping your skin hydrated is the best way to stop it from peeling and for adding extra radiance. The most obvious way to do this is by using a good moisturiser all over your body. The richer in consistency the better, so I would recommend opting for a body butter.

Resist the temptation to take a hot bath and replace it with a cool shower instead. Hot water can dehydrate the skin which ultimately leads to peeling. No amount of moisturiser is too excessive so try using in shower oils or hydrating creams when you wash. Shower gels and foams can unknowingly be drying on the skin.

People always question this step, but gently exfoliating your skin with a dry body brush once a week will help to remove the dull and dry skin that will eventually peel off. At least this way your suntan will fade more evenly and keep some of its glow.


For those of you that have already said farewell to your summer colour, here’s undoubtedly the easiest way to get it back. Gradual self-tanners are a great way to appear bronzed and are relatively simple to maintain if taken care of correctly.

If you find that you are a little bit nervous to try fake-tan for the first time or are simply looking for ways to get a more flawless result, then I recommend you follow this written guide.

Over the years, I have found that these are the best tricks to avoid fading and patchiness for an extended length of time.

Guide to Tanning:


Preparation can make all the difference when it comes to how your tan will develop. If like me, you fake-tan regularly, it is important to begin by removing any old self-tan you have on or the colour will show through and create unevenness.

To remove the previous tan, I always exfoliate in the shower using an abrasive tan removing glove. Depending on how recently you applied your last tan, you might find that you have to use slightly more force to remove the colour. Alternatively, self-tan removers are really great in helping to lift it off your skin faster.

If you are already starting with a clean base, then there is less need to exfoliate. I would recommend including this step however if you suffer with areas of dry skin, as this will contribute to patchiness in tone once the self-tan has developed.

For any of you wondering how tanning products actually work to give you a beautiful bronze colour, there is an ingredient in self-tan called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that reacts with the dead skin cells on the surface of the body to temporarily darken the skin. Therefore, if you choose not to exfoliate, you are likely to achieve a deeper colour straight away.

Moreover, I would always recommend moisturising the commonly drier areas of the body before application; this includes elbows, knees, knuckles and ankles. This will stop the colour over developing in these places.


I personally like to apply my self-tan just before I go to sleep as this gives it the maximum time to develop. Get yourself a good quality tanning mitt to ensure a more even application and to prevent your hands from turning orange. The hands are the first giveaway that you are wearing fake tan, so always make sure to keep your palms clean.

Choosing a tan that has a guide colour can be really helpful, that way when you apply it you can see where you have missed in the mirror. Remember that it is not like rubbing in sun cream, you only want to apply a light layer to the skin, moving in circular motions.


Overnight is the best time to leave your tan to develop, as it will help you to avoid getting your skin wet.

My best piece of advice would be to wear loose, long sleeved clothing as you sleep. I have always slept on my side, therefore the creases of my arms and legs tend to touch each other. There is a danger of the tan sweating off in these areas if not covered when pressed together.

Wearing long sleeved clothing can also help to keep your bed sheets clean. One of the main questions that I get asked is how to stop fake-tan from transferring onto sheets and clothing. Sadly this cannot be completely prevented but by avoiding applying the self-tan to areas such as the armpits that naturally sweat more, you can prevent product transferring.


Sadly it is impossible to stop fake-tan fading completely, but how it lasts depends on how you take care of it.

Depending on the way your skin sheds can effect how you should treat it. Much like a real tan, dry skin will not hold a tan for as long unless heavily moisturised. Moisturisers should be rich in consistency and fragrance/alcohol free, as the alcohol will wear away the tan and cause patchiness to occur.


I understand that self-tan is not for everyone and if you feel a little less confident in using it, especially on your face, then bronzer is a great option. Bronzers can help to add that sun kissed look to the complexion with only a few swipes of your makeup brush.

As a make-up artist, a bronzed make-up look is one of my favourites to create as it is beautiful and flattering on everyone.

To replicate the appearance of a natural tan I would recommend selecting a matte bronzer rather than one containing too much shimmer. Find a bronzer that mimics the correct tone of your natural tan. Looking at the undertones of your skin can help you determine what colour is best for you. Golden browns are great for warm undertones, whereas more peachy toned bronzers can better suit those with a cooler complexion.

When applying the bronzer you want to focus the product on the high points of the face that would naturally catch the sun, this includes the tops of cheeks, temples and across the bridge of the nose.

These simple tricks will make all the difference in giving you a guaranteed healthy, evenly bronzed look all year round.

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