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21 Nov

Bikini Whisperer On How to Keep Your Tan All Year Long

Posted by Bikini Owner in fake, fall, faux, tanning, technique, tips

Our in-house expert, the Bikini Whisperer, is here to guide readers through their trickiest swimwear questions. Got a question of your own? Drop us a line!

Today's question:

Hi Bikini Whisperer, 

I'm freaking out! I'm losing my summer tan, and I'm not sure how to make it last. I'm not a fan of UV beds, and there's only so much makeup bronzers can do for my pale skin. Are there any other ways to keep a semi-tan all year long? I've tried many self-tanners that have left me looking like a zebra — or that stain my white sheets. Please help!


Hello there, 

First things first: Do not do indoor tanning. We get it — a tan is nice. If you're going to skip the SPF a couple days in the summer — we get it. Anything else, though, isn't worth the damage to your skin. Seriously. 

Now, moving on from our PSA. You might just not be using self-tanners the right way. You need to start off with a great scrub. Exfoliate, exfoliate, and exfoliate some more to get rid of any dead skin. It's crucial to begin self-tanning with a clean slate, so that you do not streak later. A coconut exfoliator that hydrates is your best bet — flaky or dull skin needs to be gone entirely. The more hydrated your skin, the more it will evenly absorb products applied afterward. Prepping is a huge step and one you should never neglect.

tanning tips

Kopari Coconut Crush Scrub, $28


After exfoliation, shower with a cold-water blast to shrink pores, which will help prevent dark spots. Do not lather on body lotion after showering, as it will prevent products from penetrating the skin. 

Choose a daily, self-tanning body moisturizer — this will appear more natural through the winter months ahead. Although this won't drastically change your natural skin tone, it's a great base. Replace your body lotion with a daily tanning formula that's water-based, and use it in the mornings to avoid staining sheets. 

tanning tips

Tan Towel On The Glow Moisturizer, $20


If you still want to go darker, you can. After seven to 10 days, or whenever you have achieved a base tan, apply a single-use lotion. Bronzing lotions are great when used sparingly; too much will leave you streaky. Never apply before a rigorous exercise routine. Wash thoroughly after each use and remember to scrub away any excess that may remain on the skin, especially around the knees and elbow region. 

tanning tips

Medium NKD Skin Tinted Lotion, $11.21


Never apply self-tanning products not intended for the face to your face — it'll clog pores! Use powders that last longer than a single-use. Lightly dust entire face with the brush and softly blend in. For an extra defined look, contour around the jawline, cheekbones, and sides of the hairline. 

tanning tips

Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals Self Tanning Bronzing Powder, $55


To sculpt and contour areas of your body, add extra shading with a slim brush around the collarbones, between thighs, waist curvature, and below biceps. 

tanning tips

Bocaray Skin Natural Sun & Body Oil, $15

Moisturizing and keeping skin dewy is key in avoiding streaking and fast fading. Apply a lightweight oil moisturizer that glides easily and evenly.