With increasing awareness of the dangerous effects of UV exposure, savvy people everywhere are increasingly turning to sunless tanning options to capture that healthy glow. And with exciting advances in the natural sunless tanning process, obtaining that custom glow has never been easier or more accessible.

As with a tan acquired by spending time out in the sun or in a tanning bed, sunless tans do eventually fade, but unlike traditional tanning methods, which require additional UV exposure as the tan fades, there are a few steps you can take to make your sunless tan last longer.

Preparing for Your Tan

Since sunless tanning relies on direct contact with clean skin, proper exfoliation to before your appointment will help to ensure even results and more natural fading. The day before your appointment, shower thoroughly and exfoliate with a natural exfoliating scrub that does not contain oils to remove all dead skin. You’ll also want to moisturize the day before your appointment because you will not want to use any creams or lotions on your skin the day of your tan application. You’ll also need to shave or take care of any hair removal at least 6 hours before your tanning appointment.

On the day of your appointment, you should shower and lightly exfoliate again, but avoid applying deodorants, makeup, perfume, or lotions, as they can prevent the tanning solution from adhering to your skin. Remove any jewelry that will leave a tan line. It’s a good idea to check the weather- if it is raining you will want to bring close toed shoes and an umbrella to protect your skin from coming in contact with water after your application.

Post-Appointment Skin Care

Once your sunless tan has been applied, you’ll need to wait for it to fully develop. Usually this will take eight to twelve hours. Before leaving your appointment, ask your sunless tanning consultant how long you should wait before showering or exercising. Continue to avoid makeup or moisturizers until your tan has fully developed.

When you do first shower, use oil-free products and avoid bar soaps. Take a brief shower rather than soaking in a bathtub. Pat skin dry instead of rubbing the towel over your skin. Once you have showered, apply a water-based moisturizer. Wait a day or two to shave. It’s also best to avoid exfoliating until the day before your next appointment.

Additional Tips

For a long-lasting tan, there are a few extra measures you can take to prolong that beautiful glow. One important factor is the overall health of your skin. By eating a healthy diet and practicing proper skincare, your skin will be more receptive to a sunless tan – and healthier-looking in general.

A sunless tan should last about seven to ten days. Speak to your consultant about products that will help prolong the life of your tan – a reputable salon should have a line of products to suggest to you.