You’ve done it – you’ve achieved that perfect golden tan you’ve been wanting! But now, how to make it last? I’m sure you are all too familiar with the annoying fade that happens just a few days after tanning. Luckily, there are many ways to extend and enhance your beautiful tan!
Here are some tricks you can use to maintain your tan:
- Scrub your skin: you get tanned when melanin is stimulated by the sun and colors the top layer. However, this layer sheds about every two weeks, so by scrubbing your body vigorously before tanning, you can ensure that your skin cells are at the beginning of their cycle!
- Drink water: one of the most important tricks to keep a tan is drinking lots of water. Skin cells need to be hydrated to avoid flaking and peeling, so you need to feed them from the inside as well. This is especially important in hot climates since you lose water by sweating in the sun. So, drink up!
- Avoid waxing: Skip any waxing procedures or skin-stripping treatments after tanning because they can take off the top layer of skin and leave you tan-less. Opt for shaving instead of waxing, and focus on moisturizing.
- Eat certain foods: some foods can actually help keep you tanned! Certain chemicals such as tyrosine increase natural melanin production, according to the National Institutes of Health Open Chemistry Database. This ingredient can be found in high amounts in turkey, egg whites, cottage cheese, salmon, soy, almonds, and avocados, so eating these can help keep your tan. Yum!
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: get an after-sun product that will hydrate your skin. Some even contain self-tanner, so you can add color while moisturizing your natural tan.
Of course, there is no such thing as a truly permanent tan, but by following these steps, and by getting the right product you can definitely extend your tan substantially! The most important thing to look for in a good after tanning product is that it is a good moisturizer.
Could I just use my regular moisturizer then?
Yes! You could technically use any moisturizer you have at home as long as you apply it regularly. However, products specifically designed for after sun needs are often a much better choice due to their added components.
Specialized after-sun products will often have added ingredients such as aloe vera that are extremely soothing and beneficial for skin. Others may even have tan-enhancing ingredients which either offer a bit of extra artificial color, or they may stimulate melanin production to keep your tan looking great.
OK great; but what product is the best?
Well, you’ve landed on the right place! SimplySunSafe has dedicated time into investigating and comparing different products to find the best after sun lotion to keep a tan, so that you don’t have to.
After extensive research, I recommend Lancaster Tan Maximizer Soothing Moisturizer as the best after sun lotion to prolong tan. Keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top five lotions to find the best tan extending lotion for your needs.
To make sure that you get the most out of your tan enhancing lotion, here are a few factors that you should consider when buying a product:
To Add Color or Not to Add Color – That is the Question
If Hamlet had been a tanning enthusiast, surely this would have been his most pressing question.
When looking for a tan enhancing product, one of the factors you want to consider is if you would like to add a bit of extra color to your tan, or if you would just like to extend the natural tan you already have.
Extra color is often added using ingredients such as DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) or tanimel which work to reduce tan break-up, extend the life of a tan, and improve fade.
DHA is naturally derived from sugar beets or cane sugar and interacts non-toxically with amino acids on the skin’s surface, browning the skin. Tanimel comes from a plant extract and works to increase skin’s natural melanin production. However, caution must be taken to wash lotion with DHA or tanimel or other color additives off hands after application, since they can darken palms.
For this reason, it is important to know if your product does indeed contain a color additive so that you can avoid streaking surprises or orange palms.
Look at the Ingredients List
Cosmetic products often have a long list of ingredients that we can hardly pronounce. SimplySunSafe particularly loves products that have shorter lists with very natural ingredients, but I acknowledge that some of the best products out there also include some unknown ingredients.
This is not necessarily a bad thing! After all, we can’t live our lives studying every single ingredient out there. But, you can use an ingredients analyzer, such as this one provided by SkinCarisma. Just copy and paste the list and you will get an analysis of each component’s benefits and/or faults!
Get Something that Smells Good
Another very important factor to keep in mind is the scent of the product. Make sure to look for a product that has a smell that you think would appeal to you. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great a product works or how many other people love the smell; if you can’t stand how it smells, it won’t be of any use to you!
Also keep in mind that many products contain added fragrances that may irritate sensitive skin so if you’re not sure if fragrances are for you, make sure to test it on a small section of skin first.
And of course, if you don’t like scents at all or are sensitive to them, then make sure to look for a scentless or very neutral product that won’t cause you any discomfort.
Best After Sun Lotion To Keep Your Tan Comparison
|Lancaster Tan Maximizer||Golden Star Tan Extender||Maui Babe After Browning||Garnier Ambre Solaire||Piz Buin After Sun|
|Scent||Light, floral||Light, natural||Light, floral||Light, slightly “biscuity”||Light, summery|
5 Best After Sun Lotions To Keep Your Tan
After thorough research into the different after sun products on the market, which included analyzing product reviews, examining manufacturing details, and participating in skin care forums, SimplySunSafe has chosen the top option.
Each recommended product moisturizes very well, works in some way to enhance your tan, and each one also has very high customer approval ratings.
This luxurious Lancaster’s product is SimplySunSafe’s pick for the best after sun lotion to keep a tan. It provides relief for skin that’s been out in the sun and also prolongs tans for up to one month! It has no added color, but it’s specially formulated Tan Activator Complex (T.A.C.) increases melanin production for a long-lasting, quicker, deeper, beautiful tan.
Between deepening and darkening your natural tan, it keeps skin feeling soft and moisturized and also has a delicious light scent. It’s no wonder why it’s been described as “miracle juice” for your skin!
Additionally, it is free of parabens and sulfates and has anti-aging and acne-fighting properties. The only downside to Lancaster’s Tan Maximizer is that it is quite pricey. However, if price is not an issue, I recommend this product wholeheartedly for it is very high quality.
- Tan Activator Complex increases melanin production for a naturally deeper, darker tan
- Free of parabens and sulfates
- Anti-aging and acne-fighting
- Brightens skin
Golden Star Beauty’s Tan Extender Body Lotion comes a close second to the Lancaster product. We love it because it’s made with pure, organic, natural ingredients and is curated specifically to extend the life of your tan. It has all that you could want in a after-tanning lotion while also being ethically responsible! This lotion extends tans at least three days longer, and skin is left silky smooth.
In contrast to Lancaster’s Tan Maximizer, this product contains DHA, so it also adds a bit of extra color to your tan. In fact, this is probably the best after sun with self tan, If that is what you are looking for.
A non-comedogenic and non-sticky product, it works for all skin types and all kinds of tans, even the most sensitive ones. It’s also made with no chemicals, parabens, or formaldehyde, and is gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. Its natural ingredients will not only extend your tan, but will make sure it fades evenly.
Some of the ingredients you can find in a bottle are the following:
- Organic Aloe Vera
- Organic Oils (Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba, Olive, Argan oils)
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Vitamins B2, B5, and B12
- Coffee Seed Extract
Just remember that since it contains DHA, caution should be taken to wash the lotion off of hands immediately after application. Unless you want your palms to turn a few shades darker, that is!
- Free of parabens and dyes
- Made with Organic ingredients
- Caution must be taken to wash hands after application due to the DHA.
Maui Babe After Browning Lotion is a classic after tanning product from Maui, Hawaii. The special formula works to heal dry skin that’s been damaged by the sun, salt, and wind. It does not have any added color, but it prevents peeling and flaking after tanning or burning, and also locks in tans and prevents them from fading.
Additionally, it is appropriate for all-year usage as a general skin moisturizer for softer, smoother skin, especially for people living in very dry conditions.
Its most active natural ingredients are Macadamia Nut Oil and Aloe Vera, which work to soothe and moisturize skin after tanning.
The main downsides to this product are that it contains parabens, and that it is quite expensive.
- Extends tan and prevents fade
- Appropriate as a general moisturizer
- Heals damaged skin
- Contains parabens
Ambre Solaire After Sun by Garnier is another great product for prolonging your tan! Enriched with glycerol and vitamin E, it is a very soothing and hydrating cream that rebalances dehydrated skin after sun exposure to prevent dryness. The moisture-rich formula leaves skin soft, supple, and glowing.
It contains a small amount of self-tanning ingredient, which subtly enhances and deepens the tan you already have. It is therefore important to be careful when applying it to ensure you spread it sparsely and carefully. However, since it is a low level, you do not need to worry about the product rubbing off and staining your clothes.
It is paraben-free and sulfate-free too, dermatologically tested for all skin types, and it has anti-aging properties.
Some customers complain about the lotion being a bit runny, however.
- Enriched with glycerol and vitamin E
- Has self-tanner to boost tan
- Does not rub off on clothes
- Paraben-free; sulfate-free
- Caution must be taken when applying because of the self-tanner
This is a very popular product with British sunbathers and tanners. It is a high-quality after sun lotion that revitalizes and hydrates skin to help restore its natural moisture balance. Its intense moisturization complex also helps protect skin from peeling and dehydration and makes your tan last longer and stay beautiful. Fast-absorbing, it provides 24 hour moisturization!
It also contains Vitamin E which protects against premature skin aging often linked to sun exposure, and is also enriched with Shea butter, which has powerful moisturizing and protective properties.
Additionally, it contains Tanimel to make your natural tan last longer and intensify its color.
- Enriched with vitamin E and shea butter
- 24-hour moisturization
- Contains tanimel
- Caution must be taken to wash hands after application due to the tanimel
I wrote this guide for people looking for the best after sun lotion to keep a tan. Hopefully you have gained more knowledge about different products on the market by reading this article, as well as some tricks! I trust that you are now equipped with the tools to make a decision on which is the best after sun lotion for your tan’s needs.
While all listed products are great for different purposes, SimplySunSafe recommends Lancaster Tan Maximizer Soothing Moisturizer as the overall best option for its long-lasting results and high quality formula.
Other options listed are also great for other needs. If you are looking for a product that will add color with DHA or tanimel or other color ingredients, Golden Star Beauty Tan Extender, Garnier Ambre Solaire, or Piz Buin After Sun are all great color-enhancing lotions. Maui Babe After Browning Lotion is another classic option that has many natural ingredients and proven results, without the extra color.
I always love to learn about other new products and to hear about your experiences with the ones listed so if you have any feedback or a suggestion of another great lotion to keep a tan fresh, please leave me a comment below and I will see about featuring it in another article!