Written by Allanah Canal, CNP.

Summer may be slipping away a lot faster than we’d like, but that doesn’t mean your beautiful bronzed skin has to go with it! Lets get real – the sun has been limited and after your diligent efforts to absorb as much of those rays as possible, the last thing you want is for it to quickly fade. Not to worry, here are 5 ways you can make that golden glow stick around for as long as possible

  1. Exfoliate!

Give those pigments the best foundation possible by getting rid of any dead skin cells on your epidermis, which is the outermost layer of skin. This can be done all over the body simply by using a loofa or washcloth. For a more invigorating experience, you can create a scrub by combining a few spoonful’s of sugar or salt with a spoon or two of carrier oil like coconut, olive, or avocado. If you would prefer a scrub that’s already expertly formulated, this Citrus Scrub is great!

  1. Moisturize!

This one comes right after exfoliate for a reason; the two go hand in hand. After exfoliating, and pre tanning, you should always moisturize. One important thing to always remember is to moisturize after you’ve been in the sun as well. Creams and lotions provide a light and fast absorbing source of moisture, but a body butter is better for a more intense and longer lasting feeling. The sun can be incredibly dehydrating (sundried tomatoes anyone?) for the entire body, but moisturizing will ensure your skin is hydrated topically. Speaking of hydration…

  1. Hydrate!

Ensuring you are hydrated internally is of course crucial to your overall health, but also maintaining optimal skin appearances as well. Not only do our cells function better when they are properly hydrated, they are physically fuller and as a result make our skin appear more plump and also brighter. This is a huge part of that natural “glow” and will absolutely enhance that tan. Drinking water regularly is the best way to do this, but ensure that it contains trace minerals for optimal absorption. A small pinch of Himalayan salt or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice can be added to water for this purpose. Eating raw fruits and vegetables (like this unreal asian style salad) are also an excellent way to got more water into your diet.

  1. Eat Your Vegetables!

This is more of a preventive measure but a multitude of the nutrients found in plants have protective qualities for the skin, making it less likely for your skin to burn and easier for you to tan. One of these nutrients is Beta Carotene, which is a plant based source of Vitamin A found in foods like carrots, squash, sweet potato, spinach, cantaloupe, and apricots. It also provides carotenoids, which actually have the potential to add an orange tint to skin, depending on the amount consumed. Additional nutrients to consume are Vitamin C (which is the building block of collagen) and Vitamin E (which has potent healing abilities). Along with Vitamin A, these vitamins work as antioxidants, fighting the free radical damage that is created by sun exposure. Berries and Citrus fruits are also great food choices specifically for skin health.

  1. Watch yourself!

Yes, tanning is wonderful for getting your glow on and creating some Vitamin D, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Burns can be a serious injury with severe consequences, the least of which is peeling skin and an uneven tan. Ensure your time in the sun is not prolonged and try to avoid tanning between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm, as that’s when the sun is at its strongest. If you do feel your skin start to become hot, immediately go inside or in the shade and apply aloe vera gel generously. Ointments with calendula or plantain would also be beneficial for this.