Labor Day may symbolize the end of summer—seriously, already? Didn’t summer just start?—but don’t let your bronzed tan know that. Instead, allow it to keep glowing with a few quick tricks and tips. We enlisted Jules Von Hep, Tan-Luxe's resident celebrity tanner, to give us some foolproof tricks to a safe, summer glow.
What is the trick to extending your perfect summer tan?
It's commonly known in beauty that when you sunbathe while using a high SPF, your tan from the sun will last longer than if you use a low SPF. Taking care of your skin in the sun is vital to prevent signs of aging, pigmentation, and, of course, sun damage. Moisturizing with rich aloe vera-based moisturizers after sun exposure keeps skin soft and more youthful. If your holiday glow is starting to fade, I love using Tan-Luxe The Butter ($36)—applied every other day. This rich, illuminating moisturizer contains vitamin E and B5 to give skin that hydration, while the naturally-derived DHA (the ingredient in skincare that makes us tan) gives a glow that builds in color after each application.
Alternatively, what is the trick to faking that perfect summer tan?
Using a self-tanning product is the best way to achieve gorgeous, golden skin without exposing your skin to the harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun. There are many options out there in terms of product format, but what's important to look for is advanced formulations containing oils (such as raspberry seed oil and vitamin E to keep the skin soft), naturally derived tanning agents, and products that are free of parabens. If you suffer from dry skin or open pores, it’s key to swerve away from self-tanning products that contain guide colors (those that are tinted when pumped out of the bottle), as these tend to contain high fragrance levels that both dry out our skin and block pores.
What do you need to do before, during, and after applying faux tanner to assure perfect application?
Remember that with self-tanning, practice makes perfect. Follow these simple steps to achieve the perfect glow.
STEP ONE: For a picture perfect glow, ensure your tan has the best start by using a superfine, oil-free exfoliator that gently lifts away dead skin cells and creates a smooth and even skin base. Pay special attention to those dry areas—hands, elbows, knees, and feet—to ensure there are no tell-tale signs of tan clinging to dry skin.
STEP TWO: Add a light layer of an aloe vera-based moisturizer to your hands, elbows, knees, and feet in order to stop any tan from sticking. Apply a lip balm to your nails and brows if you’re fair. If you have any pigmentation, you may wish to apply moisturizer to these areas with a cotton pad.
STEP THREE: Apply a lightweight, transparent tanner, such as Tan-Luxe Hydra-Mousse ($56), using an applicator mitt to ensure an even, streak-free finish. Sweeping motions are better than circular motions, as they distribute product more evenly. While tanning your hands and feet, don’t add any additional product to the tanning mitt. Instead, just use the residue from the body application—this will be enough. In a well-lit room, use the glisten of the wet product on the skin to see where you have applied the product.
(Pro tip: Sweep the mitt over your body over and over again until it's completely dry; this will buff away any streaks.)
STEP FOUR: Take a makeup wipe and soak it in micellar water. Wipe the palms of your hands and nails to avoid any leftover coloration. Rub a small bit of moisturizer into the bottom of your palm where it meets your wrists, and rub a dry towel over the wrists to blend the color. If you've used a spray, you may wish to wipe a small amount away in between each finger.
STEP FIVE: Allow the tan to develop for four to six hours. Stand in front of the mirror, and marvel at how good you look and feel.
Other Editor Favorites:
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Face ($32)
“It gives a great natural color and glow. I’ve found that I can forego wearing foundation this summer and still have an even skin tone.”
The Organic Pharmacy Self Tan ($69)
“It's seriously so easy to use, and it's derived from sugar beet instead of traditional, gross chemical-based tanners.”
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Face and Body Mist ($64)
“It's great for a quick fix, when you need an immediate boost of natural bronze on your face and/or body.”