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How To 14 July 2022

How to Maintain a Tan Over Winter

Perfect that fake tan during the colder months and keep that summer glow.

Achieving a beautiful tan year-round is by getting it in a bottle and not from the sun. With our 5 tips below, it’s a breeze.

Words By Brittany Lyons

Tip 1 - Prepare your Skin

For us the key to nail the false tan throughout winter starts off quite simply, by adequately preparing the skin.

Throughout the cooler months, drying heaters, and the chill of the outside often has a drying and dehydrating effect on the skin of our entire body. Check out this article about the best ways to exfoliate throughout winter, here.

If you’re no newbie to the fake tan game, it is imperative to properly exfoliate and nourish the skin prior to applying any false tan, to give yourself the best chance of an even, non-streaky glow. The process of exfoliating and priming your skin pre-product is even more important throughout winter when, chances are, your skin is a little flaky and malnourished.

We love relying on a microfibre exfoliating mitt, like the one below from Skinny Tan, as they are such an effective way to remove dead cells with only the help of water. If you’re looking to go even deeper, add in a scrub or Pre Tan Primer, also by Skinny Tan, and you know no stone has been left unturned to perfect the application of the tanner to follow suite.

Revive Bronzé Supérieur ​Self-Tan Booster, $194.10 – available at NET-A-PORTER

Tip 2 - A Nourishing Tan

We’re sure you’re aware of the efficacies of self-tanner in the traditional mouse formula, but throughout the cooler months, we prefer adopting a product that has an oil, water or cream base. These consistencies tend to not only be easier to apply as they’re better absorbed into your perfectly prepped skin, but they also nourish whilst providing that bronzed glow.

Take the Eco Tan Invisible Tan Cream for example, it is formulated to be off-white in colour which mitigates mess, as well as drying down well so no transfer should happen to clothes or bed sheets. The best part (we think) about a product like this one is that it’s enriched with skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamins A, C, and E, avocado oil and a whole bunch of antioxidants. These nutrients will be drop fed into your skin which will not only deliver a beautiful golden glow, but a skin that is balanced and hydrated.

If you’re looking to diversify your products and are yet to try a self-tanning water, then wintertime is the perfect opportunity to do so.

This thin-in-consistency, beautiful and evenly dispersed solution is a great way to provide a glow and surge of hydration to the skin. We love this iteration by Tan Luxe, available at Cult Beauty.

ICONIC London Prep-Set-Tan Tanning Mist, $47.57 – available at Cult Beauty

Tip 3 - Don’t Forget the Face

A healthy glow is one that looks natural and a word of warning, when your body is tanned and your face is not, there is nothing natural to be said about this look. To ensure continuity of shade all over your body, we recommend bronzing your skin to a colour that isn’t too far from your natural one and one that can be replicated on the face.

We understand taking tanning products to the face can really upset the balance of your skin and sometimes cause disarray to your progress, so we have only included products below that are tried and tested by us, and ones which we can confidently call gentle.

Eco Tan’s Face Tan Water has well and truly reached cult status within the facial tan scene. It’s water-like consistency promises to provide a gradual tanning effect and should be applied like a toner to the skin with a cotton pad. Filled with skin loving ingredients such as antioxidants, and void of anything nasty like comedogenics and pore cloggers.

Got your routine down pat and not interested in adding a whole new step to achieve that glow? Try tanning drops like the below from Isle of Paradise, which can be added to your serums or moisturiser.

Amanda Harrington The Face Lifter Brush, $71.56 – available at NET-A-PORTER

Tip 4 - Top Up

Once you’ve perfected your winter tanning routine, chances are you’ll never look back! Instead of working to a cyclical exfoliate, prep, tan and remove routine, we love relying on a gradual tanning product to help keep the glow no matter the time of the week.

Unlike a traditional falser tanner which works to darken the upper layers of the skin, which will eventually shed come a few days’ time, a gradual tanner should be applied incrementally to be introducing subtle amounts of tan over a longer period of time. It’s like a top up for your tan and takes the fuss out of glowing.

The typical vehicle bringing gradual tans to life is a lotion or moisturiser. These formulations are just like your usual body moisturiser, packed with humectants and nourishing elements, but also subtly laced with tanning agents that develop a natural glow over time.

The organic brainchild of Miranda Kerr, Kora’s gradual self-tanner is a perfect product to try if you’re dipping your toe in the gradual game. Enriched with Kora’s signature ingredient noni extract, plus some other hydrating goodies like rose hip seed and sea buckthorn oils, this product leaves your skin soft, smooth and sun kissed and has a heavenly scent, too.

Tan Luxe The Gradual Illuminating Tanning Lotion, $49.50 – available at Cult Beauty

Tip 5 - Time to Remove

The final step in any considered tanning routine, whether the weather be warm or cold outside, is to be properly equipped to remove your tan.

There are many reasons why you would want to remove all remnants of fake tan from your skin, laser appointments, starting afresh, shaving, waxing etc, and thanks to the power of cosmeceuticals, it can be done effectively and quickly.

Our favourite and most cost effective way to remove self-tanner from the skin is by using glycolic acid. This alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is gentle enough on the skin whilst active enough to exfoliate the cells that have been treated by the fake tan. The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner is fantastic value for money, comes in a large bottle size and can be used by simply adding some solution to a cotton pad and wiping over the area of skin to be treated.

For a quicker removal, if necessary, you can always adopt the physical method of exfoliation and use an exfoliating mitt. These are effective but may cause some irritation if too much friction is being used. We recommend pairing an exfoliating mitt with a product like Bondi Sands’ Self Tan Eraser, to help move the tan along via both a chemical and physical means.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, $16.30 – available at Adore Beauty