Whether you use an indoor tanning bed or you've been lying out in the sun, the UV rays are equally as damaging, notes TeensHealth, sponsored by the Nemours Foundation. If you still feel as though tanning is right for you, taking care of your skin properly after tanning can ensure the best results and the longest tan. Always follow recommendations from the tanning bed manufacturer, and look for alternative, safer methods to maintain a healthy glow all year round.
Drink water directly after spending time in the sun or in a tanning bed. Tanning can dehydrate the skin, leaving you feeling parched, dizzy and dry. Bring a bottle of water with you to the tanning salon or beach and drink it directly following your tanning session.
Apply a good-quality moisturizer to your skin directly after tanning to help cool the ski and replenish moisture. Looking Fit also notes that moisturizing can make your tan look healthier. Bring a bottle of moisturizer with you to the beach or tanning salon and apply liberally when you're finished tanning.
Allow time to pass between tanning sessions. Tanning too often can cause skin damage and raise your risk for skin cancer. While some tanning salons might caution you to avoid waiting too long for fear that your tan will fade, err on the side of caution and wait two to three days before you visit the tanning salon or head to the beach again.
Apply a sunless tanning lotion over your tan to keep it looking darker longer. Sunless tanning products use a chemical that essentially darkens the outer layer of skin on your body for the effects of a tan without dangerous UVA and UVB rays. When applying a sunless tanner, exfoliate your skin first and apply in smooth strokes for the best coverage. Makeup artist Scott Barnes tells Glamour magazine that if you find you've applied too much sunless tanner, use a depilatory cream which will remove the color so you can try again for a more natural look.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.