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5 top tips to protect your holiday tan

With holiday season in full swing, we want to give you the best advice for protecting your tan while you're on vacay. We often say to clients, flying, swimming, oil and sweating are the worst things for your tan, but at this time of year, that's what we're doing most. At Honey Glow Studio, we want your tan looking great for the whole holiday, not just the first couple of days you're away. So here's our top 5 tips for maintaining your tan these summer holidays.


Just like a well planned holiday, a great tan will set you up for feeling fabulous, so pick the right tan technician and products for you. Do some research, find an experienced spray tan technician and ask how much alcohol* is in the tanning solution. Ask family and friends for a referral, check out their portfolio of work and consider a trial tan if this is your first time tanning. Unlike hair and makeup, you cannot wash a spray tan off as it will be on your skin for the duration of your holiday. Once you've found your perfect tanning studio, prep your skin well and make sure you wax/shave 24 hours prior to your appointment.


The inside of an airplane cabin is drier than the Simpson Desert. Low humidity, recycled air and a multitude of germs equals dehydrated skin which means your freshly tanned skin is in trouble. By the time you disembark, you basically have the skin of a dried prune... yikes!

With the air inside the cabin sucking the life out of your skin, applying a (non-oily) moisturiser or spring water spray and staying well hydrated will help prevent your skin from drying out. We recommend drinking a cup of water every hour of flight time (peppermint, chamomile, and ginger tea are also good options), avoiding alcohol and salty snacks and choosing fresh fruits and veggies to help with hydration. For long-haul flights, a full body moisturise before and after your flight will also help maintain your tan.

Tanned lady on plane


It's difficult to avoid swimming on holidays – but if you do wish to swim in a pool, rinse the chlorine (or salt) water off your skin as soon as possible. Chlorine and salt act as a natural exfoliant and will fade your tan faster. After showering in cool water, pat yourself dry instead of rubbing. Avoid heated places such as spas, saunas and steam rooms and hold off on things like massages and pedicures also - oils can strip your spray tan.


Your spray tan will usually last around a week to a week and a half. If you're traveling longer than this (and you intend on swimming quite often) a tan extender is a must-have travel accessory. Tan extender has a small amount of tan solution in it and applying extender daily, can extend the life of your tan for several days. We recommend applying tan extender daily from day 2 (just be sure to wash the palm of your hands and in between your fingers after application).

Tan extender


We tend to spend more time in the sun while on vacation, and mistakenly think a spray tan will protect us from the sun's harmful rays - it does not.While swapping sun-bathing and solariums for sunless tanning is great, you still need to protect your skin from the sun. To avoid sunburn and skin damage, wear oil-free sunscreen with a high UV protection and apply only after your initial tan has been washed off and fully developed. And don't forget, if you are at the beach, you should reapply your lotion at least every two hours and immediately after you swim.

Wear SPF 15+ with your spray tan

* Too much alcohol can cause excessive dryness and even cracking, so a few days into your tan your skin could have a scaly appearance.

Photos: Unsplash and Shutterstock

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