Holidays or beach stays are a way to tan naturally. After the summer and holiday period, it's normal to look for a way to maintain your sun-kissed complexion. Follow our advice to prolong your tan using shea butter.
Shea Butter: How to prolong your tan and achieve a sun-kissed complexion?
How does our skin tan?
Tanning is a natural skin protection mechanism when exposed to the sun. When the skin is exposed to UV rays, the melanocytes, epidermal cells, begin to produce melanin, a natural pigment responsible for the colour of our tan. Its role is to absorb the sun's rays. However, melanin alone is not enough to defend the skin from UV rays. The keratinocytes located in the epidermis also begin to multiply in response to the sun's rays to make the skin thicker and impermeable.
Maintaining your tan with shea butter: a possibility?
Hydration and nutrition are the main factors in prolonging one's tan. UV rays dry out the epidermis and accelerate the process of cell renewal, thus promoting peeling. Therefore, it is important to adopt a hydrating and nourishing routine to preserve one's tan.
The shea butter is recognised for its moisturising and nourishing properties when applied to the skin. It enhances the action of the skin's lipid barrier, helping to protect it from external aggressions and reduce transepidermal water loss.
A clinical study was conducted on 10 volunteers who applied a shea butter cream. Cutaneous conductimetry measurements demonstrated that hydration is observed in the short term. It reaches its peak after one hour of application and then persists for 8 hours.
Oleic Acid and phytosterols are components of shea butter. They stimulate the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Thestearic acid is known for its emollient and nourishing properties. Therefore, the application of shea butter helps to strengthen the skin's protective barrier, which is itself composed of fatty acids.
In all instances, a tan cannot last longer than a month after the last sun exposure due to cell differentiation. This natural process is characterised by the maturation of epithelial cells, which load up on keratin to result in dead cells, forming the horny layer that eventually gets shed. The keratinocytes thus continually renew themselves in a cycle of approximately 28 days.
How to use it?
To apply it, warm a small amount of pure, unrefined shea butter between your hands and then spread it over clean, dry skin. Repeat this process daily to maintain your tan for as long as possible. Other tips are also effective in preserving your sun-kissed complexion and extending your tan.
POELMAN M. C. & al. Étude de l'activité hydratante d'une émulsion essai de l'émulsion Xéroderm. Les Nouvelles Dermatologiques (1988).
PEKER K. & al. Medicinal and nutritional benefits from the shea tree. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare (2017)