Moisturize! Moisturize! Healthy skin tans faster, darker, and retains a tan longer. Drink plenty of water and make sure to keep your skin moisturized with a high quality lotion especially formulated-for-tanning. Your skin is constantly renewing itself. The dryer your skin is, the faster it wants to shed its top layers and bring new skin to the surface. You loose the top layers, you loose your tan. Dry layers on the surface of your skin will block the UV rays from getting to the other layers to tan them. Even with moisturizing you will still need to maintain a tanning schedule of every 4 to 5 days, or at least once a week, to keep your tan, because your skin is reproducing new cells all the time.