I am sure you have read to “Shower & Shave right before applying a self tanner or getting a spray tan”
No No No! I see so many beauty bloggers or spray tan salons advising to exfoliate, shower & shave right before applying self-tanner and it makes me crazy! You do NOT want to do this before application or before your spray tan session. This can actually hinder your self-tanning results!
Why you ask?
Doing so can result in a lighter tan and a patchy or streaky development! Scrubs, exfoliants, soaps, hair conditioners, shampoo, shaving cream and other products leave an invisible film on the skin. This can affect the tan and result in a patchy or streaky application.
Let’s break it down some more and I will explain why many common self-tanning problems occur:
First off, when you shower right before you are hydrating your skin. When you apply the self-tanner (or get a spray tan) right after (even a few hours after) your skin will not absorb as much of the product since your skin is already hydrated! Anytime I see spray tan solution being repelled by my client’s skin it is because they always showered right before,
Streaky legs? -Chances are you shaved right before. Shaving creams and razors with moisturizing strips leave an invisible film blocking the absorption of the sunless tanner. In some cases you did not rinse long enough and some of the cosmetic bronzer did not wash off. Do another quick rinse to see if this solves the issue.
Specks on your legs (in your pores)? -Chances are that you showered right before application. The hot water opened up your pores and it absorbed more of the bronzer pigment (Tip- before tanning do a very quick cold water rinse to close them up)
Tan came out very light?- Chances are that you showered right before. And as discussed your skin was not absorbing all of the product.
Patchy Tan? – Chances are you showered or exfoliated right before and the product residue created a barrier which prevented product from being absorbed in areas. Or you did not exfoliate at all and the skin was not an even canvas. (Read further below for more info on this)
Tan did not last long– Same reason as why it caused it to be light (plus you are possibly not using the proper aftercare products)
Tan faded bad– This happens when you apply more self-tanner /spray tan on your body without scrubbing the other one off first. Or you do not use the right aftercare products (cleansers) and a poor body moisturizer.
So here are my expert recommendations:
Start your exfoliating a few days before your spray tan session or the day you are going to apply the self-tanner. Do not exfoliate the day of! Exfoliation is very important so the skin can be a clean even canvas. If self-tanner or gradual tanning lotion is applied on uneven skin, the older dead skin cells will come off first causing the tan to possibly fade poorly.
Do any waxing, pedicures or shaving at least 24 hours before.
Do not shower or apply any soaps (especially Dove) oils, lotions, perfumes or deodorant to the skin the day of the tan. These can create a barrier preventing the self-tanner from fully developing or resulting in patching or streaking.
Follow these recommendations and I guarantee you will see great results!
Have any more questions? Please check out my website Q&A or feel free to contact me for more information.
Melissa Weinberg is a South Florida spray tan expert, educator. She is the creator of Melissa Weinberg Tanning & Beauty® and Perfect Glow Sunless™ a premium line of professional spray tan solution used by professional salons and spas all over the world. Providing custom spray tans in the areas of South Florida including Wellington, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Royal palm beach,
Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach