How to Prep Your Skin for Self Tanner

preparing skin for self tanner

The primer to your paint. The warm-up to your run. The spanx to your bandage dress.... A flawless tan starts with skin preparation. And no, you don't need to buy special scrubbing mitts, barrier creams, or gritty soaps. The buzzword here is going to be exfoliation- always, in all ways! Dead skin on the surface will lend itself to your tan applying splotchy, fading faster and being uneven. So what are the best ways to exfoliate? I'm so glad you asked! I've broken it down into 3 easy to follow categories that should help you level-up in your tanning game.

TREAT YO' SELF

Soak in a warm bath for 15-20 minutes. This will loosen dead skin cells and prepare them for exfoliation. Think of it like soaking a pan before you do the dishes; you're getting ready for the junk to come off. 

NOT ALL SOAP IS CREATED EQUAL

Choosing the right cleanser is easily is one of the most over-looked parts of tanning. Bar soaps are a no-go pre or post tanning because they leave a film on the skin and contain harsh ingredients. You also want to avoid oily body washes or any products that are thick and creamy. The emollients in these formulas will create a barrier that will prevent the tan from adhering to your skin. The ingredient list is King here but you're usually safest with transparent gel cleansers where glycerin is the main moisturizing ingredient. And yes, I have affordable, easy to find options for you.                                                                                         *Bonus Tip: add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shower gel for extra efficacy.  Try: Tom's of Maine Bodywash $7.99, Method Body Wash $6.99

SCRUB!

This part is referred to as "mechanical exfoliation"  by estheticians because you're using an object to remove the dead skin. You can do this in the bathtub still but it may be easier to switch to a shower. You'll want to get a loofah, scrub brush, or exfoliation mitt and scrub in circular motions, paying special attention to any rough or dry areas. If you're shaving and using shaving cream or a razor with a moisture strip, you'll want to do this before you exfoliate because they often leave a film on the skin that will prevent your tan from adhering. 

The final cautions I'll give you are simple; Give you skin at least 15 minutes to cool after the shower before you put tanner on and only apply lotion sparingly to drier spots that need a barrier. Now you've got your freshest skin cells primed and prepped for a GlowPro Tan.