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How To Spray Tan Prep | Best Bronzed Airbrush Guide

spray tan prep your skin

Do you want to know the proper ways to do a spray tan prep? As part of the process of prepping your summer body, you may want to consider getting a spray tan. Since spray tanning does not involve UV rays, it may even be the preferable option if you simply want that sun-kissed complexion.

Of course, you can’t just go into a tanning salon on a random day and get your spray tan right then and there. You need to be properly prepared if you want your airbrush tan to look great and last long.

Before heading into the tanning booth, your skin needs to be in the right condition. You can prep your skin properly by exfoliating before the spray tan session.

The exfoliating process will bring out new skin cells. Because of that, the spray tan particles can cling to skin cells that will be around for a while. Your tan will last longer as a result.

Plus, with no dead skin cells getting in the way, you can expect the spray tan to turn out evenly and beautiful.

How do you exfoliate before spray tanning? 

Now that the benefits of exfoliating before getting an airbrush tan have been established, it’s time to focus on how to handle the process correctly.

  • Step 1

The first thing you should do is to take a nice, warm bath. Being Hairless recommends staying in that bath for about 20 minutes. Try to relax as much as you can during this period because you have a lot of work ahead of you.

  • Step 2

During the bath, pick up your razor and start to shave the parts you want to remain hairless after the tan. Shaving after spray tanning is tricky and it can affect the quality of your tan. It’s best to take care of this before you go into the booth.

  • Step 3

You can now start the exfoliating process. Using either an exfoliating brush or scrub on your skin. Exfoliating products that do not make use of oil are preferred.

Be gentle though as your goal is to simply remove the dead skin cells. Don’t rush and also avoid over-scrubbing certain parts of your body. Exfoliate every part of your body that will be covered by the tan.

Once you’re done exfoliating, step in to the shower and rinse off.

spray tan prep

Can you exfoliate right before spray tanning?

Considering the benefits of exfoliating before spray tanning, you will obviously want to include that process into your ritual, but exactly when should you do it?

If you fell asleep early the night before your spray tan appointment and you’re thinking about exfoliating the following morning, avoid doing that. Your skin will end up too sensitive at that point and the airbrush tan may not produce the results you want.

You’ll be better off going in for a spray tan appointment at a later date in that scenario.

Ideally, you should exfoliate the night before your upcoming spray tan session. Refinery29 recommends completing the exfoliating process about eight hours prior to getting the spray tan.

Now, if you did forget to exfoliate the night before and still want to get your skin in better condition, The Tanning Store notes that some salons may offer a pre-tan spray or tanning prep wipes. Those should be able to help you out in a pinch.

Can you moisturize before spray tanning?

Exfoliating prior to having a spray tan applied is a must, but what about moisturizing? While those two beautifying processes sometimes get swapped out for each other in conversations, it’s important to note here that they are different.

Exfoliating products are designed to be slightly abrasive so that they can effectively scrub away the dead skin cells on your body. The moisturizers don’t do that.

Instead, moisturizers are intended to lock in moisture. They are formulated to make your skin healthier and softer.

So, should you exfoliate and moisturize before a spray tan? The answer is yes.

The approach here is to moisturize right after you finish exfoliating. That means you should also moisturize the night before your spray tan appointment.

One thing to keep in mind before moisturizing is that not all moisturizers are suitable if you are going for a spray tanning session in just a few hours. You should specifically avoid oil-based moisturizers. The oils in those moisturizing products can get into your pores and effectively prevent the spray tan particles from working.

When the morning of your spray tan session arrives, there’s no need to apply any moisturizers.

By applying moisturizer before spray tanning, you can make your new complexion last longer.

Can you exfoliate after spray tanning?

Exfoliating prior to spray tanning is fine and even recommended, but what about after? Should you keep up your exfoliating habits once the tanning session is over?

Well, yes, exfoliating can still prove to be good for your skin post-tan, but you have to handle the process differently.

Remember that exfoliating is meant to scrub away dead skin cells. There’s a chance you can also scrub away some of the tanned cells by exfoliating.

The key to getting exfoliating right at this point is to be even gentler. Pick out the gentlest exfoliating product you can find and lower the intensity of your scrubs.

Healthline recommends exfoliating every couple of days to get the best results.

Also, since it would be best if you didn’t shower at least eight hours following your spray tan session, you should also hold off on exfoliating until then. You don’t want to go to bed with dead skin cells on your body after all.

spray tan prep


Spray tanning seems like a very straightforward process at first, but if you don’t do enough to prepare for it, you could easily end up getting stuck with a mediocre tan.

The only way to make sure that the spray tanning process will go well is to take all the precautionary measures beforehand. That includes exfoliating the right way at the right time so that your skin is ideally suited to receive the tan.

You should also moisturize to further prepare your skin for what’s coming.

As long as you nail the preparation process, you can count on your spray tan turning out great and staying on for an extended period of time.

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