Wondering What to Do Before a Spray Tan?

For many people, achieving and maintaining the perfect sun-kissed glow, year-round, is an important part of feeling their best. However, the dangers associated with ultraviolet exposure from the sun and other artificial sources have more and more people turning to spray tans as a safer options to attain and maintain a golden tan.

While a fake tan is certainly healthier than a natural one, getting a natural look isn't always easy. The key is implementing proper skin preparation before you even head out the door. Read on for our tips of what to do before a spray tan to ensure your skin looks like you’re fresh off the beach, rather than straight out of a paint factory. And in the process, you’ll discover an added bonus: improved skin health.

1. Full Body Exfoliation

If you’ve ever read spray tan directions, you know that exfoliation is a must. Here’s why: exfoliation works to remove dead dry skin cells that, when present, tend to absorb spray tanner and leave dark patches that make your tan look streaky and blotchy. Since there are two types of exfoliation - mechanical and chemical - let’s discuss the basics of how each works, as both are beneficial before applying sunless tanner, depending on the area of the body.

Mechanical exfoliation (also called physical exfoliation) is the physical process of removing dead skin cells and is done with either the use of a tool, such as a brush or sponge, or via the use of a gritty or granular substance. For the best results, try using a dry brush, loofah or Korean exfoliating mitt. It is best to steer clear of sugar or salt scrubs that leave an oily residue. The oil will sit on the surface of your skin, making it difficult for spray tan to absorb.

When most people think of full body exfoliation, they think of a physical scrub. But chemical exfoliation goes beyond what’s on the surface of your skin. It’s more effective and tends to be gentler as it penetrates deeper into the skin to shed dead skin cells and promote healthy cell regeneration without the harsh abrasion. Try using a chemical exfoliant like Lexli’s glycolic acid exfoliator on specific areas like knees, elbows, and ankles that tend to be rougher. (Of course, don’t forget your face, where this product can really generate an improvement!) Not only will the dry spots be eliminated but, in the process, you will improve the appearance of sun-damaged and aging skin by helping to smooth skin texture, reduce hyperpigmentation, and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!

2. Lotion Select Areas

After you’ve properly exfoliated your skin, it’s beneficial to apply lotion to areas of thickened skin to minimize the amount of spray tan that is absorbed into these areas. Use a thick lotion that absorbs fully into the skin, such as Lexli Hand & Body Lotion. Massage fully into the knees, ankles, knuckles and elbows and allow to dry before applying tanner. It’s also beneficial to apply lotion between fingers and toes.

3. If Applying Tanner at Home, Use a Glove

While some individuals are adept at achieving a natural-looking tan at home using their bare hands, most of us can benefit from the use of a tanning glove. We swear by tanning gloves for their ability to keep the palms of your hands free of tanner while smoothing your tanner onto all areas of skin, thereby avoiding streaks. Finish applying tanner to all other areas of the body before apply tanner to hands. Simply brush whatever tanner is left on the glove evenly across the tops of the hands for the perfect application.

4. Preserve Your Glow

After you have achieved your optimal tan, preserve that glow by being selective with the products you use on your skin. Avoid harsh cleansers and soaps that contain chemicals and dyes, which only breakdown your sunless tan. Instead, use a gentle cleanser like Lexli Cleansing Lotion, which can be used on face and body.

Finally, wear sunscreen daily! Just because you have a tan (albeit, a fake one), doesn’t mean you can forego the application of sunscreen. We recommend applying a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 like Lexli’s award-winning Sunscreen Spray - perfect for your entire body. For your face, consider using a daytime moisturizer that contains sunscreen.

Happy tanning!