Exfoliate. It’s one of the first steps in the self tanning process. Whether you are hitting up VersaSpa, stepping into a Mystic booth or going to your favorite airbrush spot, you will always be told to prep your skin. Simply put you must cleanse and exfoliate properly to ensure that your tan is applied evenly, lasts as long as possible, and fades without becoming patchy.
In case you don’t know, here’s a quick rundown on how self tanners work: DHA, the main ingredient in self tanners causes your skin to tan. It’s absorbed into the first layer of your skin and develops a tan color over a few hours. As you naturally shed that layer or tanned skin, your tan will fade.
See? Making sure to remove any dead skin cells to reveal a leveled first layer of skin will ensure that your skin has been properly prepped and exfoliated. Think of your skin as a blank canvas and exfoliating your skin acts as the primer, setting your skin up for perfectly even and smooth tan application and the longest lasting results possible.
There are so many ways to exfoliate your skin from tools to soaps, scrubs, and peels, but you may be surprised there is a wrong way to exfoliate prior to your self tan application. Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’t to help guide your exfoliating adventures!
Ingredients to Avoid
Anything with Oils! Any body wash or scrub that contains an oil or lotion will form a barrier on your skin. Preventing any self tanner to fully sink in and be absorbed by your skin. Think splotchy borderline non-existent tan.
“Moisturizing” As with oils, always avoid any product that has moisturizers in this. You must strip your skin of all oils to create that squeaky clean canvas ready to tanned and toned.
Soap Soaps, especially with lotions in them, leave an invisible film on your body acting as a barrier between your skin and self tanner.
Coffee Scrubs This may come as a surprise, but coffee is a naturally oily bean. The grounds from coffee and scrubs made from coffee have naturally occurring and occasionally added oils.
Make up, Lotion, Perfume It’s pretty normal for skin to feel a bit dry or tight after a deep exfoliation, and we naturally want to lather up and hydrate our skin. Avoid any lotions or cosmetics leaving your skin bare.
Tools to Avoid
Loofah Sponge You know that soft mesh ball of fluff you lather your body wash with? This gentle scrubber doesn’t offer quite the exfoliating power you need to thoroughly prep your skin for a self tan.
Razors Shaving your legs provides an additional level of exfoliation, but you have to be careful. Many blades come with layers of gel, moisturizers, and skin conditioners which can leave oils or film on your skin. If shaving, be sure to do so before your exfoliation prep.
Exfoliating Gloves While a convenient method for in-shower exfoliation, this is another tool that doesn’t have enough oomph to get a deep down exfoliation required for that perfect glow.
Exfoliating sponges Another tool that just doesn’t cut it.