Have you been wanting to use self-tanner, but wondered if you should be shaving before using fake tan, or after? In this quick guide, I’ll talk about the pros and cons of both, and why you probably want to save before you apply self-tanner. However, stay with me, because there are a few crucial tips I want to share with you about shaving before you use self-tanner.
Shaving Before Apply Self-Tanner – The Basics
Just real briefly, before we talk about whether you should save before applying self-tanner, we need to talk about how sunless tanners work.
Most quality sunless tanners (Like my favorite from St. Tropez) work through a chemical called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. DHA reacts with the amino acids in the dead skin cells on the upper layer of your skin causing it to darken, which imitates a real tan from the sun.
Since the dead skin cells gradually release from your skin during the constant and healthy cell renewal process, the fake tan you achieve from self-tanning products will also disappear. Which is why you have to reapply self-tanner fairly often (see my complete guide on this).
Ok, now that we understand that the color from self-tanner lives on the very outer layer of the skin, you may already be guessing as to whether you should shave before you self-tan, and the answer is YES.
Should I Shave Before Fake Tanning?
Yes, absolutely you should. If you shave after you’ve applied self-tanner, you’re razer will also be taking off a fair bit of the skin cells holding the color. So no matter how careful you are, when you shave your legs you’ll also be taking a fair bit of the self-tanner with you. Not only does this remove the fake tan much faster than it would naturally fade, but it will also cause it to fade in a streaky blotchy manner as you are not likely to shave your body in a perfectly even manner.
In fact, if you shave your legs regularly, this should be a crucial part of your normal self-tanning routine. Typically I suggest that you first clean and exfoliate your body in the shower first, and this is when you want to shave. Afterward, you’ll continue on with moisturizing, etc.
At this point, you may be wondering, what happens if the shaving irritates my skin and leaves open pores?
Although this doesn’t happen to everyone, it can sometimes happen. The result is usually tiny brown spots where the self-tanner darkened inside your pores leaving your skin looking blotchy.
Luckily, there is a trick to keep this from happening!
How To Keep Your Self-Tanner From Looking Blotchy After Shaving
So, while you’re still in the shower after you’ve cleaned and exfoliated your skin, go ahead and shave. Then, hop out of the shower and dry off. Next, go to the freezer and grab a frozen bag of mixed veggies, or an ice-pack, something cold and moldable.
Rub the frozen bag slowly over your legs or wherever else you shaved. The cold will help to seal the pores and prevent those dots from appearing after you use self-tanner.
Waxing Before Using Fake Tan
Some people prefer to wax their legs before self-tanning, which can be a really great option. However, most experts would say that you should wax 24-48 hours before applying sunless tanner.
The reason for this is that waxing tends to really irritate the skin. Self-tanner can make this worse, but it can also make the self-tanner apply unevenly, leaving you with a less than perfect looking tan.
So if you are going to wax, just do it a few days before your self-tanning routine.
The bottom line is that you really should shave or wax before applying self-tanner, to prevent it from fading faster and unevenly. Just be sure to follow the simple tips in this article so you end up with a beautiful summer glow.