Ever wondered if it’s ok to wax after getting a spray tan? Curious how something as simple as waxing could affect your tan? In this brief guide, I want to talk about how spray tanners work, and why you may want wax before your spray tan.
Let’s get right into it.
Can You Wax After Getting A Spray Tan?
You shouldn’t, and here is why:
The active ingredient in just about all self-tanning products, including spray tans, is called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. When you get a tan from the sun, a pigment is created in the dermis, which is the second layer of your skin. In contrast, DHA forms a tan on the epidermis or the outermost layer of the skin.
DHA chemically reacts with the amino acids in the dead skin cells on your body. This chemical reaction forms a type of pigment that stays on your skin, and looks very much like a real tan, depending on the quality of the product. This DHA can be derived synthetically, or completely naturally and organically. Either way though, the tan it creates only lives on that outer layer of your skin.
Waxing to remove body hair almost always removes this outer layer of your skin, and with it, your brand new spray tan. This is the same reason that exfoliating your skin before self-tanning or getting a spray tan is so important because you want a fresh set of skin cells for the tan to apply to, which will increase both the consistency and length of your fake tan.
So How Long After My Spray Tan Do I Have To Wait To Wax?
You really need to wait the full life of the fake tan, so probably 5-10 days depending on how good the tan was, and how well you do with your spray tan aftercare (moisturize!). Or, if the tan has almost completely faded and you’re wanting to get another one soon, that would be a great time.
However, just be aware that after you wax, your fake tan is likely to look a bit streaky and blotchy if it hasn’t already fully faded. If you are reading this advice a little too late, then read this to learn how to fix a blotchy spray tan.
Is It Ok To Wax Before My Spray Tan?
Yes absolutely, this is the very best time to wax. However, be sure not to wax right before your spray tan appointment.
When you wax, it opens the pores in your skin. The DHA and bronzer from the spray tan can get into these freshly open pores and cause redness and skin irritation. So waiting about 24 hours after your wax at least before your spray tan appointment is ideal.
Also, be sure that your skin is clean, and that there is no remaining wax or anything else, as this can cause the tan to end up streaky or blotchy. My favorite skin cleanser is this one.
What About Shaving Before/After My Spray Tan?
I don’t want to go too in-depth about that in this post, because I already have an entire article on shaving. However, the cliff notes are: it’s much better to shave before your spray tan appointment than after. Just like waxing, shaving after your spray tan will likely remove quite a bit of your beautiful new color. It can also cause your tan to end up a bit streaky or blotchy.
Unlike waxing, you don’t need to wait a full 24 hours before your appointment, shaving the night before, or the morning of your appointment should be fine. This should give your skin enough time to regenerate.
Let’s Sum It Up
Alright, so here are the takeaways from the article if you just skipped down to the bottom:
- Don’t wax after getting a spray tan or using self-tanner, it will strip away the color. Instead, wax about 24 hours before your appointment
- Don’t shave after your spray tan, for exactly the same reasons.
- Be sure to exfoliate before your appointment, and continually moisturize after.
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide! Whether you liked it or not, let me know in the comments below or on social media!