Do You Shave Before or After Fake Tanning? 7 Pre-Tanning Benefits

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

( As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. )

Navigating the world of golden, sun-kissed skin can be tricky – especially when it comes to shaving around your faux glow. Did you know shaving before applying your fake tan is generally recommended? In this blog post, we’ll break down the ideal times to shave for a flawless tan and how proper shaving techniques can directly affect the lifespan of your sunless bronze.

Ready to achieve that perfectly bronzed look? Let’s dive in.

  • Shaving before a fake tan is generally recommended because it exfoliates the skin, helps avoid patchiness, allows for proper absorption of the tanning product, and makes your tan last longer.
  • If you need to shave after getting a spray tan, wait until the tan has fully developed, and use a new razor with light strokes to avoid removing the tan. Moisturize afterward to keep your tan looking flawless for longer.
  • Waiting at least 24 hours after getting a spray tan before shaving is important to allow the tanning product to fully develop and adhere to your skin for a long-lasting and even tan.

7 Benefits of Shaving Before a Fake Tan

Shaving before a fake tan has several benefits that can enhance the overall results of your tanning experience.

Benefits of shaving before a spray tan

Shaving before a spray tan can bring several benefits to your skin and the overall tanning process.

  1. It exfoliates the skin: Shaving not only removes hair but also dead skin cells, leaving the surface of your skin fresh and ready for the fake tan.
  2. It helps avoid patchiness: Forgetting to shave can lead to an uneven look after applying a spray tan because the product may adhere more to the hairs rather than the skin.
  3. It allows proper absorption: Smooth, hair-free skin ensures that your tanning product doesn’t get trapped in small patches of hair but instead evenly coats your entire body or target areas.
  4. It makes your tan last longer: As shaving post-tan can speed up fading, doing it beforehand means your bronzy glow will have more staying power.
  5. It reduces irritation: By removing hairs 24 hours prior, you will give your pores sufficient time to close hence reducing any inflammation that could come with immediate application of the tanning product.
  6. It gives you better results: As a whole, shaved, exfoliated skin is better prepared for a self-tan, leading to enhanced and prolonged results.
  7. Saves you time post-tan: Once you’ve gotten that perfect sunkissed look, there’s no need to worry about shaving for a while as it might affect the duration of your tan.

Tips for shaving before a spray tan

  1. Exfoliate your skin before shaving to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth surface.
  2. Use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel to prevent irritation and razor burn.
  3. Use a sharp, clean razor for a close and smooth shave.
  4. Shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation and ingrown hairs.
  5. Take your time and use gentle strokes to avoid cuts or nicks on the skin.
  6. Rinse your razor frequently to prevent clogging and ensure a clean shave.
  7. Pat your skin dry after shaving instead of rubbing to avoid irritating freshly shaved areas.
  8. Apply a light layer of moisturizer after shaving to keep your skin hydrated and prepare it for fake tanning.

Remember, proper preparation before getting a spray tan can help you achieve an even and long-lasting tan. By following these tips, you can ensure that your legs are smooth and ready for that beautiful bronzed glow!

Shaving After a Fake Tan

Can you shave after a spray tan? Here are some tips for shaving after getting your fake tan to ensure smooth and even results.

Can you shave after a spray tan?

Shaving after a spray tan is possible, but it’s important to wait until the tan has fully developed. Shaving too soon can remove layers of the tan and cause it to fade more quickly.

If you do need to shave, make sure to use a new razor and a sulfate-free shower wash. Take care while shaving by using a light touch to avoid removing your beautiful bronze glow. After shaving, make sure to pat dry and moisturize your skin to keep your tan looking flawless for longer.

Tips for shaving after a spray tan

  • Use a new razor to avoid any dull blades that could irritate or scrape off the tan.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize the risk of ingrown hairs.
  • Apply a gentle, sulfate-free shower wash to lubricate the skin while shaving.
  • Take light and short strokes when shaving over your tan to prevent accidental removal.
  • Rinse off any excess shaving cream or gel thoroughly after shaving.
  • Pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing, as rubbing can cause the tan to fade faster.
  • Moisturize your skin immediately after drying off from the shower to lock in hydration and extend the life of your tan.
  • Avoid using any exfoliating products or harsh soaps on your freshly shaved and tanned skin.

The Importance of Waiting

Waiting is crucial after a spray tan because it allows the tanning product to fully develop and set into the skin, ensuring a longer-lasting and more even tan.

Why it’s important to wait before shaving after a spray tan

Waiting before shaving after a spray tan is crucial for maintaining the longevity and evenness of your tan. Shaving too soon can potentially remove the color and leave you with patchy areas.

It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours after getting a spray tan before shaving. This allows the tanning product to fully develop and adhere to your skin, ensuring that it won’t be easily removed during the shaving process.

By waiting, you give your tan ample time to set, resulting in a beautiful and long-lasting bronzed glow.

Other Hair Removal Options

If shaving isn’t your preferred method of hair removal, there are other options you can consider after getting a spray tan. Waxing is a great alternative that won’t affect your tanning product, or you can try using hair removal creams for a smooth finish.

Read on to learn more about these alternatives!

Waxing after a spray tan

Waxing after a spray tan can be tricky. It’s best to avoid waxing altogether if possible, as it can remove layers of your tan and cause it to fade faster. If you do need to wax, wait until your tan has fully developed before scheduling your waxing appointment.

This will help ensure that the tan is set and won’t be easily removed during the waxing process. Remember to use gentle products and techniques when waxing, as harsh or abrasive methods can strip away the color from your skin.

After waxing, make sure to moisturize well to keep your skin hydrated and prolong the life of your spray tan.

Using hair removal creams after a spray tan

Hair removal creams can be a convenient option for removing unwanted hair after a spray tan. They are easy to use and can help maintain your smooth, bronzed skin. However, it’s important to proceed with caution when using these creams after a spray tan.

Some hair removal creams contain ingredients that can strip away the top layers of your tan, causing it to fade faster. To avoid this, make sure to choose a gentle and moisturizing cream that is specifically formulated for sensitive skin.

Apply it carefully and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Remember to always moisturize your skin afterward to keep it hydrated and prolong the life of your tan.


In conclusion, it is generally recommended to shave before fake tanning. Shaving helps exfoliate the skin and remove any unwanted hair, allowing the tan to go on more smoothly. However, if you do need to shave after a spray tan, make sure to wait until the tan has fully developed and follow proper shaving techniques to maintain your bronzed glow.


1. When should you shave before a fake tanning appointment?

It’s best to shave 24 hours before your tanning appointment or applying self tan, as this gives the skin time to heal and reduces the risk of dots appearing.

2. What are some tips for maintaining smooth skin after getting a spray tan?

To maintain smooth skin after a spray tan, make sure that you exfoliate regularly and moisturize daily. This will help extend the life of your sunless tanning results.

3. Are there benefits of shaving prior to using self-tanning lotion?

Yes, experts actually recommend shaving before applying any type of self-tan because it creates a smoother canvas for application and helps avoid uneven patches during the tanning process.

4. Are there common misconceptions about shaving and fake tanning?

One misconception is that you can’t shave after using selftanners; however, with proper timing and careful technique, you can still remove hair while maintaining an even tan.

5. Does preparing for a spray tan involve more than just shaving?

Absolutely! Best practices include exfoliating all over body especially hairy legs to remove dead skin cells, avoiding perfumes or lotions on the day of your visit at tanning salon or home-usage of fake tan solutions.

Do You Shave Before or After Fake Tanning? 7 Pre-Tanning Benefits
No comments to show.
Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

Get your FREE copy.

Sign Up & Subscribe

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp