Quite a number of fashion trends started with no intention of turning into styles. Take for example, tanning. Tanning became fashionable after Coco Chanel was pictured looking tanned, after her cruise in the Mediterranean in the ’20s. While hers was from much exposure of her skin to sun rays, this is the 21st century where most things have been made possible, including having a sunless tan. Before flying into the sunless tanning procedure, either with a self-tanner or spray tanner, there is a very crucial step to take: exfoliation.
You don’t want to spend big bucks on a spray tan or airbrush tan to have it looking dull and patchy in just a day or two! And if you’re going to invest in quality self tanners or tanning lotions, you don’t want to waste them by applying them to dry, flaky skin!
Exfoliating is the most important step in the tanning process. Prepping your skin properly could mean the difference between a fabulous, natural-looking tan and one that goes viral for all the wrong reasons!
Why Exfoliate Before Getting A Tan?
In simple terms, exfoliation is the removal of unwanted skin cells from the surface of the skin. The skin we wear is the largest organ of the body. Everyday, it sheds off old and dead cells to make way for the new and viable ones that have developed. This is to keep up with its role as a physical barrier to harmful toxins that settle on our skin, from finding their way into our body system. Also, exfoliation makes it easy for the skin to suck up moisturizers, tanners, and serums. Circulation of the blood to the skin improves after exfoliation, the reason why skin looks healthy.
With all said, there’s one catch though. As we get older, the skin loses its ability to exfoliate as effectively as it should. That’s why we are left with no other option than to assist in the process, especially before getting a tan.
To start with, the concept of exfoliating the skin implies pushing away the old, to reveal the new. We all know that apart from fine wine and a great relationship, every other thing old holds no lasting electrifying attraction. Therefore, we can’t risk making excuses for blotchy tans, or looking like tanned lizards, by neglecting a pre-tan skin exfoliation. Whether it’s before a self-tanning or spray tanning, exfoliation unveils a smooth and glowing skin for flawless tanning.
Anyone that wants to get a sunless tanning, irrespective of the gender, should undergo a pre-tan exfoliation. It is for all skin types, too.
What To Look For In A Pre-Tan Exfoliator
There are wide varieties of pre-tan exfoliators and knowing which one is best for you can be a bit tricky. But not to worry, we have some tips can help guide you through selecting the right exfoliator for your skin type.
On a general note, a good pre-tan exfoliator should contain a moisturizer to prevent skin dryness. Secondly, a good pre-tan exfoliator should be free from paraben or any other chemical preservative, and emulsifying wax. The latter clogs the skin pores and ruins the aim for exfoliation. Finally, pre-tan exfoliators that contain natural products and essential oils are winners, any time, any day.
Your skin type is a very important factor in determining any type of product you want to use for it whether it is a moisturizer or an exfoliant. While exfoliants don’t normally carry labels for normal, oily, dry or sensitive skin, their ingredients can give you an insight into the kind of skin type they are more likely to suit. For example, water soluble ingredients are more than likely to suit someone with a dry skin than oil soluble products. Oil soluble products are more likely to suit someone with an oily skin than water soluble products will. Other ingredients to look out for are; scrub particles, Glycolic acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid and Enzymes.
Sensitive Skin – If you have sensitive skin, choose a pre-tan exfoliator that contains sugar over the one that has salt. This is because sugar is a milder exfoliant than salt, which is too abrasive and irritating for your skin.
Dry Skin – Stick to pre-tan exfoliators that contain moisturizers, even if you’re the only one buying them, if you have dry skin. The moisturizers will add moisture to your skin to improve your skin tone and texture.
Oily or Combination Skin – If you’re someone dealing with oily skin or areas that are oily, you may prefer pre-tan exfoliators that contain salt. Salt will help dry the oil and balance your skin.
Soft Skin – Mild exfoliators which contain fine scrub particles are best for those with softer skin types. They are gentle enough for the softest skins, but can still help remove the dead cells from your skin.
Rough Skin – Exfoliators with coarse granules will give you a great exfoliating experience, but it’s best for those who have skin that can tolerate the scrub. Dry brush exfoliation is also a good option if you want to soften and smooth rough skin.
Acne Prone Skin – Go for pre-tan exfoliators that have salicylic acid or glycolic acid as their active ingredients. They can heal, or pull out impurities that cause acne from your pores. Do all you can to avoid exfoliators that are too greasy; they could clump in your skin pores, thereby triggering a reaction that would result in the formation of acne on your skin.
There are a few different methods of exfoliation to choose from, based on preference.
Scrubs – Scrubs are one of the most popular methods of exfoliation. These skincare products are easy to find and come in a wide variety of styles, from lathering body washes with exfoliating micro-beads to dense sugar scrubs made of all natural ingredients.
Tools – Another easy method for exfoliation is the use of tools like brushes, body gloves, and electric exfoliating brushes. These don’t require additional products to work, although than can be used together if you prefer. This is a great solution if you have sensitive skin that gets irritated quickly by certain skincare products.
Chemicals – Chemical exfoliation, usually intended for the face, requires no scrubbing. It uses a blend of chemicals, usually salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy to easy dissolve dead skin and leave a smooth skin with no abrasive scrubbing required. These products can be irritate sensitive skin and eyes, so use them with caution.
As a pre-tan exfoliation, you should probably choose a body scrub or brush. These are intended for full-body use, and since you need to prep your entire body for tanning, these options are the most reasonable.
How To Exfoliate Before Your Tan
After reviewing the different methods of exfoliation, let’s discuss how to use them before you tan.
How to Exfoliate with Scrubs
If you’re using an exfoliating scrub, follow these simple steps.
- Moisten your skin with water.
- Apply the scrub your skin.
- Rub it into the skin using gentle, circular motions.
- Continue this process until skin is smooth.
- Rinse off with water, soap if desired.
Exfoliating with Tools
Brushes and body gloves can be used dry or with your favorite body wash.
To use dry:
- Apply the tool to your skin.
- Rub in a gentle, circular motion until skin is smooth.
To use with a body wash:
- Dampen your skin with water.
- Apply a small amount of product to the tool.
- Rub it against your skin as previously directed.
- Rinse skin off with water.
While exfoliating your face, avoid the entire eye area. The reason is that the thin skin layers of the eye area can get easily chaffed when exfoliated.
Ensure that you follow the instructions as listed on the product you’re using, for best results. Exfoliate at least six hours before a sunless tanning. The maximum time frame before a sunless tanning is twenty-four hours after a pre-tan exfoliation.
Our 10 Favorite Pre-Tan Exfoliators
Since achieving the perfect tan can sometimes be tricky, especially when using self-tanners, it’s important to carefully review products you use prior to tanning. They should be very gentle on the skin and also exhibit no sign of harsh contents whatsoever. If you’re in need of a great exfoliating scrub or cream for your tanning prep, look no further. Here are our 10 favorite pre-tan exfoliating products!
Jergens Natural Glow Color Primer Exfoliating In-Shower Body Scrub
Who’s it for: Someone looking for an easy to use pre-tan scrub that can be used in the shower.
Jergens Natural Glow Color Primer Exfoliating In-Shower Body Scrub is the bronze queen of the Jergens Family of beauty products. It contains both commercial and natural ingredients, formulated to prepare your skin for sunless tanning.
Jergens In-Shower Scrub is packed with well-blended apricot seeds, salicylic acid and other fruit extract complex which together, work as soft exfoliators to get rid of rough and scaly dead cells on the skin. The scrub won’t lather like your hair shampoo because it lacks sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate is responsible for the pancake-like patches of tan on the skin.
Jergens Scrub is non-greasy, thereby giving way for your tan to permeate deeply into your skin rather than cling to the surface, for the perfect glow and shine.
We love it because it:
- It is a gentle exfoliator without causing the skin harm from harsh abrasion.
- Oil-free to give your tan the perfect uniformity.
- It’s an in-shower scrub, so it’s fast and easy to use during your regular routine.
M3 Natural All Natural Charcoal Face and Body Scrub
Who’s it for: Someone with oily or combination skin types who wants to reduce the look of pores.
M3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Face and Body Scrub is a powerful combination of natural ingredients to give your face and body the exfoliation of a lifetime.
The ingredients in this scrub are worth checking out. The crumbs of its 100% activated charcoal latches themselves onto harmful chemicals and impurities on the skin for easy slouching off with water. Another key composition of the scrub is dead sea salt rich in skin-loving mineral which draw out irritable toxins from the skin, keeping it healthy, nourished and glowing.
While this is a great scrub for those with dry skin as well, we feel like it truly shines for those with oily skin. Not only will this scrub balance your skin’s complexion, but it will help minimize the look of pores, a serious issue for those of us with oily skin!
We love it because it:
- Fabulously smooth skin in one use.
- Visible reduction in acne and blackheads within five days of use.
- Gives skin a robust glow.
- Leaves skin squeaky clean without drying out.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliating Detox Scrub
Who’s it for: Someone looking for a gentile exfoliator that is easy on the skin.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliating Detox Scrub is a mild exfoliator for the body desirous of a sensual reawakening from a super soft skin. Readily available in several flavors, this vegan scrub contains the trendy bladderwrack seaweed whose vitamins and minerals thoroughly clears the skin of toxic chemicals and dirt. The noticeable smell of coffee bean extract in the scrub revitalizes your senses as you dip into your richly appealing bath.
We love it because:
- Cleanses the skin without drying it out.
- Softens and smooths the skin in a flash.
- Refreshing smell.
- Exfoliates the skin gently.
- Minimizes the appearance of dark spots on the skin.
- Lathers richly.
Norvell Pre Self-Tanning Renewing Sunless Exfoliator Body Scrub
Who’s it for: Someone prepping their skin for a spray tan or self-tanning session.
Norvell Pre Self-Tanning Renewing Sunless Exfoliator Body Scrub is not just a product; it is a unique technology designed to prepare your skin for the perfect sunless tanning experience. Created with choice ingredients from plant extracts, this pre-tan exfoliating scrub gently removes old cells from your skin to reveal a healthy-looking skin canvas for a flawless and dreamy tanning. Its sulphate-free formulation keeps your tan from becoming patchy after application.
Norvell Pre Self-Tanning Renewing Sunless Exfoliator Body Scrub is rich in extracts that help your skin in a number of ways. Aloe protects your skin from breakouts, beetroot gives your skin that sun-kissed glow, tomato fights against free radicals that cause the skin to age rapidly, and cranberry seed oil moisturizes skin with the perfect amounts of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids to keep skin looking radiant.
We love it because:
- Exfoliates skin gently.
- Smoothes and softens skin in one wash.
- Ideal for an even, picture-perfect tan.
- Fragrance is minty and not overpowering.
- Your go-to cleanser for a post-tan exfoliation.
- Wasn’t tested on animals during its production.
- No color residue after use.
Asutra Organic Exfoliating Scrub
Who’s it for: Though safe for all skin types, this product is especially recommended for people with dry and rough skin.
“Made in the USA with love.”
Allow your mind to run wild with imaginations of aromatherapy in a spa, as you exfoliate your skin with Asutra Organic Exfoliating Scrub. Asutra scrub is free from paraben and its ingredients are naturally sourced.
It contains 100% unadulterated Dead Sea salt to liberate your skin from worn out and dead cells to reveal a radiantly elegant you. The Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil in the scrub provides calmness and relief to your itchy skin. Argan oil keeps your skin supple and hydrated, while sweet almond oil helps fight acne and maintain your skin’s youthfulness.
Last but not least, the unique blend of essential oils provide the perfect aromatherapy to promote your mental and emotional health. With several scents to choose from, you’re certain to find one you’ll love! Never has exfoliating been so relaxing and enjoyable!
We love it because:
- Effectively controls psoriasis, eczema, and Keratosis pilaris (KP).
- Doesn’t burn the skin.
- Reduces dark spots.
- Offers a variety of scent options.
- Comes as a carefully wrapped package.
Ongaro Body Scrub
Ongaro Body Scrub was birthed after a mother and her daughter had a frightening experience with melanoma, a type of cancer that grows and spreads unpleasant patches across the skin. This exfoliating scrub leaves little to the imagination as its formulation is robust with all-natural components to heal, protect, hydrate, and soften your skin.
While using Ongaro Body Scrub, you’ll be happy knowing the ingredients they use are going to have great benefits for your skin. Jojoba beads smooth edges shield your skin from cuts and tears as they aggressively old and dead skin cells. Bamboo gives your skin a velvety glow, and treats any existing acne on your skin. And last, but not least, walnut shells purify the skin from the inside, with their powerful ability to unclog the skin pores of deep-seated debris and toxins.
We love it because:
- It gently exfoliates without feeling mushy.
- Has a light scent that hangs on long after a bath.
- It is an acne-cleanser.
- Moisturizing power is super.
- Improves skin appearance with consistent use.
- Ingredients are biodegradable.
- Makes the skin silky with just one bath.
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
Who’s it for? Someone looking for an exfoliator to relieve their dry, itchy skin.
Proudly made in the USA, Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub welcomes you to the worlds of Africa and India. Alluring in 18 distinct scents to appeal to your mood and sensuality, it is perfect for a pre-tan exfoliation and smooth skin shave. It contains 100% uncontaminated African Shea butter and Indian coconut shell powder, which moisturize and sooth itchy dry skin and wash away the old stuff.
This sugar scrub comes in a variety of scents, from fruity scents like Coconut Lime and Tropical Mango, to more sultry fragrances like Mocha & Coffee Bean and Moroccan Rose. With such a wide range of options, you’re bound to find a Tree Hut scrub to suit your sniffer!
We love it because:
- Gentle pre-tan exfoliant.
- Super rich moisturizing formula.
- Great selection of scents.
- Great for a smooth ingrown hair shave.
- Contains no preservatives.
Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub
Who’s it for? Someone dealing with skin blemishes like acne or blackheads, or scars from acne.
Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub has it all: gentle on the face and lips, terrific on the body. Here is a product that reminds you of the smell of mom’s kitchen when there’s a freshly baked cake standing proudly on a platter. It is a fabulously simple scrub that is safe for an effective pre-tan for all skin types. Its 100% natural brown sugar moisturizes by attracting moisture in the air, to the skin.
This yummy scrub is one that both men and women can appreciate. It smells great and does a fabulous job at exfoliating and moisturizing before a tan. If you’re a tanner, it definitely pays to have a great scrub, and this is a great scrub! And it makes a great gift, *wink wink*!
We love it because:
- Made of fine sugar granules for a gentle exfoliation.
- Mild on the skin, aggressive on impurities.
- Leaves the skin clean and not greasy.
- Not sticky and easy to wash off.
- Gives skin a healthy glow.
- Locks in moisture on the skin.
Wholesome Beauty’s Dry Skin Brush
Who’s it for: Someone looking for a classic and effective exfoliation method with no fuss.
Do you fantasize on exfoliating without the hassles of pouring water on your skin, in the comfort of your car in traffic, or just as a way to keep busy while waiting for dinner to be served? Then, get Wholesome Beauty’s Dry Skin Brush. Gone are the days when dry skin brush is synonymous to horse routine skin care; it is now the answer for a smooth and healthy human skin.
Safe for all skin types, this brush has firm bristles that are not too hard nor too soft to give your skin the desired exfoliation. Say goodbye to low energy levels and dull skin with this brush as it will keep your hormonal level at the optimum by improving your blood circulation. In just one use, you will feel your lymphatic system giving stubborn waste materials vigorous kicks out of your body. As a pre-tan exfoliator before a bath, it opens up your skin pores to receive the tanning product for a non-blotchy tan.
We love it because:
- Ups energy level by invigorating the body.
- Prevents ingrown hair.
- Easy to use.
- Does a great job as a pre-tan exfoliator.
EvridWear Exfoliating Bath Gloves
Who are they for: Someone who wants a simple way to exfoliate, with a bit more flexibility.
It doesn’t matter what kind of skin you are blessed with, or the battle you’re facing with your skin, EvridWear Exfoliating Bath Gloves were made with your skin in mind. These exfoliating gloves come in three different textures to suit your skin needs: soft, moderate, and hard. They come as a pair for both hands for a thorough and natural cleansing, about five times more effective than your bare palms.
Rediscover your skin’s smoothness by getting rid of old and worn our skin cells with these bathing gloves and your scrub or regular cleanser. Made from durable materials for long-term usage, EvridWear Exfoliating Bath Gloves are stretchy flexible enough to reach the most hidden parts of your body as you bath.
We love them because:
- Easy to use.
- Awesome for a non-irritating exfoliation.
- No smudgy residue after usage.
- Comes in different textures for varying degrees of exfoliation.
- Size fits most hands.
- Easy to clean and wash.
- Made from durable materials for a long usage.
As we said before, pre-tan exfoliation is vital to achieving the best results from your tanning session. If Leonardo da Vinci was about to paint a masterpiece, don’t you think he’d start with a clean canvas? Of course! And if you want a perfect tan, you have to make sure your canvas is clean and prepped as well.
Not only will exfoliating before a tan help your tan look more even and natural, but it will also help extend your tan. Keep your skin feeling soft and your tan looking fabulous by using an after-tanning lotion. This will help you get the most out of both your exfoliation and tanning session! Exfoliate – Tan – Moisturize. These three simple steps will ensure you have a tan that looks great and lasts!