When can you shave after a spray tan


Shaving is a common way to remove your body hair, but can you do it after a spray tan?

My clients dread the looming ‘stubble’ that would appear a few days after shaving pre-tan.

The answer is yes, but it depends on a few aspects that I’d like you to read. Have a scroll through this guide to assess whether shaving your legs after you’ve fake tanned will leave you smooth and de-haired, or unfortunately patchy.

Let’s start with describing how fake tan works.

Shaving Guide For After a Spray Tan

  • You can shave 9 hours after a spray tan as it will have fully developed by then (this applies to rapid tans too)
  • Use a new razor, as a blunt one as a dull blade will remove a fair amount of your skin along with the hair
  • Use an oil-free shaving product as oil removes fake tan
  • Don’t shave too often
  • Don’t press down too hard on the razor, lightly glide the blade over your skin

How does fake tan work

The top few layers of the skin are temporarily stained with fake tan. The DHA (a simple carbohydrate), reacts with the oxygen in the air and the amino acids in the skin, causing a gradual darkening effect. Much like if you bit an apple and left it out!

The skin renewal process

Now we move on to the skin, and how it sheds. The epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), is constantly renewing itself. The lower layers of the epidermis form new cells, and these surface in roughly 4 weeks, replacing the older cells.

Can I shave after tanning

Using the knowledge that fake tan temporarily stains the top few layers of the skin and that the skin is constantly renewing itself, it can be determined that your fake tan will be temporary, usually lasting around one week.

Yes, you can shave after spray tanning, but be aware that some of your colour may come off, especially if you soak in the bath or shower for long periods of time prior to shaving.

Shaving is less likely to affect your tan if you:

  • have prepped well for your tan (See spray tan preparation)
  • moisturised daily (no oils please)
  • have not dried your body with a towel straight after showering/bathing/swimming as this softens the skin, making you more susceptible to peeling skin

How to prolong your tan

  • Get a spray tan; they are usually more even and better quality than in the bottle false tan
  • Exfoliate in the coming days of your spray/sunless tanning session. This will allow the sunless tanner to stain the newest skin cells, prolonging the life of your tan. I recommend the best product in pre-tan preparation “The Tan Eraser”.
  • Get waxed instead of shaving, but only do so at least a few days before your appointment. If you don’t follow this advice, you risk getting dark spots inside your open pores.
  • Epilate as an alternative to shaving. The same logic applies to epilating as it does to waxing, although it is only for the brave! Epilating allows you to manually pull out your hair at the root with a small rotating machine. I use one every 3 days to keep on top of my hair growth.
  • Top-up your tan using a gradual tanner that you trust. I recommend Vita Liberata gradual tan or Noutvan’s mousse is fabulous!
  • Don’t rub your body with a towel straight after swimming/showering/bathing or going in a sauna/jacuzzi/steam room.
  • Moisturise to keep your skin tone even and hydrated, but don’t use oil

Shave like a pro

Have in-grown hairs or razor bumps ever ruined your vacation? If you’ve suffered from those unsightly red bumps on your legs or bikini line, follow our 6 top tips to shave like a pro pre-tan.

How to shave before a spray tan

  • Don’t forget to shave, wax or epilate before your spray tan
  • Always use a new razor as blunt blades are harsh on your skin
  • Soak in warm water before shaving
  • Use shaving gel or cream
  • Shave with the hair, not against
  • Post-shave, use an antiseptic or toner as this will close pores and prevent infection
  • Moisturise your skin and you are done!

How to shave after spray tanning

  • Don’t shave for at least 9 hours after tanning to allow the tan to develop
  • Use a new razor (No blunt blades please)
  • Don’t dry your skin with a towel after washing, try to air dry
  • Don’t use any harsh chemicals
  • Avoid exfoliating
  • moisturise your skin daily or twice daily if you can