Why You Should Exfoliate Before Tanning

by Sienna Fantozzi

When you make the time to apply self-tanner or get a spray tan, you want that golden glow to last as long as humanely possible. You may have heard that exfoliation is a good trick to prep your skin, but aren't entirely sure if you should exfoliate before tanning. I mean, you don't want to dry your skin out or anything, right? But don't worry about that, because exfoliating is absolutely the step you do not want to skip. Trust me, it's going to make all the difference in how your tan looks, as well as how long it lasts.

Self-tanner is way healthier for your skin than laying out in the sun, but it doesn't last as long, and there are the valid concerns about it looking fake. Womp womp. But no worries, because exfoliating is the answer to all those problems. First of all, if your skin is dry and you have flaky patches on it, the tanner will cling to it, creating an uneven appearance that obviously looks fake, explains Suvara Tanning expert Anna Stankiewicz. To slough off those dead skin cells and create a smoother, more natural tan, you need to exfoliate first.

But what about how long it lasts? That's another reason to exfoliate. Many exfoliators contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients that hydrate your skin, which will help the tanner last even longer. So conclusion: Do not be skipping this crucial step.

If you want your tan to look more natural and last longer, try these seven exfoliators before you bronze.

1. St. Ives

St. Ives Apricot Scrub (2-Pk), $12, Amazon

It's 100 percent natural, so you don't have to feel bad about using it.

2. Tree Hut

Shea Sugar Scrub, $25, Amazon

Sugar scrub? Yes, please!

3. First Botany Cosmeceuticals

Arabica Coffee Scrub, $15, Amazon

Oh yeah — coffee is good for way more than waking you up.

4. L'Oreal Paris

Go 360 Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub, $4, Amazon

You don't have to get fancy with it, you can find plenty of good exfoliators at the drugstore.

5. Derma-nu Miracle Skin Remedies

Mineral Body Scrub, $16, Amazon

Prep your skin for tanning and detoxify all in one.

6. Organix

Floral Exfoliator, $6, Amazon

You will smell amaze after this.

7. The Body Shop

Aloe Exfoliator, $18, Amazon

This exfoliator has aloe in it, so it's great for sensitive skin.

Images: Bo Bo/Stocksy; Amazon