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Can You Shave After a Spray Tan: What You Need to Know

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
Can You Shave After a Spray Tan_ What You Need to Know

You might’ve already applied your spray tan but forgot that you still haven’t shaved your legs or any body part for that matter.

This scenario begs the question, “Can you shave after a spray tan?”

Many enthusiasts ask this common question, and we will go over all you need to know about shaving and tanning!

So, Can You Shave After a Spray Tan? Yes or No?

So, Can You Shave After a Spray Tan- Yes or No-

The short answer is YES and NO. You can, but it is NOT recommended.

Instead, shave BEFORE your spray tan!

It is not recommended to shave after a spray tan because shaving can strip off any spray tan solution or tanning product, leaving weird and dry patches.

You need to give the amino acids in your skin and the DHA enough time to absorb and fully develop for it to result in a darker tan.

How Are Spray Tanning and Shaving Related?

It’s not rocket science, but spray tanning and shaving are related in that they affect how your skin handles the sun’s UV absorption.

In the case of spray tanning, you are coloring your skin with bronzer and DHA to give yourself a nice tan.

  • The DHA interacts with the top layer of skin cells, allowing for more UV absorption and, in turn, a darker tan!
  • Shaving is removing strips of unwanted hair follicles on your skin, and in the process, you are scraping dead skin off.

Let’s put the two acts together.

After painting your skin with the spray tan, the act of shaving would scrape it right off!

As you shave off the hair from your legs or body, you are essentially shaving the spray tan off with it, and it would just be a waste.

Should I Shave Before or After Spray Tanning?

Should I Shave Before or After Spray Tanning--

Regardless of type of spray tan, if you want to shave, it is best to do so BEFORE spray tanning, not after.

Shaving before your spray tan or fake tanner is a recommended step for fake tanning as it is a good way to scrape off dead skin cells, leaving behind fresh skin for your spray tan.

It is also another form of exfoliation!

Exfoliating is one essential step to do before sunless tanning, and shaving provides the same intent.

Smooth, shaved skin will also help if you book a spray tan appointment! This will allow the specialist to evenly apply the tanning solution.

How Long Should I Wait Before Shaving?

To achieve maximum results, wait around 12-24 hours after your spray tan session to shave.

The more time you wait, the better!

Waiting this long will give the DHA enough time to bond with your skin cells and result in a darker, long-lasting tan!

How to Shave BEFORE Your Spray Tan

How to Shave BEFORE Your Spray Tan-

We all want smooth skin before we start our tanning session.

Here are some skin preparation tips to remember when shaving before your tanning appointment to achieve the best results!


Exfoliating is one of the most important steps in the tanning process! It ensures that your skin is healthy and smooth as you apply your spray tan.

As mentioned previously, exfoliating removes any dead skin cells off the body, leaving behind fresh skin for your sunless tan.

Otherwise, you may end up with an uneven tan!

Find an exfoliation product that suits your skin type, as other products may not be enough. Remember to moisturize after exfoliating to regain any lost moisture.

Additionally, use oil-free and all-natural ingredients to keep your skin healthy!

Wax 24 Hours Before Your Appointment

If you want to get your hair off early, schedule a waxing session at least 24 hours before your spray tanning appointment.

It would even be better if you could wait longer than 24 hours!

The waxing product tends to stick to the skin. This will make it harder for the spray tan to remain.

You want your skin to be free of any outside product for the spray-on tan to work to its fullest.

Avoid Makeup and Other Products

Like wax, avoid using makeup, lotions, and other products before your spray tan appointment.

You don’t want to risk any product residue sticking to your skin while tanning, as these can also affect the coloration.

It can also feel quite uncomfortable and sticky if multiple products combine.

TIP: If you want to learn some important spray tan tips for a wedding, read this guide!

Take a Relaxing Shower

Relax your skin with a cool shower. But not too cold.

You may also exfoliate outside the shower 4 hours before your spray tan appointment, as this will help your fake tan absorb nicely and close up open pores.

Remember to pat-dry yourself with a towel instead of rubbing as well.

Shaving Tips AFTER Spray Tanning

Shaving Tips AFTER Spray Tanning-

As mentioned previously, shaving after your spray tan is NOT recommended.

But if you really must, make sure to follow these spray tanning tips so you can still maintain your tan nicely.

Wait 12-24 Hours

We mentioned this step earlier, but we want to emphasize the importance of waiting before shaving.

Before you start shaving, allow the DHA to work its magic first!

We mean giving the uppermost layer of your skin and the spray tan enough time to blend together.

Otherwise, shaving will just cause the spray tan to fall off, wasting all that effort you went through!

Be Gentle

This is a given regardless of the situation.

After waiting and giving the tanner enough time to settle, you can begin shaving.

Use your razor VERY LIGHTLY and avoid pressing down hard. Not only will pressing hard ruin your tan, but it will also leave painful scratches!

Don’t Shave Daily

Obviously, the more you shave, the more tan will come off! Not only that, but it will come off FASTER than you would like!

Shaving too often will also result in scraped skin, affecting hair growth or damaging the uppermost layer.

Either way, shaving too much is no good!

Remember, shaving your skin is a delicate process!

Use a New or Unused Razor

This tip should also be quite obvious. You don’t want to shave with an old razor that’s been used over time!

If you use a used razor blade, it may be a good idea to replace it with a new one for your tanned skin.

Make sure to use a new razor with fresh razor blades. Otherwise, you risk using a razor filled with bacteria, which can’t be good for your skin at all!

Don’t Use Shaving Foam

This is a common mistake that people make since most people associate shaving with shaving foam or shaving lotions.

But, most shaving creams may contain alcohol or heavy detergents, which are not good for the skin or your tan.

Yes, it could easily take hairs off, but mixing sunless tanner or spray tan with shaving foams may cause it to wipe off or fade.

Instead, you can make your own shaving cream out of safer ingredients and use a new razor to smoothly shave off your hairs without damaging the tan.

Homemade shaving cream can work wonders for your skin, including moisturizing and closing pores!

TIP: Here’s a convenient buying guide on the best self tanners for sensitive skin! Any of these options should give you a wonderful, natural glow!

Consider Your Hair Type

Even though the hair color or type may be too small or unimportant, it is still helpful to identify it.

You’d be surprised how much it actually affects the entire shaving process!

Dark hair is actually harder to shave off, so you might need to apply more pressure with your razor. Still, avoid shaving too hard as doing so may cause scrapes or opened pores.

Furthermore, melanin, which darkens the skin tone, will seep through those pores, leaving you with spots that look like polka-dots!

That’s why it’s important to shave BEFORE a spray tan, 24 hours to be exact, to allow the pores enough time to close up.

On the other hand, if you have light or fair hair, it’s a bit easier. You can actually shave the day of your tan appointment.

EXTRA TIP: There are more spray tan aftercare tips that you must follow to ensure a long-lasting tan!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions-

Will Hairy Legs Mess Up a Spray Tan?

Not really; you can still apply spray tan with a hairy body.

It will not make much of a difference from having little to no hair. The important thing is to remember to exfoliate 24 hours before the appointment.

Does Shaving Rub Off Fake Tan?

Yes, a shave can rub your spray tan off.

This is because shaving is also a form of exfoliating. By doing so, you are taking off dead skin cells, including dead tanned cells.

How Long Does the Spray Tan Last?

Most spray tans last around 7-10 days.

If you use lighter spray tans, the tan may fade faster.

You can extend your tan’s lifespan by applying moisturizer regularly so it does not wash off too soon.

You can also use an artificial tanning extender or supplement.

Should I Exfoliate After My Tan?

Yes, you can, but avoid exfoliating IMMEDIATELY after your tan.

Doing so will cause the spray tan to wipe off or fade away, resulting in an uneven, fake tan.

The best move would be to wait around 8 hours after your spray tan application. Let it dry and settle in before you can start exfoliating.



There you have it!

The key takeaway is to shave BEFORE you apply spray tan.

Of course, it is also a personal choice not to shave at all!

If you do, remember to be gentle! Avoid shaving foams or traditional shaving cream altogether and get yourself a new razor!

On top of that, remember to moisturize as well!

FINAL TIP: To learn the difference between airbrush tanning and spray tanning, read this guide!