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Summer is over, and with the colder months still ahead of us, let’s face it – the tan we spent so long trying to perfect is most likely not going to last until spring. Sunless tanning is a great option to keep that bronze hue alive, but if you’ve never made the decision to try it, the thought of doing it the first time might be a little overwhelming. “How should I prepare for it? What should I do after? How do I maintain it?” Well, if those questions have been crossing your mind lately, we’ve got you covered. There are a few simple things you can do pre- and post-tanning, and we’re about to break them down for you.

Sunless Tanning Tips

Before Tanning

  • If you must shave, do it 24 hours before your tanning session. This way, your skin won’t be too sensitive to soak up the tanner, and the color will take much better than if you shave the same day.
  • Take a shower with plain soap. Avoid creamy soaps, as they can have heavy moisturizers that will act as a barrier on your skin.
  • Make sure you exfoliate, but be gentle. This will remove dead skin, which will allow for your tanner to be better absorbed and to last longer around drier areas like the elbows and knees. Exfoliating will also eliminate excess oils preventing streaks and blemishes when you tan. Try not to use any products on your skin 12 hours before tanning, as sometimes they contain oily substances which will affect the final look of your tan. You can try an oil-free moisturizer.
  • On the day of, keep deodorant to a minimum, as well as makeup. Avoid them if possible. Just like heavy soaps, these, too, can create a barrier on your skin and might result in an uneven tan, and nobody wants that.


Beautiful woman’s tan legs against a white wall.

After Tanning

  • Avoid tight clothes immediately after your session. Choose comfy, loose-fitting clothes instead (preferably dark) and flip-flops.
  • Avoid rubbing your skin with your hands as much as possible until after you shower, which brings us to this next point.
  • Skip showers and water in general for at least six hours after tanning. Water will keep your fresh tan from developing. Sweat will also interfere, so steer clear of the gym during the first day.
  • Make sure your skin is hydrated. Moisturize at least twice a day and drink lots of water. This is really important if you want to extend the life of your tan.