A sun-kissed glow without the harmful UV exposure? Sign me up! As an avid self-tanner, I’ve perfected the routine to get flawless, streak-free color every time. But one question always gives me pause: can you shave after a spray tan?
I want silky smooth skin, but not at the expense of my bronze hue. To help my fellow glow-getters, I did a deep dive on the dos and don’ts of shaving after tanning. Keep reading for everything you need to know about safely and effectively shaving post-tan.
The Benefits of Shaving After a Spray Tan
While shaving shortly after a spray tan session can seem risky, there are some solid benefits to hair removal after tanning. Here are some of the main advantages:
Faster, More Even Absorption
Shaving creates an exfoliating effect that removes dead skin cells and allows the tanning solution better access to new skin. This speeds up absorption, helping the color take faster. The thorough exfoliation also ensures a smooth, even application without streaks or uneven spots.
Since spray tans fully wrap around each hair follicle, removing body hair pre-tan means there’s less tinted hair to deal with later. No more stained shower walls or towels from rinsing off post-tan stubble!
Using a specialized razor for sensitive skin can prevent the redness and bumps that cheaper disposables may cause on recently-tanned skin. I always keep a dedicated tanning razor on hand. Paired with moisturizing shaving cream and post-shave lotion, it’s a smooth experience.
So shaving after tanning can be beneficial with proper precautions. But it does come with some risks to be aware of.
The Risks of Shaving After Tanning
While I definitely enjoy the advantages of shaving post-tan, it’s not without its caveats. Here are the main risks to keep in mind:
On its own, shaving can cause irritation, especially on sensitive areas like the bikini line. Combining it with recent tanning compounds this risk. Using dull razors or shaving too aggressively makes matters worse.
If you shave too soon after tanning before the solution sets, the color may absorb unevenly. This could lead to an uneven, splotchy appearance once it develops. Definitely wait at least 12 hours post-tan before shaving.
Nicks, cuts, and scrapes from shaving can damage the tan coat and cause early peeling. This makes the color fade prematurely. Being extra gentle when shaving post-tan is key.
So while shaving after tanning can work, it requires care and preparation to do it safely. Follow these tips to minimize risks and get smooth skin without sabotaging your sunless tan.
Tips for Shaving After a Tan
Want to enjoy silky, hair-free skin after tanning without causing issues? Here are my top tips for safe, effective post-tan shaving:
- Wait 12 Hours Minimum: This allows adequate time for the tanning solution to fully develop on your skin before disrupting it. Any less may lead to an uneven application as the color hasn’t fully set.
- Exfoliate First: Gently buff away dead skin with a loofah or exfoliating gloves/scrubs pre-shave. This prevents buildup that could clog pores or create an uneven shaving surface.
- Use a Specialized Sensitive Razor: The right tools make all the difference. Opt for a razor specifically designed for sensitive skin. Ditch any old multi-blade models prone to cause irritation.
- Shaving Cream is a Must: Lather up with a moisturizing shaving cream before going over tanned skin to prevent any tugging, dragging, or friction that could disrupt color.
- Take It Slow: Shave in smooth, gentle motions without applying excess pressure. Rushing it or shaving aggressively can lead to nicks which damage the tan.
- Moisturize After: Post-shave lotions with hydrators like glycerin or aloe vera soothe and nourish freshly shaved skin. This prevents dryness, peeling, or flaking of the tan.
Organic Spray Tans and Shaving
Organic spray tan solutions offer a safer sunless tanning option with more skin-nourishing ingredients and less potential for irritation. Here’s how they compare:
- Organic tanning mist contains botanical extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and moisturizers. These nourish skin rather than drying it out like traditional tans.
- No synthetic fragrances, preservatives, or dyes. The natural formulations are gentle even on sensitive skin types.
- The exfoliating effect of shaving allows the organic tan mist to absorb evenly and smoothly into fresh new skin.
- With no chemicals coating the hair, organic solutions rinse clean more easily after shaving off post-tan stubble.
- The nourishing properties of organic tans infuse skin with moisture. This counteracts the drying effects of shaving for happy skin!
- Overall, organic solutions create the perfect environment for safe, irritation-free shaving after tanning.
So You Just Shaved… When Can You Start Tanning?
Just shaved your gams and can’t wait to glow? Here’s when to tan after shaving:
- Wait 8 Hours After Shaving: This gives freshly shaved skin time to recover from any razor irritation before applying tanning products.
- Shave 24 Hours Pre-Tan For Sprays: If planning a spray tan session, shave a full day in advance. This prevents the mist from absorbing unevenly onto stubbly areas.
- Apply Tan in Circular Motions: Gently buff the tanning lotion in circles using a tanning mitt or gloves. This prevents tanner from pooling in creases on elbows, knees, and knuckles.
- Rinse Hands and Feet: Thoroughly rinse tan residue from palms and soles where it tends to over-develop and get patchy. This maintains an even color.
- Moisturize Daily: Hydrating daily maintains the tan while also protecting freshly shaved areas from dryness, irritation, or peeling.
After Care for Post-Tan Shaving
You shaved and tanned flawlessly. Now keep your bronze hue glowing with proper after care:
- Keep Skin Moisturized: Apply unscented moisturizers daily to lock in moisture, prolong tan, and prevent shaving irritation. Glycerin or aloe-based are ideal.
- Exfoliate 1-2 Times Weekly: Gently buff away dead skin cells mid-week to prevent uneven fading or patchiness. Use a soft washcloth or loofah.
- Avoid Tan-Fading Products: Skip products containing retinol, benzoyl peroxide, or heavy fragrances which can interact with tanning agents and cause early fading.
- Apply SPF 30+ Daily: Sunscreen prevents tan-fading sun damage. Reapply frequently when outdoors. Seek shade during peak hours.
Proper prep and aftercare helps you shave safely after tanning without sabotaging your sunless glow! Just be gentle, take it slow, and keep skin moisturized.
Get Smooth Skin with Easy Shaving Techniques
For soft, stubble-free skin post-tan without irritation, use these easy shaving techniques:
Pick a Specialized Razor
Select a gentle razor designed specifically for sensitive skin. Multi-blade models aggressively cut hair below skin level, causing ingrowns.
Limit Razor Contact
Only three fingers should touch the razor handle – index, middle, and ring. Keep your thumb away from the blade for better control.
Shave With the Grain
Shave in the same direction as your hair growth – downwards on legs, and upwards on arms. Never shave against the grain.
Rinse razor under warm water after every stroke or two to prevent buildup of shaving cream, hairs, and dead skin.
Avoid Too Much Pressure
Don’t press down hard. Let the razor’s weight do the work. Too much pressure leads to cuts, scrapes, and irritation.
Apply soothing post-shave balms or aloe gels after to nourish skin and prevent tan-fading dryness and peeling.
Maintain a Flawless, Sunless Glow
With the right prep and gentle technique, you can safely shave even right after spray tanning. Just be sure to:
- Wait 12+ hours before shaving post-tan
- Use an organic or sensitive skin formula
- Exfoliate lightly before shaving
- Pick a specialized gentle razor
- Shave lightly in the direction of hair growth
- Rinse skin frequently during shaving
- Apply moisturizer after shaving
- Gently exfoliate and use SPF to maintain results
Armed with these tips, you can shave your legs, armpits or bikini line without sabotaging your sunless, bronze glow! Silky smoothness doesn’t have to mean tan-muddling stubble. Just be patient, gentle, and keep skin hydrated every step of the way.
Happy safe shaving and glowing!