E! : What are the biggest mistakes people make when preparing for self-tanning or spray tan?
IA: I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is exfoliating to the right before their appointments or they will take a shower with lots of soaps. You should exfoliate and prep your skin 24-48 hours in advance and that also includes shaving. The number one cause of streaks in any spray tan or self-tanning application is razor residue left behind right before shaving. You shouldn’t shave to the right before sunbathing.
You need to do all your skin prep the night before because if you don’t, your pores are wide open. Sometimes if you shower and exfoliate to the right before your spray tan or self-tanning appointment, it is likely that the self-tanner or spray tan will not reach its dark color because your pores are wide open.
E! : Is it partly because the shower changes your pH?
IA: Yes, because it takes several hours for your pH levels to return to normal after a shower. Amino acids and your pH soften the skin when you shower in warm water. Apply self-tanner or spray tan to the right after a shower will really reduce the darkness that could be achieved compared to if you showered the night before instead.
E! : And this first post-tan shower? What are the things to keep in mind so as not to ruin our tan?
IA: It has to be lukewarm water and you should really take your time with it, especially if you’re using a bronzer that has cosmetic bronzer, which is usually the brown stuff you see coming off in the shower. You don’t take bronzer off, you take that bronzer off when you shower. You really want to take your time and soap up with your hands (no soap) and just make sure there is no watermark.
A lot of people say “my tan is so streaky” and it’s often because they haven’t taken the time to completely wash off that bronzer in the shower. Rinse until the water that runs out is clear and free of bronzer. That’s how you know you’ve rinsed completely.
Your tan will continue to develop for 24 hours, so we encourage people not to use soap for that first shower.