Shaving After Tanning Bed – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Shaving After Tanning Bed – Should You or Shouldn’t You?
September 6, 2021 Ellis James
If you enjoy using a tanning bed to get a crisp, golden tan, you are likely looking for ways to get the most out of each session.  You want to get your skin as golden brown as possible and want to make sure you don’t do anything to ruin the color or how long it lasts.  One question you may have is whether shaving after tanning bed is a good idea.  Well, keep reading, and we’ll share everything you want to know to help you answer this question!

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Can I shave my legs after a sunbed?

OK, so can you shave after using a tanning bed?  No, you shouldn’t shave immediately after shaving.

The reason for this is that when you shave, it exfoliates your skin’s outer layer.  While exfoliation is good for the skin in many ways, you don’t want to do it right after tanning.  If you don’t understand how exfoliation works, it basically removes the top layer of skin.  With freshly tanned skin, that means that you’ll be removing the top layer of tanned skin, which can take some of that sun-kissed color away.


Can I fake tan with hairy legs?

While you can use a fake tanning product with hairy legs, it is better to shave before tanning.

Shaving before tanning exfoliates your skin.  This can help remove dead skin cells and will leave your skin smoother than it was before.  Smoother skin offers a better surface to apply a spray tan.  It can help ensure that the spray is evenly applied and can reduce splotches or streaks in the finish.


Do I have to shave my legs to self tan?

Some people prefer to use spray tan products to skip the risks of using a tanning bed, but you may be wondering whether shaving your legs to self-tan is all that important.

Shaving before self tanning isn’t essential, but as we shared above, it can help ensure the spray is more evenly applied.  Also, if you don’t shave before self-tanning, you may be tempted to shave shortly after.  This is not a good idea (we’ll go into more detail later), and can remove the top layer of your skin and lighten the color of your legs..


Do shaved legs tan better?

Yes, shaved legs tan better.  Shaving exfoliates the skin, meaning it removes the top layer of skin, dead skin cells, dirt and debris from the skin.  This can prep your skin for the tan and help ensure you get maximum color.

If you’re planning on tanning soon, try to shave your legs about a day or so before your appointment.  In addition to shaving, you may also want to consider exfoliating your skin using a salt scrub or exfoliating brush.  These will deliver a more thorough exfoliation and can help your legs tan even better than just shaving alone.


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Is it better to shave before or after tanning?

As you’re planning out your before and after tanning routine, always include shaving in the “before” section.  Doing so will help prepare your skin for tanning to help maximize the color you get.

Adding shaving to the “after” section of the routine, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.  Since shaving removes the top layer of the skin, if you shave after you tan, you’ll be taking some of your freshly tanned skin off with the hairs.  Since the color is on the top layer of the skin, this means you’ll be lightening your tan!


How long after tanning can I shave?

If you want to shave after tanning, you should wait a minimum of 12 hours.  This amount of time allows the skin time to repair and will make it less likely for shaving to lessen the color of your tan.  If you can wait longer than 12 hours, that’s even better.

If waiting 12 hours isn’t possible, use the shaving tips below to minimize the impact on your tan.  These steps should also be followed whenever you do decide to shave after tanning to help the color stay as long as possible.

  • Pull out a new razor:  The first thing you need to do is to use a new razor.  If you’ve already used a razor a few times, the blades are not as sharp.  They pull off more skin than a brand new razor, which is clearly not what you want to have happen right after you’ve tanned.  Using a new razor will minimize the amount of skin that comes off with the hairs and can help the tan last longer and stay darker.
  • Don’t use shaving foam:  Shaving foams are formulated with alcohol.  Alcohol can remove a spray tan.  So, if you just used a self-tanning spray, stay away from shaving foam for a while.
  • Be gentle:  When shaving, try to be as gentle as possible.  Pressing down too hard on the razor can remove more skin and lessen your tan.
  • Shave as infrequently as possible:  Every time you shave, you’re taking off a little of the upper layer of skin.  If you do this every morning, it will make your tan fade that much more quickly.  After shaving, either in a tanning bed or with a self-tanner, avoid shaving every day and only do so when you absolutely need to.

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What happens if you don’t shave before self-tanning?

If you don’t shave before self-tanning, it can impact the way the tan will look.  You want to shave a day or so before you tan (but at least a few hours before) to make sure your skin is prepared and ready for the tan.  Since shaving exfoliates the skin, it leaves it smoother to allow for more even application of the tanning product.  This can improve the way your finished tan will look and can prevent it from being blotchy or streaky.  Not shaving before self tanning may lead to less-than perfect results.


Do you shave your legs before fake tanning?

Yes, you should shave your legs before fake tanning.  Shaving before fake tanning is much preferred to shaving after fake tanning.  If you shave shortly after fake tanning, you’ll be taking off some of the color on the top layer of skin with your razor.  This will, obviously, have the opposite effect you desire since you just got a fake tan to darken your skin color.

On the other hand, if you shave before fake tanning, you can make sure your legs are prepped and ready for the tan.  Shaving will leave your skin smoother and help ensure the tan is more even.  However, keep in mind that you do not want to shave immediately before using a self-tanner.  Since shaving leaves microabrasions on the skin, you want to wait a few hours at least, if not a full 24, to let these tiny cuts close up.


Can you use a tanning bed after shaving?

Yes, you can use a tanning bed after shaving.  Adding shaving to the list of things you do before tanning is actually a good idea since it exfoliates the skin to create a smoother canvas for the tan.  Try to shave about 24 hours before tanning.  This can help ensure the skin is in the ideal condition to accept the tan and can result in a deeper and darker color for you.


How do you prevent strawberry legs when tanning?

If you’ve ever had strawberry legs after tanning, you want to avoid them in the future if possible.  If you’re not familiar with what strawberry legs are, they are when your legs look to be pitted or dotted with very small black spots that look like strawberry seeds.  Obviously, the spots are not seeds, but they are actually caused by the pores and hair follicles on your legs getting clogged with oil, dirt, or bacteria.

To prevent strawberry legs, shave and exfoliate your legs about 24 hours before tanning.  This can remove any clogs that are currently present.  Another suggestion is to try to keep your skin cooler before you go to tan.  Warmth and heat are what open up the pores, and you want to keep them closed as much as possible before tanning.


Enjoying Your Tanning Bed Tan

Shaving after tanning bed may sound like a good idea, but you’ll want to avoid shaving for a minimum of 12 hours, if not a bit longer.  Also, make sure you reach for a new, sharp razor that will remove less skin as it shaves your legs!  If you know your legs are in need of a shave, make time to shave before you go to an indoor tanning salon.

To learn more about tanning and getting that glowing and even tan you desire, check out these related posts on our blog:

Comments (2)

  1. Sofía Moral 10 months ago

    Thanks for writing this blog post, I normally shave myself before using the tanning bed, but now I know what’s the correct way to do it. By the way, I have just discovered your blog and I love it. I’ll definitely check your next posts 😉

    • Ellis James Designs 9 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sofia, so happy to hear you found this post useful and that you’re enjoying our blog!

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