As summer comes to a close, (hello PSL and sweater season!), we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to our sun-kissed glow. Lucky for us (and you!), we don’t have to because we’ve been maintaining our bronze with sunless tanning. Self-tanning products and spray tans do much more than offer a tan line-free golden glow; they actually help to brighten dull skin, even out skin tone, hide imperfections, and reduce the visibility of cellulite. Not to mention, self-tanning products and spray tans deliver a flawless finish sans sun damage. Sign. Us. Up.

On the other hand, smooth skin is always in season too! The question is, can you maintain a suntan and super smooth skin at the same time? Both require due diligence and a consistent routine, but the good news is that with a little bit of strategic timing and the right products, you can live in a summer state of mind, all-year long. Read on for the answers to all of your questions about sunless tanning and waxing.

Should I apply sunless tanning products before or after getting waxed?

This is the million-dollar question: should you apply self-tanner or get a spray tan before or after a wax? We’re here to set the record straight: first, we wax. Then, we tan. If you tan before your wax appointment, it will remove some of the color from your skin, leaving it splotchy and irritated. Your wax will thoroughly remove hair and if you just tanned, it can also take off any color you just applied.

So, when exactly should I apply a sunless tanning product?

Although it’s tempting, wait to apply any product or book your spray tan appointment for at least 24 hours post-wax. Better yet, hold off for 48 hours after your wax. Regardless of which area of your body you had waxed, it will be sensitive for a day or two. Giving your pores time to close before applying tanning products will ensure they don’t get clogged and your skin doesn’t break out.  

 Is there anything I should do before applying self tanner?

Whether you’ve booked a professional spray tan or you’re using self-tanner at home, you have a few to-dos beforehand. First off, be sure to use an exfoliator or scrub before tanning to slough off dead skin cells—do not exfoliate the area you’ve just had waxed as you should have already exfoliated there prior to your waxing appointment. After you exfoliate, don’t forget to  moisturize. Exfoliation and moisturizing are the keys to maintaining your flawless glow. Be sure to wear clothing with a loose fit to your spray tan appointment or after you apply product. Your tan needs time to dry so that it doesn’t smear OR rub off on your clothes.

Our Top Tips for Applying Self-Tanner at Home

If you haven’t tried using self-tanner at home, you’re missing out; rest assured that self-tanning products have come a long ways in recent years! Using sunless tanning products at home can be much quicker, easier, and less expensive. It can seem a bit intimidating at first, but with the right method, you’ll be an expert in no time.

  1. Use a mitt, not your hands

When applying your self-tanner, try not to use your hands. Try using a tanning mitt instead. Using a mitt can help you apply the tanner more evenly and help you to avoid streaking. Plus, when you use your hands, you run the risk of the product staining your palms leaving you with a very unnatural look. Mitts are rather inexpensive and definitely worth adding into your shopping cart along with your product.

  1. Start with your face

Your face is the only place on your body we recommend using your hands for even application. Start with your face so that you can rinse off any excess product before continuing with the rest of your body. Pay special attention to the areas around your eyes, nose, ears and mouth.

  1. Wait it out

Avoid moisture for at least four hours post-application. Depending on the product, the wait time can be longer or shorter. Try to hold off on exercising, swimming, sweating, showering, baths and saunas for the recommended amount of time—and even beyond that if you can. Patience is your friend with self-tanning products. The longer you wait, the better chance the product has to develop and the deeper your tan will be.

Our Product Recommendations

If you’re not quite sure where to start with pre- or post-waxing products or need a new sunless tanner, we have some awesome product recommendations for you—available at your Waxing The City studio.

Lalicious Hydrating Body Butter

Your skin is going to be craving moisture after your wax and before whatever sunless tanning method you choose. More specifically, your skin is going to crave the hydrating rejuvenation of Lalicious Hydrating Body Butter, available at your Waxing The City studio. Made with shea butter, aloe vera, safflower oil, and vitamin E, this body butter is exactly what you need to prep for a flawless sunless tan. Plus, using this after you rinse off your sunless tan can also help your tan last longer.

Lalicious Whipped Sugar Scrub

 Another great product you should try for exfoliation is the Lalicious Whipped Sugar Scrub. As we explained, exfoliation is key before you use any sort of sunless tanner. We recommend Lalicious Whipped Sugar Scrub made with pure cane sugar, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil. Applying this sugar scrub before a wax or sun-free tan will gently remove dead skin cells so your wax is thorough and your suntan is perfect.

St. Tropez Self Tanner

 In the market for a new self tanner? We can’t recommend St. Tropez Tanning products enough. We love the St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse because it doesn’t have that gross post self-tanner smell—huge win in our book. Their formula is also streak-free and super easy to apply. It’s also quick drying and non-sticky so you can get on with your day and not have to wait around for your self-tanner to dry.  What more could you ask for?

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