Should I Get a Facial Before or After I Spray Tan?

Always get your facial before spray tanning.

Photo: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Spa treatments and spray tanning leave you skin fresh and glowing -- but the order you do them in matters. Because you don’t want to take off the tan you waited and paid for, schedule your facial before your spray tan. While each spray tan location may have special instructions based on the formula and airbrush machine it uses, there are typically some considerations you should make to ensure spray tan success.

Don’t Lose That Glow

Pretend for a minute you are going to get your facial after you have spray tanned. You’ve just put your tan on, and now you see your facialist, who scrubs and exfoliates your skin…and removes the tan that was just sprayed. This is why you should always do your facial or exfoliation before you spray tan. The exfoliation can, however, be really beneficial to your skin pre-spray tan because it creates a more even surface for the tanning solution to reach your skin. Plus, the fewer dead skin cells the tanner attaches to, the longer your tan will last, because the fresh skin cells aren’t likely to go away any time soon.

Skip the Lotions and Oils

After your facialist finishes up, she likely applies a moisturizer or lotion as a finishing treatment. This could be a potential no-no for some spray tans because products that contain oil can keep the spray tan solution from penetrating the skin. As a result, you can look really tan on your body and really pale on your face. Ask your facialist if the products she uses contain oil and nix them if you are headed to your spray tan. By taking this step, you can get the most even tan possible.

Time Frame

Although the time frame for using water products again after your spray tan can vary, most spray tanners suggest about four hours after the process before you take a shower or wash your face. This is because the active tanning ingredients can take a while to set. So if your facialist can’t fit you in before your spray tan, it’s important to wait at least four hours between treatments. Be warned, however, that exfoliating post-spray tan will probably still take off some of the tan.

Moisturize, Moisturize

If your facial is less on the extractions and exfoliating side and more on the moisturizing side, go for it once you have waited the requisite four hours after spray tanning. Using water-based, moisturizing products on your face and skin after tanning can help extend the life of your tan.

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