How long after shaving can you fake tan?

If you’re wondering how long after shaving can you fake tan, it’s best to wait at least 12 hours after shaving to apply your next coat of self-tanner. Shaving before a fake tan is essential. If you fake tan before shaving, the tan will be able to penetrate through all your little hair follicles.

A good rule to follow is to wait 24 hours (1 day) before shaving if you can.

If you need to shave before that point, make sure your legs are dry (not wet or damp) before using a razor.

Pro tip: Don’t forget that you should avoid waxing and threading before tanning and at least 24 hours afterwards.

If you shave your legs on the same day as you plan to get your fake tan, let the skin heal for about 12 hours. This time also gives the skin a chance to cool down from shaving and prevents irritation from happening. The same goes for other body areas where you may experience razor burn.

Keep reading if you want to learn more about shaving before and after a fake tan.

Which comes first, shave or exfoliate?

If you’ve done any kind of fake tanning before, you’ll know there’s a prep process to get the perfect colour. It is best to shave after you exfoliate to apply the fake tan to the best possible base.

Why should you exfoliate?

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and prepares your skin for a smooth, even application. When achieving a flawless base, the most important thing is to ensure the skin is clean and free from any moisturizers, oils or deodorants. Thus, they can’t act as a barrier between the tan and your skin.

This will ensure that the tan adheres to the skin and doesn’t leave you with patchy coverage or residue. By exfoliating before applying your tan, it also helps to remove dead skin cells allowing the tan to develop on fresh new cells.

Therefore, the next time you plan to tan, don’t skip the exfoliating step, and you will get an even colour.

Can you shave after fake tan?

No, you should not shave immediately after applying a fake tan. The longer you leave the fake tan for then, the better. If you have just shaved before your fake tan application, you should wait 12 hours before shaving again to prevent irritation from the razor.

Shaving before a fake tan is better than shaving after because it’s less likely to transfer the dye.

If you shave immediately after the fake tan application, exfoliate and wash your skin straight afterwards. Shaving can remove your fake tan, so it is best to avoid it to maintain a tan for as long as possible.

Shaving after a fake tan application can also lead to streakiness. Many people suggest that waxing instead of shaving is a better option if you have a fake tan because it is less likely to lead to streaks in the skin.

Wait as long as possible before shaving after applying a fake tan, and use a moisturizing body oil afterwards.

Can you fake tan straight after showering?

Dry skin is rough and more likely to absorb tan. Showering before applying fake tan allows you to remove excess dead skin and removes moisturizer. However, wait an hour because your skin needs to be dry before a fake tan.

If your skin is at all damp when you apply fake tan, your colour will be uneven. Do not shower after applying a fake tan if you need a light to medium shade. If you wish for a dark shade, wait approximately four hours after application before showering.

Use a hair wrap or another item that will keep your hair away from your shoulders (and thus prevent staining) while you’re waiting for your tan to develop.


  • Prep your skin
  • Don’t moisturize or deodorant before tanning
  • Allow your natural oils to cool down
  • Shower in the morning if you want to tan at night
  • Exfoliate twice in one shower
  • Use warm water, not hot water
  • Wash thoroughly and don’t use products with harsh chemicals

Do I moisturize straight after a fake tan?

Most fake tanning products say you should wait until your first shower to moisturize. This is because their oils can interfere with tan development.

So what kind of moisturizer should you use after a fake tan? A creamy body lotion is probably the best bet, rather than a water-based one. When choosing the right moisturizer for fake tanners, you want to look out for two things: no oil and maximum hydration.

Don’t scrub your skin vigorously, or it will remove some of the colours.

If you’re using a traditional self-tanner (like lotion or mousse), you should wait until your tan has developed. Then start with applying moisturizer.

 If you’re using one of the latest “wash off” tanners, give your skin about 10-20 minutes after application. Do this before applying moisturizer.

Conclusion- How long after shaving can you fake tan?

You are most likely safe from a negative tanning result for five days after shaving or waxing. This will ensure your skin is thoroughly exfoliated, and you won’t remove your fake tan prematurely. 

The best thing to do is give your skin time to heal. Whether you shave, wax or use a depilatory cream, you need to give your skin time to adjust.

If you have any issues with burning or peeling, it’s best to apply another thin layer of fake tan. Do this after approximately four days if you’re particular about getting an even colour. A bit of experimentation should help you determine what works best for your own skin chemistry.

We hope this article gives you some information about fake tans and how to prepare your skin before a fake tan. Our other blog posts also shed some light on this topic, so don’t forget to check them out.

If you follow our tips and tricks, you will become an expert for a great fake tan, so don’t forget to read all about it before tanning next time.

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