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Best Spray Tan Exfoliator: Prep Your Luscious Canvas!

Getting out of Shower
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Spray tans and sunless tans have made it much easier and safer to get beautiful, glowing color at any time of year. They’re pretty quick to apply, but there is some prep work involved! Most importantly, you need to exfoliate!

Before you grab a pumice stone and scrub your skin off, you should know that over-exfoliation doesn’t work. What’s needed are gentle exfoliators that can remove the outer dead skin cells without damaging the skin.

After a thorough review of several top choices, we’ve found that the Tree Hut Shea Exfoliating Scrub is the best spray tan exfoliator available.


Our Top Pick: Tree Hut Shea Exfoliating Scrub

Tree Hut Shea Exfoliating Scrub

The top of our list belongs to Tree Hut Shea Exfoliating Scrub. This product line from Tree Hut offers gentle exfoliation by using sugar crystals to remove the dead skin cells on the skin.

Most users of the Tree Hut scrub find that it provides gentle, even exfoliation. This is great for those who are thinking of getting a spray tan. Some users find that doesn’t exfoliate as much as they’d like, while others say it’s too tough on their skin. The application process may be part of the issue, and you may need a few rounds to get used to the scrub.

This product has multiple variants and formulas to choose from. Each contains a variety of ingredients that help moisturize and soften the skin. Of course, the variants also affect the scent of the scrub as well.

To provide more moisturization, Tree Hut uses 100% Organic Shea butter. This is a powerful moisturizer that softens and smoothes dry skin.

Tree Hut Exfoliating Scrub

It’s safe to use on all skin types, even for sensitive ones. This is because it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, parabens, or formaldehyde. Just make sure to rub gently when exfoliating sensitive areas of the body.

Most users love this product. They love it not only because it effectively exfoliates the skin, but they also love the variety of delightful scents. There are multiple varieties available and each has its followers!

But the most popular ones are Coconut Lime and Morrocan Rose.

Although ingredients are sourced all over the world, the products are all manufactured here in the USA.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Gentle Exfoliation
  • Powerful Moisturizer
  • Multiple Variants To Choose From
  • No Parabens Or Formaldehydes
  • Made In The USA
  • Delightful Scent

Dimensions

  • Type: Rinse-Off Body Scrub
  • Volume: 18 oz
  • Quantity: 3 per pack
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, Coconut Lime, 18 Ounce (Pack of 3)
  • Made with certified Organic Shea Butter for skin...
  • Infused with Coconut Extract for skin conditioning...
  • Uses Safflower Seed Oil to deeply moisturize,...
  • Made with Avocado Oil which reduces sun damage and...
  • The sugar grains and ground coconut shells will...

best spray tan exfoliator

Best Spray Tan Exfoliator: Comparison Table

Preview
Top Choice!
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, Coconut Lime, 18 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Runner-Up
California Tan Body Buffer Exfoliator, 6 Ounce | Cruelty Free
Budget Pick
Songwol Towel Exfoliating Towel Bath Washcloth 4 Pcs (Green) for Dead Skin
Best for Dry Exfoliation
C.S.M. Body Brush for Wet or Dry Brushing - Gentle Exfoliating for Softer, Glowing Skin - Get Rid of Your Cellulite and Dry Skin, Improve Your Circulation - Gentle Massage Nodes
Best for Sensitive Skin
Purifying Body Cleansing Gel Skin Softener - 8 fl oz | Cleanse Your Body And Face | For Normal To Oily Skin | Can Be Used With Facial Cleansing Wipes, Pads and Brushes | Keeps Skin Fresh And Clean
Name
Tree Hut
California Tan
Korean Washcloth
C.S.M. Brush
Sun Labs
Price on Amazon
Price not available
Price not available
$3.57
$9.99
$7.95
Top Choice!
Preview
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, Coconut Lime, 18 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Name
Tree Hut
Price on Amazon
Price not available
View on Amazon
Runner-Up
Preview
California Tan Body Buffer Exfoliator, 6 Ounce | Cruelty Free
Name
California Tan
Price on Amazon
Price not available
View on Amazon
Budget Pick
Preview
Songwol Towel Exfoliating Towel Bath Washcloth 4 Pcs (Green) for Dead Skin
Name
Korean Washcloth
Price on Amazon
$3.57
View on Amazon
Best for Dry Exfoliation
Preview
C.S.M. Body Brush for Wet or Dry Brushing - Gentle Exfoliating for Softer, Glowing Skin - Get Rid of Your Cellulite and Dry Skin, Improve Your Circulation - Gentle Massage Nodes
Name
C.S.M. Brush
Price on Amazon
$9.99
View on Amazon
Best for Sensitive Skin
Preview
Purifying Body Cleansing Gel Skin Softener - 8 fl oz | Cleanse Your Body And Face | For Normal To Oily Skin | Can Be Used With Facial Cleansing Wipes, Pads and Brushes | Keeps Skin Fresh And Clean
Name
Sun Labs
Price on Amazon
$7.95
View on Amazon

Our Runner Up: California Tan Exfoliator

California Tan Exfoliator

The California Tan Exfoliator makes it to the runner-up spot on our list. It reveals a fresher layer of skin so that spray tans can work properly and produce an even tan. It can also be used to remove the effects of a previous tan in preparation for another spray tan.

Aloe vera is added in the formulation to moisturize and soothe the skin. Although this has a cleansing formula, it doesn’t dry out skin or create dry patches. Users end up with better tanning results when there are no dry patches on the skin. This holds whether you’re tanning outdoors or getting a spray tan from a spray tan machine.

Red tea is the main source of its antioxidants. These protect the skin cells by reducing the damaging effects of free radicals. This also helps prevent the fast aging of the skin cells for a more youthful glow.

Some users say that it rinses easily and doesn’t leave any residue, which can negatively react to the spray tanning solution. Although some were disappointed because of the consistency of the product they got. For them, it was watery and couldn’t even hold its form. You may need to shake or mix it up if you find it’s too watery.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Volcanic Stone Exfoliator
  • Moisturizes The Skin
  • Red Tea Antioxidant
  • Fresh Fragrance

Dimensions

  • Type: Cleansing Scrub
  • Volume: 6 fl oz
California Tan Body Buffer Exfoliator, 6 Ounce | Cruelty Free
  • Reveal fresh, balanced skin for even sunless color
  • Natural: Fine-grained volcanic stone softly...
  • Cleansing: Formula utilizes aloe vera to...
  • Protects: Protects skin from free radicals with...
  • Promotes: Both sunless and UV results

Best Budget: Korean Exfoliating Washcloth

Korean Exfoliating Washcloth

For those with a tight budget, you can still make your spray tan look more even by using an affordable product. This Korean spray tan exfoliator can get rid of the outermost dead skin cells by physically knocking them off.

Korean beauty has been a booming industry for the last decade or two, with lots of innovation. Everything from Korean moisturizers to light therapy masks, there are a lot of interesting, inexpensive beauty products coming out of Korea these days.

The viscose rayon glove is no different. It is folded and stitched to create a pocket-like glove where your hand can fit. The manufacturers say that the cloth shrinks when it is wet and you need to stretch it to properly exfoliate.

Some users find this cloth is too small for their hands: it shrinks a lot! However, most find that it is an effective exfoliator, regardless of its size. If you have larger hands, there is a larger-format version of this available as well.

As per instructions, it should be used after soaking in hot water. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can still use this exfoliator cloth. Some use it with a body wash, but you don’t necessarily have to.

Unlike the others found in this review, this product doesn’t moisturize. You’ll need to use another product to moisturize your skin to avoid dry patches for spray tanning. It is great as an exfoliator, but you need to moisturize as well!

Key Points at a Glance

  • Viscose Rayon Cloth
  • Gentle Exfoliation
  • Available In Two Sizes

Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 7inches
  • Quantity: 4 per pack
Songwol Towel Exfoliating Towel Bath Washcloth 4 Pcs (Green) for Dead Skin
  • 100% Viscose Rayon exfoliating scrub bath mitten....
  • Gentle scrubbing will dead (and dry) skin cells...
  • As it shrinks after soaked in water, it needs to...
  • Songwol towel Exfoliating wash cloth Green 4p Made...
  • May shrink in size after being soaked in water.

Best for Hydration: Norvell Exfoliator Body Scrub

Norvell is one of the most well-known spray tan brands. This exfoliator is multipurpose: it can be used as a pre-tan regimen, a fake tan remover, and a regular body exfoliator. It removes dead skin cells as well as bacteria and dirt on the outer layer of the skin.

This exfoliator is also formulated with a time-release technology. The slow-acting process moisturizes and balances skin for better tanning. The microcapsules bind to the skin’s lipid layer for 24 hours to provide hydration.

Extracts from aloe, beet, tomato, and cranberry seed are also included in the formula. They are great sources of Vitamin E, C, and B5. These ingredients help nourish and protect a longer-lasting tan.

The Body Scrub also has a refreshing mint scent that can help put you in a good and relaxed mood, just like coming from a spa.

It doesn’t contain any phthalates, sulfates, parabens, GMOs, synthetic fragrance, petrochemicals, or gluten. This makes it safe and gentle on any type of skin. It is gentle enough even for the skin on the face.

Although this micro-exfoliant works and is capable of removing dead skin cell, some find that a product with more grit would be more effective.

Instructions say that it is best used with a washcloth, and you won’t get ideal results by using just your hands.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Time-released Hydration
  • Gentle On The Skin
  • Refreshing Mint Scent
  • With Antioxidants
  • Multipurpose Exfoliator

Dimensions

  • Type: Wash-off Scrub
  • Volume: 8.5 fl oz
  • Skin Type: For all skin types

Best for Dry Exfoliation: C.S.M. Wet Or Dry Brush

C.S.M. Wet Or Dry Brush

Gently exfoliating the skin can be done without adding any chemicals as all! This wet or dry brush by C.S.M. that possible by removing the dead skin cells with natural bristles.

If you don’t want to exfoliate while taking a shower or a bath, you can skip the water by simply brushing yourself with this dry brush. Using a brush for exfoliation means not adding any chemicals at all to the skin that might react negatively to the spray tan.

Aside from exfoliating, this brush can help improve blood circulation and prevent ingrown hairs.

Keep in mind that the natural bristles on this brush are rough! But that how it works to remove dead skin when rubbed gently in a circular motion. The canvas strap at the back helps you to have a secure hold while the circular shape feels comfortable to the hands. Some find that it’s a bit too rough for their skin and shouldn’t be used by people with sensitive skin.

C.S.M. Wet Or Dry Brush

This is a product that you can easily travel with. It’s just the right size to fit the palm of the hands, and is easily stored in carry-on luggage. No liquids for the TSA to complain about.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Gentle Exfoliation
  • For Wet Or Dry Brushing
  • Multiple Benefits
  • Natural Bristles
  • Lightweight And Portable

Dimensions

  • Dimensions: 4-inch diameter x 2 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 oz
Sale
C.S.M. Body Brush for Wet or Dry Brushing - Gentle Exfoliating for Softer, Glowing Skin - Get Rid of Your Cellulite and Dry Skin, Improve Your Circulation - Gentle Massage Nodes
  • SMOOTH GLOWING SKIN: Soft, but sturdy bristles...
  • ALL NATURAL: From the natural bristles and real...
  • EASY TO HANG ONTO: The round and palm-sized brush...
  • GENTLE MASSAGE: Soft massage nodules buried among...
  • TAKE IT WITH YOU: Never be without your brush....

Best For Sensitive Skin: Sun Laboratories Exfoliator

Sun Laboratories Exfoliator

The Sun Laboratories exfoliator comes in a gel form which feels light on the skin. It is also made with scrubbing beads in 3 sizes to make sure it effectively but gently exfoliates the skin.

It works well as a gentle exfoliator and is compatible with people with sensitive skin. Due to its gentleness as an exfoliator, some were confident enough to use it on their faces.

It comes in a pump bottle which is very convenient. You don’t have to contaminate the whole bottle just to get some product. Take note that you are likely to need more than just one pump to exfoliate the whole body.

Sun Labs Gel Exfoliator

Although many users are happy about how gentle it exfoliates the skin, some were disappointed because they didn’t feel much difference. Some buyers have found the scrubbers to be too small and too gentle for the body. As a result, some users used the product with exfoliating mitts to improve exfoliation.

Formulated with natural ingredients, this exfoliator also makes the skin soft and smooth.

Oh, and it smells great too!

Key Points at a Glance

  • Scrubbing Beads In 3 Sizes
  • Natural Ingredients
  • Easy To Apply
  • Hydrates And Nourishes The Skin
  • Convenient Pump Bottle

Dimensions and Specs

  • Volume: 8 oz
  •  Suitable For Sensitive Skin
Purifying Body Cleansing Gel Skin Softener - 8 fl oz | Cleanse Your Body And Face | For Normal To Oily Skin | Can Be Used With Facial Cleansing Wipes, Pads and Brushes | Keeps Skin Fresh And Clean
  • FORMULATED WITH A NATURAL BLEND OF INGREDIENTS -...
  • CELEBRITIES LOVE IT, DOCTORS RECOMMEND IT Sun...
  • GLOWING FROM THE INSIDE OUT Have you ever noticed...
  • YOU GLOW, GIRL Whether you are new to sunless...
  • EASY TO APPLY Application instructions are...

Spray Tan Exfoliator Buyer’s Guide

Spray tan exfoliators are formulated and designed to remove the dead skin cells on the topmost layer of the skin. This will help enable the spray tan to react evenly on fresh skin cells.

When it does, an even, long-lasting tan, without patches or streaks, can be achieved.

There are many spray tan exfoliators out there and you can get any of them and try their effect on your next spray tan session. The problem is, not all of them work as efficiently as they claim.

Don’t be like others who simply tried products out of whim and ended up looking patchy and orange. Make the smarter move by getting to know the products first then comparing them with the others.

We’ve put together this guide to give you some context when picking the right exfoliator for your needs.

Who Should Buy a Spray Tan Exfoliator

Humans naturally shed off dead skin cells all the time, although it can’t be seen with the naked eye. An exfoliator is used to help improve the rate of dead skin cell removal on the outermost layer of the skin. This will prep the skin for future tanning, and will keep the tan going for as long as possible.

A spray tan exfoliator can be beneficial in many cases.

People Wish To Prolong A Fake Tan

Remember that spray tans only affects the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum. This is where the dead cells are. The cells in this layer darken to produce the beautiful tan brought about by the chemicals in a spray tan.

The fact that fake tan chemicals only react with the outermost layer of dead skin means that spray tans are quite safe.

Skin Diagram

Those who wish to prolong the effects of their spray tan can exfoliate before they go for their session. This helps knock off the loose skin cells that would have shed off in the next couple of days anyway. In this way, newer cells will be exposed and will darken.

These newer cells won’t shed off as easily as the ones that were removed due to exfoliation.

Exfoliating before a spray tan is one of the secrets to having a longer-lasting tan, potentially up to 14 days between sprays. It also helps produce an even tan.

This is why you shouldn’t apply a fake tan over sunburned skin. It will peel off quickly.

Wait at least 4 hours to shower after your spray tan session.

People Who Want To Remove Their Fake Tan

On the contrary, people who wish to get rid of their spray tan can also use exfoliators. A fake tan will naturally lighten as more of the darkened dead skin cells are shed off. Exfoliators simply speed up this process.

If the goal is to prolong a fake tan, then exfoliate only before the spray tan session. Exfoliation after the session should be avoided.

Anyone Who Wants Softer & Smoother Skin

Exfoliators can also be used even by those who are not going for a spray tan. It helps achieve a softer and smoother skin that everyone loves. Regular gentle exfoliation also helps make the skin look more youthful.

Important Features to Consider

Physical Or Manual Exfoliators

Exfoliating the skin can be done in two ways: physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Both are effective. But with regards to spray tans, the manual or physical exfoliators are preferred.

With physical exfoliators, only the topmost layer of the skin is affected. The dead skin cells are removed as the products are rubbed or scrubbed on the skin. This instant removal of dead skin cells is ideal for spray tanning. You can immediately have a tanning session within the day or the next day.

The physical exfoliators don’t interfere with the skin’s chemical composition and are easy to wash off. They won’t usually affect succeeding skincare processes unless they are formulated as a scrub with added effects.

Gentle Exfoliators

Some physical exfoliators have that grit that some people love but others hate because it seems too rough on the skin. Gentle exfoliation is best because you just need to remove the dead skin cells on the topmost layer.

Too much exfoliation can create scratches on the skin which may cause you to have an uneven tan. It can also cause your skin to be dry, flaky, irritated and peeling.

Made Of Natural Ingredients

Always choose a product that is made with natural ingredients. Never use products with microbeads because they are already banned since July 1, 2017, in the US due to its bad effects on the environment.

Various natural ingredients are now used in exfoliators. Such natural ingredients include grounded nuts, salt, sugar, coffee beans, bamboo, rice bran, rice, charcoal, green tea, orange, oats, as well as tiny seeds from different plants.

Added Extras

Some spray tan exfoliators are simple but they get the job done. Then there are others that provide a little extra for the consumer’s benefit. When selecting one for yourself, think about whether you want the extra effects or not.

Some added extra effects on exfoliators include moisturizing properties, relaxing scent, pH buffers, and antioxidants. You can also consider the form that it is in such as creams, soap-based products, or gels.

Price

Price is also something to consider. You don’t have to choose the cheapest but it’s best to see if the product works as promised. Some can be more expensive but are more effective. Also, beware of others that are only expensive due to their brand but don’t work as promised.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Spray Tan Exfoliators Be Used On The Face?

Exfoliators are varied and can be made of different ingredients. There are also some physical exfoliators that you just rub on your skin. Depending on the ingredients used and how rough the exfoliators are, some can be used on the face but many advise against it.

The face has more sensitive skin and can be easily damaged by some exfoliators meant for the body.

It is better to look for an exfoliator that’s specifically formulated or designed for the face than to risk using a product meant for the body.

Could You Use An Exfoliator every day?

Exfoliating greatly helps in achieving a more even tan but overdoing it can also backfire. Most advise not to exfoliate every day. This is because it can damage the skin. It can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation, which can accelerate the aging process.


Other Products We Looked At:

The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliator

The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliator

The Seaweed Bath Co. uses marine-based ingredients to create an effective exfoliator. It contains a luxurious list of ingredients, but for a 6 fl oz bottle, the price is quite expensive.

It has small granules for exfoliation. Many find that they are too small or too weak to exfoliate the body. Some only used it for their face.

The mixture of seaweed, coffee bean extract, French clay, green tea extract, and other ingredients resulted in a black colored paste that is a bit runny. Some of them also said that although it exfoliates the body gently, it can stain the walls when it isn’t immediately removed.

Also, many are disappointed with the cap mechanism. Some find that the cap won’t close properly after only one use. Although there are buyers who love the product, the packaging is poorly done. And without closing the cap, it is difficult to store.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells
  • Contains Antioxidants
  • Contains Minerals
Sale
The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliating Detox Body Scrub, Awaken Scent (Rosemary & Mint), 6 fl. oz.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliating Detox Body Scrub, Awaken Scent (Rosemary & Mint), 6 fl. oz.
Best for those who want a luxurious scrub to improve the look and feel of skin; Mineral-rich French clay helps to purify skin and wash away toxins and impurities
$12.81

Skinerals Exfoliator Mitt

Skinerals Exfoliator Mitt

Dead skin cells and bumps can be removed in the skin before using a spray tan when the Skinerals Exfoliator mitt is used. It is made of high-quality and durable fabric that’s purposely rough to remove skin impurities. Although it is rough, it doesn’t feel painful on the skin when it is used for exfoliation.

The mitt is made of sturdy fabric. Robust stitching is used to ensure its durability. This mitt can last hundreds of uses (as long as you’re not trying to play baseball with it). Use it during a bath or shower with plain water, soap, body wash or scrub of your choice.

Although it’s a good product, it is a bit expensive. Other exfoliator mitts are more affordable. There is nothing special about this mitt, but it does exfoliate the skin in preparation for sunless tanning.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Easy To Use
  • Durable
  • Exfoliates Without Pain

Tan Physics Pre-Tan Exfoliator

Tan Physics Pre-Tan Exfoliator

Tan Physics is an outstanding sunless tanning company, as we discussed here. This product is specially formulated to be used before applying a spray tan to achieve a flawless look.

They suggest users not use nylon or loofa because it can be too harsh in exfoliating the skin. Instead, a washcloth should be used with the exfoliator.

Aside from exfoliating, it helps hydrate the skin and prevent it from aging fast. This is due to the different natural ingredients that act as moisturizers for the skin.

While Tan Physics sunless tanning system is very solid, this exfoliator isn’t universally loved. Some say it is a great exfoliator and it can pre your sin for tanning. But others find the exfoliator’s capacity a bit weak, and many say it doesn’t work well because they still end up being a bit orange.

Some were disappointed because they thought they were getting a great product given its expensive price. But it feels like more inexpensive products can do the same thing.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Mild And Natural Exfoliator
  • Contains Anti-Aging Ingredients
  • Hydrating Formula
Tan Physics True Color Balance Pre-Tan Exfoliator 8 Oz.
Tan Physics True Color Balance Pre-Tan Exfoliator 8 Oz.
Nourish your skin with a flawless, gorgeous and stunningly authentic tan; Replenish and hydrate your skin with proven natural ingredients
$27.95

Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Exfoliator

Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Exfoliator

Majestic Pure uses Pink Himalayan salt to exfoliate the body. With this salt formula, the skin is also hydrated. This can result in smoother and moisturized skin, which is a perfect canvas for a spray tan.

The formula also contains Lychee essential oil. This which smells divine and is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C. The antioxidant is important for skin cells because they prevent the cells to age rapidly.

Salt scrubs, like what Majestic Pure offers, are known to be good exfoliators. But some users find that it stings when it gets to the eyes or on cut skin.

Many users also comment on the poor packaging which led to oil leaks.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Uses Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Moisturizes Skin
  • Wonderful Lychee Scent

Conclusion

Of all the spray tan exfoliators, 3 outshine the rest. First on the list is our top pick, Tree Hut Shea Exfoliating Scrub. It’s simply the best because of the variety of natural ingredients it has. It effectively and gently exfoliates while it also moisturizes the skin, both of which are needed for an even tan.

Coming in second is the California Tan Exfoliator. It also exfoliates, moisturizes and protects the skin but it is more expensive than our top pick. Unlike the Tree Hut scrubs, there isn’t much variety to choose from when it comes to scent and ingredients.

Lastly, budgeted people can still have a chance to achieve a long-lasting even tan by making use of the Korean Exfoliating Washcloth. It’s very cheap but still a very effective spray tan exfoliator.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, Coconut Lime, 18 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, Coconut Lime, 18 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Infused with Coconut Extract for skin conditioning and Lime Extract for skin polishing
California Tan Body Buffer Exfoliator, 6 Ounce | Cruelty Free
California Tan Body Buffer Exfoliator, 6 Ounce | Cruelty Free
Reveal fresh, balanced skin for even sunless color; Natural: Fine-grained volcanic stone softly exfoliates skin
Songwol Towel Exfoliating Towel Bath Washcloth 4 Pcs (Green) for Dead Skin
Songwol Towel Exfoliating Towel Bath Washcloth 4 Pcs (Green) for Dead Skin
100% Viscose Rayon exfoliating scrub bath mitten. Songwol towel; Songwol towel Exfoliating wash cloth Green 4p Made in Korea
$3.57


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