Can You Shave After a Spray Tan?

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Spray Tanning and fake tanning have grown rapidly in popularity. We all know that too much time out in the sun can cause skin damage. Spray Tanning is much safer than using a tanning bed and is pretty close to risk-free. But there are several issues that come up with spray tanning.

You need to consider how the DHA solution will interact with showering, sweating, swimming, washing hair, touching clothing, etc.

Another big issue is how to deal with shaving after a spray tan. Can you shave after a spray tan?

You can shave after a spray tan, but you should wait at least 24 hours to shave after your spray tan.


A spray tan doesn’t penetrate deeply into the layers of your skin. Instead, it just interacts with your skin’s surface layer (mostly dead or dying skin cells). This means that if you scrub it too hard, use certain chemicals, or shave, then to some degree, you can “rub the tan off.” 

In this article, we’ll discuss when and how to shave after you get a spray tan, some best practices to follow while shaving! 


Can You Shave After a Spray Tan?

Wait 24 hours to shave after your spray tan.

Whether you’re getting a professional spray tan at a salon or you’re giving yourself a spray tan with a home spray machine, the point still stands.

You should avoid shaving for at least 24 hours after you get a spray tan.

Even though the DHA in an airbrush spray tan solution may have already dried, it still needs some time to form a stronger bond with your skin. If you go straight home and start shaving the same day, then you may very well scrape off half of your new tan.

You’d be surprised just how many people do this accidentally without thinking about it! 

So, if you get nothing else out of the article, just remember to wait at least 24 hours

How To Shave After A Spray Tan

Once you give yourself 24 hours, though, then you should be all good to start shaving or epilating again. Just make sure that you don’t shave too often.

Even if you follow all of the rules to a T and shave perfectly, each instance will still affect your spray tan somewhat.

Since spray tans can be a bit costly (and time-consuming), you definitely want to maximize the time spent between sessions.

Frequent shaving is the quickest way to do the exact opposite! At some level, shaving also exfoliates your skin a bit, as the blade takes some skin cells along with the hairs. This will dull your tan.

In addition to shaving, you should also avoid exfoliating after your spray tan, using a thick detergent-like soap, or using anything with an alcohol base. 

All of these things can either scrape off your spray tan or dilute it and wash it away. Remember, spray tans only color the cells on the outermost layer of skin, so they’re usually not meant to stand up to your regular skincare and beauty routine. 

And if you don’t want to shave, but still want a sunless tan, see our article here.

If you are going to shave after the 24-hour waiting period, though, here are all of the best practices that you should keep in mind to have the least effect on your spray tan. 

Don’t Use Traditional Shaving Cream

Rule Number One- don’t use regular shaving cream!

This is often the first mistake that most people make because it’s the one that’s the most ingrained in our heads. We’re used to waking up and reaching for the shaving cream and our razor first thing in the morning while we’re still half asleep… you know how it goes. 

The problem with most shaving products (such as Barbasol, Gillette, or Shick) is that they contain small amounts of alcohol and heavy detergents. These ingredients are meant to have a toning effect on your skin and close your pores up.

However, when the shaving lotions come into contact with your spray tan it will start to wipe it away! 

Instead, you’ll want to shave using homemade shaving cream or by using your razor with a non-detergent soap or conditioner that allows the blade to smoothly across the surface of the skin without dissolving the tan.

If you’ve never made your own shaving cream before, we definitely recommend it. It’s a lot healthier for your skin, and it will keep your spray tan moisturized and glowing!

Use A Light Hand

Apart from the warning against using traditional shaving cream, you should also be aware of how much pressure you’re putting on your skin with the razor. The more pressure you apply, the more of an exfoliating effect the blade will have.

In, fact dermaplaning (a popular method of exfoliation or acne treatment) primarily involves using small razors to remove layers of dead skin and peach fuzz. 

Try to be as light as possible with your razor, allowing the weight of your razor to do most of the work.

Work the Grains

If possible, start by doing a pass with the grain.

Then, follow up by doing a pass against the grain. This will ensure the smoothest shaving experience. 

Break Out A Fresh Razor

If you have to put too much pressure on your razor, it likely needs to be replaced. A fresh new razor should be sharp enough to cut through even the thickest hair switch with minimal effort. It will also be less likely to take off your skin, as you’ll be doing fewer passes with a fresh razor.

Shaving Before Your Spray Tan

As you’ve probably gathered, shaving after a spray tan is problematic, to say the least. That’s why we recommend that you shave before you get your spray tan!

If you can shave in as close of a window to your spray tan appointment as possible. This should allow you to go a full 24 to 48 hours without shaving after your spray tan without much difficulty. 

Don’t Forget To Exfoliate Before Your Spray Tan! 

In addition to shaving before your spray tan, you should also take care to exfoliate before your spray tan.

Your skin will thank you! And your spray tan will last longer.

This will remove a lot of the dead skin that would fall off on its own over the next few days and gives the DHA spray a “clean slate” to bind to. The result is that your spray tan will stay darker for a few days longer than it otherwise would!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).