Best Exfoliators Before Spray Tan

Who doesn’t want a bronzed glow? In order to get the best and most long lasting spray tan, it’s important to exfoliate and prepare your skin beforehand. 

If you’re a spray tan lover, you might have come across this advice at least once in your life and, take it from us, it is the most important rule to stick by!

It’s no secret, proper exfoliation will not only remove the dead cells but also create a perfect canvas for the tan to seamlessly glide onto. But how to exfoliate? And which products should we use? Which is the best exfoliator for a spray tan? And how do you prolong it for as long as possible?

Exfoliation is the key to the most successful spray tan results, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to scour the internet for the very best exfoliators that will help to perfectly prepare your skin before you visit your tanning salon, as well as including a handy buyer’s guide.

In a hurry?
This is our Winner!

Our Pick

Why is it our top pick?

Looking for an excellent all-rounder scrub that you can use everywhere?

TheM3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Face and Body Scrub harnesses the power of a combination of natural ingredients that will exfoliate your skin (body and face) with maximum efficacy - without leaving it feeling stripped, dry or uncomfortable!

Here’s why it’s great for using before a spray tan:

  • Fabulously smooth skin in one use.

  • Visible reduction in acne and blackheads within five days of use.

  • Gives skin a robust glow.

  • Leaves skin squeaky clean without drying out.

Best Exfoliators Before Spray Tan - Comparison Table

Best Exfoliators Before Spray Tan - Reviews

The ingredients in this scrub are worth checking out. The crumbs of its 100% activated charcoal latches themselves onto harmful chemicals and impurities on the skin for easy slouching off with water.

Another key composition of the scrub is dead sea salt rich in skin-loving mineral which draw out irritable toxins from the skin, keeping it healthy, nourished and glowing. 

While this is a great scrub for those with dry skin as well, we feel like it truly shines for those with oily skin. Not only will this scrub balance your skin’s complexion, but it will help minimize the look of pores, a serious issue for those of us with oily skin!


  • Natural ingredients
  • Very effective at reducing the size of pores
  • Leaves your skin with a visible glow


  • The charcoal may make a mess

Allow your mind to run wild with imaginations of aromatherapy in a spa, as you exfoliate your skin with Asutra Organic Exfoliating Scrub. Asutra scrub is free from paraben and its ingredients are naturally sourced.

It contains 100% unadulterated Dead Sea salt to liberate your skin from worn out and dead cells to reveal a radiantly elegant you.

The Aloe Vera and Jojoba oil in the scrub provides calmness and relief to your itchy skin. Argan oil keeps your skin supple and hydrated, while sweet almond oil helps fight acne and maintain your skin’s youthfulness.

Last but not least, the unique blend of essential oils provides the perfect aromatherapy to promote your mental and emotional health. With several scents to choose from, you’re certain to find one you’ll love! Never has exfoliating been so relaxing and enjoyable!


  • Effectively reduces psoriasis and keratosis pilaris
  • Reduces dark spots
  • Leaves skin soft and supple


  • Some people may not like the sea salt texture

Ongaro Body Scrub was birthed after a mother and her daughter had a frightening experience with melanoma, a type of cancer that grows and spreads unpleasant patches across the skin. This exfoliating scrub leaves little to the imagination as its formulation is robust with all-natural components to heal, protect, hydrate, and soften your skin.

While using Ongaro Body Scrub, you’ll be happy knowing the ingredients they use are going to have great benefits for your skin. Jojoba beads smooth edges shield your skin from cuts and tears as they aggressively old and dead skin cells. Bamboo gives your skin a velvety glow, and treats any existing acne on your skin.

And last, but not least, walnut shells purify the skin from the inside, with their powerful ability to unclog the skin pores of deep-seated debris and toxins.


  • Has an alluring scent that lingers after use
  • Improves the appearance of your skin, use after use
  • Biodegradable


  • You may struggle to remove product from the tube as you get to the end

Proudly made in the USA, Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub welcomes you to the worlds of Africa and India. Alluring in 18 distinct scents to appeal to your mood and sensuality, it is perfect for a pre-tan exfoliation and smooth skin shave. It contains 100% uncontaminated African Shea butter and Indian coconut shell powder, which moisturize and soothe itchy dry skin and wash away the old stuff.

This sugar scrub comes in a variety of scents, from fruity scents like Coconut Lime and Tropical Mango to more sultry fragrances like Mocha & Coffee Bean and Moroccan Rose.

With such a wide range of options, you’re bound to find a Tree Hut scrub to suit your personal preference!


  • Very moisturizing
  • Contains no preservatives
  • Affordable


  • Contains micro-beads

Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub has it all: gentle on the face and lips, terrific on the body. Here is a product that reminds you of the smell of mom’s kitchen when there’s a freshly baked cake standing proudly on a platter. It is a fabulously simple scrub that is safe for an effective pre-tan for all skin types.

Its 100% natural brown sugar moisturizes by attracting moisture in the air, to the skin.

This yummy scrub is one that both men and women can appreciate. It smells great and does a fabulous job at exfoliating and moisturizing before a tan.

If you’re a tanner, it definitely pays to have a great scrub, and this is a great scrub! And it makes a great gift, *wink wink*!


  • Comprised  of fine sugar granules that feel like a real treat on the skin
  • Locks in moisture
  • Gives a healthy glow


  • Messy to use

Best Exfoliators Before Spray Tan - Buyers Guide

It’s highly recommended that you exfoliate before you fake tan so that you don’t run the risk of a patchy, uneven tan. If you exfoliate, you will not only clean your skin’s surface and unclog your pores, but you will also smooth the texture of your skin, allowing the fake tan to glide onto your skin more seamlessly, and who wouldn’t want that?

For Smoother Skin

Our skin does have the ability to naturally shed skin cells, however there’s nothing wrong with giving it a helping hand. Sometimes triggers from everyday life (like pollution) and the skincare products we use can clog our pores and lead to buildup, which can lead to our skin’s surface feeling uneven and bumpy.

Therefore, we recommend gentle scrubbing via different exfoliation products in order to maintain fresh and young skin, especially before you apply any fake tan!

Luckily for you, there’s many ways that you can choose to exfoliate so that you’ll have the perfect canvas ready for the application of tan! 

To Unclog The Pores

Our skin pores are always clogged by the various products we use. Makeup, deodorants, creams, and sweat become so greasy and sticks to the skin. This is to be removed periodically to avoid chances of getting skin irritation, blemishes or acne.

Gentle scrub once or twice in a week will do the job. Choose the scrub according to your skin type. The more sensitive your skin is the gentler and natural you are supposed to be.

To Create a Base For Spray Tan

Spray tan is the quickest and efficient way to grab the caramel hue. However if not prepared properly you will end up with orangey, patchy and streaky color.

The more even and smoother your skin is before application of tan, the better and perfect the results will be.

Through exfoliation, we are removing the dry and dead skin cells and keeping the skin as fresh as possible for the session.

Spray tan sticks less to oily skin and more to dry skin. You might have seen that more color is deposited in the areas covered with dry dead skin cells and at the same time it is not holding to the moist areas.

You need to balance the texture of your skin and thereby make it more even for the procedure. So you need to be aware of the best exfoliating body scrub for a spray tan.

What To Look For In A Pre-Tan Exfoliator

There are wide varieties of pre-tan exfoliators and knowing which one is best for you can be a bit tricky. But not to worry, we have some tips can help guide you through selecting the right exfoliator for your skin type.

On a general note, a good pre-tan exfoliator should contain a moisturizer to prevent skin dryness. Secondly, a good pre-tan exfoliator should be free from paraben or any other chemical preservative, and emulsifying wax. The latter clogs the skin pores and ruins the aim for exfoliation. Finally, pre-tan exfoliators that contain natural products and essential oils are winners, any time, any day.

Skin Types

Your skin type is a very important factor in determining any type of product you want to use for it whether it is a moisturizer or an exfoliant. While exfoliants don’t normally carry labels for normal, oily, dry or sensitive skin, their ingredients can give you an insight into the kind of skin type they are more likely to suit.

For example, water-soluble ingredients are more than likely to suit someone with dry skin than oil-soluble products. Oil-soluble products are more likely to suit someone with oily skin than water-soluble products will. Other ingredients to look out for are; scrub particles, Glycolic acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Enzymes.

Sensitive Skin – If you have sensitive skin, choose a pre-tan exfoliator that contains sugar over the one that has salt. This is because sugar is a milder exfoliant than salt, which is too abrasive and irritating for your skin.

Dry Skin – Stick to pre-tan exfoliators that contain moisturizers, even if you’re the only one buying them, if you have dry skin. The moisturizers will add moisture to your skin to improve your skin tone and texture.

Oily or Combination Skin – If you’re someone dealing with oily skin or areas that are oily, you may prefer pre-tan exfoliators that contain salt. Salt will help dry the oil and balance your skin.

Soft Skin – Mild exfoliators that contain fine scrub particles are best for those with softer skin types. They are gentle enough for the softest skins, but can still help remove the dead cells from your skin.

Rough Skin – Exfoliators with coarse granules will give you a great exfoliating experience, but it’s best for those who have skin that can tolerate the scrub. Dry brush exfoliation is also a good option if you want to soften and smooth rough skin.

Acne Prone Skin – Go for pre-tan exfoliators that have salicylic acid or glycolic acid as their active ingredients. They can heal, or pull out impurities that cause acne from your pores. Do all you can to avoid exfoliators that are too greasy; they could clump in your skin pores, thereby triggering a reaction that would result in the formation of acne on your skin.

Exfoliation Types

There are a few different methods of exfoliation to choose from, based on preference.

Scrubs – Scrubs are one of the most popular methods of exfoliation. These skincare products are easy to find and come in a wide variety of styles, from lathering body washes with exfoliating micro-beads to dense sugar scrubs made of all natural ingredients.

Tools – Another easy method for exfoliation is the use of tools like brushes, body gloves, and electric exfoliating brushes. These don’t require additional products to work, although than can be used together if you prefer. This is a great solution if you have sensitive skin that gets irritated quickly by certain skincare products.

Chemicals – Chemical exfoliation, usually intended for the face, requires no scrubbing. It uses a blend of chemicals, usually salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy to easy dissolve dead skin and leave a smooth skin with no abrasive scrubbing required. These products can be irritate sensitive skin and eyes, so use them with caution.

As a pre-tan exfoliation, you should probably choose a body scrub or brush. These are intended for full-body use, and since you need to prep your entire body for tanning, these options are the most reasonable.

Chemicals – Chemical exfoliation, usually intended for the face, requires no scrubbing. It uses a blend of chemicals, usually salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy to easy dissolve dead skin and leave a smooth skin with no abrasive scrubbing required. These products irritate sensitive skin and eyes, so use them with caution.

As a pre-tan exfoliation, you should probably choose a body scrub or brush. These are intended for full-body use, and since you need to prep your entire body for tanning, these options are the most reasonable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best exfoliator before spray tan for the price?

We’ve done our very best to bring to you the best quality exfoliators suited for use before spray tanning at a bunch of different affordable price points.

Why should exfoliate before spray tan?

Not only will exfoliating before a tan help your tan look more even and natural, but it will also help extend your tan. Keep your skin feeling soft and your tan looking fabulous by using an after-tanning lotion. This will help you get the most out of both your exfoliation and tanning session! Exfoliate – Tan – Moisturize. These three simple steps will ensure you have a tan that looks great and lasts!

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