Learn how to get a stunning, natural-looking glow with the best pre tan exfoliator products.
Proper exfoliation is an essential skincare step for the entire body for smooth, healthy skin. If you use a self-tanner or like getting a spray tan, an exfoliator becomes even more important!
The best exfoliators will provide your skin with a gentle, deep scrub, creating the perfect canvas for your faux tan. In this post, I’m sharing my top picks for the best pre tan exfoliators.
I’m also sharing exfoliation tips and information on why exfoliation is so important – not only for a self-tan system but also for overall skin health.
To help you on your self-tan journey, I’ve included incredible coupon codes for you to save on exfoliators and my other favorite self-tanning products.
Now, let’s get scrubbing!
Why is an exfoliator important for self-tanning?
Exfoliation is the basis for a glowing complexion. When self-tanning, it gives you the best results and helps keep your color even and lasting for up to 10 days!
The active ingredient in self-tanner, DHA, adheres super well to dry skin. This means your tan is going to further develop on any rough patches, leaving a patchy tan with dark orange splotches. Not the ideal look.
The best way to ensure the surface of your skin is free from dry patches is simple – exfoliation!
Using an exfoliation mitt, physical exfoliant, or chemical exfoliant, you can buff all your body parts for wonderfully smooth skin. It takes minutes to exfoliate your skin and is well worth the time.
Self-tanning products will apply evenly over this smooth skin base, giving you the flawless self tan or spray tan that you want!
Other benefits of exfoliation include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Decreased puffiness through lymphatic drainage
- A more even skin tone with reduced dark spots
- Unclogged pores
- Improved appearance of fine lines
- Fewer ingrown hairs
- Better moisture absorption
- Increased brightness and skin texture
The Best Pre Tan Exfoliator: My Top Picks
As you can see, a good exfoliator can do wonders for your skincare and your fake tan!
With that in mind, here are my very favorite exfoliators for you to use for pre tan prep. I’ve included options for all skin types, even the most sensitive skin.
#1 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – NÉCESSAIRE | The Body Exfoliator
The Necessaire The Body Exfoliator combines chemical and physical exfoliants for a deep, nourishing clean.
AHA, BHA, PHA, and niacinamide help to resurface the skin for a healthy glow. Volcanic pumice and charcoal bamboo dry patches, leaving improved texture.
This exfoliant would work well on dry, combo, and oily skin, though it may be too harsh for sensitive skin types. I love the Necessaire Eucalyptus scent, it is heavenly!
For more information on Necessaire skincare, check out my honest Necessaire review on their entire line.
And if you’re interested in one of their products, use Necessaire discount code below to save on your order.
#2 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – FARMACY | Honeymoon Glow Body
The Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Body is a resurfacing serum containing AHA and BHA exfoliants.
It has a great mix of natural ingredients like honey and shea butter combined with salicylic acid and lactic acid which creates smooth, resurfaced skin. You can read all about Farmacy skin care in my Farmacy Reviews.
I have a Farmacy discount code that can help you save on this Farmacy beauty product and more.
#3 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – FIRST AID BEAUTY | KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub
The First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub contains 10% AHA for a clean, cruelty-free chemical exfoliant.
It’s one of the best pre tan exfoliator options because it targets uneven skin and dryness and gives stunning results.
#4 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – SOL DE JANEIRO | Bum Bum Body Scrub
The Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub smells like sweet caramel and provides a gentle shimmery finish to your skin. The smell of this body exfoliator is absolutely heavenly!
The pre tan exfoliator also gives your body a thorough physical exfoliation with sugar crystals and crushed cupuaçu seeds.
This exfoliant specifically targets dryness, skin texture, and elasticity.
#5 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – SKINFIX | Resurface+ Glycolic Renewing Scrub
The Skinfix Resurface + Glycolic Renewing Scrub is fragrance-free, containing clean ingredients you can feel good about putting on your body.
This body peel will gently exfoliate red, bumpy, irritated skin for improved texture and moisture. It specifically targets dark patches for an even, stunning complexion.
Willow bark extract also offers a deep cleanse, unclogging pores for healthy skin.
#6 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – SOL DE JANEIRO | Bom Dia Body Scrub
The Sol de Janeiro Bom Dia Body Scrub is formulated with 10% AHA BHA to unclog pores and target dead skin cells, leaving clean, smooth skin.
The physical exfoliant, crushed maracujá seeds, offers even more scrubbing power for softer skin you’ll notice immediately after use.
Plus, its warm floral fragrance is nothing short of delightful.
#7 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – TATCHA | Forest Awakening Hinoki & Cedar Body Wash
The Tatcha Forest Awakening Hinoki & Cedar Body Wash has a gel formula that works well on all skin types, especially for combination to dry skin.
Key ingredients include an essential oil blend of cedar, hinoki, and hiba, which they claim will reduce stress and lift your mood while practicing your skincare.
It also includes cellulose, a physical exfoliant that is gentle on the skin. It targets dull, uneven skin and makes it shine!
#8 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – KATE SOMERVILLE | Exfolikate Resurfacing Body Scrub
The Kate Somerville Exfolikate Resurfacing Body Scrub includes pumice, lactic acid and salicylic acids to polish and refine your skin texture.
In addition, their ingredients boast a range of pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple enzymes for further exfoliation.
#9 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – DR. DENNIS GROSS | Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment
The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment is a peel that works wonders on bumpy skin, uneven skin tones, ingrown hairs, excessive dryness, and more!
It’s suitable for all skin types and includes exfoliating superstars like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid.
#10 Best Pre Tan Exfoliator – MOROCCANOIL | Body Polishing Scrub
The Moroccanoil Body Polishing Scrub nourishes your body with moisturizing argan oil while exfoliating with pumice and argan shell powder.
How to Use the Best Pre Tan Exfoliator
It’s time to put exfoliation to the test! Here’s how to use the best pre tan exfoliator for your skin for the best sunless tan result:
1) Choose your exfoliant
Your first step is to pick the right exfoliant for your face and body. You’ll want to choose a gentler version for your face so as not to irritate it.
Physical exfoliants, including microbeads, walnuts, salt, and shells, are too harsh for the face, sensitive skin or not. Instead, choose a gentle chemical exfoliant and use it on your face 1-2 times a week, preferably the night before you self-tan.
For the entire body, chemical vs. physical exfoliants are more up to personal preference and skin sensitivity. In general, colloidal oatmeal, sugar, and jojoba beads are gentle on the body.
For a deep scrub, salt scrub can be a great option for tough, dry skin. Using an exfoliant is just one of the ways to make your self tan last longer.
2) Exfoliate regularly
The best way to ensure your skin is thoroughly prepped for self-tanner is through regular maintenance.
Aim to exfoliate your entire body during your showers at least a 1-2 times a week. Daily exfoliation can irritate sensitive skin, so be mindful of how your body reacts to these treatments.
If you’re maintaining a self-tan currently, SKIP THIS STEP!
Regular exfoliation is going to rub your self tan right off.
3) Try an exfoliator mitt
I think the easiest way to practice regular exfoliation without whipping through the product is to alternate exfoliation days between the product and an exfoliating mitt!
A mitt will provide your body with a gentle, all-over scrub. Simply apply your regular body wash onto the mitt and wash as usual.
This is a great 2-in-1 step for anyone short on time or patience!
4) Use as skin prep
The night before your self-tan, hop in the shower with your exfoliant of choice and get scrubbing!
Use warm water and a gentle exfoliant to massage the product over your entire body, using a circular motion.
Rinse off and pat your body to dry.
5) Pair with moisturizer
Once you’ve dried off, apply a layer of moisturizer over your entire body. Regular exfoliation can strip your skin of its natural oils, so this step is a must!
Moisturizer is also another key step in maintaining an even, lasting tan. In fact, I wrote an entire post about the best moisturizer for self-tanning!
Make sure that your moisturizer has completely dried down, absorbing into your skin before dressing for maximum absorption. Find more ways to keep your tan looking good for longer.
6) My tanning recommendations
I recommend my favorite Coco and Eve sunless tanner, along with their bronzing face drops, bronzing brush, and self-tanning mitt. If you’re just starting out, the Coco and Eve self-tanning kit is perfect for you.
Best of all, you can use Coco and Eve discount code to save on any of these incredible Coco and Eve products.
After you tan, make sure you wear loose fitting clothes to avoid any streaks. Find out what to wear after a spray tan or self tanning here.
That just about covers all you need to know about the best pre tan exfoliator for a stunning tan. If you have any further questions about skincare, self-tanning, or all things beauty, please reach out via Instagram or my contact page. I would love to help!