The Perfect Stage Tan (Part 2 - Skin Prep)

Here is the second instalment for achieving The Perfect Stage Tan. How you treat the skin before getting spray tanned is just as important, if not more, as how you treat it after. Check out Part 1 of The Perfect Stage Tan to see some tips and things to expect when getting your competition colour applied and how to keep it flawless! This post lists my step by step process for prepping the skin before a competition. 

One week out - I begin to exfoliate my entire body in the shower using a puff and moisturizing shower gel. I also fully moisturize my skin after showering with a natural product, my favourite right now is Shea Butter. This product is a bit greasy but I find it really makes sure my skin hydrated and smooth.

Monday before - I wax any areas of my body where the grows thicker or more quickly. This is my lower leg and bikini. Waxing too close to show time can cause skin irritations, particularly since the tanning solution will be applied on the skin. Several days before allows the skin to calm down before getting tanned.

Tuesday before -  I shave any areas of my body where the hair is light and fluffy, so my thighs and arms.

Wednesday before - If using a tanning bed, I wouldn't tan beyond this day. I'd especially avoid tanning during peak week if you burn easily.

Friday before - I have my final shower immediately before getting tanned. This is the most important part of skin prep! Using a non-moisturizing shave gel and a fresh razor I shave all areas of my body. This would be my entire arms, underarms, hands, butt, bikini area, thighs, lower legs and feet. I personally don't shave my stomach or back but many competitors do. The tanning solution will colour any hair and any fuzz whatsoever will be visible under the stage lights. The times I've seen a halo of blonde hair around a woman on stage is countless. Just shave it off, it won't grow back any different than how it was before.

Then I shampoo my hair a couple times, since I have oily skin and won't be able to wash it again. Some ladies will wash in the sink the morning of, but I just can't bring myself to take the risk of ruining my tan. I don't condition my hair with this final wash, so the roots will stay dry.

Finally I'll do a very thorough scrub using an exfoliation glove. Focus on areas of the body like the elbows and knees, feet and hands. These parts tend to be drier areas of the body and will grab colour more intensely. On the glove I use a mixture of baking soda and a non-moisturizing shower gel. I simply mix the two together to form a paste and scrub it all over, even up around the back of my neck and really well under my arms. Some companies sell a skin prep kit that will do a similar thing, but it's basically supposed to help balance the pH of your skin. Ever see a competitor with a green tan? The green colour is a reaction with the skin's pH levels. This is why I shower immediately before my tanning appointment, as I'm a sweater and often battle the green!

I'll give a quick shot of cool water to close my pores, dry off and DO NOT apply any products to the skin! This means deodorant and lotions, anything at all! You want to avoid creating any barriers on the skin or reactions that might change the colour.

Since I mentioned hair, I'd dry my hair really well with the blow dryer and flat iron the ends to not look frizzy. Then I'd clip it up off my neck and face. Remember to bring a shower cap to cover your hair while getting tanned.

I normally just dress in whatever I'll be wearing after getting my tan, so flip-flops and loose fitting black cotton clothes. You have a choice whether or not to get your face spray tanned. I've tried both approaches and must admit my makeup applies much better the morning of the show without getting it sprayed. I've noticed I need to darken it more with bronzer though. If you decide to tan your face do wash it before applying makeup to remove any oils and excess colour.

My Oddo's Angels Team shirt we wear after getting our tans
I hope this post has answered any questions you had about skin preparations before getting a competition tan. Feel free to leave any comments below, especially if I forgot to mention something important!

Finding this post first? Here is the follow-up, which I actually posted first, about how to keep your tan perfect and tips about what to expect:

The Perfect Stage Tan (Part 1)



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