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Best Exfoliator Before Spray Tan: Top 10 Picks

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
Updated
Best Exfoliator Before Spray Tan Top 10 Picks

Are you tired of spending too much money on spray tan sessions or loads of self-tanner without getting your desired result?

We feel you and have just what you are looking for: EXFOLIATORS!

Yes! The answer to patchy and uneven tans is exfoliating. It does miracles to smoothen skin before spray tan!

To save you from the long line of trying to choose which exfoliator is which, we listed here the best exfoliators before spray tan!

BEST BUDGET PICK

Best Budget

Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Scrub

BEST OVERALL

Best Overall

Brooklyn Botany Arabica Coffee Scrub

BEST VALUE

Best Value

M3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Scrub

The 10 Best Exfoliators Before Spray Tan

Hold your scrubs because we got the best exfoliators before a tan spray on this list!

1. Brooklyn Botany Arabica Coffee Scrub – Best Overall

Best for all skin types

Brooklyn Botany Arabica Coffee Scrub - Best Overall-

Features:

  • Coffee grounds with antioxidants
  • Shea butter
  • Olive oil
  • Almond oil
  • Dead sea salt
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Leaf extracts

A coffee scrub a day keeps the dead skin cells away!

This great exfoliating scrub is made of 100% Arabica coffee. A caffeine-infused one like this Brooklyn Botany product helps lessen inflammation NATURALLY!

Coffee grounds’ texture is also a natural scrub that exfoliates dead skin cells and smoothens the skin’s surface.

With its dead sea salt combo, you’ll surely have a TOP-TIER natural detoxifier!

This pre-tan scrub has essential oils like olive, almond, grapeseed, and shea butter to ensure your overall skin health.

All of these nourish your skin and give you that ANTI-AGING POWER.

The benefits this one holds are not limited to your skin! It can also make you feel good because it smells good with its caramel component!

This product prepares your skin for any tanning appointment and even self-tanning ones!

Yet, the most fun part? It’s suitable for ALL TYPES OF SKIN!

Pros:

  • Caffeine-infused, antioxidant-rich
  • Organic essential oils moisturize skin with a natural smell
  • Coffee grounds effectively remove oil
  • Multipurpose organic scrub (from head to toe!)

Cons:

  • You may need a cleanser

2. M3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Face and Body Scrub – BEST VALUE

Best for oily skin

M3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Face and Body Scrub - BEST VALUE-

Features:

  • Natural charcoal granules
  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Spinach

Charcoal for scrubbing? That’s COAL! (winks)

Washing away dead cells and unpleasant toxins in your skin has never been as EASY as with this charcoal face and the body scrub!

The natural charcoal granules from 100% activated charcoal efficiently absorb your skin’s dirt and excess oil. It works as a detoxifier too!

It surely makes your skin smooth and ready for a spray tan appointment. It can also be a good partner for any of your self-tanner!

The exciting thing about this is that it’s not just for pre-tan exfoliation! It’s poetry-in-motion as it reduces acne in FIVE days!

If you have oily skin, this one will work best on you!

Pros:

  • 100% activated charcoal
  • Naturally cleanses skin using natural ingredients
  • The charcoal formula reduces acne in five days

Cons:

  • Some may need to use soap after applying this

3. Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub – BEST BUDGET

Best for acne-prone skin, dry skin, soft skin

Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub - BEST BUDGET-

Features:

  • 100% natural Brown Sugar as a natural humectant
  • Glycolic acid
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Oat kernel extract
  • Vanilla fruit extract
  • Sunflower Seed Oil

Sugar? Yes, please!

A product from 100% natural brown sugar is surely a DEAL SEALER. The fine particles of brown sugar exfoliate your skin gently.

The brown sugar-magic also has glycolic acid that keeps your skin off LOADS of bacteria.

It’s also a natural humectant which means absorbing natural minerals and graciously feeding them to your skin.

It hydrates and softens skin, much to your desire for that perfect skin condition before getting a spray tan! The fruit extracts also give that refreshing vibe for your skin, body, and overall wellness!

Pre-tan exfoliators like this one is a perfect match for those skin who are susceptible to acne, dry skin, and even soft ones!

Pros:

  • Fine particles of brown sugar; safer for skin
  • Glycolic acid fights bacteria to keep the skin healthy
  • Brown sugar moisturizes the skin
  • Fruit extract complex

Cons:

  • The formula might get oily

4. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Exfoliant

Best for combination skin types, dry skin, acne-prone skin

Paula_s Choice Skin Perfecting Exfoliant-

Features:

  • Salicylic acid
  • 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid Exfoliant
  • Exfoliant pH range of 3.2-3.8
  • Fragrance-free

Paula’s Choice is our choice too!

This one’s a green flag from Paula’s Choice, as it has green tea, which relieves your skin from sun damage and irritation.

It’s also non-abrasive, which means naturally achieving healthy, smooth, and glowing skin.

You can also use this skin exfoliant DAILY as it has the optimal pH range and the right amount of BHA concentration.

When you have acne, you might want to add this to your bag! Its salicylic acid component helps clean and minimize your pores.

It evens out your skin’s complexion, too! This one’s also gentle enough to work for those with combination and dry skin types.

These benefits speak one thing: Paula’s Choice is a good choice before spray tanning!

Pros:

  • Gentle exfoliator evens discoloration on skin tone
  • Ideal BHA for daily leave-on exfoliants
  • Salicylic acid minimizes pores
  • Optimal pH range for safer skin
  • Green tea soothes irritation and sun damage

Cons:

  • It May not be for sensitive skin
  • It May cause skin burns if not used properly

5. M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub

Best for oily skin and dry skin

M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub-

Features:

  • Himalayan salt with lychee oil restores natural skin
  • Collagen
  • Stem cell
  • Non-greasy restores smooth skin

From the high mountains of the Himalayas, this exfoliating scrub’s quality indeed is on top of the mountains!

We all know that Himalayan salt has amazing health benefits.

Imagine what wonders it can do to your skin with collagen and stem cells!

The Himalayan salt helps you achieve the smooth skin you have always dreamed of without blemishes and rough patches.

Including collagen as an ingredient also boosts your natural collagen production to keep your skin vibrant and your skin pores clean!

The stem cell component also helps you assure AGING BACKWARD. We know you’ll love that young, glowing skin!

You can surely achieve your flawless sun-kissed glow before spray tan with this Himalayan salt body scrub, especially if you have oily and dry skin!

Pros:

  • Himalayan salt-lychee oil duo exfoliates and moisturizes.
  • Collagen, stem cells for fresh skin longevity
  • Himalayan reduces blemishes, acne scars, and cellulite.

Cons:

  • Not the best option for sensitive skin

6. Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub

Best for oily, dry, soft, and rough skin types

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub

Features:

  • Finely ground seeds of the Ecuadorian Ivory Palm
  • Aloe vera
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo
  • Green tea

Botanical Gardens are refreshing! For sure, botanical exfoliating scrub does the same too!

This pre-tan scrub has finely ground seeds from the Ecuadorian Ivory Palm. It helps remove dead skin in no time!

Don’t forget the ginkgo, too! It hydrates your skin and gives you that radiant skin glow.

Aside from these components, this scrub also has the GINGER POWER. This gives you your desired light and bright skin complexion. Truly, spray tan ready!

It also has aloe vera extracts that make your skin YOUNGER than your actual age!

Since it’s moderately abrasive, it’s a better option for those with rough skin types. Yet, it’s also a perfect match for soft, oily, and dry skins!

What makes a botanical garden refreshing? It’s a natural fragrance. AND don’t worry because this product has it all!

Pros:

  • Ecuadorian Ivory Palm polishes complexion
  • Botanic formula evens and hydrates dull skin
  • Natural fragrance from natural ingredients

Cons:

  • May cause redness on extra sensitive skin

7. La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub for Sensitive Skin

Best for sensitive skin

La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub for Sensitive Skin

Features:

  • Thermal spring water
  • Glycerin
  • Perlite lightweight powder
  • Water-gel texture

La Roche-Posay. Sounds posh, right? Well, it is!

With its ultrafine pumice particle, it moderately exfoliates dead skin and flaky skin!

This scrub’s perlite powder will help you achieve glowing skin to get a hold of that sunless tanning miracle.

This component contributes to having a significant amount of lather perfect for scrubbing!

This scrub’s thermal spring water component lets you feel the natural antioxidant properties without the hassle of going into an actual spring!

It is perfect for sensitive skin because it comforts your skin from irritation and burns and frees you from radicals.

What makes it almost perfect is the fact that it has been TESTED BY DERMATOLOGISTS and proven allergy-safe!

Pros:

  • Soap-free
  • Allergy tested
  • Ultrafine pumice particle for moderate exfoliation

Cons:

  • Limited to a single travel size

8. Asutra Organic Exfoliating Scrub

Best for oily skin

Asutra Organic Exfoliating Scrub-

Features:

  • Paraben-free
  • 100% Pure Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Free return and exchange after 30 days
  • Includes a small bamboo spoon

Asutra? OOH, LA LA!

When applied to your skin, the Vitamin C and the essential oils infused in this product will make you feel healthy and glowing!

It’s also paraben-free, making you feel young with your smooth skin and reduced dark spots. All of these while helping the environment from harsh chemicals.

GUESS WHAT?

Using this means also getting more than 84 minerals for your pre-tan exfoliation routine! It keeps your skin hydrated. This one’s a GEM for skin types who are a bit oily.

It’s aromatherapeutic, too! It does not just give you supple skin. This one’s also giving you all-around wellness for its OOH LA LA fragrance.

The game-changer for this product? Their customer service. You can return or exchange a product within 30 days if unsatisfied!

Pros:

  • 84 minerals for gentle exfoliation
  • Essential oils, Vitamin C; anti-aging and moisturizing effects
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Aromatherapeutic for skin and overall wellness

Cons:

  • Smells nice inside the packaging but doesn’t transfer to the skin

9. The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliating Detox Scrub

Best for all skin types

The Seaweed Bath Co. Exfoliating Detox Scrub-

Features:

  • Organic bladderwrack seaweed with 65+ vitamins
  • Walnut shells
  • Mineral-rich French Clay

The seaweed goodness never stops with this detox scrub!

This product is produced with organic bladderwrack seaweed. It can contribute to skin healing, and it has natural anti-aging formula!

It’s also rich with french clay that purifies your skin. This ingredient also helps you say goodbye to unwanted toxins.

Of course, it’s a natural exfoliator, too, thanks to its finely ground walnut shells! The walnut shells are added to remove dead skin within a scrub or two.

It gives ALL SKIN TYPES radiant skin ready for another spray tan session!

Pros:

  • Seaweed naturally detoxifies skin
  • Green Coffee protects skin from harsh chemicals
  • Ground walnut shells remove unwanted skin cells

Cons:

  • The smell may not be as nice as others

10. Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush

Best for rough skin

Dr. Barbara Sturm The Body Brush-

Features:

  • Natural Bristle Brush
  • GMO-free, which makes it environment-friendly
  • Available in soft and medium bristles to adjust to your preference

Nothing’s better than going back to the basics with The Body Brush!

If you’re the type of person who trusts products that have been proven and tested over time, this one suits you.

It’s a natural bristle brush perfect for those who have rough skins!

You can increase your blood circulation by dry brushing your skin ANY TIME you want. You can also remove your ingrown hair with this brush.

It also helps in reducing cellulite! You can choose a soft-bristled brush or a medium one. It really depends on your preference and sensitivity.

Using this brush also means protecting the environment as it’s absolutely GMO-free!

It gets you to spray tan-session-ready without the fear of leaving toxic chemicals on your skin and your environment.

The ONLY problem is that bristles can shed over time. With its 35-dollar price, you might want to check out the aforementioned body scrubs instead.

Pros:

  • Increases blood circulation with every stroke
  • Dry brushing reduces cellulite

Cons:

  • Bristles shed in time

Why You Should Exfoliate Before a Spray Tan

Why You Should Exfoliate Before a Spray Tan-

Are you getting doubtful with every self-tanner and spray tan session fails? Well, that is why you MUST exfoliate before getting a spray tan.

Exfoliating removes dead cells, cleans clogged pores, and smoothens your skin surface for that sunless tan-ready skin.

You can have this IF you use quality pre-tan exfoliators like the products mentioned above.

Of course, you also need to exfoliate appropriately before spray-tanning!

How to Exfoliate Correctly

How to Exfoliate Correctly-

What good will a pre-tan exfoliator do if YOU do not know how to maximize its potential?

To get that sunless tanning glow, here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Take a warm bath for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Believe us when we say a 20-minute maximum warm bath will do MAGIC! It naturally moisturizes your skin.

It also aids in an easy-breezy cleaning of clogged pores.

Step 2: IT’S EXFOLIATION TIME!

Apply your preferred exfoliating scrub. Then feel it within your skin through a circular motion for 30 seconds.

You can also use a loofah or a dry brush to completely say goodbye to dead cells.

Always remember to GENTLY brush or scrub your skin. It removes unwanted oils and radicals without damaging your skin pores.

Step 3: Rinse it off with lukewarm water. NOT HOT!

Put on a moisturizer if you feel like the product dried out your skin. If you have really sensitive skin, you can do this too.

However, there are pre-tan exfoliators who have moisturizers infused in their products.

BUT you can never go wrong with applying a moisturizer after exfoliating to keep it healthy and hydrated.

Lastly, pat your skin gently to dry. Always put in mind to NEVER RUB HARSHLY.

Additional Spray Tan Preparation Tips

We always love extras, right?

Here are extra tips to prepare you before self-tanning or in your tanning appointments!

  1. After exfoliating, it’s better to wear clothes covering your whole skin. This can help you retain the moisture a little longer. This is a wiser option than wearing clothes that directly expose your skin to air and sunlight.
  2. On your scheduled tanning day, DO NOT USE ANY MOISTURIZER. A spray tan applied directly to your bare skin yield better results!
  3. If you are self-tanning, ensure that you follow the product instructions CAREFULLY. You can always go to tutorial videos and reviews for a more guided usage.

Things to Consider When Buying a Pre-Tan Exfoliator

Things to Consider When Buying a Pre-Tan Exfoliator-

Of course, you cannot just buy pre-tan exfoliators instantly. You also need to get into the nitty-gritty of looking for the best ingredients and the ones you need to avoid!

When buying a pre-tan exfoliator, you need to see that it has a moisturizer. Moisturizing components keep your skin hydrated. It’s favorable to keep your skin saturated while removing dead skin cells.

Aside from this, there are a lot of things to consider. No worries, though, because we got you covered!

We listed the essential ingredients to look for and the ingredients to avoid.

Natural Exfoliants to Look For

When choosing the right exfoliating product, you must look for sugar and salt. These two are natural exfoliants that are SUPER good for the skin.

On the one hand, products with sugar components are better used if you have sensitive skin. Exfoliating with sugar is a GENTLER OPTION for your skin.

On the other hand, salt-infused products are the better choice for those with oily and combination skins. The salt component helps you get rid of the oil.

As it is more abrasive than sugar, it helps exfoliate your problem areas efficiently.

Exfoliating Ingredients to Avoid

If there are things you need to look for, there will always be components that you need to avoid.

To protect your skin from harsh chemicals, you must avoid paraben, chemical preservatives, and oil-based products.

These ingredients can cause skin irritation that may affect the outcome of your tanning. Worse case, you will not be allowed to even tan when your skin’s irritated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions-

Do not worry about your questions because we have laid here the exact answers just for you!

Should I Exfoliate Before or After Tanning?

You should exfoliate BEFORE tanning.

Exfoliation helps in pushing away the dead cells and in unclogging your pores.

Without dead cells and other unwanted toxins, your skin can absorb the tanning solution better. This results in a healthy sun-kissed glow skin!

How Long Before Self-Tanning Should I Exfoliate to Remove Dead Skin Cells?

Always make sure that you exfoliate at least 24 hours before tanning!

Remember that you MUST NOT rush exfoliating as it can damage your skin.

Should I Exfoliate My Face Before Self-Tanning?

YES.

Make sure to exfoliate from head to toe for a perfect tanning effect! Never forget to be gentle when exfoliating and in circular motions.

Winner Picks

Winner Picks-

In the sea of body scrubs and body polish in the market, it’s hard to spot what fits you best.

From the ten options we have in this article, you can surely pick the one that feels right for your skin type!

However, if you feel like reading the information above feels like YEARS of waiting for your tanning appointments, we got you!

Best Budget: Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub

To make your skin supple WITHIN BUDGET before tanning, choose Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Face and Body Scrub.

The fine granules of brown sugar will exfoliate your skin safely and efficiently. Not just that, it will also help your skin fight against bacteria.

What a way to keep your skin healthy!

Best Value: M3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Face and Body Scrub

Ingredients and performance? We can surely bet on this M3 Naturals All Natural Charcoal Scrub.

This scrub is the bang-for-your-buck pick because you can have these in one: benefits of charcoal, anti-aging components of stem cells, and moisturizing effect of collagen!

Best Overall: Brooklyn Botany Arabica Coffee Scrub

Quality? Check!

Performance? Check!

Value for money? Check!

An ALL-ROUNDER scrub is what you undoubtedly want for your skin and wallet.

Indeed, the Arabica Coffee ingredient is the real deal for exfoliation! Yet its other feature, such as managing skin swelling and fatigue, are premiums you don’t want to miss!

Conclusion

Fresh skin underneath the layers of tanning solutions is made possible with these ten options of best exfoliator before spray tan.

Say goodbye to dead skin cells, clogged pores, and uneven tan solution. It’s time to say HELLO to that flawless sun-kissed glow!

Don’t waste another minute. ADD. TO. CART!