Should You Moisturise Before Tanning? Tips & Advice

Should You Moisturise Before Tanning? Tips & Advice

When it comes to tanning, there are a few things you need to consider in order to get the best results. Alongside using the right moisturiser for your skin type, you need to consider whether or not to moisturise your skin before you start tanning – either naturally outside in the sunshine, in a sun bed or with self-tanner.

On the one hand, moisturising can help to create a smooth base for your tan, and can also prevent your skin from drying out during the tanning process. On the other hand, if you're using a self-tanner or tinted moisturiser, you need to be careful that your regular moisturiser doesn't interfere with the product.

So, what's the verdict? Should you moisturise before tanning? Here are a few things to consider.

If you're using a self-tanner

If you're using a self-tanner, it's important to make sure that your skin is clean and exfoliated before you start. This will help to remove any dead skin cells that could also interfere with the evenness of your tan. When it comes to moisturising before applying your self-tanner, there are a few considerations. 

On the one hand, moisturiser can help to create a smooth, even surface for the self-tanner to adhere to. On the other hand, moisturiser can sometimes act as a barrier, preventing the self-tanner from getting evenly distributed on the skin. Whether you moisturise before using self-tanner is up to you and what results you want to achieve. 

Before applying self-tanner to your body, try a patch test. Applying moisturiser to a section, such as the wrist or ankle, and then apply self-tanner to that area. Then apply self-tanner without moisturising to another small area. Compare the results. Ultimately, the best way to figure out what works for you is through trial and error.

If you have dry skin, you may benefit from moisturising before applying self-tanner. If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, you may want to skip the moisturiser. 

Once you've applied your self-tanner, you can moisturise as usual to help keep your skin hydrated. Just be careful not to use too much moisturiser, as this can make your self-tanner less effective.

If you're using a tinted moisturiser

Applying tinted moisturiser is a great way to even out skin tone and give yourself a natural-looking glow. A tinted moisturiser is also a great option if you want to create a gradual tan – remember you will still tan in the sun while wearing tinted moisturiser! 

When using a tinted moisturiser for tanning, it is important to choose one with SPF protection. This will help to prevent sun damage and keep the skin looking its best. 

To apply, simply smooth the tinted moisturiser over clean, dry skin. For best results, apply it evenly and blend into the neck and hairline. Reapply the tinted moisturiser as needed to maintain an even coverage. At the end of each day, make sure to hydrate your skin with a regular moisturiser to keep it healthy and hydrated. 

With a little bit of care, you can use tinted moisturiser to achieve a beautiful, natural-looking tan.

If you're going out in the sun

If you're planning on getting some sun, it's important to apply a moisturiser with SPF first. 

This will help to protect your skin from the sun's rays and will also allow you to build up a gradual tan without drying out your skin, and the SPF will protect it from damage. The sun's rays can cause your skin to become dry and cracked, and moisturising will help to keep it hydrated.

Once you've been in the sun for a while, you can consider applying a tanning moisturiser to help maintain your tan. This is a great way to keep your summer glow long into autumn.

If you are using a sunbed

When it comes to using a sunbed, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure that you get the best results. One of the most important things to consider is whether or not to moisturise before using the sunbed. 

There are pros and cons to both moisturising before and after using a sunbed, so it's important to weigh your options and decide what's best for you.

Moisturising before using a sunbed can help to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin or are prone to burning easily. However, it's important to make sure that you don't use too much moisturiser, as this can actually make it more difficult for your skin to absorb the rays.

Applying a moisturiser after using a sunbed can help to hydrate your skin and give you a more even tan. This is because moisturising helps to lock in the colour that your skin has absorbed from the sunbed. So, if you're looking for a deep, long-lasting tan, moisturising after your sunbed session is the way to go.

You may end up wanting to moisturise before and after, which can't hurt, just make sure to use a moisturiser suited to your skin type and don't slather it on.


By Panasha Desai, Pharmacist