Bikini Contest Tanning 101: How to Prepare For & Remove Bikini Competition Spray Tans

September 12, 2016
Jessie Quinn
By: Jessie Quinn | by L'Oréal
Bikini Contest Tanning 101: How to Prepare For & Remove Bikini Competition Spray Tans

At, our favorite way to bronze is right out of a bottle—just say no to sun damage, kids. And, while we’ve previously detailed how to prep your skin for a faux glow, our favorite self-tanners for the job, and how to fix any bad mistakes—we wanted to touch on the tans that you won’t be sporting in an everyday way. With the rising popularity of bikini fitness competitions—and the deep dark spray tans they are synonymous with—we caught up with personal trainer, fitness competitor, and social media personality, Brianna Traynor of @BSKYFITNESS to find out how she preps her skin for the spray tan, what you can expect, and exactly how you can remove that competition color—after you win big, of course!

Bikini Fitness Competitors are infamous for their dark competition spray tans—which they rock as a way to highlight their rock-hard abs. But many competitors are unsure if they should be shaving before or after their tan and how exactly they should prepare their skin for such an intense color. Traynor’s approach? Exfoliation. “I prep my skin by exfoliating daily the week leading up to the tan,” she says. “I don’t use anything fancy as far as body wash because the oils and fragrances can affect the tan. I use exfoliating gloves and shave the night before [application].” You heard it here folks, shave before you spray!

When it comes to the actual spray session, it’s not done in the traditional booth. “The application is done in these little pods,” Traynor explains. “You strip down and the tanning technician tells you to do a variety of poses while she sprays you with the tan—there are probably around 15 different poses! They spray you 2-3 times and also do touch-ups because you will mess up your tan, I can guarantee it.”

Now that you’re a literal bronzed goddess, how can you keep it that way so it’s streak-free by the time you hit the stage? “You have to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt to protect the tan,” Traynor says.

Once the competition is over, it’s time to get rid of that glow. Unlike your everyday, run-of-the-mill self tan, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. “The tan is not easy to get off,” she warns. “It gets really patchy and is not attractive. I soak in a tub with Epsom salt and exfoliate every day.” Note: Exfoliation can be rough—no pun intended—on your skin. Be sure to moisturize after you scrub down to keep your skin hydrated.  

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