If you want to fight the winter blues and suffuse your skin with a golden glow using spray tanning or self-tanning, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to care for you tan after the fact! It’s especially important to take care when it comes to working out, as spray tans and self-tans can become patchy and uneven if you don’t take steps to prevent this. In this post, we’ll go over the best ways to maintain your glow, so that you can make the most of your spray or self-tan, and keep active at the same time!

Prep your skin before the tan

Before you show up to your spray tan appointment or apply your self-tanner, we recommend gently exfoliating your skin with a natural, exfoliating scrub like Herbivore’s Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish. (You could also make a DIY exfoliating body scrub using fine-grained salt crystals plus the carrier oil and essential oil of your choice!) Scrubbing dead skin cells away from your body will help the tanning product to sink in evenly, giving you the most natural looking tan possible. When scrubbing, we recommend focusing on areas where dead skin tends to build up, like your elbows and knees. You should also avoid applying body lotions or other products to your skin immediately before the tan, as these products can prevent the tan from making its full impact.

Give your tan 24 hours before working out

The best way to avoid streaking, etc., after a spray tan or a self-tan is to avoid strenuous activity for about a day. While you can take certain steps to prevent your gym routine from destroying your tan, taking a day-long break from exercise is the only surefire way to keep it looking absolutely perfect. We recommend planning your tanning procedure on a day when you’ll be taking a break from the gym anyway, and enjoying a blissful day of relaxation. You deserve a break!

Rinse your skin before working out

If you’ve recently gotten a spray tan or self-tan, it’s important to rinse your skin thoroughly before you work out. Washing away excess product with lukewarm water will ensure that it doesn’t create a streaking effect when you begin to sweat. You may also want to apply a moisturizer to your skin before working out. Although it may feel a little weird, using a body lotion will help to lock in the tan. We recommend using pure shea butter, which will do an excellent job of sealing in the tan, but won’t feel too greasy or oily on your skin.

Bring the right equipment for your workout

Make sure to pack your gym back with everything you’ll need to care for your tan before, during, and after your workout. We recommend packing a moisturizer to apply before and after you exercise, a dark towel to blot away sweat and prevent streaking, and an antiperspirant if desired. While many of us are switching to natural deodorants like Kopari these days, these kinds of products don’t actually prevent your body from sweating. The first time you return to the gym after your spray tan or self-tan, you may want to use a conventional antiperspirant in order to reduce the risk of streaking.

Camille Bond is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has interned in the film industry and the publishing industry, as well as for a political campaign. When it comes to the world of beauty and wellness, she loves researching natural skincare brands, concocting DIY recipes, and discovering new mediation techniques!