Step 3: Exfoliate It's important to exfoliate skin before applying self-tanner in order to remove old skin cells from the surface, says Locke. She suggests using a scrub made specifically for use before self-tanning, which won't contain any oil that will prevent your skin from absorbing tanning product. Or in lieu of a scrub, use a loofah. Give extra exfoliating attention to the areas of your body that are the most skin-dense (knees, elbows, feet). Removing dead cells before you apply self-tanner will help your skin soak up the self-tanning product evenly.
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