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Preparation and Aftercare

Tanning…I know it can be one of the dreaded parts of competing as people fret over the preparation process and how to look after their competition tan. There are essential things that need to be done to get a nice smooth and even tan and your skin preparation is key to this…but hopefully this blog will break it down to how and why you’re being asked to do it and make things as easy as they can be!

A bit of background about Get Bronzed – Founded by Laura John-Baptiste, we’ve been professionally tanning for fitness and physique competitions for over five years and due to our quality of work and excellent customer service we have secured contracts at many of the biggest UK Events, hopefully we’ll see you at one in the future.


Every tanner on our team is fully trained in tanning and will always ensure that your tan will be as perfect as can be; but only you have control of your skin condition when you arrive for your tan and your skin preparation is a big part of the end result! For a smooth, even tan you need to be focusing on skin prep as an essential part of your competition prep.  Everything you need to prep your skin, and for aftercare, is available on the Kompak website so please head there for a ‘one stop shop’ to buy everything needed!

– At least a week before your show (earlier if possible) start exfoliating your skin regularly (don’t forget to get help for your back or any hard to reach areas). This will remove dead skin cells to leave a smoother surface for the tan to sit on. You can use exfoliating gloves and a ph balanced scrub, for example, Get Buffed
– Moisturize your skin thoroughly immediately after exfoliating and every day to nourish the skin and keep it hydrated
– Hair removal creams or waxing should be done at least a week before the competition, so the skin pores have time to close, any regrowth can be shaved the day before the tan. If you’ve never used these methods before DO NOT start just before your show – do a test at least 8 weeks before to check your skin reacts well to it.
– Any shaving should be done the day before the tan.
– Apply nail varnish to fingernails and toenails to prevent the tan staining nails. Tan will not stain nail varnish and we will wipe off tan straight away. Females – if your nails are done ready for the show this is fine. Men – apply clear varnish and this will protect your nail beds and you can remove it after your competition.
That’s the key points for skin preparation – we can always tell when we spray if the person has looked after their skin and prepped it well ready for the tan. It really does show and result in a smoother finish and clean even tan all over the body.


One of the main fears people have about the tan, is the actual process of getting the tan. If you’ve never had a spray tan before at all then why not go and get one at a local salon before a posing workshop/bikini fitting/check in just so you have an idea of the spray tanning process if it is something that is worrying you.
I’ll go through here what happens at the tanning appointment and the show day to hopefully make it clearer and so you know what would happen in advance.

We send out appointments for the tanning a couple of weeks before the competition day, we always tan at or near the competition venue when we are official tanners for a show. You’ll be tanned at the same time as other people, but males and females are tanned separately and do not mix.

The tanning itself starts the day before the competition – this provides the best tanning result, so the tan has time to settle, develop and absorb properly into the skin. So, whenever you plan on competing also make sure you have the whole day before the competition day clear, so you can relax, head to the area of the show and get your tan done without problems.

Before you come to your tan appointment –
– You can shower, using only water and an oil free shower gel (like Sanex 0%) and do a gentle exfoliation – try to do this with cool water and a few hours before your tanning appointment time if possible.
– Don’t moisturise, use deodorant, perfume or put any product at all on your skin before your tan – your tan needs to go onto clean clear skin and any products could act as a barrier or react with the tan which is not what you want.
– When being tanned its best to wear as little as possible to avoid any tan lines – FEMALES – you will be asked to tan nude to avoid any lines. MALES – you will be provided with a sock for coverage – or dependent on your competition category can wear your boxers.
– Remove all jewellery and it is advisable to remove contact lenses before the tanning.
– You will be in a tent of your own and depending on the tan we are using (we are requested by federations to use certain tans) and your skin tone you will get one or two coats of tan. You will then be moved to another tent with a fan to dry for 5-15mins before you can get dressed.
– Wear loose, dark, lightweight old clothing (no red clothing as this can turn the tan green) – Drawstring bottoms with no elastic waistband and clothes a couple of sizes too big is best. Ideally you want trousers (not shorts) and long sleeved so there is minimal skin to skin contact. For women, the best thing you can wear post tanning is a Bronzie – its specifically made for post tanning and we always notice amazing results when people wear it. Or for both men and women think about getting some extra-large drawstring pyjama’s and washing them through a few times so they are not ‘new’. Wear these clothes when sleeping and the next day as well as you’re less likely to get hand prints or marks then.
– To avoid hand prints even more some people sleep with socks on their hands to stop skin to palm contact, we see a number of amazing hand prints at competitions and sometimes they can be hard to blend away!
– Wear flip flops as your only footwear until after the stage preferably; but if its Winter or you know your feet will get cold bring big fluffy, soft and loose bed socks.
– Don’t shower or rinse off the tan till after the competition, and don’t put any products on your skin (deodorant etc – they will react and turn the tan green!) – try to just relax and rest after your tan, head back to a nearby so you can rest up for the next day.

Don’t forget – Everything you need to prep your skin, and for aftercare, is available on the Kompak website so please head there for a ‘one stop shop’ to buy everything needed!


When you wake up on the show day morning you’ll notice your tan has probably got darker and you’ll be feeling much more ‘show ready’!
You’ll have been told a time to come back to see us on the competition day – Like I said before, dependent on the show (and therefore tan used) this will either be for a ‘top coat’ of tan, or for a ‘tan check’. Either way its important you don’t miss this appointment!
For some shows it will be to do the final darker coat of tan for you. For others it’ll be to check your tan and even if you think you’ve not made any marks or hand prints its been known a number of times for tanners to find marks and prints that competitors hadn’t even noticed were there! If there are some marks when you wake up try not to worry about it too much, we can fix most things! Things like little clothing marks/scratches, wee lines etc can generally all be fixed by us. We will always do our best to blend away anything!
When you book in with the official tanners to a show they’ll be backstage with you so anything you need in the day, marks to fix etc, we’ll be there! And we always have bikini glue, a sewing kit, superglue and many other things you may need so always come to see us for any help.
About 20-30mins before you go on stage we will do the final touch for you – your glaze. This gives a nice shine to the tan to highlight your muscles under the bright stage lighting. This only takes minutes and you need to be in your stage wear and ready for stage and you can then go and line up and pump up before you go on. We’re there to get a final picture and say a final Good Luck!


The first competiton tanning experience can be a daunting one but I promise we’re all there with a smile to help ease any nerves and make the process as easy as it can be.

Please contact me with any questions you have and I’m always happy to help.

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