Get Your Skin Show Ready for Your Next Competition

couple with tight abs

Every little thing that you do leading up to your competition impacts the way your body looks, from the food that you put in your body to the products that you put on it. Even drinking too much water at the wrong time can make your body look softer and cost you definition.

After working so hard building your muscle definition, you need to do everything you can to highlight that work. Smooth, beautiful skin can make your muscles pop. You’ll look stronger and more cut with the right skin work.

Here are a few things you can do to get your skin competition-ready:

Remove Blemishes and Skin Tags

All that sweating it out in the gym can wreak havoc on your skin, creating acne on your back, chest, face and more. Blemishes can make your skin look uneven and detract from your muscle definition. You need to treat your acne several weeks out from competition to completely clear the blemishes and any inflammation or discoloration from them.

Don’t overlook other blemishes like skin tags and unsightly moles. You can apply a skin tag remover to get rid of these fleshy growths, but you’ll have to visit a dermatologist to take care of large moles. You’ll need to do these things a month or more in advance to give your skin time to heal and allow for any discoloration to disappear.


Smooth skin will better take oil and tanning products, and it will create a sheen that shows off your muscles in their best light. You need to exfoliate your skin once or twice a week for several weeks leading up to the competition. Use a body scrub or a loofah in the shower to slough off the dead skin and reveal that fresh and healthy layer.

For more intensive care, you can visit a spa for a whole body scrub and get bigger results.

Remove All Body Hair

Body hair is another “blemish” that mars the smooth surface of your skin. A chest full of hair just covers up your pec muscles, and hairy legs detract from your calf definition. Judges won’t be able to see the true shape of your muscles if they are covered by hair.

You can shave your hair, wax it, or use a hair removal cream. Whatever method you choose, make sure that you don’t irritate or mark your skin. You should test your hair removal method several weeks out to see how your skin reacts. Do the final hair removal the day before the competition to give your skin time to recover from any irritation (which can also cause swelling and bloating).


The darker your skin is, the more defined your muscles will appear. You can either get spray tans or apply the product yourself using a sponge or a mister. Even application is essential, so you’ll need to practice long before the competition.

Begin your tanning routine at least three weeks before the competition. You’ll need to apply multiple layers leading up to the competition, and you’ll have to exfoliate a few times in between. The exfoliation will smooth the skin for more even application of the tanning product, and it will even out any inconsistencies in the color.

Do not tan your elbows, armpits, knees, hands, feet, or face.

Body Oil

The day of the competition, you’ll need to apply a body oil to make your skin shine and provide more definition for your muscles. The combination of the oil and the tan will create great shadows and highlights that will make your muscles look even more defined.

Some oils are created specifically for fitness competitors, and they warm the skin to improve vascularity. Try out a few brands well before competition time to see which one you like the best and gives you the best results.

Of course, the hardest work you’ll do leading up to competition will happen in the gym and the kitchen. But the right skin routine will enhance the hard work you’ve been doing during training and make your body look amazing. Experiment with your skin preparation routine long before competition to find the combination that works best for you. These tips will help you get the best look to show off your muscles in their best light.