Tanning is so much easier when someone else does it for you!
Spray tanning is a form of sunless tanning. You, or more commonly a spray tanner at your local beauty salon, apply a tanning spray or mist on your body. This product contains chemicals that react when applied to the skin giving a fake tan.
Avid tanners now prefer this faster and simpler tanning option than using tanning creams which can often result in streaks if not applied properly.
Spray tanning comes in three types: airbrushing, tanning booths in a salon and use at home sprays which come in aerosol bottles.
We have put together a list of spray tanning tips which will show you what you should do before, on the day of, during and after your spray tanning session so that you achieve the tan you’ve always wanted.
Table of Contents
The day before you get your tan
- Manicure or pedicure
- Shaving and wax
If you have to do any shaving or waxing, it is a goo idea that you do it at a minimum of twenty four hours before your spray tanning session. This is important as when you wax or shave, the hair follicles open up. You want to give them enough time to close again.
Similarly, if you plan to get a pedicure or a manicure, it’s important you have it done prior to your tanning appointment. This is because any nail polish remover and scrubs used for the pedi/mani may contain chemicals like acetone which could remove your tan, which you don’t want to happen!
On the day of the tan
- Avoid using oil products
- Avoid moisturizers
- Do not exfoliate
- Brush your teeth
- Avoid touching water after your spray tan
As you cannot be in contact with water for at least 8 to 10 hours once you have received the tan, it’s important that you have a shower before you go for a tan. It’s also necessary that you remove any body lotion, makeup, moisturizer, perfume or deodorant before you get a tan as it can affect your skin’s absorption of the spay tan.
It’s better if you can avoid using any type of bar soap as soaps tend to leave a layer on your skin that can act as a block, preventing your tanning solution from activating properly.
Avoid using any oil products as much like soap, oil can act as a barrier to the spray solution.
Similarly, don’t use products with moisturizers such as lotions as they will also prevent the spray tan absorbing properly.
If you are looking to keep your spray tan for as long as possible, it helps to exfoliate your skin. The tanning solution will affect your skin’s top layer when it’s sprayed on your body. If you don’t exfoliate your skin, you end up with a layer of dead skin cells. As your gradually lose these skin cells, the tanning spray will come off with them.
When you exfoliate your skin before the tanning session, you remove these dead skin cells and end up with a longer lasting tan. So do exfoliate your skin the day you plan to get a tan, as soon as possible before receiving your spray tan.
It’s always better to brush your teeth prior to your tanning appointment as if you opt to brush your teeth within 8 to 10 hours of your tanning session, you may end up with tanning streaks if the water drips down your chin or your arm! If you get water around your mouth you might end up white ring around your lips!
As your tan needs time to set, avoid touching any water for at least eight hours after your tanning session. This way your skin is able to maximize the tanning solution absorption before contacting water.
During the spray tan session
Clothes to wear
Women should preferably wear a small bathing suit, thong, bandeau (which is a bathing suit or top without straps) or if you are comfortable, you can go nude. Men can wear standard underwear such as briefs or boxers, swim suits, thongs or just a a sock but cannot go nude for the tan.
However as some tanning salons have their own policies regarding the clothes you wear, do check with your tanning salon’s rules and policies.
As the hands, elbows, knees and feet generally absorb more of the tanning product, most salons give their customers a barrier cream to apply on these region before your tan. This protects these regions from the tanning solution. You can instead use Vaseline or some similar ointment if a barrier cream is not available and you opt to use a self-tanning spray.
After the spray tanning session
- Remove the barrier cream
- Wear old clothes
- Do not use products
- Avoid chlorine
- Leave shaving for a few days
It’s important that you remove any barrier cream that remains on your body after the tanning session.
Tanning sprays don’t usually leave any marks on clothes. However as you will be getting dressed after the spray session, it’s better to play safe by not wearing the best things you own on the day of your tanning session.
Do not use any lotions, perfumes or moisturizers on the day of your tan.
You should avoid chlorine and thus not go swimming in your local swimming pool as chlorine will make your tan fade.
You can make your spray tan last longer if you do not shave or apply any coarse products like exfoliators for at least a few days after your tan.
Other spray tanning tips
Wearing make up
Use should aim to use bronzers and foundations which match your skin after it has been tanned to give you a natural look while wearing make-up.
Its okay to build up a sweat and exercise the day following your spray tan session as by then there is no danger of the tanning solution coming off.
Tan extenders can help
You can reduce the fading and thus get a longer lasting tan if you invest in a good tan extender containing Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Remember that the will continue developing for up to twelve hours.
Now go out and get your spray tan!
Though you may find your first spray tan session, or your home spray tan session rather nerve wrecking, following our basic spray tan tips can improve your experience and help you get the glow you are looking for!