If there exists a method which can get you the desired result effortlessly, the whole public will be behind it to get the desired result.
When it comes to the world of tanning, spray tan is the method even the celebrities are after. It is the most effective and quick means of getting the glorious and ever praised sun-kissed look.
Yeah, spray tanning helps in getting the baked look without actually baking yourself!
A good understanding of the working principle and spray tan before and after rules will help you to achieve a good spray tan in no time.
The word ‘spray tan’ may sound simpler to you, but let me tell you it is not just like spraying a deodorant. If not approached in a proper manner, it might become unworthy and ugly.
A better understanding can give you a better outcome. Keeping all the spray tanning questions, doubt, dos and don’ts in mind, I’m going to guide you through the tips and tricks on getting a proper spray tan.
How do Spray Tans Work?
Just like I mentioned above, spray tanning is the most convenient means of sunless tanning. As the name indicated we are literally spraying the tan onto the skin. However, for better analysis let’s have a closer look at how spray tans work.
From a nerdy point of view, it is the dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which causes the color to develop on the skin. This active ingredient reacts on the skin surface to create a darker shade which will eventually fade away.
All the spray tan products contain DHA along with some basic ingredients which bring radiance to the skin. Ingredients like erythrulose help in the life of the fake tan.
Obviously, the final results of spray tan depend on the quality of the product, method of application and expertise of the sprayer.
In regular salons, the product is airbrushed on the skin, either completely mechanized spraying or manually done by the professional.
There are self-tanning options to skip the way to the salon. However, we cannot forget the fact that one can’t reach all her body parts evenly. And if not done by a professional, even the finest product might give a worse and artificial look.
How To Spray Tan: Tips And Tricks
Haven’t you noticed that even after using the same products and getting treatment from the same salon your spray tan results look much different than that of others?
Your fellow’s tan shines and lasts more than yours!
Well, it is not any miracle.
There are some tips and tricks to get the absolute glow out of the normal routine. Some extra steps and aftercare can give you perfect results.
Keep on reading to know more about the secrets for the sunless sun glow!
‘Well begun is half done’, this is true for spray tanning.
What to do before a spray tan is one of the most crucial aspects in achieving a great tan. You can’t ignore it.
It is not like just go to the salon and have the spray done. Now I’m going to brief all the important things you need to do before you hit the salon.
When to Tan?
If you have a big day to attend, like a wedding, it is always better to have the spray tan session a couple of days before the event. The color looks unpolished and kind of orangey in the beginning and will be at its best after two days.
If it is YOUR big day at stake and is a new spray tanner, do consider a trial one a month before the event and rectify the mistakes and make corrections on the second tanning. This will ensure that your tan will look perfect on the day and no stress at the last moment.
What Color to Choose?
Regarding the color, it is always better to carry a summer pic of yours to the salon so that the salon attendant will get an idea about what color to go for. Because not every color suits everyone.
I always recommend people to consider a patch test before every session. It is the easiest way to find out the one that matches your skin.
The color you should select depends on a lot of factors. It includes:
- Skin tones
- Skin undertones
Choose a lighter shade during the winter season and a darker one during summers, to make it look less artificial.
Moreover, you should also have a good idea about your skin undertones. The spray tanning color you choose has a lot to do with your skin undertones.
Click here to read more about spray tan colors.
Prepare Your Skin by Exfoliating thoroughly
Proper exfoliation is the key to a long lasting tan. If you ask me which is the most important tip for getting a spray tan, I won’t think twice to select exfoliation. It helps in achieving the desired result by ensuring spray tanning on fresh skin cells.
You need to prep your skin by taking a shower and proper exfoliation.
Exfoliating your skin can be done in many ways like:
Have a shower during the morning hours before the session. If possible, try to use loofah, sponge or any organic scrub while bathing to remove your dead cells. You can find some of the best exfoliator scrubs for spray tan here.
Remove your unwanted hair through waxing or threading way before since you don’t need any open pores while tanning. If you are planning to shave before spray tan, do before 6 hours to get better results. This article will help you learn more about shaving and spray tan.
Do not forget to moisturize your skin after the shower using an oil-free lotion. However stay away from products like Dove which creates a barrier on the skin.
There is one more important tip you shouldn’t miss. Don’t ever moisturize within 8 hours before spray tan. It will affect getting an even tan as the remnants of the moisturizer might be there on your skin during spray tanning, and hence blocking even spraying.
No Makeup Please!
Once you reach the salon, take off your makeup and accessories. Use baby wipes or makeup remover for this.
Do not use deodorants or perfumes, since the presence of aluminum and alcohol will ruin your tan. Therefore, remove all makeup, lotion residues, jewelry etc before the session.
The best thing you can do is to visit the salon without any of the stuff mentioned above.
Protect Your Nails and Hair
Your nails and hair won’t tan. Most importantly, you don’t want them to get ugly from the spray tan.
Therefore, you should wear protecting cream or nail polish to create a barrier between your nails and the spray. Tie your hair up and use a shower cap to protect your hair from coloring. This will ensure that your shoulder and neck will get even coverage.
Dress For The Tan: Wear Loose Black Clothes
What to wear to a spray tan is another important thing you should give attention to. This is one of the easiest spray tan rules you can follow; wear loose black clothes that are comfortable for you.
You need to ensure that you are wearing dark and loose comfy clothes. Make sure that you are using the undergarments which you don’t mind if stained.
Undress to your comfort level. The salon will be providing covering cloth anyway.
Wear clothes only after the wet spray sets. Do not wear your bra for at least 4 hours after tan to avoid unwanted bra lines and blotches.
Say NO to socks, stockings, boots, jeans etc.
Water Is The Enemy
Yes, you read it right. Water is the biggest enemy that can ruin your look. Ensure that you stay dry after the session for at least 8 to 12 hours.
You can’t predict how the weather will be. So, if the season is rainy, do carry an umbrella. Schedule your gym accordingly.
Stay away from sweating. Exercise only after your first shower. To keep your tan intact stay away from the gym and swim for a while.
During the Spray Tan
If you are prepared well way prior, your tan session will go without any trouble. Choose the best spray tanning salon for you.
Go through customer reviews and pay a visit to the place to see the surroundings, hygiene etc.
Ask before you bask!
Proper info on spray tan is a must before you start getting the spray tan. So, ask everything. Feel free to ask out all your queries before the spray.
The salon staff is there to help you out. Do not hesitate if any question pops into your head.
Ask about the product, its ingredients, aftercare etc so that the possibilities of mistakes are reduced. Discuss the color well in advance and go for it.
Ask for the follow-up products. Some brands of the spray tan ask for the same brand’s moisturizer and aftercare lotion.
Watch Your Posture
In the tanning booth, move around and change your posture as asked by the professional. Always watch out for missing spots like dry areas of elbows and similar joints. You don’t want to end up with an uneven tan, don’t you?
Listen to the instructions and move around accordingly. Use specific lotion if needed. In case you are tanning at home, make sure that you have got an extra pair of hands for help.
Wait until the product sets
You will have to wait a few more minutes even after the tanning session. Yeah, don’t dress up the moment the session is over.
As I said before, consider black loose t-shirts and comfy dresses so that the transfer of color is less and your skin is aerated. Wear flipflops while going back from the tanning salon.
When the liquid is absorbed into your skin, you are free to go.
I have to tell you that even after the completion of the tanning procedure, you are only halfway through.
The final spray tan results, its lifetime and evenness wholly dependent on the spray tan aftercare you take.
If you keep the important tips in mind and act accordingly, then its 100 % sure that your tan will speak for you!
11. When and How To Shower
A when can you shower after spray tan is one of the most discussed spray tanning questions. Yes, it is an important topic of concern.
Since water can remove the product from your skin, you need to stay away from swimming pool, bubble bath, bathtub and even shower for a minimum of 8 to 14 hours after the session.
When you are showering for the first time, let it be a quick one. Just rinse your skin with simple water and gently pat dry yourself. Consider lukewarm water. Do not use hot water. Never rub the towel on your skin as this will result in faster and uneven fading of the color. Do not use any soap or shower gel as it will make your tan fade away unevenly and immediately.
You might see that the bronzer color is washing away immediately, which is quite common and nothing to worry.
Also, d0 not exfoliate your skin just after the tanning procedure.
In short, don’t do anything that will rupture the tan. Scrubbing can be considered from 2nd or 3rd shower, given it is going to be as gentle as possible.
Products To Consider
As all the available personal care products are not made to support spray tan you must be well aware of what to use and what not to use.
In general, we can analyze that it is better to use a pH balanced soap and products to ensure the life of your tan.
Stay away from any product that can exfoliate or form layers on your skin. I’m listing out some of the products you need to avoid.
- Salicylic acid and Accutane will dry out and exfoliate your skin. Most of the anti-acne and pimple products have these ingredients.
- Anti-aging products that might affect your skin layer. Better stay away from those for now.
- Band-Aids and adhesive tapes can pull out your tan. Avoid the possibilities of having cuts and wounds.
- Antibacterial bar soaps and soaps and shower gels with deodorant properties.
- Products containing BHA.
- Any bleaching products for body hair.
- A facial mask, exfoliating scrub, and shaving gel. As these products will deeply penetrate into your skin and disturb the tan.
- Toners which are alcohol based.
I need not explain the importance of hydration for your skin. In order to keep your tan as fresh as new, you need to be strict on your moisturization routine.
Keep your skin baby soft by a generous application of a good quality cream or lotion twice a day. You can read our reviews of best lotion to use after spray tan to find one that works for you.
Stay away from products with paraben, alcohol, petroleum products etc. let the cream be as basic and gentle which may not clog your pores. This will ensure that your skin stays blemish free and radiant.
When we consider the spray tan aftercare, most of the time we are focused from the care from outside like the creams and tan extenders, dress and all. However, in order to shine with the glow of bronze one need to consider the care inside out.
Here comes the importance of water. Ensure that you are never dehydrated. Once you are dehydrated, the same will be reflected in your skin and it might look patchy, dry and ugly.
Make sure that you drink enough quantity of water a day to avoid such issues. At least 12 ounces of water a day is a must. You can include watery fruits and vegetables in your diet for double glow.
Vegetables with Vitamin C can benefit the look of your tan.
Caring Your Nails
Your nails, if not protected properly might have coated with the tan product.
However, do not hit the spa for manicure or pedicure the same day of the session. Wait for 2 to 3 days. The color will fade naturally or you can opt for professional help if needed.
Please don’t consider hair removal after a spray tan. Whether it is shaving or waxing after a spray tan, hair removal is deep exfoliation for your skin and it will lead to uneven removal of the color.
That is why it is recommended to have the hair removal session prior to the spray tan session. Consider the sensitivity of your skin and act accordingly. If sensitive and easily irritated skin better wax or shave 2 days before the spray tan session to avoid possible infection and acne outbreak.
Spray Tan Before and After Tips – Essential Checklist for a Good Tan
So far we have seen how to get a spray tan in detail.
We can sum up the important tips as follows.
- Prepare your skin gently before each tanning session. Exfoliate and remove the dry and dead cells from your skin for smooth and even application of the spray tan.
- Schedule the session on a day free from the hustle. Gym and swim are not recommended immediately. You need to avoid contact with water including seating. So select a free day and do it.
- Moisturize your skin decently using a non-oil based products a day prior to avoid dry areas and related patched and blotches.
- Use good quality products before, during and after tanning.
- Remove all the barriers on your skin before the procedure. Gently clean your skin and remove makeup, lotion residues, and residues of deodorants or perfumes. Remove all the jewelry.
- Use your posture in favor of the procedure. Adjust yourself for even tanning.
- Wait till your tan dries. Do not disturb your liquid tan product.
- Consider loose and comfy dark clothes to wear after the procedure.
- Don’t shower immediately. Wait at least for 12 hours after the session for better results.
- Use a generous quantity of a gentle moisturizer twice a day for a long-lasting sun-kissed glow.
- Tan will start to fade after 6 days or so. Moisturize properly for even fading.
- Schedule your next session accordingly after 15 days.
It has been an endless list of amazing tips to maximize the spray tan results. Let me once again tell you that spray tan is the most effective and healthy option to develop the baked look if done properly and taken care of.
So, follow the steps I have mentioned above. They are more than enough to get a good spray tan.
Spray Tanning Questions FAQ
Still, there are some common questions which are worth addressing.
I have done an attempt to answer some frequently asked questions regarding the spray tanning. I believe this will help you to wash away most of the common uncertainties beginners face.
Let’s have a look at those spray tanning FAQ:
Can I lie down after a spray tan?
Not immediately. The product will be still liquid and you need to wait at least still it get absorbed. Even consider 15 to 20 minutes after the spraying to dress up. The more you rub away the product from the skin the lesser will be the spray tan results.
Do I need to be nude for the spray tan?
The lesser barrier between you and the spray better it is. The salons ensure complete privacy for their clients and the attendant is a professional anyway. You can consider wearing a swimsuit with less coverage if you are comfortable that way.
Most of the salons provide specialized covering material, you can go for it. After all, it is just a procedure for 10 minutes or less.
Does the first shower wash away the color?
The color flow you see is the very natural thing. The real color will be shown and further developing after that. Don’t panic seeing the bronze water. However, stay away from scrubs and masks. Quickly rinse your body for the first shower.
How to remove the tan if not satisfied?
The easiest way of tan removal is water contact. Take a dip in the swimming pool. A swim for 5 minutes can remove the sharp color from your body.
The same can be achieved using a hot bath. Any method that cleanses and remove the skin layer will definitely remove the color also.
Is sunscreen needed after a spray tan?
Definitely. Spray tan is a layer on your skin but is not a layer to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. You need to apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more to protect your skin from the sun.
How long will a spray tan last?
Normal spray tan lasts from 7 days to 10 days. The life of your tan depends on the way how you take care of it. Once you consider these tips and tricks then your tan will last with perfection and will fade in an even manner without causing many issues.
Wrapping Up the Spray Tan Tips
A good spray tan helps you in grabbing the gorgeous bronze baked glow without spending much time or taking any risk of UV ray based tanning. This is the most suitable way for people who are fair and are irritated by exposure to UV rays, either from the sun or from an artificial source like tanning beds.
Spray tan is no rocket science. But knowing more about anything will benefit you with the smoothest end result. Consider all these tips and tricks before hitting the spray station next time.
Remember, the spray tan instructions are all very easy to follow.
But people always make these silly mistakes. I have seen many beginners committing minor mistakes and ending up with orange patchy skin tone.
Knowing the rules and info will help you to get away from these mistakes very easily.
The below video is a good demonstration on how to spray tan works:
Keep all the important spray tan facts in mind and prepare a way before the charted session.
Take care of your skin and body. Do consider a patch test every single time to avoid any unwanted contingencies.
Follow a healthy diet for naturally glowing skin which will be a better canvas for the spray.
Hope this article served the purpose.
Let the caramel hue radiate!
Nothing makes me happier than seeing that smile on your face after having a wonderful tanning session.
My name is Stella Cristin, the owner of Tan Vogue. I am in love with beauty and health products. My great passion is to help people learn about tanning. Read More
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