If you’ve ever come out of a spray tan looking like a cheetah, you’re gonna want to read these tips
In theory, spray tans should be our best friends. They try to help us look great in a bikini, they’re better for our health than laying out, and they aim to get us all glowy. But sometimes it feels a lot like spray tans are our enemies rather than allies.
It’s not uncommon to walk away from a spray session a hot, streaky, blotchy, bright-orange mess. And don’t even get us started on how embarrassing it is to have those telltale orange-y palms that look like they’ve been rubbed with dirt. What do we gotta do to get a nice tan without the sun?
For anybody who’s ever felt personally victimized by a spray tan, follow these tips to avoid future disasters.
Top 35 spray-tanning tips
1. Avoid using deodorant before your spray tan appointment as it will provide a barrier to the spray tan’s absorption.
2. Try not to apply moisturizer prior to having a spray tan as it will interrupt the absorption of the spray tan.
3. Where possible, always shave or wax at least 24 hours prior to a spray tan appointment, as hair removal after a spray tan will remove the tan.
4. Try not to get wet for 1–2 hours after a spray tan. So if it is raining the day of your appointment, make sure you bring a large enough umbrella to cover you.
5. When possible, try to wear dark, loose clothing to and from a spray tan appointment to avoid staining lighter-colored clothes.
6. Try to avoid activities that will cause excessive perspiring for 12 hours after a spray tan, even if you are able to wash your tan off after a couple of hours.
7. Try to avoid activities that naturally exfoliate the skin — such as baths and chlorinated pool swimming — for at least 12 hours after your spray tan.
8. If you are going on holidays and will be swimming in a chlorinated pool, use a tan extender like Jergen’s Natural Glow to prolong your tan.
9. Your tan professional will tell you when you can shower depending on the level of color depth and your skin requirements, but when you do shower, avoid using soap and shower only with warm (not hot) water to wash off the excess tan color.
10. Keep your skin as moisturized as possible after your spray tan to increase the longevity of the tan and help you to avoid the tan wearing off in patches due to dry skin.
11. Daily use of a tan extender will extend the longevity of your tan.
12. Exfoliate from head to toe preferably the day prior to a spray tan, paying particular attention to areas such as your knees, elbows and ankles.
13. Moisturize after exfoliation the day prior to a spray tan.
14. Remove all jewelry prior to a spray tan and leave them off for at least 8 hours after.
15. When possible, try to wear thongs home from your spray tan appointment to avoid boots /socks/stockings which may rub off the tan solution.
16. Wear underwear that you don’t mind getting stained.
17. Don’t tint eyebrows the same day you tan — it can interfere with the spray.
18. Avoid spraying perfume or applying moisturizer to your face or body until after you have washed the spray tan off.
19. Avoid excessive hand washing prior to washing spray tan bronzer off. Baby wipes or Wet Ones are a good solution to keep your hands clean.
20. When showering off your spray tan, you may notice the water coloring, but don’t freak out. It’s probably just the bronzer washing off, not your actual tan.
21. After a shower, try to gently pat your skin dry and avoid vigorous rubbing when towel drying.
22. After showering off the spray tan, it may seem that the color has disappeared, but the color will continue to develop and process over a period of 12 hours.
23. A spray tan does not contain SPF! You still need to use a product with SPF on a daily basis to avoid sunburn and skin damage.
24. After your tan try to use shower gels rather than harsh soap bars. Avoid using scrubs for at least 7-10 days.
25. If you are having a spray tan for a special occasion, it is best to be sprayed one to two days before the event to ensure you’re happy with your color.
26. If you’re coming to an appointment after work, bring along some baby wipes or wet towelettes to remove deodorant or moisturizers before your spray tan.
27. When your tan is ready to be removed, the best form of removal is simple — a nice shower and good exfoliation mitts. Remember to moisturize after you’ve removed the tan, though.
28. If you’re planning your spray tan for an event and having a pedicure and/or manicure as well, get your mani/pedi before you have your spray tan.
29. Your face will always be the first area to fade, simply because you wash it more frequently and use of makeup.
30. To prolong your spray tan, try not to use band-aids, pore strips or face masks, as they may remove tan as you rip or wash them off.
31. If you’re going on a vacation to a tropical destination, remember that bug spray can remove or fade your tan if it’s applied directly to your skin. Consider spraying your clothing or a “cloud” of spray that you can walk through instead of applying it directly to the skin.
32. Don’t wing things. Discuss your tan color options with your spray tan professional to get the best results.
33. Inform whoever is spraying you of any dry skin areas, broken or abraded skin, wounds and allergies.
34. Try to make your spray tan appointment for a time that allows you to shower before your appointment.
35. Plan your exercise routine around your spray tan appointment to either exercise and shower before your appointment or wait until your tan has finished processing before exercising.