With summer getting closer and closer, I always like to jumpstart my all-over glow with a spray tan. I usually only spray tan 2-3 times a year to get a healthy-looking color on my skin without the sun exposure. Getting a spray tan does take some skin preparation, and after-tan care to keep your spray tan looking its best. If you’ve been thinking about getting a spray tan you definitely need to keep reading this post for my tips on how to get the best spray tan (including pre-and post tan recommendations for the best results>>
BEFORE YOU SPRAY TAN
The number one thing to do before getting a spray tan is to shower and exfoliate your skin. I will use either a coffee scrub or sugar scrub to exfoliate and remove any dead skin and smooth out my skin. This helps the tan to ‘stick’ to skin better and look more natural and blended in.
Along with exfoliating, make sure you shave (with a new razor!) the day before you tan. Shaving not only removes hair but helps to exfoliate the top layer of skin as well. Many places will recommend that you shave no less than 24 hours before the spray tan as the tanner could cause irritation to freshly shaved skin or may fill-in open pores. You also want to wait on shaving a day or so after your tan as you don’t want to exfoliate a layer of your new tan.
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Before you head to the spray tanning booth, don’t apply any lotion or oils to skin so that the tanner can adhere to skin (hands, elbows, knee caps, etc. are okay to apply lotion to as they tend to be drier areas and will soak up more of the tan).
I recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing and flip-flops to the tanning salon. You definitely do not want to wear any form fitting clothing, I don’t even recommend wearing jeans. Do keep in mind that some of the tanner may wear off onto your clothing, so don’t wear anything nice that you don’t want to get tanner on.
THE SPRAY TAN: WHAT TO EXPECT
I typically tan with Palm Beach Tan, which has tanning salon locations throughout the country, usually using the VersaSpa sunless spray booth or the new Mystic Kyss spray booth. These booths are fully automated and are heated to keep the tanning process comfortable. I find that their spray tans come out looking natural and even– definitely not orange and patchy.
You are put in a private room with the booth, I recommend tanning nude for the most even and best-looking tan but if you want to wear underthings then that’s your prerogative. Just make sure it’s ones you don’t mind getting tanning spray all over. At PBT I am able to add a scent to my tan, which helps to cover up the tanner smell.
Before heading into the booth, I always make sure to apply the provided lotion to my feet, between my toes and hands. PBT also provides sponge nostril plugs so you’re not directly inhaling the tanner, eye protection, wipes and lip balm as well. The booths have easy-to-follow voice instructions which tell you when to turn. After the spray tanning is complete, the booth’s heated drying cycle will initiate so your tan dries completely and you’re not leaving feeling sticky or tacky… or getting tanner all over your clothes.
Unless you’ve added an accelerator to your tan (I recommend this, especially if you tan in the evening so you can shower before bed!) it will take about 8 hours for your spray tan to set (with the accelerator you only need to wait 3-4 hours). Once it sets, you can shower and rinse off… be sure to NOT use any scrubs or exfoliators and do not rub your skin.
Your spray tan should typically last about a week, especially if you take care of it afterwards. If it’s your first time spray tanning, you can ask for tips on tan longevity… and be sure to follow them. Below are some additional recommendations:
Stay away from hot tubs (including hot baths) and chlorinated pools. Last year I had gotten a spray tan– it turned out great, gorgeous, natural-looking color and even all over. Well, it was until the night after getting it I went into a hot tub. After getting out my tan was super patchy looking. Chlorine will also make your tan fade quickly so I suggest staying out of pools in the first few days following your spray tan.
After showering, pat yourself dry. You don’t want to rub your skin as you could rub the tan off.
I typically maintain my spray tan with self-tanner or gradual tanning lotion. This helps keep my tan looking fresh and my skin glowing. I use Vita Liberata pHenomenal Tan Mousse. It applies nicely and evenly and I think the color is very natural looking. I recommend applying with a tanning mitt for the best looking coverage. Keeping skin moisturized is also important to making your tan last– I like using a gradual tanner to do so in order to keep my color strong.
When heading outdoors, always wear SPF! Even though you have a spray tan, your skin is still susceptible to burn in the sun so SPF is a must.
Have you ever tried a spray tan? You can find more of my spray tan tips here.