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How Long Does A Spray Tan Last? + Tips To Extend Your GLOW!

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last

A spray tan can be a great way to get the bronze glow you want without sitting out in the sun for hours. However, it doesn’t last forever.

If you’re looking for ways to prolong your tan, then this article is just what you need!

We’ll explore how long does a spray tan last and provide tips on how to extend that beautiful bronzed look.

Spray tans work because the dihydroxyacetone (DHA) particles in them react to the amino acids found on the surface of your skin.

  • Spray Tans Can Last 5 to 10 Days (Light, Medium, or Dark)
  • DHA Will Determine The Darkness Of Tan
  • Aftercare Plays An Important Role In Longevity Of Tan

Notably, how long the DHA particles will remain effective will vary on what kind of spray tan you opted to get.  To be more specific, the shade of the spray tan will play a huge role in determining how long it can stay on your skin.

At the low end, the spray tans that are more subtle and simply impart a slightly bronzed look to your skin should last for about five days. There are times when a lighter tan may only hold up for about four days though.

Tips To Make Your Spray Tan Last Longer

A step up from that are the medium airbrush tans. Your complexion will appear more sun-kissed with the help of a medium spray tan and you can also count on it staying on for a few days longer. Expect a medium spray tan to remain on your body for somewhere around seven to eight days.

The darker tans boast greater longevity. These darker tans feature a stronger look and you should be able to show one off for about 10 days.

It is worth pointing out that those are just the general expectations for the varied spray tan lifespans. Depending on how you take care of your tan and the things you do over the course of the day, the lifespan of the airbrush tan can wear off faster or last longer.

How long should you wait to shower after a spray tan?

After getting a spray tan, you may get that itch to take a shower to feel more comfortable. You probably figured that because you can do all kinds of things with a spray tan, taking a shower shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Well, that’s not exactly the case.

The DHA particles that are included in the spray tan need some time to work their magic. Specifically, they require about 12 hours to completely develop and appear as they should.

You can get away with taking your first shower post-tan about eight hours after the session, but that’s about the earliest you can do so if you received a standard spray tan. Anything shorter than that and the risk of the tan being ruined significantly increases.

It would be best if you waited the full 12 hours before showering again however.

Now, there are some exceptions worth talking about.

Some spray tan providers will offer so-called “rapid tan” solutions that can take effect immediately. If you’re getting one of those, you should be able to shower two hours after the spray tan session.

The best move here would be to ask the tanning salon when you should shower and follow their instructions. 

Four Things To Avoid After Getting A Spray Tan

Showering is not the only thing you should keep off your to-do list for a while after a spray tan session. Listed below are some other activities that must be avoided in the immediate aftermath of receiving a spray tan.

1. Avoid exercising

Much like showering, exercising will result in the emergence of moisture on your skin. The only difference is that the moisture is accumulating as a result of you sweating instead of water pouring out of the shower. Try to avoid exercising for as long as you avoid taking a shower.

2. Avoid showering like normal

Speaking of showering, you will probably take one as soon as possible, but there are some things you need to remember. You should steer clear of using scrubs during your first shower following the tan. You should also use lukewarm water instead of hot. By failing to follow those tips, you could significantly shorten the lifespan of your tan.

3. Avoid using oil-based products right away

A lot of the beauty products people use today are oil-based. Ordinarily, there’s nothing with that, but they can be problematic if you just got a spray tan. The oils used in those products can create a layer over your skin thus preventing the absorption of the DHA particles in the tanning solution. It’s best to steer clear of them for a while.

4. Avoid wearing tight clothing

You should also be mindful of what clothes you wear in the immediate hours after tanning. Tight clothes in particular do not work well with recently tanned skin. The tight clothes can cause friction and that, in turn, can lead to your tan turning out uneven.

How to prolong the lifespan of a spray tan

Just as there are activities you must avoid in the hours right after a spray tan session, there are also some things you can do if you want to make your new complexion last longer.

There are two tips in particular that you will want to follow…

  • Moisturize your skin
  • Make use of a self-tanner

Since you’re advised not to shower too quickly after the spray tan, you may assume that moisturizing is out of the question too, but that’s not the case.

Fractionated coconut oil and jojoba oil are among the best moisturizing products to use. The key here is to wait until after you’ve showered before moisturizing as that will allow your tan to remain intact while the products enhance it.

Your airbrush tan may already look great as it is right now, but you can still improve its appearance by using a self-tanner.

For the best results, try to look for a self-tanner that also contains some DHA.

How Long Does a Spray Tan Last


Achieving that perfect tan that goes with your summer bod is not always easy. Getting a tan the old fashioned way can take hours and tanning beds are way too intense for some folks.

Depending on how sensitive your skin is, the aforementioned options may also be unrealistic because of the potential harm they can do.Don’t shy away from erring on the side of caution and go for a spray tan if you want to. Spray tans can create the same type of look you’re seeking and they have the benefit of being safe and time-efficient.Get your summer body in gear the smart way by opting for a spray tan. Happy safe tanning!

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