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Spray Tan After Care: AVOID these things for LONGER TAN

spray tan after care

Looking for the best spray tan after care tips? When you leave the spray tanning salon, it is important to take care of your skin so that you can have a long-lasting glow. Even after your first spray tan, there are many things you need to do in order to maintain the color.

If you want more than a temporary fix for your appearance and want something that will last for weeks on end, then follow these helpful tips!

Following a good post spray tan aftercare routine once you come home from a relaxing spray tan session can either make or break its overall results.

The first 24 hours is one of the most crucial periods after getting a spray tan. 

What To Do Before Spray Tan

Well, generally speaking, aside from knowing what to do after a spray tanning session, you should also have an idea of things to prepare. For instance, move all your other beauty appointments, such as manicures, pedicures, and waxing treatments to an earlier date.

It is also better if you show up to your local tanning salon bare-faced and almost hairless in most parts of the body. You can shave four hours before the session or wax and wait a whole 24-hour period before your tanning appointment. 

Come in clean and loose clothing so that you won’t have to worry about getting streaks or uneven tan lines after the appointment. Try to wear dark clothing as well so that the product does not transfer or color the fabric.

The process of spray tanning is pretty straightforward. Basically, you can either get a tanning booth or a tanning artist with a handheld airbrush. Either way, it is a quick and efficient way to get the solution in all areas of your body. 

Make sure that you are prepared to strip to avoid tan lines. However, you can still leave your underwear on, depending on your preferences. If you prefer to have your undies on, just make sure that it will leave a good tan line.

What to do in the first 8 hours

Like we have mentioned, the first day is the most crucial time period after a spray tanning appointment because the chemical will continue to deepen within the first 24 hours. That means avoiding anything that can potentially ruin your tan. Some organic spray tanning solutions need a little longer to settle. 

First things first, do not step in the shower immediately after you get home. Sometimes you may feel sticky after a spray tanning session, and it can be tempting to relax in a bubbly hot bath. Unfortunately, doing so will only wash your money down the drain. Whether you have a custom airbrush spray or you did it yourself, make sure you use these tips. 

You can also ask your local salon how long you have to wait because it usually depends on the type of solution they use. On average, a reasonable six to eight-hour waiting period should do the trick. You can also leave it for up to twelve hours. 

Staying dry after your session is crucial because any water-inducing activities such as washing the dishes, gym sessions, and others can affect the solution. Avoid any activities that may end up with you getting wet. 

Until you reach your preferred waiting period, you can ditch tight underwear for a while, especially if you are already at home. Wear dark and loose-fitting clothes with sandals to avoid streaking or uneven tan lines. 

In general, the best advice we can give you is to simply leave your skin as it is during the first 24 hours. Try not to wash your face, or apply makeup and use deodorant. Do not use any aerosol or oil-based sunscreens and lotions on your skin.

spray tan after care

How To Shower After Spray Tan

Quick warm showers are also a great way of maintaining your complexion, along with relaxing your muscles and improving your sleep. Take a quick warm shower and use a gentle body wash that does not use harsh chemicals. 

As tempting as long and hot bubble baths may seem, they will not help your skin glow after a spray tanning session. Instead, choose a quick and gentle shower with lukewarm water. Rinse off the solution without any products for a good three minutes.

If you don’t have the prescribed shampoo but really need to wash your hair, lean back a bit to avoid the product running down your back. You can also be creative and wash your hair in the sink to protect your tan from streaking. 

During your first wash, you may notice some of your tanning solutions going down the drain.  What you see is simply some excess solution. Do not worry, as you are still as bronze and tan as ever, and your complexion will still continue to develop in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Skincare Tips For Better Fake Tan

Take good care of your skin and glowing complexion with proper skincare routines that prolong your bronzed glow and take care of your skin in terms of long-term health. 

For starters, do not rub or exfoliate your skin using body scrubs during every shower while you have a spray tan. If a deep exfoliation helps you feel better about your skin, you may want to put it off for the week. 

You should also pat your skin dry. This is a common mistake for most first-timers, which can be quite troublesome. Never ever roughly rub your skin because it can cause streaking. A gentle pat all over should be just fine. 

After a nice warm shower, do not be afraid to top it off with a good moisturizer and wear waterproof sunscreen. SPF lotions are a great way of maintaining your healthy and glowing complexion. 

Lastly, eat your fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. It may seem like such a cliche health advice, but staying hydrated and well-fed with nutrients can actually do wonders for your skin. You will look young and glowing not only after a tan but even in the weeks to come.

Choosing A Lotion To Use After Spray Tan

Regardless of whether you are nursing freshly bronzed skin or not, you should always opt for chemical-free skincare products. This can also help you in the long run and help you achieve a fantastic sun-kissed glowing complexion. 

Use a non-oil-based moisturizer that also provides inner hydration. Hydrating your skin is also important in retaining your skin’s natural glow and giving it that beautiful shine. You can also consult with your local tanning salon on their recommendations for the best moisturizer.

Products to avoid

This list is pretty lengthy, but if you want to get the most out of what you paid for, I suggest being extra careful when it comes to products you decide to use. Whether it is during the first few hours or a simple one-week skincare routine, you still have to be careful.

Any product such as hand creams, face toners, lotions, or makeup remover that contains mineral oil, petroleum, parabens, aerosol, AHA, salicylic acid, antibiotics, BHA, Retin-A, witch hazel, and alcohol should be avoided entirely. 

Also, do not use soaps and shampoos that are free of sulfate or foaming agents. If you plan to pay your local tanning salon a visit every now and then, then perhaps you can invest in sulfate and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners for your after spray tan routine. 

A spray tan can only last around a week. So try your best to prolong its color by avoiding perfumes or body sprays that need to be sprayed directly onto the skin. It is also not a good idea to wear facial masks and oil-based makeup removers.

Washing your face should be done at the same time as your shower schedule. However, suppose you are using a face wash that may have any of the mentioned ingredients, especially Accutane and salicylic acid. In that case, you may need a temporary alternative.

Don’t use any adhesives that may pull out your tan. Avoid any band-aid and body adhesives like nipple or breast tapes because it can also induce tan lines. Follow the proper dos and don’ts, and you should be able to maintain a flawless tan. 

spray tan after care

What not to do

Well, to begin, don’t get wet. Don’t wash any part of your body, including your hair, face, hands, and feet, during the first six to eight hours. Some tan spray solutions increase the waiting period by at least twelve hours, so it is understandable if people decide to sleep on their tan.

In case you decide to sleep on your tan, wear long pajamas to avoid getting the transfer of solution onto your sheets. Although tan stains are generally easier to wash, it is better to wash a pair of clothes rather than an entire bedsheet. 

Tips for sleeping on a tan

Whether you had your spray tan professionally done or used a self-tanner, or a little bit of both, you may still encounter one particular problem, which is accidentally staining your sheets. Luckily, we have some great tricks to help you get around the situation.

Like we mentioned, a good six to eight-hour waiting period before washing off the solution should suffice. However, some tan spray solutions need around twelve hours to set completely, so there is no harm in sleeping on a tan. 

Wear long dark-colored pajamas that can prevent the transfer of solution to your sheets. A loose and oversized shirt and sweatpants usually do the trick. You can also wear loose socks for tanned ankles and place a towel on top of your pillows.

If you live in warmer areas of the country wherein it is possible to sweat in your sleep, use baby powder to avoid perspiring in bed. Since overcoating yourself at night may cause you to sweat more, you can always place a large towel on the bed or invest in bed sheet protectors.

Tips for first-timers

If it is your first time, don’t worry because you are not alone in this journey. Many people hesitate on what type of path to take when it comes to tanning. However, it highly depends on your lifestyle and how much effort you are willing to put into your skin’s maintenance. 

Just make sure not to overthink the situation, and try not to give the salon employees a hard time by not following the instructions. Being asked to strip down to your underwear inside the booth is completely normal, but make sure that you are already in a secured and private area.

A good tanning salon also offers disposable undies for those who are not comfortable getting a tan completely naked. You can try to ask about their procedures before booking an appointment so that you know what to expect.

About Spray Tan

Spray tan became a popular beauty treatment after several articles talked about the possible health risks that come with tanning beds. A lot of them claim that UV from tanning beds is not exactly a safer alternative when compared to natural sunbathing.

On the other hand, spray tan formulas come from safe and clinically tested chemicals that induce skin darkening properties. The main ingredient of most spray tan formulas is a chemical called DHA, which reacts with our skin cell’s amino acids.

Many medical organizations can agree that a professional spray tan is a safer alternative when it comes to sunless tanning. Unfortunately, the effects of a standard spray tan can only last around five to seven days. That’s because eventually your dead skin cells start to fall off. Spray tanning solutions are getting better and better as technology advances and it’s prolonging your tan.

Just stay clear of hot water, bar soaps, and harsh scrubbing. Swimming pools should also be avoided at least for 24-48 hours. Simply because the tanning solution needs that time to really settle into your skin. Warm water is ok when showering but keep the temperature on the cooler side.  

spray tan after care


Getting a spray tan is indeed a safe and convenient way to achieve a beautifully bronzed complexion without worrying about skin cancers or other health risks. It is also an excellent option for people who want a tan but can quickly get sunburnt.

Luckily, there are tons of tanning booths that offer quick and efficient methods of giving your skin a natural-looking glow. However, spray tans have a shorter lifespan than other methods. You can still prolong the color for at least a week with proper care and maintenance.

I hope that you have learned what to and not to do during your first few hours after a spray tanning session. You should also be more careful when it comes to choosing which products you want to use.

Although a spray tan requires a bit more effort, especially when it comes to maintenance. It is definitely a great way to look fashionably astounding and naturally glowing without worrying about health risks.

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