What To Do Before You Get A Spray Tan


For the modern woman, a spray tan isn't just a quick indulgence before a beach trip—it's a year-round confidence booster that spares your skin the aging effects of the sun. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your spray tan is the envy of every girl on the block. Whether it's your first time or you're a seasoned pro, these tips will make sure you're bronzed to perfection and maintaining that glow long after you walk out of the salon.

Go With A Pro Spray Tanner

Your search for the perfect spray tan should start with

finding a reputable studio and a skilled spray tanning technician. Spray tans should not be a "one-size-fits-all" experience. Look for technicians with experience and knowledge of various formulas to suit your skin type and the desired outcome. Ultimately, a professional spray tan application can give you the best color and peace of mind that comes with having an expert tend to your skin. We are happy to recommend a trusted Fake Bake spray tanning artist in your area. 

Know What To Expect

Before your appointment, familiarize yourself with the spray tanning process. Knowing what will happen can alleviate pre-tan jitters. Here’s an inside look at what to expect:

  1. Consultation: A good salon will start with a consultation to understand your skin type, your usual tanning habits, and your desired outcome.

  2. Selection: You'll be offered different shades or formula options based on the discussion.

  3. Preparation: You’ll be asked to prepare your skin before your application. More on this in the next section!

  4. Application: In a private area, you'll undress to your comfort level and the technician will carefully apply the spray tan, ensuring it's applied evenly.

  5. Drying: You'll need to stand in machine or air dry for a few minutes before getting dressed.

  6. Aftercare: Your technician should give you detailed instructions on how to care for your tan to make it last.

Remember, a spray tan is most artistically applied. It won't look perfect until it's been rinsed off, which usually happens after a few hours.

Prepare Your Skin Before Your Spray Tan

The state of your skin before your appointment will significantly influence the quality and longevity of your tan. Follow these guidelines to prep like a pro:

  • Exfoliate: The day before your tan, exfoliate your entire body to remove dead skin cells. Pay special attention to rough areas like elbows, knees, and the tops of your feet. Use a gentle scrub and don’t skimp on your ankles or underarms—these areas often show the most uneven color. Our Coconut Exfoliating Wipes are an excellent choice!

  •  Hydrate: Moisturize after exfoliation to keep your skin soft and supple for an even application. However, make sure to skip any moisturizer immediately before your tan, as it can act as a barrier and result in a patchy tan.

  • Shave or Wax: Thoroughly shave or wax at least 8 hours before your appointment to give your skin time to close up. Freshly shaved skin can be especially sensitive and the pores can still be open, which can lead to an uneven tan or skin irritation.

  • Arrive Product-free: Come to your appointment with no makeup, lotion, deodorant, or any other product on your skin. These can also interfere with the spray tan and should be removed before application.

 A well-prepared canvas ensures your spray tan will last longer and look better.

Wear Appropriate Clothing During and After

On the day of your tan, wear loose, dark clothing and flip-flops to your appointment. Tight or bright clothing can rub off the tan. Here’s the outfit you should aim for:

  • Dark Undergarments: Women can tan in their underwear, a swimsuit, or nude—whatever makes them feel most comfortable. Just ensure the garments are dark and won't stain from the spray.

  • Dark, Loose, Comfortable Clothing: After the tan, loose clothing will prevent the tan from rubbing off as it sets. Tight straps on bras or sneakers can rub off the tan before it settles.

By dressing appropriately, you're helping to maintain the work that’s just been done.

Don’t Shower Too Soon After Your Spray Tan

After your tan is applied, you'll receive instructions on when to shower. This is usually between 8 and 12 hours after application. It’s important not to get wet before this time. Here’s why:

  • Development: The time between application and showering allows your tan to fully develop. Washing too soon can stop the reaction and leave you with a light or uneven color.

  • Color Lock: The longer you wait to shower, the better your color will set and more will stay on your skin rather than washing off.

  • Results: Following instructions regarding washing times will ensure that you emerge from the shower with the perfect glow, rather than a streaky mess.

Wait until the recommended time to shower, and always use a gentle, sulfate-free body wash to keep your tan looking fresh.

Keep Up Your Skin Care Routine

Once your tan has fully developed and you’ve shown it off to the world, there are a few things you should do to keep it looking great for as long as possible:

  • Moisturize Regularly: Keeping your skin

    moisturized will help your tan last longer. Apply Mistifier Oil-Free Moisturizer every day to prevent your skin from shedding and taking your new tan with it.

  • Pat Dry: Instead of rubbing your skin with a towel after showering, pat it dry. This will help to maintain an even tan and prevent any color from rubbing off.

  • Avoid Chlorine: Chlorine from swimming pools can fade your tan. Try to avoid swimming, or at the very least, rinse off immediately after getting out of the water.

  • Exfoliate Wisely: When the time comes to exfoliate again, do it gently. Harsh exfoliation can scrub away your tan. Try our In The Buff Exfoliating Mitt to help your skin continue looking it’s best.

  • Touch-up as Needed: If you run into any particularly stubborn patchiness, don’t be afraid to touch up with a gradual tanning lotion or mousse.

By taking care of your skin, you'll ensure that your spray tan lasts as long as possible and looks its best every day.

Master these prep steps and post-tan techniques, and you'll be stepping out with a radiant confidence that comes from knowing your spray tan is flawless. Enjoy your beautifully bronzed skin and the healthy glow that comes with it!

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