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Everything You Need to Know About Spray Tans

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

By now, the days of getting Rossed by a spray tan booth are long gone (for reference that’s Friends, Season 10 Episode 3 if you want a good laugh). And we’re so thankful that spray tans have come a LONG way.

With the known effects of sun damage, it’s comforting to know that you can easily achieve a faux-glow from your local spray tan artist instead of baking in the heat for hours.

How Does a Spray Tan Work?

A spray tan is applied by a skilled spray tan artist via a fine mist from an airbrush machine. A layer of bronzer sits directly on the skin and usually appears pretty dark at first, while the DHA (which is a chemical that is actually clear) gets to work interacting with your skin’s amino acids to form that beautiful, bronzed glow. The higher amount of DHA in the tanning solution, the faster it develops!

How Can You Achieve a Perfect Glow?

Your spray tan artist will be able to customize your tan based on how well your body responds to the DHA ingredient. This is why it is SUPER important to have a trial run of your spray tan before your big event.

We recommend seeing your spray tan artist for a practice tan a month or two before your event. This way, you’ll be able to see how your body responds and understand what day your tan looks the best. With this knowledge, your artist can make any tweaks necessary so your glow turns out perfectly!

How Do You Prep For Your Tan?

To prep for a spray tan, it’s best to completely exfoliate and shave about 12 hours pre-tan. This way, your tan will have a smooth, even canvas to adhere to. Before your tan, stay away from wearing lotions or deodorants, as these can affect the evenness of your tan (we don’t want the solution clinging to any product build up!)

Be sure to wear dark, loose clothing to your tan and make sure not to plan for any activities that will cause sweating post-tan (at least for a few hours).

What Tan Is Best For Me?

Depending on the type of tan you choose, it will develop anywhere from 1-8 hours (the rapid tan solutions are fantastic, because you don’t have to sleep in your tan!)

What Should I Do After My Tan Has Developed?

After your tan is done developing, just rinse off with warm water. Using soap is debated among spray tan experts, but personally, we recommend not using any soap (except for in sensitive areas) for your first shower post-tan. Make sure you pat your skin dry after you get out of the shower. You can apply any body oil or lotion post-shower.

How Long Will Your Tan Last?

Your tan will keep for anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks depending on how well you stay hydrated and moisturized, and how often you shower or do things like swim (chlorine and saltwater tend to break down the tan a bit quicker).

Happy Tanning!!


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