How To Make Your Spray Tan Last

Spray tans are a wonderful way to get a beautiful glow without exposing your skin to the damage of the sun’s dangerous UV rays. It’s best to get a spray tan 1-2 days before an event or vacation to give your tan time to fully develop and then shower off the spray tan smell. Depending on how well you prepare for your tan and take care of your tan, it can last between 1-3 weeks. Follow these steps before and after getting your spray tan for a longer lasting beautiful bronze.

Shave at least 12 hours beforehand.

Shaving will help give your spray tan a base to adhere to, but plan to shave at least 12 hours before your appointment if you have sensitive skin. Shaving is a mild exfoliant that exposes new skin cells, which are sensitive to the spray tan’s DHA darkening agent. Sensitive cells can react with redness and discomfort. Give yourself a 12-24 hour window between shaving and your appointment. Be sure to shave within this time, so you don’t have to shave soon after you get your spray tan. 

Prep with the right scrub.

Lightly exfoliating before your spray tan will slough off old skin cells and allow the tan to stick to an even base. Don’t use a pre-made scrub; scrubs contain oils that coat the skin, so you may end up with a slightly streaky tan. Exfoliate instead with soap and an exfoliating mitt. Do not apply moisturizer or deodorant for the same reasons — dry skin is best for this beauty regimen. 

Wear loose-fitting clothes après tan.

Tight leggings, form-fitting sleeves, and even your bra can make the finished results look splotchy. A freshly sprayed tan can be easily smeared, so wear a loose sundress or sweatpants and a T-shirt to the salon. Avoid tight fitting clothes until after your first shower.

Time to rinse!

Some spray tans develop in 2 hours, some develop in 6-8, so keep an eye on the clock. If you don’t think you are tan enough when the time is up, it’s safe to go another 30 minutes to an hour before showering. Do not go too much over the allotted time because you may start to look orange as the tan develops over its given time.

When you get out of the shower, pat dry with a towel. Don’t pile on body butter. Heavy lotions and body butters will fade your glow fast. Use a lightweight lotion instead, and try to pat it into your skin vs rubbing it in. 

Apply sunscreen.

A spray tan does not make an impact on your body’s melanin which is the pigment that causes your skin to darken naturally when exposed to the sun. Just because you look tan does not mean you’re not going to burn. Apply a lightweight sunscreen for protection.

Stay out of the pool.

Spending hours in chlorinated water may wreck your tan. Chlorine is a kind of bleach that will remove your faux glow fast. A quick dip in the pool won’t strip the tan from your skin, but hours on end will shorten your tan’s life. Limit your swimming and pat dry as soon as you get out of the water.

Don’t spray new tan on top of old.

It’s not good to maintain a fake tan by spraying a new layer on top of the old. You will end up with a patchy tan that’s darker in areas where the old tan remains and lighter in areas where it’s already worn off. 

How to get ready for a new tan or fix a bad spray tan.

Removing a tan at home is a relatively easy process. Mix a little shower gel into a warm bath and soak in the tub to get your skin soft. Follow by exfoliating with a loofah or mitt. Add some lemon juice to your skin before exfoliating with soap and the mitt. It will naturally help break down the spray tan. Check to see if the brand you used makes a tan remover which contain exfoliating acids such as glycolic acid. A tan remover will act faster to slough off the top layer of your skin and the tan, but this method should be used sparingly.

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