How to Prep for a Spray Tan


A spray tan is a popular method of achieving a bronzed glow without the harmful effects of UV exposure. Properly preparing for a spray tan is crucial in ensuring optimal results and longevity. By following the right preparation steps, you can not only enhance the outcome of the spray tan but also extend its duration, ultimately saving you time and money.

1. Exfoliating and Moisturizing for a Flawless Tan

Exfoliating and moisturizing your skin before a spray tan is crucial for achieving a flawless and long-lasting tan. By properly preparing your skin, you create a smooth canvas for the tanning solution to adhere to, resulting in an even and natural-looking tan. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Exfoliating: Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and oils from the surface of the skin. This process not only creates a smooth base for the tan but also helps the tan to develop more evenly. It’s recommended to exfoliate your skin 3-5 days before your spray tan appointment.
  • Gentle Scrubs or Exfoliating Mitts: When exfoliating, it’s essential to use gentle scrubs or exfoliating mitts to avoid over-exfoliation. Over-exfoliating can cause the tan to appear patchy or uneven. Look for products specifically designed for pre-tan exfoliation that are gentle on the skin.
  • Moisturizing: Hydrated skin is key to prolonging the life of your spray tan. Moisturizing regularly leading up to your appointment helps to lock in moisture and create a barrier between the skin and the tanning solution. Opt for lightweight, oil-free moisturizers that won’t create a barrier on the skin.

It’s important to note that while exfoliating and moisturizing are essential steps in preparing for a spray tan, it’s equally important not to overdo it. Over-exfoliation can lead to dryness and irritation, while heavy moisturizers can create a barrier that prevents the tanning solution from developing properly.

By following these exfoliating and moisturizing tips, you’ll set yourself up for a flawless and long-lasting tan. Remember, preparation is key when it comes to achieving the best spray tan results.

2. Preparing Your Hair Removal Routine

When getting ready for a spray tan, it’s important to take care of any hair removal needs beforehand. The tanning solution can stick to hair follicles, which can make it look unnatural if you don’t handle it properly. Here are some important things to think about:

  • Timing is Crucial: It’s best to wax or shave at least 24 hours before your tanning appointment. This gives any potential skin irritation from these methods enough time to go away, so that your skin is smooth when you get the spray tan.
  • Waxing vs. Shaving: Both waxing and shaving have their good and bad points when it comes to spray tanning. Waxing makes the results last longer because it removes hair from the root, but it can also make your skin more sensitive right after you do it. On the other hand, shaving is faster and less painful, but you might notice the hair growing back sooner.

By understanding how different hair removal methods can affect your spray tan, you can choose the one that works best for you based on your preferences and how sensitive your skin is.

Getting rid of unwanted hair properly before your spray tan is an important step in making sure that it looks great and stays on for a long time.

3. The Importance of a Pre-Tan Shower

A pre-tan shower is essential for ensuring clean and prepared skin before getting a spray tan. Taking the time to cleanse your skin properly before your appointment can greatly enhance the effectiveness and duration of your tan. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Remove any products: The purpose of the pre-tan shower is to get rid of any products on your skin that could potentially affect how the tan develops. This includes oils, lotions, perfumes, and makeup. These products can create a barrier between your skin and the tanning solution, leading to an uneven or patchy tan. Starting with a clean slate is crucial.
  • Use lukewarm water: When taking a pre-tan shower, choose lukewarm water over hot water. Hot water can open up your pores and make your skin more likely to absorb the tanning solution unevenly. Lukewarm water helps maintain a balanced temperature on your skin, allowing for a smoother application.
  • Avoid oil-based or heavy moisturizing products: After your pre-tan shower, refrain from using any oil-based or heavily moisturizing products on your skin. These types of products can create a barrier that hinders the tanning solution from fully developing on your skin. Instead, go for lightweight and oil-free moisturizers that won’t interfere with the tanning process.
  • Gently exfoliate dry-prone areas: Pay extra attention to dry-prone areas like elbows, knees, and ankles during your pre-tan shower. Gently exfoliate these areas using appropriate methods to eliminate dead skin cells and ensure an even application of the tanning solution.

By following these guidelines and making pre-tan showers part of your spray tan preparation routine, you can ensure that your skin is clean and ready for optimal tanning results. This extra step significantly contributes to achieving an even and long-lasting tan that you’ll love flaunting.

Tip: Now, if you’re wondering whether you can use a loofah or flannel during your second shower after getting a spray tan, here’s a discussion on the topic that might help.

Now that you know why a pre-tan shower is important, let’s move on to the next section: “Choosing the Right Clothing for Your Tan.”

4. Choosing the Right Clothing for Your Tan

After your spray tan session, choosing the right clothing can significantly impact the longevity and evenness of your tan. Here are some key points to keep in mind when selecting your post-tan wardrobe:

  • Loose, Dark-Colored Clothing: Opt for loose-fitting garments in dark colors. Tight clothing can rub against the skin, potentially causing the tan to wear off unevenly. Additionally, light-colored clothing may become stained by the tanning solution.
  • Breathable Fabrics: Choose breathable fabrics such as cotton to minimize sweating and smudging of the tan. These materials allow air to circulate around the skin, reducing the risk of smearing or transferring the tanning solution onto other surfaces.

By being mindful of your clothing choices after a spray tan, you can help ensure that your tan develops evenly and lasts as long as possible.

5. Nurturing Your Tan with Proper Aftercare

After your spray tan appointment, taking care of your tan becomes crucial for maintaining its beautiful glow. Proper aftercare not only helps the tan last longer but also ensures that it develops evenly and fades naturally over time.

1. Avoid Sweating

It’s important to steer clear of activities that can lead to excessive sweating, such as intense workouts or sauna sessions, for at least 24-48 hours after the tan. Sweating excessively can cause the tan to streak or fade prematurely, impacting its overall longevity.

2. Follow Specific Aftercare Instructions

Different tanning solutions may have slightly different aftercare requirements. Therefore, it’s essential to heed any specific instructions provided by your spray tan technician. This can include guidelines on when to shower after the tan, which products to avoid, and how often to moisturize for optimal results.

3. Moisturize Daily

To prolong the life of your tan, make moisturizing a part of your daily routine. Opt for a hydrating lotion that is gentle on the skin and helps lock in the color. Keeping your skin well-hydrated can prevent the tan from fading too quickly and maintain its radiance for an extended period.

By prioritizing post-tan care and following these simple yet effective steps, you can ensure that your spray tan looks flawless and lasts as long as possible.

Additional Tips for the Best Spray Tan Experience

To ensure you have the best spray tan experience possible, here are some additional tips and tricks to enhance your spray tan prep:

  • Exfoliate gently every 2-3 days: Exfoliating regularly throughout the duration of your spray tan helps to ensure that it fades evenly. Use a gentle exfoliant or exfoliating mitt to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth canvas for the tan to adhere to. Avoid using harsh scrubs or over-exfoliating, as this can cause the tan to appear patchy or uneven.
  • Avoid excessive moisture: Excessive moisture on the skin can cause your spray tan to break down prematurely. It’s important to stay away from activities that can make you sweat excessively, such as intense workouts, sauna sessions, or spending time in hot tubs. Additionally, avoid taking long baths or swimming in chlorinated pools, as these can also affect the longevity of your tan.
  • Skip deodorant and heavy makeup: After your spray tan, it’s best to avoid using deodorants or applying heavy makeup immediately. These products can alter the color of your tan or create uneven patches. If you’re concerned about body odor, opt for a natural deodorant without aluminum. As for makeup, wait until after your first shower following the spray tan before applying any heavy products.
  • Consult with your spray tan technician: Every spray tan technician may have slightly different guidelines for pre-tan and post-tan care. It’s always a good idea to consult with your technician and ask if they have any specific recommendations for you. They may have additional tips or advice based on their expertise and experience.

By following these additional tips and tricks, you’ll be well-prepared for your spray tan and can expect beautiful and long-lasting results. Remember to exfoliate regularly, avoid excessive moisture, skip deodorant and heavy makeup right after your tan, and consult with your spray tan technician for any specific guidelines they may have. With proper preparation and care, you’ll be able to enjoy a flawless and natural-looking tan that lasts.


By taking the time to properly prepare for your spray tan, you can enjoy beautiful and long-lasting results that save you time and money in the long run.

Follow the comprehensive guide and implement the recommended tips for your next spray tanning session to achieve the best possible outcome.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *