Tips on Spray Tans

Moisturize your skin often after getting a spray tan.
Moisturize your skin often after getting a spray tan. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

One of the safest ways to get a glowing tan is by getting spray tans. Tanning salons offer spray tans in which you stand in a booth and the entire body is tanned. Sunless tanners contain DHA, which causes a safe chemical reaction that produces a tan. Spray tanning can give the same tan to the skin as the sun does, without causing skin cancer or aging the skin via harmful UVA and UVB rays. There are ways to maximize the look of a spray tan.

Clean Skin

Get spray tanned with clean skin. Before the appointment, do not apply any lotion, makeup, oil or sunscreen. All of those things can affect how the tan appears on the skin. They also create a layer, or barrier, that prevents the spray tan from penetrating the skin to the maximum extent. Heed this advice and get the maximum spray tan possible.

Avoid Water

It is crucial to protect a spray tan from getting wet within the first eight to 12 hours after the tanning session. This includes not working out, as sweating will also prevent the spray tan from taking full effect. If it is raining outside, cover yourself with an umbrella as the rain can lead to spots on your tan. Do not shower until eight to 12 hours after the spray tan.


Cover fingernails and toenails before the spray tanning session. Most salons provide a barrier cream that prevents the spray tan from staining them. Petroleum jelly is another way to protect fingernails and toenails. Salons may also provide nail and toenail coverings. Stained nails will look orange and will advertise to others that you have gotten a spray tan.


Pamper your skin when spray tanning. While it is necessary to not wear moisturizer or lotion to the spray tan session, it is essential to moisturize skin often and thoroughly in the days after receiving a spray tan. After the spray tan, apply a copious amount of moisturizer or body butter that evening and the next morning. Apply lotion or cream at least once a day and preferably twice per day to extend the life of your spray tan. Keeping skin moisturized also prevents the spray tan from fading poorly.

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