They say that “nothing gold can stay” and that poetic phrase fits spray tanning suspiciously well. Those of us who absolutely adore looking sun-kissed and glowy agree that the only con of spray tan is that the result is not particularly long-lasting. However, there are a few things you can do before your appointment to ensure the maximum longevity and flawless appearance of your faux tan. Here are 10 of our best tricks, learned from spray tanning specialists, that will keep you looking bronze & beautiful for days to come!
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How long do spray tans last, usually?
Most spray tanning salons declare that the effects of their services last about a week, gradually washing off as the days pass. However, some people complain that they can enjoy their tan for barely three days, while others brag about their glow lasting for as long as a week and a half. Is this because of the differences in the tanning formula? Or is there more to it?
Although the quality of the spray tanning solution indeed affects the tan’s longevity, how long a spray tan lasts depends mostly on how well you prepared your skin beforehand and whether or not you engaged in proper aftercare. All tanning specialists agree that even the most professionally done spray tan won’t give you a flawless effect if you arrive for your appointment unprepared.
5 spray tan tips for before the appointment
1. Take a shower around 6-8 hours before your appointment
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with taking a shower before your tanning appointment – however, it’s important to mind the timing. It’s best to shower around 6-8 hours beforehand, and if you really need to do it right before the tanning session, at the very least make sure you are using gentle soap and lukewarm water. Do not use any oil-based products, especially heavy lotions!
2. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate
Exfoliation is the key to success, as it gets rid of dead skin cells and ensures smooth, seamless coverage. If you forget about it, you risk your tan coming off patchy and uneven – and getting even more so as the time progresses. Remember that the formula is meant to absorb into the top layers of your skin, so the tan will last much longer if your skin is new. Gentle scrub or exfoliating cleanser should do the job perfectly – just remember to not do it last minute, so that your skin can recover before the tanning!
3. If you want to shave, do it pre-tanning
If it’s in your habits to shave, then you definitely want to do it before the tanning appointment. Furthermore, it’s best to do it a good few hours before, to avoid irritation that may occur when you apply tanning formula to freshly shaved skin.
4. Do not moisturise your skin before the appointment!
It’s very important! Applying anything to your skin pre-tanning is basically a big no-no. Lotions, moisturisers, balms and creams, especially ones that are oil-based, create a barrier between the skin and the tanning solution. As a result, the tan may turn out less intense, streaky, patchy and/or disappear much quicker.
5. Do not use deodorant, make-up or perfume before the appointment
After your pre-tanning shower, skip out on using deodorant, applying any cosmetics or even spraying yourself with a fragrance. Once again, make-up can create a barrier that will negatively affect the absorption of the formula, and perfumes can cause irritation. Deodorant is the most notorious offender – it can cause your armpits to appear green after tanning, as the ingredients of the antiperspirant can react with the tanning solution. To avoid any of these issues, make sure to wash off any residue of these products when taking your pre-appointment shower.
5 tips on what to do after a spray tan
1. Make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing
When your tan develops, it’s crucial that you avoid wearing anything that rubs against your body. A tight-fitting bra, a top with spaghetti straps, narrow sandals – even your undergarments can be an offender. Choose an outfit that is loose and breathable, as you do not want the moisture building up underneath the clothing either. Keep in mind that the tanning formula, although seemingly translucent, may stain, so go for dark colours and preferably not your absolutely favourite dress!
2. Let the colour develop before you take a shower
A spray tan usually develops within 6-8 hours after the application. Specialists recommend showering around an hour after it stops developing. If you have an appointment in the afternoon, you can sleep with your tan still developing and take a shower in the morning – however, if you decide to do so, make sure you are wearing a loose pyjama that covers as much as your body as possible, as you risk staining your sheets.
3. Wash the formula off thoroughly, but gently
You want to use a delicate soap but definitely avoid any oil-based products. After the shower, pat your body dry with a towel or a sponge – do not apply too much pressure and do not rub the skin! If you let the water droplets run down through your skin they may cause the tan to become streaky, with visible lighter lines where they passed.
Now it’s finally time to give your skin some moisture. It will become an essential part of your tan maintenance routine going forward – basically, you want your skin to stay hydrated as long as possible. If you let it become dry, it will shed quicker, causing the tan to disappear faster. Use a lotion that does not contain heavy oils and make sure to apply it after every shower.
5. Don’t sweat it!
Quite literally – excessive sweating causes the tan to wash off quicker! In the first 12 hours after the appointment, you should skip going to the gym. Chlorine is also a well-known tan eater, so a visit to a pool may not be a good idea.
If you want to learn even more about spray tanning, make sure to check our guide where we answer all your possible tanning questions!
Looking for your next favourite tanning place? Say no more! Booksy is here to help you find the best spray tan salons in your area. With Booksy you can quickly find the most fitting specialist, check their portfolio, pricing and reviews, and book your appointment in just a few minutes. Your perfect tan is just a few clicks away!