6 Expert Tips to Prepare for a Spray Tan

6 Expert Tips to Prepare for a Spray Tan

One of the advantages of getting a spray tan is the ability to quickly stop in the salon (or even have a mobile spray tanner come to you) and get your ideal skin glow in mere minutes. However, as any spray tan regular will attest, there a few important preparation and maintenance steps to ensure your flawless tan not only comes out looking great, but stays that way over an extended period of time. Don’t worry though; these unwritten guidelines are easy! So, without further ado, here is the first part of our 2-part blog with essential tips to achieve the optimal results from your spray tan.


Dead skin cells can cause streaking and flaking after a spray tan. We suggest using physical exfoliants like body scrubs, loofahs, dry brushing, or even a washcloth every day for three days before your appointment. This will help to remove the dead skin cells, leaving your skin perfectly smooth and ready to absorb the maximum tanning solution. *It is important to note that you should not use chemical ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid at least 24 hours before your tan. These chemicals can prevent the tanning solution from absorbing in to your skin or work at exfoliating your tan too.


While shaving before your appointment isn’t obligatory, shaving up to 24 hours after a spray tan can remove the spray tan solution along with your hair. If you do choose to shave before the appointment, do it at least 24 hours in advance to allow your skin and pores to recover. Similarly, allow 24 hours between waxing and spray tanning, because this procedure will open up your pores, leaving an uneven tint. 


An incredibly important step in the spray tan process, we recommend showering exactly 8 hours before your appointment. This allows your body time to resume its natural pH level while at the same time offering all the benefits of exfoliation. 

4.Wear Loose Clothes and Sandals, Utilize Nail Polish

One of the most common questions new spray tan clients ask is, “what should I wear to my appointment?” We recommend wearing dark, loose-fitting clothing and sandals that will have the lowest chance of being stained. Tight bras, shirts, pants, or shoes can cause tan lines if worn immediately after your appointment, ruining the spray tan masterpiece that your technician just performed. If you plan on wearing undergarments during the spray process, be sure to wear something you don’t mind getting stained. Another insider tip is to paint your nails before your spray tan. Nail polish helps to prevent discoloration around your nails and cuticles. 

5.Avoid Makeup, Deodorant, and Moisturizer

Acting as a barrier to prevent your skin’s absorption of the spray tanning solution, makeup and deodorant should not be worn during your appointment. If you can’t go without them, bring a pack of oil-free wipes to quickly remove all substances before the technician sprays your skin. Many salons, spas, and technicians will also have wipes available, just in case you forget. Avoid using moisturizer a few hours before you’re being sprayed too, as it will disrupt your skin’s absorption of the tanning solution.

6.Communicate with Your Professional

Constantly keeping open communication with your technician is the best way to ensure your spray tan meets or exceeds your expectations. Be sure to talk with them about things such as the skin tone you are looking for, if you have any dry skin areas, wounds, or allergies, or if they have any other suggestions for you besides the ones we’ve outlined above. Chances are your spray tan technician has dealt with your questions or concerns before and knows how to adjust their work to provide you with optimal service.

Follow these 6 tips to ensure that the spray tan you receive not only looks great from the start, but stays that way longer. Be sure to keep an eye out for our next blog that will highlight expert tips for spray tan after care! You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest products, news, and trends in spray tanning.

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