8 Ways to Maintain Your Spray Tan

You just wrapped up a great skin tanning session, but you’re worried the new glow will be gone in no time. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to extend the lifespan of your skin tan. In this article, we’ll share 8 simple tips to help you achieve this.  

How long does a spray tan last? 

Two factors determine how long your spray tan lasts: 

  1. The shade of the spray tan 
  2. How well you care for your skin before and after tanning 

The darker the spray tan, the longer it lasts. This is because darker shades of the tanning solution contain more Dihydroxyacetone — the active ingredient responsible for that dark, tan glow everyone loves. 

Generally, lighter tan shades last up to five days, while darker shades last up to ten days. 

How to make your spray tan last longer 

If you want your spray tan to last longer, you need to adopt healthy skin prep and skin management practices before and after tanning. 

  • Exfoliate your skin
  • Wear loose clothes
  • Clean off your deodorant before tanning 
  • Keep the solution on for at least six hours before washing it off.
  • Apply baby powder to your skin
  • Avoid hot baths  
  • Apply a self-tanner  

Exfoliate your skin 

Exfoliating your skin helps to remove dull, dehydrated, and dead skin cells, as well as other impurities. Dead skin cells prevent your skin from tanning evenly, which affects how long your spray tan lasts. 

Exfoliate your skin daily with non-chemical or non-oil-based exfoliants for three days before spray tanning. Oil-based exfoliants prevent your skin from absorbing the tanning solution evenly. On the other hand, chemical exfoliants have active ingredients that can take off your spray tan fast. 

Wear loose clothing

To prevent unwanted tan lines and indentation, wear loose-fitting shirtdresses, gowns, shorts, and slip-on shoes to your tan appointment. Typically, spray tans mean no tan lines — unless you put on tight-fitting garments like a body-hugging gown, tight bra, or shorts, immediately after your appointment.

Keep the solution on for at least six hours before washing it off.

Want to take a quick shower after getting your tan? Well, not so fast. After your spray tan appointment, you should wait a minimum of six hours before taking a shower. This allows your skin to absorb the tanning solution and ensure an even shade fully. If you like, you can leave the tanning solution for up to 12 hours — any longer, and your spray tan might become streaky.

And when it’s time to take a bath, be sure to avoid hot showers (we’ll tell you why in a bit). 

Avoid hot baths 

If you want to maintain your spray tan for a few extra days, you should stay off hot baths. Hot baths can strip the glow from your tan, leaving an uneven fade-off or patchy look — and you do not want to ruin your even, spray tan glow. So, keep your shower water cool and lukewarm, and use a nourishing shower cream to cleanse your skin gently. 

Remember to moisturize your skin with an oil-free moisturizer to lock in the spray tan. 

Apply baby powder to your skin 

You should remove any deodorant from your skin before your tanning appointment because these products contain ingredients that can interfere with your tanning solution. And after the tanning process, you can’t reapply them to your sweat-prone areas just yet. 

So what do you do as a newly tanned person? Apply baby powder. Shake a generous amount onto all sweat-prone areas like your underarms, inner elbows, under your butt, and the back of your knees to keep them nice and dry. Sweating can make your tan develop streaks and spots. 

Use self-tanner to enhance your spray tan

If your tan starts fading after a few days, you can apply a self-tanner or some other gradual tanning product to make it last longer. These products won’t provide the same color and depth as your initial spray tan, but they will extend the tanning effect and keep your skin soft. You can also apply some shimmer on your skin to make your tan “pop”!

Are spray tans worth it? 

Yes, getting a spray tan is worth it. Unlike a regular, natural tan that can take months to achieve, you can get a spray tan that’s right for your skin in about 30 minutes. And you don’t have to deal with the risks of sunburns and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays that can cause skin damage. 

Wrapping up 

Now that you know how to achieve a long-lasting skin tan, you can confidently book your next spray tan appointment on ClassPass. You can find a spa near you easily and get a glowing spray tan in no time. 

Faith is a freelance writer working with saas, marketing, and e-commerce companies. When she’s not writing, you will find her reading, listening to good ol’ music, or daydreaming about traveling. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
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