How To Prep and Care For Your Spray Tan

February 1
1 Comment

After 8 years in the spray tan industry I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to help you have a flawless, long lasting tan.


  • Prepping for your tan is by far the MOST important part!
  • The week leading up to your tan be sure to moisturize your skin A LOT. This will help make sure your skin won’t be flaky and dry when you tan. I suggest using Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. If you already have a sunless tan be sure you are not using anything with mineral oil or alcohol. See which products I like HERE
  • Wax a day before (two is better). Shave 24 hours before. 
  • It is better to get your nails done prior.
  • **This is most important step! The day of or day before your tan make sure you get in a hot, steamy shower and EXFOLIATE with a non-oil based scrub or a luffah. See which ones I recommend HERE.
  • If you are getting the tan that day and you shave be sure to run cool water over the shaved area to help close up the pores so “pooling” of the solution won’t occur.
  • When you get out of the shower rub your skin dry with a towel, this helps get any extra dead skin off.
  • DO NOT put on lotion! Or deodorant, foundation, perfume, anything for that matter, leave your skin bare. *if you must wear deodorant or makeup be sure to wipe as much as you can off before your appointment.
  • If you have any scabs or dry patches dab vasaline over the area


during and after

  • Most spray tan technicians are comfortable with you going nude. It’s your call BUT if you choose to wear something you will have very distinct tan lines. Solution will wash out of underwear or a swim suit but you can also buy disposable underwear if that makes you more comfortable.
  • If you are breastfeeding I recommend wearing nipple covers (purchase here) or carefully wiping off the solution with a baby wipe after your tan. 
  • It is best to avoid a bra after a tan, straps and underwire can rub the solution off. If you must, a lace or cotton bralette or bandeau bra.
  • Make sure that you feel dry before getting dressed. You will feel slightly sticky after but you shouldn’t feel wet. Once you are dry put on loose, dark clothing. No yoga pants, no jeans, no socks. 
  • Flip flops or UGG boots are best. 


  • Avoid water and sweating for 8 hours (depending on the solution). Now is not the time to do your dishes, water your flowers or take a drink of a beverage while driving. The last thing you want is a streak down your leg or arm or chin.
  • If you tend to sweat or it’s hot outside, use baby powder in creases and arm pits to keep your skin dry.
  • The longer you wait to shower, the better. 8 hours is good, 12 hours is better. Make sure it’s a lukewarm temperature. During your first shower some color will wash off, this is nothing to worry about it is just the cosmetic bronzer, not your actual tan. 
  • Use mild body wash instead of harsh bar soaps. See which ones I recommend HERE
  • Avoid shaving for 24 hours after and when you do shave use a hair conditioner instead of shaving cream.
  • Air dry or gently pat your skin dry.
  • Stay hydrated! You should drink plenty of water and moisturize twice a day with one of these products.
  • Plan your exercise routine around your tan and wait at least 16 hours to sweat.  
  • Your face and hands are always the first to fade due to constant washing. HERE are face tanners I recommend for between tanning sessions. If are going on vacation or want to extend your tan THESE lotions are recommended 

**READ Things to avoid with a spray tan 



  1. Thank you for your tip on how the week leading up to your tan be sure to moisturize your skin a lot so it won’t be flaky and dry when you tan. My husband and I have a beach trip planned next week and I haven’t had a chance to tan at all beforehand, and I don’t want to be really pale. I will definitely keep your tips in mind if I decide to get a spray tan before my trip.

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