Spray Tanning 101

Spray Tanning 101


In the timeline of American history, spray tanning is a relatively new concept. However, it is a trend that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years evidenced by the annual revenue that this corner of the beauty industry generates. The process of applying a spray tan is not that complex, either. Typically, a professional mixes a solution according to the client’s skin type before applying it on the body with an airbrush. There are even home kits—such as those on offer from Artesian Tan—that can be sent directly to consumers.

However, there are some general guidelines everyone should be familiar with before embarking on their spray tan odyssey. These tips are not life or death—they will merely assist in achieving the best tan possible.

Clothing Optional

The good thing about spray tanning is that it can be done according to the comfort level of the person in question. Those who want to apply a tan while fully nude can do so, and those who want to do it underwear won’t have any problems, either.

Use Baby Powder

This is particularly important for those who are applying a spray tan solution themselves. Applying baby powder to areas prone to sweat, such as behind the knees and on the inside of the arms, goes a long way to preserving an artificial tan.

Do Nails Beforehand

Anyone thinking about getting their nails done should do so before the spray tan appointment. To preserve the nails, simply use a barrier cream. Getting a manicure after a spray tan session often leads to smearing and discoloration on the hands.

Limit Shaving

It’s actually recommended to shave and wax before the spray tan application as opposed to afterwards. The same goes for exfoliating the skin. Of course, no one is saying a spray tan prevents shaving altogether. If this must be done, use a new, sharp razor and try to shave as lightly as possible.

Moisture Alert

This is particularly true of the first day. As the spray tan sets, it’s vital to avoid sweating as much as possible, which means skipping that daily visit to the gym. Hot tubs and chlorine should be avoided as well, which means no swimming pools or dips in the Jacuzzi. It goes without saying that rain should be avoided, and stay away from weepy movies during the first day of a spray tan—even crying can disrupt the tan’s coloring.

Avoid Creams

Having a spray tan won’t necessarily diminish the effectiveness of a facial cream or anti-acne medication. However, creams and topical medications can and often do leave white marks and streaks when applied over spray tans. Best to avoid them altogether throughout the duration.


Experts recommend getting a spray tan in the afternoon. That way, the person receiving the tan can go home, go to bed, and be perfectly tan by morning. There’s no great bedtime protocol to sleeping with a new spray tan, either. Simply wear regular cotton pajamas, or pajama pants and a T-shirt.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when planning that spray tan application. FYI: a spray tan typically lasts about a week. Those who want to extend the life of their tan can do so with the use of light moisturizers and tan extenders.

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