How To Get A Spray Tan

Are you looking forward to donning your swimsuit in a golden glowing skin, this summer? There are various tanning techniques you can choose to use, from sun-based, tanning beds, or fake tan. For using fake tan, you can either do it yourself using self-tanners or go to the tanning salon to get a spray tan.

Since you are well-versed with the adverse effects of exposing yourself to UV radiation, you may want to stay away from tanning techniques that involve the use of ultraviolet radiation. In spray tanning you may choose from:

  • Airbrush spray tan
  • Booth Spray Tan

In this tutorial, I will cover how to get a spray tan, from preparation for the tanning session to the Do’s and Don’ts after tanning.


Preparing For A Spray Tan


It is important to exfoliate before your tanning appointment. Use an exfoliator that is water based, a washcloth or loofah can also work. Scrub gently and remember to shave or wax if you don’t want a patchy result. You should do this a day before your scheduled spray tanning appointment.

Remember to moisturize after exfoliating. However, you should not moisturize on the day of the appointment. The moisturizer will prevent your skin from fully absorbing the spray tan.

Get Your Nails Done Before Your Appointment

Get Your Nails Done Before Your Appointment

You shouldn’t worry about your nail polish being ruined by the tanning process. They will be wiped down once you are done. If you want to get some eyelash extensions; do that before your appointment.

They won’t have any effect on the tanning procedure. The polish also helps to protect your nails from staining.

Wipe Down Deodorants, Lotions, Sunscreen, Etc

If you have booked your appointment after work, you should carry wet cleansing towelettes or baby wipes to remove any products that you had applied and prep your skin to absorb the spray tan.

Use a gentle wipe to absorb any sweat from your body and pat yourself dry. If you are coming straight from the house, shower, and pat yourself dry. Don’t apply any lotion or makeup on as they will act as a tan spray barrier.

Put On Dark And Loose-fitting

Clothes and especially those that have little or no bands. You don’t want the clothes to take off the tan before it sets as it will leave you with an uneven color, patches, and even streaks.

The Tanning Session

During the tanning sessions, you will be asked your preferred method of tanning, do you want to strip down or would like to stay in your underwear but topless? Choose what you are comfortable.

You will be given a barrier cream that you will need to apply on your toes and nails. Use it generously as it will protect them from the tan. You may also need to use it on the dry areas of the skin that tend to go darker than the rest of the body, e.g. knees, elbows, etc. Inform your attendant of any areas of your skin that are broken, have wounds or allergies.

Cover your hair with a cap that you will be given and don’t forget your hairline. You can use bobby pins to hold the cap on your head. There are different solutions used in spray tanning. The clear solution builds with time, but you leave the salon in the same color that you came in.

As for the bronzed solution, it also develops gradually, but it gives you instant color. The solution is dispensed using a spray gun, and the salon attendant will start with your face. You will be asked close your eyes and or even take deep breathes. Kindly follow the instructions of the attendant, on how to stand, when to bend, stretch, etc.

If it’s your first time tanning using spray tan and requires to dry yourself after tanning, you can bring someone with you to help dry the drips of tanning solution. It applies when you won’t have the option of drying using an air hose. You don’t want the drips to dry up as they are messy, if not ugly.

Do’s And Don’ts After Getting A Spray Tan

Do’s And Don’ts After Getting A Spray Tan

After investing your time and money in the spray tanning session, you most definitely don’t want to end up with patches or streaks of tan. You will probably be advised by the tanning attendant on what to and what not to do, as outlined below:

  • For you to maintain your desired color from the tanning session, you may be asked to wait for at least 6-8 hours before taking a shower. If you used express tanning formula, then you will dilly-dally a shorter time, approximately, 2-6 hours.
  • Refrain from engaging in strenuous activities that will cause you to sweat or get wet. Swimming is also in this category. You don’t want to end up with a streaky tan.
  • When it’s time to shower, do not use harsh soaps, substitute them with shower gels for the next few days that you will want to wear that golden glow. Using a clean towel that you should expect to get stained, pat yourself dry and gently. Use warm water to wash off the excess color.
  • You can use a tan extender to prolong your tan if you want to keep the sun-kissed glow for longer. Remember to moisturize often, as it will prevent the tan from fading in uneven patches. Due to the use of makeup and regular washing, your face will be the first to fade.

For preparing for a big day, say, a wedding or prom night, have a test tanning session a few days before the actual event. If you are ready to remove the color totally, you can read more on How to Remove Fake Tan here. Use exfoliation mitts and warm shower.



When you still desire to have a sun-kissed glow but are not considering exposure to ultraviolet radiation, you should try spray tanning. It is a pretty simple process where the attendant uses a spray gun to dispense the tanning solution.

Depending on the formula you choose, you will either get instant color from the utilization of a bronzed solution or go back the same color as your tan builds up, using a clear solution. Before your tanning session, you will need to exfoliate, preferably a day before the appointment.

Remember to shave or wax and even have your nails done before your appointment. That is if you don’t want to end up with streaks and patches of color. During the session, apply the barrier cream on your nails and toes to keep them from staining.

Follow the instructions of the attendant and let the tanning solution set as instructed before you shower or engage in any strenuous activities.

Tell us about your spray tanning experience down below.

Trista Lawless

I have a strong passion for skincare. Because of my sensitive skin, I spent many times to research carefully about the high-quality skincare products and tanning lotions. Then, I run a blog named: Find More Beauty to provide my readers with useful tips, best tanning practices as well as all my knowledge and experiences of skincare.

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