Spray Tan Tips + Tricks

I am fully convinced that there is no better feeling than being tan; there is nothing that can change my mind. But as much as I love it, I like to achieve the look with the least amount of damage possible. I’ve never used a tanning bed, and I always lather on the SPF before going outside.

This leaves me with two options: self-tanning at home and spray tans. I used to self-tan at home consistently, but sometimes it’s too much of a hassle, as lazy as that sounds. Spray tans are much easier — you walk in and out, don’t have to do any of the work, don’t have to worry about applying it streaky or missing a spot — the list goes on and on. That being said, there is definitely a set of tips and tricks that will help your spray tan come out as perfect as possible. They certainly aren’t fool-proof, so if you’re not careful, you can definitely still end up with a botched tan.

With the weather starting to warm up here in LA, I am itching to get that bronzey glow back! I’ve missed it all winter long, so it’s definitely time to get back in the swing of things. For that reason, today I’m sharing my top tips and tricks for spray tans to keep you glowing all year round. I hope you enjoy x

/ B E F O R E /

  1. Before I get a spray tan I like to shower and take a few steps to make sure my skin is fully prepped. First I dry brush before I get in the shower (I have a full post on dry brushing here if you’d like to hear more!). In the shower, I exfoliate and shave. These steps will make sure that your skin is as smooth as possible, so the spray tan will go on as evenly as possible and stick to your skin nicer.
  2. I also like to remove my manicure and pedicure before heading to the salon. I find that the tanning color can mess with the nail polish color and sometimes get in your cuticles.
  3. Lastly, I get dressed in loose, baggy clothes. When you get dressed after the spray tan, you’re not going to want to put on tight-fitting clothes. Keeping it light and loose will help your tan dry better and not rub at it.

/ A T  T H E  S A L O N /

  1. For me personally, I typically find that that a level 2/medium option works best. I’ve been to some salons who provide other options (and some who don’t), but if offered, I prefer voilet undertones, and I like to add the accelerator if they ask. The violet undertones look best with my skintone, but if you have olive-toned or darker skin than I do, the other options might work better. I also like the accelerator because then you walk out already tan, instead of having to wait hours for it to show up.
  2. During the actual spray tan, I like to put the shower cap over my hair and I also put a small towel on floor of spray tan booth; the salon will give you both of these items. The shower cap is for obvious reasons, and the towel on the floor keeps the tan on the floor from getting on the bottom of your feet. This is a tell-tale sign that someone just got a spray tan — when they have the orange-ish look on the bottom of their feet. They usually recommend you use a barrier cream around your hands and feet, but I don’t ever use it.
  3. The rest is easy peasy. Either the machine will direct you for how to stand, when to turn around, etc., or the worker at the salon will tell you. Either way, just follow the directions and that will ensure you don’t miss any spots on your body and you get the most even tan as possible.

/ A F T E R /

  1. Immediately after the tan, I like to use baby wipes around my hands/wrists, and feet/ankles. These are the spots that sometimes end up a little blotchy, so I like to wipe them down to get rid of any extra tan that may have gotten there.
  2. I recommend leaving the spray tan on for at least eight hours before rinsing it off; this will make sure the color fully develops. At this point, you can feel free to redo your manicure and pedicure.
  3. Over the next week or so, the biggest thing is to stay super hydrated with lotions and body creams. This will keep your tan nice and fresh and even, because if your skin gets dry, the tan will begin to fade and look uneven. I also make sure to avoid dry brushing and exfoliating for the first few days while the tan is fresh.


Do you have any tips and tricks for getting the perfect spray tan?

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