How to Prepare for the Perfect Spray Tan

Considering a spray tan but have no idea where to start?

Spray tans are an amazing option to add a sunkissed glow to your skin but there is a little prep work involved if you want stellar results. Sure you can just walk into the studio and get sprayed without the prep but you run the risk of the tanning solution not taking evenly and the tan not lasting very long. Prepping your skin before getting sprayed removes any product buildup you might have on your skin (which can cause the tan not to take evenly or not to take at all) and also removes dead skin cells which will sluff off quicker taking your tan with it.

The following steps are recommended each time you get sprayed:

1. All waxing, shaving, manis/pedis, need to be done at least the day before your tanning appointment. If you wax or shave the day of your appointment, your skin doesn’t have time to recover and solution can settle in your pores causing a blackhead look. Eeesh! If you have no other option than to get your nails done right before your appointment, have the nail tech refrain from using any oils or lotions on your skin because these will cause barriers and cause the solution not to take evenly.

2. The night before getting sprayed, shower with a clear liquid body wash, shave if needed AND THEN exfoliate very last with an oil free scrub and an exfoliating mitt or gloves. You can also use a homemade scrub of organic coconut oil and sugar. (Steer clear of loofahs because they don’t do the level of exfoliation needed for spray tanning and store bought scrubs with oils because some of the oils may cause a barrier on the skin.)

3. Remove ALL old tan before applying a new one. If you spray over an old tan, you run the risk of your new tan fading quicker, fading patchy and looking brassy (aka orange) in the areas where the old tan remained. There are some extra steps you can take to remove that old bronze. Blank Canvas is a product we carry that will remove old tan. They recently made the potion stronger and changed the scent so if you’ve tried it before you may want to give it another go! If you just have a few little patchy areas, you can pick up a bottle of Micellar Water at the drugstore that will magically remove old tan.

4. Refrain from applying any lotions, oils, perfume or deodorant after exfoliating. If you must wear deodorant during the day prior to your tanning appointment, please thoroughly remove it before getting sprayed. When deodorant interacts with tanning solution, it will turn green in that area and take a couple of washes for it to disappear.

5. Please do not shower right before your tanning appointment as the heat/steam can adversely affect your tan. If you must rinse right before getting sprayed, please do a quick rinse with cool water and a washcloth only. Hot showers will totally affect how the solution takes. Body wash can cause a barrier on the skin.

6. Keep in mind tan lines when choosing what you’ll wear while getting sprayed. Some clients wear bathing suits, some wear just bottoms, some get sprayed in the buff. You wear what you feel most comfortable wearing but keep in mind the outfits that you will be wearing while sporting your tan. You don’t want to wear a bikini top with straps if your evening gown is a bandeau and your shoulders will be totally exposed. If a crisp tan line is your thing then you’ll want to wear a solid bottom instead of a lace undie. The spray will penetrate through the lighter areas of the lace which will produce a leopard-looking tan line.

7. Bring something dark and loose to slip on after getting sprayed along with loose-fitting flip flops. Please DO NOT bring leggings, tight jeans, tight tops, workout bras, socks, and sneakers to slip on after getting sprayed. Those items will totally affect how your tan develops and it won’t be ideal. If you will be wearing attire that exposes your shoulders, you’ll want to refrain from slipping on a bra after getting sprayed because it might leave lines where the straps rub. If you plan on sleeping in the tan, the more you are covered the better protected you are from mishaps. Wherever there is skin on skin, the tan can transfer and end up darker in places.

8. Bring a towel to cover your car seat for the ride home. When you leave the studio, you will have immediate color from the bronzer that is sprayed on with the tanning solution. This temporary bronzer will rub off if not protected by clothing. If your post tanning attire exposes the back of your legs, you’ll want to put a towel on the seat to protect the car seat from the bronzer. Keep in mind, you’ll want to do the same at home to protect furniture until you do your initial rinse.

9. If there is rain in the forecast the day of your tanning appointment, please come prepared with an umbrella, long sleeve shirt, long loose-fitting pants or flowy skirt and rain boots or close-toed shoes that won’t rub. By the way, if you do happen to get a raindrop or two on your tan, take a dry towel and pat the area dry and then leave it alone. A lot of the time it’s just the bronzer that gets disrupted and the tan will end up fine. The more you mess with it the more it will mess it up.

10. The most important thing from the time you get sprayed to the time you rinse is to stay dry! Don’t get hot and sweaty, don’t plan on doing dishes, don’t workout…just chillax while the tan marinates.

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