Spray Tan Tips To Maximize Your Tan

Spray Tan Tips To Maximize Your Tan

There’s something about being tan that puts a pep in your step. Everyone loves a sun-kissed glow, and spray tanning makes it possible all year round. Sadly, the results will eventually fade — which means you’ll need to get tan all over again. 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to get the most out of your spray tan. There are several useful tips you can do before, during, and after your spray tan to increase its longevity. Today, we’re going to go over how to prepare for your spray tanning appointment, what to wear, how to maximize your tan, and other tricks to keep your tan looking flawless for as long as possible.

What Should I Know Before I Get a Spray Tan?

Maximizing your tan starts before it's even on your skin with these helpful preparation hints.

Exfoliation Tips

You'll want to exfoliate a day or two before your appointment. One of the keys to an even spray tan is a smooth surface for the solution. 

 Here are some tips for exfoliating before a spray tan:

  1. Start early: Exfoliating at least 24 hours before your spray tan will give your skin enough time to recover. 
  2. Shave: Shave at the same time you exfoliate a day or two before. The razor is also exfoliating your skin. You want the hair follicles to settle and any potential irritation to be gone by the time you go to your appointment. 
  3. Focus on dry areas: Focus on the areas you experience dryness, like your elbows, knees, and ankles. These areas tend to cling to dead skin cells and make your spray tan look splotchy. Use an exfoliating buffer to gently remove any dead skin sticking around. 
  4. Be gentle: Avoid scrubbing too hard or too much because it can leave your skin red and irritated.

Avoid Oil-Based Products

Stay away from oil-based products before your spray tan. The oil leaves a residue on your skin that can create a barrier between your skin and the tanning solution. You'll also want to skip the fragrance and deodorant before your spray tan. You want clean, hydrated, but bare skin. 

Take a Shower 

Right before your appointment, shower to remove any remaining dead skin cells, oil, and dirt on your skin. 

Your spray tan technician may have extra steps for you to follow before you go. Check with them when you make the appointment if they have any extra tips to get the best results. 

What Should I Do During My Spray Tan?

It's finally time to go to your spray tan appointment. The tanning solution is going to rub off on your clothes — and it can stain. You'll want to wear dark, loose-fitting clothing. Tight clothes can lead to a lot of transfer and cause streaking. Here are a few more tips to remember.

Protect Your Nails

Another tip that people often look over is their nails. The tanning solution can get onto your nails and be a giveaway that you have a fake tan. 

Paint your nails before you go to prevent the solution from soaking into your nails. You can even apply a simple, clear coat as a layer of protection. If you're getting your nails done by a professional, make sure you tell them to skip the lotion and oils. 

Picking Your Shade

Your spray tan technician can help you pick the right shade for your skin type. Pick the lighter shade if you're unsure how dark you should go. 

Remember that the tan has to develop and will get darker. You can always add color later, but it can be harder to remove.

Follow Instructions

Pay attention to the instructions your spray tan technician gives you at your appointment. 

They will tell you everything from how to pose when they are airbrushing your body to what to do to take care of your tan. You may feel silly following the instructions, like "right arm up" or "bend your knees," but you'll get the best results. 

What Should I Do After My Spray Tan?

The steps you take immediately following your spray tan will determine how long it lasts. Here are some of our biggest tips to keep your tan flawless. 

Keep Your Skin Dry

It's important to stay away from all water while your spray tan develops. You want to avoid sweating, rain, and showering. You'll get streaks and patchiness if you get water on your skin. Your tan will take at least eight hours to develop, but you can wait longer to err on the safe side. 

Protect Your Sheets

Besides your clothing, you also have to think about your bed sheets. You can't completely avoid your spray tan rubbing off while you sleep. If you're worried about staining, apply a little baby powder to your body to make it less tacky. You can also make the room colder to prevent sweating during the night. 


Once your tan has fully developed and you've taken your first shower, it's time to moisturize. Hydrating your skin will help maintain your tan. You'll want to avoid heavy moisturizers because they can accelerate the fading process. 

Instead, choose a lighter-weight moisturizer that won't mess with the spray tan. Apply your moisturizer in the morning and before you go to bed. Don't miss the areas that tend to be drier, like your knees and elbows. Try one of Spongellé's lotions, made with an emollient formula to soften and hydrate your skin.

Things To Avoid 

When you're trying to maximize your tan, you want to stay away from products that will strip it from your skin. Don't use harsh soaps. Instead, opt for a gentle cleanser. 

The Beach Grass Wild Flower Soap Sponge is infused with a moisturizing body wash. The sponge isn't like your loofah. It's made with a self-preserving formulation that prevents bacterial growth and resists contamination. It creates airy, cloud-like suds for silky, aromatic cleansing.

How Can I Maintain My Tan for Longer?

Once you get through the first couple of days of your tan, it can begin to fade. However, there are many tricks to keep it looking fresh. 

Apply Self-Tanner

You can add a gradual tanner to your moisturizer or use another self-tanning product to keep your tan looking brand new. You may want to touch up your whole body or only the area that's fading. 

Here's how to do it:

  • Step 1: Start with a small amount of the self-tanner of your choice. Apply it using circular motions, starting from your feet and working your way up. Take your time blending the product into your skin to avoid streaking.
  • Step 2: Allow the tanner to dry before putting your clothes on, or it may smudge or transfer. 
  • Step 3: After the first layer dries, you can apply more if you want to be darker. Build the tan gradually in thin layers, similar to your foundation. 
  • Step 4: Apply the self-tanner as needed to maintain your tan. Eventually, you will have to remove your tan and get another spray tan. 

Lightly Exfoliate

You want to stay away from overly abrasive exfoliation, but you do want to exfoliate. Regular exfoliating a few days after your spray tan will help it fade evenly. Gently buff your skin every two to three days. It will also help when it's time to remove the tan completely. 

You may also want to lightly exfoliate any area where you get streaking. It can help to even your complexion, and you can add a little self-tanner if you want to be darker. 

What Are Common Spray Tan Mistakes To Avoid? 

You may want to stay away from a few things when trying to maximize your tan. You won't be able to avoid everything, but knowing what will fade your tan can be useful. 

Stay Out of the Sun 

You may associate the sun with being tan, but you'll want to avoid UV rays when you have a spray tan. The sun's rays can cause your spray tan to fade faster. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin and tan when you're outside. 

Tight Workout Clothes

By all means, stay up on your fitness, but be mindful of your clothing. You can end up with an uneven tan when you're sweating and working out in tight clothes. The sweat on your skin will begin to break down the tanning solution. 

To avoid this, apply baby powder to the areas you sweat the most. Put it on your chest, behind your knees, and anywhere else you feel it's needed. The powder will absorb the sweat and prevent it from ruining your spray tan. 

Avoid Hot Tubs

Water will gradually fade your tan, and hot water can accelerate the process. You may want to avoid the hot tub because the longer you sit in water, the faster your spray tan will fade. The chlorine in the water can also strip the tan from your skin. 

Final Takeaways

Maximizing your spray tan is simple when you follow a few simple steps. Find a self-tanner you like for touch-ups, and remember to moisturize and lightly exfoliate. Spongellé products will help you with skin care before and after your spray tan. You'll have sun-kissed, healthy skin for longer! 


Meaning of Exfoliating: What Is It, Why You Should, and How to Start | Healthline

How to Exfoliate Safely by Skin Type | Healthline

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine