How to Prep for a Spray Tan

From preparation to aftercare, we’ve got you covered.

Pre-Tan Skin

Proper skin preparation before your spray tan will also go a long way in making it last. The most important part of your skin care routine pre-tan should be exfoliating. You want to make sure you remove all of the dead skin cells to create a smooth surface for the spray tan solution.

If you don't exfoliate, you can end up with an uneven tan that may fade faster. The day before your spray tan, take a warm shower and shave the normal areas first. Next, use a buffer, like

the Spongellé Burnt Sugar Confection buffer, to remove dead skin cells and dirt on your body. Use circular motions with the buffer where you will be spray-tanned.

Rinse off your body and pat dry. Finish with an oil-free moisturizer to hydrate your skin. You want to stay away from any oil-based products before a spray tan because they can create a barrier between your skin and the solution. The spray tan won't be able to soak into your skin properly.

Body Wash Infused Buffers

shop all

Tanning Prep from our Community

Whether you’re booking a professional spray tan or using self-tanner at home, preparation is key to achieve glowing results.

What Should You Avoid After a Spray Tan?

After you get a spray tan, there are several things you should try to avoid while your tan is developing

  • Water & Sweat
  • Chlorine & Salt Water
  • Tight Clothing
  • Lotions & Oils
  • Waxing & Shaving

Lotions & Oils

Hydration is important, but you’ll want to avoid applying any lotions, creams, or oils right after a spray tan. Using these products can prevent the tan from developing. You should wait a minimum of 8 hours before applying a moisturizer and 24 hours if you want to stay on the safe side.

Chlorine & Salt Water

Another important tip is to avoid chlorine and saltwater. Water with chemicals or salt can remove your tan. You'll have patchy areas and an uneven complexion. Once your tan has fully developed, you can swim in the pool, but it still may cause it to fade faster.

Water & Sweat

It takes four to eight hours for the solution to set in, and you want to stay completely dry during that time. You should avoid sweating or water to ensure your tan lasts as long as possible.

Tight Clothing

Wear loose-fitting clothing to your spray tan appointment. Tight clothes can rub off your tan and give you a blotchy finish. You'll also end up with the tanning solution on your clothes, which may stain.

Waxing & Shaving

You don't want to shave or wax for 24 to 48 hours after your spray tan. Both of these hair removal options can also remove the top layer of your skin. Your tan will no longer look as even.

How Can You Maintain a Spray Tan?

There are ways you can get the most out of your spray tan. Here are some skin care tips to extend the life of your tan.

  • Showering
  • Moisturizing
  • Self Tanner


When you shower, you want to use a moisturizing body wash and avoid exfoliating products. You want to keep it short and sweet and use warm water instead of hot. Taking a long, hot shower can remove the tanning solution.

When you get out of the shower, pat dry and avoid rubbing your skin. You can end up with a splotchy-looking tan. You can start to exfoliate three days into your tan to keep your complexion even as the tan begins to fade.


Hydrating your skin is also essential for maintaining your spray tan. After you shower, apply a lotion all over your body. Try one of Spongellé's pampering lotions. They are made with shea butter and vitamin E to hydrate and replenish your skin.

Self Tanner

You can extend the life of your tan by occasionally applying a tan extender or self-tanner. You can use several different products and formulations, including sprays, foams, lotions, and gels. Find an option that uses DHA and hydrating ingredients.

Help Maintain Your Tan with These Best Sellers

Beach Grass | Hand & Body Wash Refill

70+ Washes
Regular price $ 24.00

Freesia Pear | Body Lotion

Regular price $ 20.00
shop all

Fix Streaking

If you end up with a few streaks, don't panic. There are easy ways to remedy the situation. One of the quickest ways to fix streaking is to apply baby oil to the area and let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, exfoliate the area until you have an even-looking complexion. You can follow up with a self-tanner since exfoliating will remove some of the spray tan.

How To Remove Your Spray Tan

No matter what you do, your spray tan will eventually fade. You'll have to remove the remaining tan to start fresh. Here are some tips for removing your spray tan.


The first step is soaking in a nice bath of warm water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The bath will help to loosen the top layer of the spray tan.


Exfoliation is the main way you are going to remove your tan. Use a gentle scrub or a Spongellé exfoliating buffer to loosen and remove the top layer of the spray tan.

Tan Remover

You can use a tan removal product to help break down the spray tan on your skin. These products come in lotions, mousses, and sprays.

Professional Removal

If you're having a hard time, consider visiting a professional spray tanning salon to have your tan removed.

Final Thoughts

Spray tanning is a convenient way to get that sun-kissed look. The results will last seven to 10 days, depending on your skin type and skin care routine. Exfoliation and moisturizing are also key before and after your spray tan. Spongellé has all the products you need pre and post spray tan to keep it looking fresher for longer.