Believe it or not, I was 37 the first time I got a spray tan. There is a lot more prep to get sprayed than there is to lay in a tanning bed. Plus, it doesn’t damage your skin like a tanning bed does.

I always wanted to try one, so before a staycation, I made a tan appointment and got a spray tan on my entire body. Now, I’m going to get them more often.

If you’re new to getting a spray tan, this blog post will help you prepare. I don’t know about you, but I had a lot of questions. You need to know about things like when to exfoliate and what to do to avoid getting orange hands. (I did this. Twice.) 

How To Prep Your Skin Before a Spray Tan

To ensure you get the best spray tan result, you need to prep your skin before your spray tanning session. So, remember the following steps before you go for your next spray tan session.

  • Take a shower. Our skin produces natural oil that makes it feel soft. However, body oils make it difficult for the spray tan to stick to the skin. Plus, you’re going to want to go as long as you can without taking a shower afterwards, so it’s best to get sprayed right after a shower.
  • Exfoliate your skin while you’re in the shower, especially the dry areas such as the knee and elbow. Again, you don’t want to exfoliate for days after your spray tan, so do this and shave before. 
  • Moisturizing your skin is the number one thing you should do after exfoliating unless you’re going for a spray tan. Don’t put lotion on right before your spray tan because it’ll create a barrier on your skin. Afterwards, you’re going to want to moisturize a lot.
  • You shouldn’t wear perfume or deodorant before spray tanning. Again, it’ll create a barrier.
  • Take off all of your jewelry. This will eliminate tan lines. Plus, you don’t want your jewelry to get stained.
  • Put nail polish on your nails, even if it’s a clear coat. This simple step will prevent your nails from staining. If you have polish on, you’re going to want to use a tissue and wipe your nails right after your spray tan. If not, your nails will also be colored. (An important thing to remember is to also do this to your hands to avoid them being too orange.)

What To Wear When Getting A Spray Tan?

Many people prefer to get completely naked for their spray tan. The reason is simple – if you are naked during a spray tan, you won’t get any tan lines!

However, some people feel uncomfortable going for a spray tan naked. If you’re one of them, you don’t have to worry. The following are a few clothing tips that you should keep in mind when going spray tanning if you want to wear something in the booth or in front of the person spraying you.

Wear As Less As Possible

It is normal to feel uncomfortable standing naked in a new place. Choose a strapless bikini for fewer tan lines. For bottoms, wear a thong or something close to it. It’ll give the sensitive area protection but won’t mess your tan.

Choose An Old Outfit

If you’re adamant about wearing something during the spray tan, then you probably won’t be able to wear it anywhere else afterward after it’s been sprayed. So, make sure the bikini set you choose is dark in color and a pair that you won’t mind throwing away if the stain sets… which is very likely. (Yes, they even make disposable thongs for times like this.)

What To Wear After Your Spray Tan

Don’t get too caught up in deciding what to wear before and during the spray tanning. Because the clothes you wear after the spray tan matter most. 

No Bra

If you wore a bikini during the spray tan, you don’t have to worry about this step. Just wear your bikini under your clothes. However, if you were naked during the spray tan, I’d advise you to go braless under your clothes. Since bras are tight, they can take off the spray tan and leave discoloration right after. 

Keep It Loose

Wearing loose clothing is probably the biggest tip in what to wear after a spray tan. After the spray tan session, it is best to wear a flowy dress or baggy shirt and pants that don’t rub against your skin or constrict it. Tight clothes will rub the tan off. It’s not good for your tan or your clothes. Loose fitting clothes is where it’s at!

Choose Dark Clothing

The tanning solution takes some time to dry. So, to prevent your clothes from getting tan stains, choose dark clothes. This one simple step will save you from a lot of hassle.

Footwear Matters

Close-toe and tight shoes are not a wise choice when it comes to spray tan for the same reason tight clothing is not recommended. The pressure and rubbing of the footwear against the skin can take off the tanning solution and ruin your tan. So, choose open-toe footwear, like flip flops. 

How to Make Your Spray Tan Last Longer

I pay about $30 every time I get a spray tan. The tan lasts about five days or so. Naturally, it’s something you want to last as long as possible. Here are some tips.

  • Don’t touch the tanning solution while it is drying off to prevent blotchiness.
  • After a spray tan, do not shower for at least 12 hours. Let the tanning solution dry and do its work, so as few body washes as possible is best.
  • Don’t exfoliate because it will ruin the tan. (That’s why you do this before. Never after.)
  • Avoid chlorinated pools.
  • Don’t participate in high-intensity activities for at least a day or two because that causes sweat and can ruin your spray tan.
  • Moisturize your skin. 
What To Wear After Your Spray Tan

Spray Tan VS Tanning Bed

In high school and college, I was in a tanning bed at least once a week. Now, I know that was a big mistake. Not only have I had numerous moles removed for potential skin cancer but I also have melasma.

For those reasons, I’ll never set foot in a tanning bed again, but still, here are some pros and cons of both. 

Tanning Bed: Pros & Cons

One thing that I can’t deny about tanning beds is that they give you a great tan because you don’t have to worry about the tan smudging or washing off. But this beautiful skin is only temporary.

Tanning beds use UV lights to make a person tan. Constant exposure to UV light can cause wrinkles and even cause skin cancer. I don’t know about you, but skin cancer for a long-lasting tan sounds like a bad deal to me. Plus, all that fake sun exposure will give you sun spots.

Spray Tan: Pros & Cons

The spray tan method with DHA solutions is my favorite for a few reasons. 

First, spray tans don’t give you cancer or skin discoloration, so that’s a win. Secondly, even though you need to take some precautions, spray tans provide a smooth one-tone tan. 

The only problem is that spray tans last for only for a week. (They also smell bad until your first shower.) T

The spray tan options you have are:

  • Airbrush spray tanning
  • Booth spray tanning

Airbrush spray tanning is a simple process. A professional will spread DHA over the skin with an airbrush. (Yes, you most likely have to be naked in front of a stranger.)

Booth spray tanning is the solution to your discomfort if privacy is an issue. Here, you just step in a machine and let it do it’s work. 

For me, it’s just a matter of four different poses to make sure the front, back, and sides are sprayed. Spray, dry, new pose; spray, dry, new pose; spray, dry, new pose; spray, dry, new pose. That’s it!

The active ingredient I used during my first spray didn’t include cosmetic bronzers you could see right away. Instead, the spray tan solution ingredients were clear and the color developed over the next couple of days. As a bonus, this helps not stain your clothes, car seats, or bed sheets.

Tell me About Your Spray Tan

If you take one thing from this post, wear the right clothes on the day of your spray to avoid an uneven tan. Hot showers and harsh soaps can be enjoyed right before, but for optimal results, wear loose clothes to your tanning appointment and for the rest of the day.

What’s your tanning process? Find me on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay and let me know how your trip to the tanning salon went. Because my skin tone is very light, I went with a medium tone of body spray. 

What are the best results you’re finding for your fake tan? In your opinion, what’s the best option for sunless tanning? Let me know your tan tips for all your body parts that see fresh air year round.

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