While spray tans have been around in one form or another since the 1970’s, they didn’t truly start getting popular until around 2005. Before that, many people thought they looked too orange or splotchy to be used other than in extreme situations. The presentation of spray tans on television and in movies was usually for comedic effect as well, which didn’t help with that stigma.

However, since that time, spray tans have improved immensely. Both the formulations and the spraying techniques have gotten better and provide a more even tan to every spot on your body. However, despite the improvements, there is still a lot of confusion and misinformation about what a spray tan entails. Here is a guide to help you with any questions you might have if you are considering a spray tan yourself.

Spray Tan Formula

The spray tan formula is probably the most important aspect of any spray tan experience. If it doesn’t work well, then you will be disappointed with the results. Every spray tan establishment has a different formula, but the primary constant among them all is DHA. This is a carbohydrate that reacts with your skin cells to provide the color that you are looking for. Then, each clinic will add various ingredients to achieve certain results. For example, there might be aloe for soothing and healing, and blueberry extract to help with skin repair and antioxidant activity.

Spray Tan Results

One thing about a natural tan is that it can last a long time. This might not be the case with a spray tan, but you can bet that the tan you get will be more even and balanced. You can expect a spray tan to last anywhere between five to ten days. How long it lasts for you specifically will depend on your personal situation, what kind of tan you received, and how diligent you are with after care. If you request a lighter shade, then it may fade faster. Spray tans can also be affected by hormones, so if it is a certain time of month when you get a treatment, then it could fade quicker than it normally would.

Moisturizing Prior to Spray Tanning

If you are someone who uses a lot of lotion to keep your skin moisturized, then you should consider curtailing that on days that you go for a spray tan. Heavy lotions can prevent the spray tan formula from properly adhering to the skin. That said, if you have very dry skin in certain areas, then you must make sure they are moisturized. Just try to do so without using too much lotion. If you leave dry spots, such as your heels, elbows, and knees, then your spray tan may look uneven after it’s all said and done.

Dressing For Your Spray Tan

When your spray tan is first applied, it will still be vulnerable to smudges and streaks. Tight clothes and straps can both cause lines and indentations in your tan. Wear loose-fitting clothes so that your tan has a chance to properly set in. Since your tan will not have properly adhered immediately after your session, make sure to wear dark clothes, since tanning solution will get stuck to them. Otherwise you will end up with stains on your light-colored clothes.

Personal Products Before a Spray Tan

Before you go for your tan, make sure that you remove any makeup or products from your skin. This includes perfume and deodorant. These can all prevent the tanning solution from adhering to your skin properly. By removing these substances, you will end up with a smoother tan that lasts longer.

Showering After a Spray Tan

You should not shower right after getting a spray tan. While each formula is different, a good rule of thumb is to wait at least 8-10 hours before doing so. It’s also a bad idea to sweat after the treatment, so avoid exercise or strenuous activity. Stay out of the rain as well, since getting wet in that manner will affect your tan. You can still keep your skin hydrated by drinking a lot of water, which will keep you moisturized without affecting your color. The 5-hour rule also applies to the use of lotion, moisturizers, and other products.

Spray Tan Maintenance

There are some things you can do at home to maintain your tan for as long as possible. For one, spray tan formulas will adhere better to hydrated skin. Drink water and avoid activities that might cause dehydration, such as drinking alcohol. The day after your tan, you can apply a liberal amount of moisturizer for a couple of days to maximize your skin’s hydration. Your salon may also provide products that will help maintain your tan and replenish faded color.

You will probably notice that the tan on your face will fade faster than other areas of your body. This is because you use other products on your face to care for your skin. You can use similar colored oils and makeup to try to keep up the appearance of your glow and also to keep your color consistent between your face and the rest of your body.

You may also be able to touch up your tan with a self-tanning solution. It’s always best if you use a lotion that is recommended by your salon. Otherwise you might end up with shades and colors that don’t match, which will ruin your look.

Removing a Spray Tan

Removing a spray tan is not easy. The best bet is to let it fade out on its own. However, there may be situations where you think it is necessary for it to be gone faster than the natural process will allow. If you want to attempt this, then start by cleaning and exfoliating your skin. After you have done this, you can use an astringent product with a cotton ball. This will hopefully help loosen the tanning formula so that it comes off on the cotton. After you have completed this, you will want to moisturize your skin and apply aloe and other healing products.

Getting a spray tan can be nerve-wracking. You don’t know what the final result will be, and you don’t want it to look unnatural or uneven. Use the information provided here to ease your concerns and also prepare you for everything that’s involved in getting a spray tan.