10 spray tan tips

Top 10 Spray Tan Tips

With August set to be very wet, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get a tan if you’re having a staycation this year. To have the summer glow throughout the rainy weather, spray tan is your answer. If you’ve never had a spray tan before then there are probably a few things you should know before your first […]

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With August set to be very wet, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get a tan if you’re having a staycation this year. To have the summer glow throughout the rainy weather, spray tan is your answer. If you’ve never had a spray tan before then there are probably a few things you should know before your first appointment. We’re listing the 10 top spray tan tips that you should definitely know to get you prepared for your first appointment.

What to do before having a spray tan?

Before diving into our top 10 spray tan tips, let’s talk about how to prep your skin before your salon appointment. Start by giving your body a thorough exfoliation to slough away dead skin cells, paying special attention to rough patches like elbows, knees, and ankles. This ensures that your tan goes on smoothly and evenly.

On the day of your appointment, skip the moisturisers, oils, and lotions, as they can create a barrier that prevents the tan from adhering properly to your skin. Opt for loose, dark-coloured clothing to wear to the salon to minimise any smudging or staining of your tan.

What to wear during your spray tan session

During a spray tan session, it’s important to wear minimal clothing to allow for an even application of the tanning solution. Here’s what you should wear:

Disposable Undergarments or Swimwear

Some salons provide disposable underwear or swimwear for clients, which allows for a hassle-free session. If you prefer, you can wear your own underwear or swimsuit, just remember that any clothing worn during the session may potentially get stained by the tanning solution.

Dark-Coloured Thong or Bikini Bottoms 

If you’re looking for more coverage than disposable options, dark-coloured thong underwear or bikini bottoms are a great choice. Dark colours help minimise the visibility of any potential staining.

Topless or Nude 

Depending on your comfort level and the privacy options offered at the salon, you may choose to go topless or nude during the session. This allows for a more even tan application without worrying about tan lines from clothing.

Hair Tie or Hairnet: 

Keep your hair away from your face and neck by securing it with a hair tie or hairnet. This prevents any stray hairs from interfering with the tan application, ensuring a seamless finish.

Remove Jewellery and Accessories: 

Before the session begins, be sure to remove any jewellery, watches, or accessories to avoid leaving marks on your skin or disrupting the development of your tan.

Spray Tan Tips

1) Wax/shave prior appointment

Wax or shave at least a day before your spray tan. If you were to shave or wax after your sunless tan, you will find that the tanning solution will get on the hairs and this will leave a print on your skin making your tan look patchy and not that appealing.

2) Exfoliate

Exfoliate your skin at least 8 hours before your spray tan as this will get rid of any dead skin and will ensure your tan is even. Focus particularly on the elbows and knees as they are the spots that are most likely to be darker than the rest of the body.

3) Nails first

It’s better to have a clear coat on your nails to prevent them from staining. If you have had your nails done, your spray tan should not ruin them as you can easily rub off any tan formula that may have been sprayed on your nails. Read our tips on how to maintain your gel nails.

Nails being painted - 10 spray tan tips

4) Hair up

The best way to avoid your hair getting in the way is to have it up, make sure you don’t forget your hair band to avoid any mishaps.

5) No lotion or makeup

For best results, do not apply makeup or lotion to your skin before tanning as this acts as a barrier between your skin and the tanning solution causing a less effective tanning session.

6) Weather forecast

Check the weather before you make your way to your spray tan session, if rain is on the agenda then make sure you’re prepped with an umbrella to avoid ruining your freshly sprayed tan.

Check out more of our top hair and beauty tips

7) The right outfit

Your outfit is an important choice to make before your spray tan as it is most likely to stain. Choose something loose to avoid it rubbing off on your tan and preferably dark clothing so any obvious tan marks are not seen. We suggest wearing long sleeves to bed also to avoid staining your bed sheets too.

8) Smell/sticky

Expect that it will feel a little sticky and may have a funny smell but this will rinse off after your first shower.

9) Your first shower

It is recommended to have your first shower 8-12 hours after to allow the spray tan to settle on the skin and be more effective.

10) Embrace it!

Finally it’s time to embrace the golden goddess that you are and enjoying glowing throughout the summer through rain or shine with no sun required. With your new spray tan, you might also want to consider your hair colour to best complement your skin tone. Check out our Guide to Choosing Hair Colour Based on Your Skin Tone for tips on selecting the right shade.


How do you get tanning spray off?

To remove tanning spray, you can use a gentle exfoliating scrub or a specialised tan remover product. Apply it to damp skin and gently massage in circular motions to lift away the tan.

What do you wear after a spray tan?

After a spray tan, it’s best to wear loose, dark-coloured clothing to avoid rubbing off the tan onto your clothes.

Do you tan through a spray tan?

No, a spray tan does not provide any additional sun protection or UV exposure. It’s still essential to practise sun safety and use sunscreen when spending time outdoors, even with a spray tan.

Can you shave after a spray tan?

It’s generally recommended to wait at least 24 hours after a spray tan before shaving to allow the tan to fully develop and adhere to the skin.

How long does a spray tan take to develop?

The development time for a spray tan can vary depending on the formula used and your skin type. Typically, you’ll notice some initial colour immediately after the spray tan application, but the full colour development may take up to 8-12 hours.

Can I wash my hair before a spray tan?

Yes, you can wash your hair before a spray tan. However, it’s best to do so at least 24 hours before your appointment to ensure that your skin has enough time to recover from any potential moisture or oils left on the skin after shampooing.

What happens if you don't shower before a spray tan?

If you don’t shower before a spray tan, there may be residual oils, moisturisers, or other skincare products on your skin, which can create a barrier and prevent the spray tan solution from adhering evenly to your skin.

How long does a spray tan last?

A spray tan typically lasts between 5 to 7 days, depending on factors such as skin type, skincare routine, and aftercare maintenance.