Is it your first time to get a spray tan and you’re wondering, “how long does a spray tan last?”
Of course, you want to make it last as long as possible, especially if you are about to go on a retreat somewhere.
If you want to know more about spray tan longevity, stick around. We’ll give you the estimated timeframe your spray tan can stay on. Plus, we’ll let you in on our top tips that will help prolong your spray tan.
What Is a Spray Tan?
This is a tanning technique wherein the body is sprayed with a fine mist that contains color additives. The primary ingredient is usually dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which works together with your skin, turning it tan or bronze.
The results of spray tanning are generally good, and that’s why many celebrities and models prefer this skincare technique. This is not a very hard technique to master and you can even do it yourself, especially if it is done on specific parts of the body like the legs.
But it is always recommended to get this skincare treatment done at a professional tanning salon in town for the best and safest results that will last longer.
What to Do Before a Spray Tan
A spray tan session lasts roughly 15 to 20 minutes, and the appointment window is usually 30 minutes. The following are the things you need to do.
- Exfoliate your skin to prepare it for tanning
- Take a shower eight hours before the appointment
- Don’t wax within 24 hours of the appointment
- Remove deodorant and makeup before you arrive at the salon
- Carry loose-fitting clothing to wear after the spray tan
- Bring sandals or flip-flops to wear after the tan
How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?
On average, a spray tan is expected to last about 10 days. But it normally depends on the shade of your tan.
- A darker shade can effectively go up to 10 days
- A medium tan shade typically lasts 7 or 8 days
- A lighter tan shade may last up to 5 days
The different levels of shades are mainly attributed to the variability of the main ingredient (DHA) in different tanning solutions. A darker solution comes with a higher concentration of DHA.
Apart from the type of shade you are wearing on your skin, there are other things you can do to make the tan last longer.
What Can I Do to Make My Spray Tan Last Longer?
Here are some things you can do to make your tan last a long while:
Shower in Lukewarm Water
A hot shower is very relaxing, especially if the morning is chilly. But this normal routine has to change after a spray tan. You should switch to lukewarm water, which will not drastically shorten the longevity of your tan shade.
Make sure your baths are short to avoid over-exposing your tan to the water. Use gentle shower creams that are sulfate-free. Sulfates are notorious skin irritants and can easily strip off the tan from your skin. They could also lead to brittle, dry, and irritating acne.
Also, avoid hot tubs and swimming pools after a spray tan. When you get out of pool water, you are likely to have white lightness on your skin.
Exfoliate the Skin for an Even Fade
Exfoliation is a very important thing to do before going for your appointment. It helps you have clean, smooth skin.
Ensure that it isn’t right before you go to get the tan. Preferably, you should shower and exfoliate a day earlier (24 hours). If you cannot do it a day before, at least have a few hours in between. You want your skin to be ready in time.
Always pay close attention to the dry parts of your body, including your knees, knuckles, elbows, heels, ankles, and soles. These areas tend to lose skin cells pretty fast. The fresher your skin feels and looks, the longer your tan will last.
Moisturize Twice a Day
You need to moisturize your skin every day after tanning.
Moisture is important for healthy skin because it does a great job of maintaining a good skin barrier. It makes the skin pliable and flexible for an even tan that will last longer.
Consider using a tan-enhancing moisturizer that contains rich ingredients like jojoba seed oil, apricot kernel oil, or shea butter. Apply the moisturizer consistently twice a day to make your skin feel smooth and soft and prolong your tan.
If you’re prone to acne, consider using a non-comedogenic moisturizer. This type of moisturizer has ingredients that will not block or clog your skin pores. It is also a good choice for women with combination skin.
Drink Enough Water
In addition to using a non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, we also recommend you drink plenty of water. Water prevents your skin from drying and flaking, which can make your spray tan appear splotchy.
Avoid Wearing Tight Clothing
It is extremely important to avoid tight clothing after spraying tanning. Tight clothing refers to things like corset-style tops, tight jeans or pants, pantyhose, tights, shapewear, and sport-style bras.
Most of these clothes usually leave pressure marks or red marks on your skin due to restricted movement. You can only imagine what they can do to your freshly tanned skin. Tight clothing tends to rub constantly on your skin, stripping off the tan.
Instead, you should consider wearing dark loose clothing like skirts and slightly spacious blouses that will not rub against your fresh tan.
Top Up Your Glow
You can boost the longevity of your tan by topping it up.
Moisturizing products and gradual tanning lotions are at the top of the list but make sure they are free of sulfates and parabens. These two ingredients normally strip off natural oils, leaving the skin feeling a little dehydrated.
A gradual tanning lotion, for example, will illuminate your blur and skin imperfections. When used properly, a gradual tanning lotion can create a natural, long-lasting golden glow.
Can I Wear Makeup After a Spray Tan?
Some women will say yes and others no, depending on their past experiences.
You can wear makeup after tanning, which can even boost the glow or appearance of your skin. But you need to be more cautious to avoid over-tanning your skin.
We strongly recommend you give the tan enough time to integrate with your skin before putting on makeup, usually six to eight hours. If you wear your makeup too quickly, the tan may not develop properly and you may end up with patches on your skin.
You should even consider waiting longer than eight hours if you are worried that your tan is still developing.
What about makeup removers? Yes, you can use a remover when getting rid of makeup. But you must allow your tan enough time to set in and fully develop. The makeup remover should only remove the makeup that is at the topmost skin layer. Choose products that are free of harsh chemicals and irritants.
Keep Skincare Simple
Don’t complicate your skincare routine with acids and retinoids. Skincare products with these ingredients may lead to skin cell turnover, causing your tan to fade much quicker.
Use self-tanning or gradual tanning products that will help prolong your tan last longer. Some good recommendations are bronzing water face mist, bronzing water face serum, and gradual tanning lotion.
The Bottom Line
How long does a spray tan last? It should last about 10 days with a darker shade, seven or eight days with a medium shade, and roughly five days with a light shade.
But if you apply the aforementioned tips you should be able to increase the longevity of your tan. You must prepare for a tanning appointment by doing the right things. And be ready to do more after tanning to keep your skin glowing for longer.
It’s time you experienced the bronze difference!
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