Everything you need to know before getting your first spray tan

different shades of a spray tan
source: the tan fairy

The spray tan is an easy way to get a sun-kissed glow, destination-worthy skin. We are past the days of sloppy orange skin tans as a tan therapist has devised means of getting a natural-looking tan. Anyone can get tanned irrespective of their skin color.

The major ingredient in spray tans is called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)  and some people say it smells like a malt cookie. When it reacts with the proteins present in the skin, it gives you the tanned look. The results usually last for about a week or two. If you are ready for the glow boost that a tan gives, read on to find out all you need to know.

Decide how deep you want your spray tan to look

Choosing to get tanned is one thing, deciding on how toned you want your skin to look is another. This should be discussed at the point of consultation. You can explain what look you have in mind and go with some pictures for better understanding.

Also, you should discuss how long you want the tan to stay on as this can help the therapist know how to go about the tanning process. You will need to explain in detail how the final results should look like so you do not end up with the wrong results. While some people want it to look very deep and visible, others want it light and natural.

You might need to experiment with a few shades by doing a few sprays patches before getting the best tone for your skin.

before and after results of a spray tan
source: bronze express

Things to do before getting a spray tan

Beauty experts suggest you go for a spa session before getting spray-tanned. It should include everything from waxing to facials and manicures. Just before going in, exfoliate and bathe with cold water to help close your pores, which will allow the tan to settle well into your skin.

You will be required to clean off every form of makeup from your skin. You should show up bare-faced without any makeup, as it blocks the tanning formula from penetrating the skin. Applying deodorant or skin lotion is also not recommended when you are going for a spray tan session. The hair should be kept secured in a bonnet or net since the face will be sprayed as well. You might need to get naked for the spray tan as well.

Before the therapist can begin the session, you will be excused to get ready for the session. To get a complete spray tan, you are required to remove every form of clothing, jewelry, and any other item on your body. That is if you are comfortable with getting butt naked in front of a stranger.

If that is not the case, you can keep your undies on. They should be minute so the tanning liquid can spread to almost every area of your skin. Otherwise, the parts you keep hidden will be lighter than the tanned parts. This does not always look nice as it appears like white patches, so t is best to take off all items of clothing.

What happens inside the spraying tent?

When you are all set for the tanning session to begin, the therapist will begin applying the tanning formula with a spray gun. Most like to start from the face and work downwards. At this point, you will be required to close your eyes for the cold substance to start working its magic on the skin.

After which, the front part of your body is sprayed, down to your legs. Then the therapist moves to the back, where they will make sure every part of the skin is covered with the formula. Even the knuckles and hidden parts of the skin are not left out. To ensure there are no crease lines or white patches after the spray tan session.

During this session, you will be given a series of gestures to follow to get perfectly tanned skin. This will include gestures like: lifting your arms, leaning out, right arm stretched sideways, bending your waist or hips. They may sound strange to follow but are necessary to get the best results.

the spray gun with a therapist
source: patch

What happens after the spray tan session?

The tanning session ends when your skin is completely covered, after which the therapist can airdry the skin with an air hose. They should also clean your palm and fingernails, to tone down the funny look of a fresh tan. Some therapists prefer to use a mitt to buffer the skin especially the skin around the ankles, knees, and wrists for a smoother-looking result.

You can leave when you are completely dry. It is ideal to go in wearing a dark-colored and loose outfit. The footwear should be simple slippers, so nothing rubs the tan solution off the skin.


It is recommended to wait for at least 8 to 12 hours before bathing with warm water and soap so that the tan can develop. After, apply coconut oil to moisturize your skin. During the wait time, you should avoid any form of moisture such as sweat, rain, or swimming. If you have a plan on sleeping first, do not do so on brightly colored sheets as the tan color will transfer to the sheets.

Fanti Tukuwei
I'm a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle enthusiast, and the ultimate curves queen. Here, I share beauty, fashion, and lifestyle tips to teach, inspire, and give confidence to all women.