Spray tanning is a fantastic way to achieve a sunkissed glow without the harmful effects of UV rays. To make the most of your spray tan and ensure it lasts as long as possible, follow these top 10 tips and enjoy a flawless tan for days to come.

Prepare Your Skin:

Preparation is key when it comes to getting a long-lasting spray tan. Exfoliate your skin thoroughly before your tanning session to remove dead skin cells and create a smooth canvas for the tanning solution. Pay close attention to rough areas, such as knees, elbows, and ankles. Exfoliating will help the tan adhere better and prevent it from patching or fading prematurely.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize:

Hydration is essential for maintaining a long-lasting tan. Before your tanning session, make sure your skin is hydrated and free from dry patches. After your tan, keep your skin moisturized with a gentle, hydrating lotion. Dry skin tends to flake and shed more, causing your tan to fade faster. Apply the lotion at least once a day, focusing on areas prone to dryness, like elbows, knees, and ankles.

Avoid Water for a Few Hours:

After your spray tan, it’s crucial to avoid water for at least 6-8 hours. Water can interfere with the tanning solution’s development process and cause streaks or patches. Skip the gym, swimming pool, or any activities that can make you sweat heavily during this time. Once the recommended time has passed, take a quick shower with lukewarm water to rinse off any remaining residue. Avoid using harsh soaps or exfoliating products that can strip your tan.

Skip the Scrubs and Harsh Soaps:

While maintaining clean skin is essential, using harsh scrubs or soaps can strip away your tan faster. Opt for gentle cleansers that don’t contain sulfates or other harsh chemicals. Avoid loofahs, exfoliating gloves, or rough scrubbing brushes, as they can prematurely fade the color. Instead, use your hands and a gentle, hydrating body wash or soap to cleanse your skin.

Be Mindful of Clothing:

Immediately after your spray tan, it’s essential to wear loose-fitting, dark clothing. Tight clothing or materials that rub against your skin can cause your tan to wear off unevenly. Opt for dark-colored clothes to avoid any potential staining. Avoid wearing bras or tight underwear straps that may rub against your skin and remove the tan from specific areas.

Say No to Chlorine and Saltwater:

Chlorinated and saltwater can be detrimental to your spray tan, causing it to fade quickly. If you plan on swimming, try to minimize your time in the water or wear waterproof sunscreen to protect your tan. Once you’re out of the water, pat your skin dry gently rather than rubbing it vigorously. Applying a hydrating lotion afterward can help replenish any lost moisture.

Avoid Shaving or Waxing:

Shaving or waxing immediately after your spray tan can remove the top layer of your skin, taking your tan along with it. If possible, get any hair removal treatments done before your tanning session. If you need to shave in between tans, do it as gently as possible, using a sharp blade and a moisturizing shaving gel or cream. This will help minimize tan removal.

Gradual Tan Extenders:

To extend the life of your spray tan and maintain its color, consider using gradual tanning lotions or tan extenders between tanning sessions. These products contain a small amount of self-tanner that can help refresh the color and prolong your tan. Apply them every few days to keep your tan looking fresh. However, be cautious not to overapply or use products with contrasting undertones that might clash with your spray tan.

Limit Exfoliation:

While it’s important to exfoliate before getting a spray tan, excessive exfoliation afterward can cause the tan to fade faster. Stick to gentle exfoliation methods and avoid using harsh scrubbing brushes or exfoliants. Also, try to pat dry after showering instead of rubbing your skin with a towel, as it can help maintain the longevity of your tan.

Protect Your Tan from the Sun:

UV rays from the sun can fade your spray tan more quickly. If you’re planning to spend time outdoors, protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Consider wearing protective clothing, such as hats or cover-ups, to shield your tan from direct sunlight. Remember, while spray tans can give you a sun-kissed look, they do not provide any sun protection or prevent sunburn.


With these top 10 tips, you can effectively prolong the life of your spray tan and enjoy a natural-looking glow for longer. Remember to exfoliate, moisturize, protect your tan from water and harsh products, and be mindful of your clothing choices and activities. By following this advice, you’ll be able to maintain your beautiful bronze hue for days to come.


Written by Diane Williams

Diane Williams, our 20-year veteran entrepreneur, has tried her hand at everything from hearing aid clinics to internet marketing firms, and even dabbled in plumbing. But guess what? Now, she's the ecstatic and beaming owner of a day spa right in the heart of Hutchinson, Kansas! And that's not all. This incredible dynamo has also taken on the role of super mom, adopting a fabulous six-pack of kids. Oh, and did I mention she's happily hitched and residing in the splendid Reno County with her family? Life's a lake for Diane, quite literally, as she adores spending her free time by the water, flipping through books, and geeking out on all things tech-savvy. 🌟💻📚

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