Tis the season to put on your best party dress and show off those… pale legs?? This time of year is the most popular for spray tans in the salon – and for good reason! Spray tans are the safer alternative to get that gorgeous summer glow (instantly), and with so many options available you can choose your level of tan from glow to dark bronze. 

While the convenience of spray tans makes them appealing, many people also want their tan to last for as long as possible. We get a lot of questions about the best spray tan aftercare here in the salon, so we thought we’d make this information available to you all to scan every time you need. So read on!

Before your spray tan

Spray tan prep can actually begin a few days before you arrive at the salon. Tanning formula actually sticks to dry skin on your body (hence why it can often stick to your feet too much), which is why it’s a good idea to perform any hair removal and a full body exfoliation no less than 24 hours before your tan. This will even out your skin tone, and give the tan something to stick to when you get sprayed. Doing these activities too close to your tanning appointment can result in a lighter or patchy tan that hasn’t ‘grabbed’ to your skin.

Before walking into your appointment, (if you can) try not to have any deodorant, moisturiser or perfume on your skin as all these things can interfere with your tan. If you can’t avoid this, your tanning technician should be able to provide you with something to wipe them off. If you experience any strange green patches under your arms once sprayed, this is usually because the tan has interacted with any residual deodorant but will wash off once you rinse the tanning formula off.

Choosing your spray tan

First thing’s first – choosing your spray tan. There are a few options available in terms of how dark you’d like your tan and how long you’d like to leave the formula on your skin for. Your spray tan technician will be able to guide you through the choices if you’re not sure which is the better option for you.

We get a lot of questions about whether our two hour or six hour formula is better. It’s important to note that one is not necessarily better than the other. It really comes down to convenience for you – some people don’t like the feeling of the formula on their skin so prefer the two hour option, whereas others like to leave the tan on for as long as possible so the six hour option makes more sense. Both formulas will provide a similar result, but you can experiment with both to find out which you prefer.

The colours available usually range from light, to medium, to dark and come in a range of ‘base’ colours. The base colour ensures the colour of the tan doesn’t come out looking orange and is more natural. Some people prefer one base colour on their skin over others, but as a basic guideline green based tans make you look more brown (like an Australian tan), violet based tans leave you with more of an olive complexion.

Immediately after your spray tan

The number one rule is to ensure you don’t get wet while the tanning formula is on your skin! If you’re washing your hands be sure to either use a wash cloth to wipe the palms of your hands or just splash a bit of water on your palms. Getting water on your skin will wash the formula off and won’t tan your skin. Especially during the winter months, but sure to always check the weather when travelling home from your tan. If it’s raining you’ll want to make sure you have the right clothing to avoid rain on your skin.

It’s also important to wear loose clothing after your tan. This will ensure the tanning formula doesn’t rub off your skin before it has fully developed, and will result in a tan that isn’t patchy.

When it comes time to wash your tan off, don’t use any body wash or product in the shower as using just water will result in a more even tan. Be sure to pat your body dry so you don’t wipe any residual formula off which can leave you with a streaky looking tan.

Prolonging your spray tan

When your skin is dry your tan won’t last as long and is more likely to be patchy as it fades. This is why it’s important to avoid harsh products (like body washes) so you don’t dry your skin out too much. Also ensuring you moisturise daily will leave your skin nourished and allows your tan to fade more evenly. This is especially important if you are someone who enjoys hot showers or are spending a lot of time swimming in a pool or the ocean, as these activities can dry your skin even more than normal. 

It’s also worthwhile to lightly exfoliate your skin once you notice your tan fading, as this will lessen the chance of it becoming patchy. Exfoliating is also an important step if you are tanning regularly or having spray tans close together, so the next tan isn’t patchy or sticks in the wrong places (like feet, elbows and underarms).

Hint: if you really need to remove your tan and are having trouble, try soaking in a mixture of bicarb soda and lemon juice. Once your skin has softened you can scrub your skin to remove the spray tan.

So there are a few handy tips on caring for and prolonging your spray tan. Remember to consider what you do before, during and after your spray tan, and if you have any specific questions ask your spray tan technician. Everyone’s skin is unique so may react differently to colours etc. compared to the guide we have provided here.

And finally, if you’re looking for the best natural based spray tan in Adelaide book your next spray tan at Pure. We use TechnoTan, enriched with Kakadu plum and aloe vera to nourish your skin and leave you glowing.

Book your next spray tan online here.