How To Care For Your Spray Tan: 13 Post-Appointment Tips For Making Your Tan Last

spray tanning Apr 28, 2021

Getting your first spray tan is an exciting experience! However, making your spray tan last can be tricky — especially if you’re new to airbrush tanning. 

Spray tans are the perfect way to get that healthy glow while shying away from harmful UV rays (aging your skin prematurely is definitely not in). At Spray Tan Class, we believe that a beautiful tan starts with healthy skin, and our tans are formulated to not just make you look better but feel better too. Our spray tans actually improve your skin and leave you with a gorgeous glow for longer. So how long does a spray tan last? 

The answer to that depends on a few factors, including your skin health, complexion, and pre-and post-spray tan care. In this blog, we’ll answer the question “how long does a spray tan last?” and also share some important spray tan tips to get the most out of your tan.  


How Long Does a Spray Tan Last?

A spray tan can last up to 10 days, but it also depends on your unique skin. A spray tan on lighter skin tones might last for about 6 days, medium shades can last between 7-8 days, and darker shades can last up to 14 days. To be safe, we say that your spray tan will last anywhere between 7-10 days, depending on your spray tan care routine. 

How to prepare for your appointment

  1. If you are getting any other services done (nails, waxing, facials, massage, etc.), do everything before you get your spray tan.  
  2. Wax at least 24 hours before your appointment. Soft wax can stay on the skin, making it difficult for your spray tan to hold. If you are using hard wax, you don't have to wait a full 24 hours. Just make sure all the wax is peeled off and product (oil) is wiped away prior to spray tanning.
  3. Exfoliate in the shower before your spray tan. This helps the tanning solution adhere to your skin.
  4. When you’re exfoliating, make sure to use an exfoliator that’s oil-free and made from organic ingredients. Using an oil-filled exfoliator or moisturizer before you tan can create a barrier on the skin making the tan develop into a lighter or no color at all.
  5. Shave as your normally do before your appointment. 
  6. When you come to your appointment, make sure you don’t have any lotions or makeup on. Clean skin all the way, baby! 

How to care for your spray tan to make it last

  1. Wait to shower for at least 2-8 hours (your artist will let you know when to rinse) after your spray tan, but no more than 24 hours after.  
  2. This includes staying away from all moisture, including working out, cleaning, lotions, and liquid foundation.  
  3. When you do shower after your spray tan, be gentle and don’t scrub your body. Avoid bar soaps or soaps that are abrasive.  
  4. Use only a natural body wash (no mineral oils!) and use the palms of your hand to wash off the surface bronzer.  
  5. We know how relaxing a nice, hot shower can be but after your spray tan, only use lukewarm water. Hot water can lessen the length of your tan.  
  6. Pat yourself dry instead of rubbing.  
  7. Moisturizing is the key to making your tan last longer. Right after you get out of the shower, lock in moisture with a mineral oil-free moisturizer. Moisturize in the morning and evening.  
  8. From day 3 on, use a tan-safe body lotion as your primary moisturizer.  
  9. To preserve your tan, avoid swimming, long showers, baths, steam rooms, and saunas. 
  10. Avoid harsh chemicals such as chlorine, products containing acids, massages, fashion tape, bandages, and anything else that may strip your tan. 
  11. We know it’s hard, but keep your hands off your hot self. No leg crossing or other skin-to-skin contact during the developing time. 
  12. Don’t be afraid to “top off” your tan with some tinted moisturizers or self-tanning foam. Obsidian mousse can be used to prolong the length of your tan as well as a stand alone self tanning product.   
  13. Don’t exfoliate until you’re ready to say goodbye to your current tan and hello to a new one.  


When considering how long a spray tan lasts, it’s important to consider how well you take care of your skin both before and after the tan. There are a lot of things you can do to make your tan last longer, from not exfoliating to not using mineral oil-based moisturizers. 

Prepare for your tan by shaving and exfoliating before your appointment and dress appropriately to your appointment (dark, loose-fitting clothes). Help your tan stand the test of time with cooler showers, no harsh chemicals, and a top-off, like our Obsidian Self-Tanning Foam. Purchase our products online to experience the Spray Tan Class difference.