How To Spray Tan Every Body Type Flawlessly

spray tanning May 26, 2021

When it comes to your sunless business, it is essential to know how to spray tan every body type, in order to serve as many clients as possible.

As a professional Spray Tan artist, you are already aware that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. Some bigger, some smaller, some more wrinkly, some not.

No matter the size or body type you have in front of you, it is important to understand how to maintain your professionalism while making your clients feel comfortable when they are most vulnerable. But how do you achieve this?

There isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all resolution to each client you have; there will be clients with bigger breasts, which you may need to adjust your technique for, and no modifications otherwise. 

There will be clients who have extra skin in their stomach area and none anywhere else. You, being the professional Spray Tan Technician, need to take into consideration your client’s feelings and vulnerability. 

To start, try to focus on starting a conversation that is fun. Ask your client why they are getting a spray tan! Perhaps for an event or a vacation? Walk them through their positions and make them feel confident!


How To Spray Tan Every Body Type: Specific Areas of the Body


The very first section of the body you should start with, of course, after spraying the client with pH balancer, is to spray under the breasts. To achieve the best results, you will ask your client to lift their breast (it is best for the client to cup under the breast with their hand just below the areola and lift). You will then spray a horizontal or side to side pass, lightly misting the under-breast area. 

The intention is to blend the area with the rest of the tan, not saturate. Immediately after, while they are still holding the breast up, continue to dry with the air already coming out of the applicator (4-5 air passes). Put your applicator down, turn off the machine, and apply finishing powder. It is important to do this step because we do not want this area to sweat while developing. Next, have your client drop their breast then apply barrier cream to hands and feet. Continue with a full body spray as you normally would.



When you move on to the side of the body, position your client as you normally would. Raise the client’s arm up and bend at the elbow, so the arm is extended over the head to tighten the area. Encourage your client to rest their arm on the top of their head if they are feeling any discomfort. If your client has excess skin or skin folds, you can encourage your client to lean towards the back of the tent, so the skin is more taught. 

This is also a great time to ensure that your client’s under-breast area is tanned and dried completely as well. You may be required to reposition yourself or the client slightly for a better angle to ensure the entire side of the body has had solution applied, and this is okay. Be sure to dry very well before moving forward to your next section of the body.



For clients who have larger thighs and legs, it is important to make sure they are at a stance where their legs are not touching. Remember—friction is not your friend! Dry the area focusing on the inner thighs before applying the solution. If you have a client that needs further assistance with propping their leg, use a step stool or chair for them to rest their leg on. 

Apply the solution and complete your drying passes. Make sure your client is completely dry before they return their leg to the normal position. Also, stress to your client the reasoning behind your dry passes and the effects of skin-to-skin contact.



When spraying their buttocks, you will want to have your client slightly bend their knees and slightly bend over at the hips, in a squat-like position. This will help avoid smile lines and ensure that all the skin is being covered! Again, you will want to make sure that you are drying that area well before moving onto the next section.


Tips From The Pros

Increase Solution

A great rule of thumb is to add an extra 1oz. of solution to what you normally use for larger clients. By doing this, you are less likely to run out of the solution in your appointment. Running out of solution mid spray could be embarrassing to both you and your client. 

If you are required to use additional solution, we never recommend charging your customer more for this extra product. Always stick to your standard pricing and never charge based on size or client body type. 

Once you have completed your client’s spray tan for the first time, you will have a better understanding of how much solution the client’s body needs, and you can adjust accordingly for future appointments.


Ask for Permission

When repositioning your client or fixing undergarments, do not assume your client is okay with you touching them. Always ask your client beforehand if you can touch or help them in any way during the appointment. In many states, you need to be licensed esthetician/cosmetologist to be able to touch your clients. Feel free to contact your local state board of cosmetology to get the proper information in your area.


Dry, and Dry Again

There will be more of a chance your client will experience sweat pockets if they have excess skin, are nervous & uncomfortable, or tend to run warm. For best results, make sure you are drying your client before you spray, during the spray, and after! You should also be using a high-quality setting powder to set and dry the tan. We cannot stress this tip enough.


Direct with Confidence

When it comes to spraying plus-sized clients, or even an uncomfortable client, the most important thing to remember is to take control and do not be afraid to position them where you want. 

This will be a better experience and hands down a better tan! When asking clients to position themselves (lift breasts, lean-to stretch out creases, lift knees to avoid white line creases) say it without hesitation. 

This will give them the confidence that you know what you are doing. If you are wishy-washy or sound too apologetic, the client might pick up on and start to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.