Getting the Most Out of Your Spray Tan
Submitted by beanstalk on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:20pm
A spray tan can be the perfect way to get the look you want for your skin without exposing it to harmful UV radiation by spending hours in the sun with minimal sunscreen coverage. While spray tanning is one of the safest ways to get gorgeous tanned skin, there is also a bit of a necessary learning curve when it comes to getting the most out of a spray tan. If you are considering getting a spray tan for the first time, remember these tips to maximize your tan and to avoid some of the more common hiccups.
Take Time To Prepare
While many people assume that a spray tan begins and ends in the spray booth, there are actually numerous preparatory steps you will want to take to make sure that you are satisfied with your experience. Most of the common preparation tips for spray tanners involve what you should or should not have on your skin when you arrive for a spray tan.
For instance, lotion, makeup, sunscreen, or other oil-based substances need to be completely removed from your skin prior to a spray tan session, as they will often keep the spray tan substance from settling on your skin. Basic hygiene items such as deodorant are okay, as are lip balms, but for the most part you'll want to come into a spray tan with completely clean skin. You may, however, want to paint your nails before a spray tan, as doing so will reduce staining of the nails from the tan substance.
In addition, make sure to do any exfoliating, shaving, or waxing prior to your spray tan session, but do so about 24 hours in advance. Removing excess hair and skin will allow for a more consistent and even tan. Shaving or waxing immediately after a spray tan, however, will have negative effects on how even and vibrant the tan looks. All of these things can be done without consequence after your first post-tan shower
Caring for Your Tan
When it comes to getting the most out of your tan, what most counts is how you take care of it in the hours and days following the spray tan. Don't shower for 10 to 12 hours after your tan, as the tanning solution will need time to develop, darken, and set. In that first 10-12 hour period, avoid exercise, swimming, walking in the rain, or any other activity that will bring moisture to your skin, as that moisture can easily cause unsightly streaks or drip marks that will ruin your tan.
When you do shower, avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin, whether with a towel, loofa, or washcloth. These items serve to exfoliate your skin, causing the spray tan to fade more quickly than it otherwise would. As is, your tan will likely begin to fade within about a week or so, though you can extend its lifespan by moisturizing with unscented lotion. Once the tan begins to fade, start exfoliating, shaving, waxing, and washing your skin in preparation for your next tan.