People are always asking me, “what is the best lotion to use after my spray tan?”

And one of the people asking what lotion to use is Samantha the owner and buyer at Blue Layne Boutique.  Sam and her super sweet boutique models all LOVE their spray tans.

Because the girls are constantly photographing the new cute styles that come into the online shop weekly, they are getting spray tans frequently or using self-tanning mousse to keep that picture pretty glow. Keeping a sunless tan smooth and beautiful means using a good quality skin nourishing lotion.

5 best lotions to use after your spray tan from sunspray by kathryn blog

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click and purchase, I may make a commission. Read my full disclosure here.

Our favorite self-tanner is the Rose Gold Self Tanning Mousse! I LOVE recommending it to my spray tan clients and it photographs perfectly for photoshoots. Here are a few easy tips for applying a self-tanner at home if you have never done it before.

Chloe Blue Layne Model Wearing a SunSpray Spray Tan

Dry skin makes it hard to keep your sunless tan looking fresh and smooth. Patchy skin shows in photographs.  To extend the life of your sunless tan moisturized skin is a MUST!

Brooke Blue Layne Model Wearing A SunSpray Airbrush Tan

The problem is that some lotions contain ingredients that during my many years of spraying, I have discovered don’t work well with sunless tans, whether you get a spray tan or you self-tan at home.

Events To Spray Tan For:

Chole Blue Layne Model Wearing A SunSpray Tan

Lotion Ingredients that are bad for your spray tan:

  • Mineral oil
  • Alcohol
  • Fragrances
  • Dyes
  • Essential Oils
  • Anti-Aging Products- Retin-A, Glycolic, AHA’s
  • Anti-Acne Products- Salicylic Acid
  • General unpronounceables (is this a word?)

Staying away from these ingredients while wearing your sunless tan ensures that your pretty glow lasts as long as possible and fades smoothly. Both are good things.

Brooke Blue Layne Boutique Model Wearing a SunSpray Tan

Lotions To Avoid After A Spray Tan

Heavily scented lotions such as Bath and Body Works or Victoria’s Secret are NOT spray tan friendly. Also, the “in shower” lotions and body oils will cause your spray tan to crack and fade into patchy weirdness.  Don’t use these.

Update for the 2020 spray season: Essential oils that are in lotions or applied to the skin for aromatherapy can cause your spray tan to break down in the areas that you are applying the oils and can also cause problems with the essential oil residue causing an unsightly color change when you GET your spray tan (read GREEN spray tan).  Please make sure that you have removed all essential oil residue completely. Baking soda mixed into your mild shower wash will help to remove all traces of the oils before you come to your spray tanning appointment. And stop using the oils for at least 72 hours before your appointment.

Related Articles:

Keep reading for my top 5 favorite moisturizers to use after a spray tan.

The lotions below DON’T contain all those yucky ingredients that can ruin your tan and they DO contain amazing ingredients to nourish your skin. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera.

Have you ever seen a patchy dry fade on a spray tan? It’s NOT pretty. So check out my list of lotions below to find your new favorite and kick that alligator skin to the curb!

Kathryn’s Top 5 Favorite Lotions That Are Good to Use AFTER Your Spray Tan.

1. CeraVe after spray tan

CeraVe Moisturizer Amazon Link

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Definitely, a go-to gentle lotion that is recommended by dermatologists and safe for sensitive skin AND your spray tan.  There is also a body wash that is spray tan safe if you like your products to co-ordinate.

2. Coconut Oil after spray tan

  1. Shea Moisture Coconut Oil Amazon Link

Shop this Lotion on Amazon

I’m a nature girl and coconut oil is my number one simple moisturizer for dry skin.  Only 1 ingredient! (this makes me happy.) Having a super dry and sensitive skin type many lotions leave me feeling itchy, coconut oil soothes my dry flakey’s and settles my skin without feeling heavy or sticky.  It’s the perfect after shower choice to smooth on when your skin is still wet for silky smooth legs.  One of my top recommendations in the spray room especially during our dry Midwest winters. Apply this lightly to shower damp skin – you don’t need much, just a dime size scoop will cover your whole body.

3. Shea Moisture after spray tan

Shea Moisture Body Lotion Amazon Link

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The Shea Moisture line of products is one of my all-time favorites! Natural, organic and delicious.  Yummy scents that are all spray tan friendly and none of the crazy ingredients that can ruin a tan.  Just soft glowing skin.  These products LIVE in my bathroom. Check out the whole line for some gentle and amazing shower gels, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.  The Shea Moisture Promise:  We leave out these harmful ingredients: No Parabens, No Phthalates, No Paraffin, No Mineral Oil, No DEA, No Petroleum, No Formaldehyde, No Propylene.

The baby line smells delicious too, I wash my little Lilly dog in it 😉 I know, I know, crazy dog momma here.

4. Hempz Lotion after spray tan

Hempz Lotion Amazon Link

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Hempz is doing the lotion scene right with a line that contains SPF 30.  If you are moisturizing you might as well protect from the harmful rays at the same time. And who doesn’t like simplifying your summer beauty routine by only needing one product and not two to apply every morning?  Throw in that there is also a glow cream and a sunless tanning option to extend your spray tan (that I am in LOVE with) and I think this option is a win/win! Spray tan safe, paraben-free.

5. Alba Botanica after spray tan

Alba Botanica Amazon Link

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Alba has a wonderful line of moisturizers with different levels of hydration for different skin types.  From a lite lotion, perfect for the warm weather to a heavy crème when the air turns dry leaving our skin and our spray tans parched.  There is even a body moisturizer with an SPF option! No parabens, no sulfates, vegetarian, and never tested on animals.  They also have a wonderful sunscreen that I talk about over here.

Choosing any of these amazing lotions to use after your spray tan will ensure that your skin stays hydrated and your sunless tan stays smooth and fades softly away until it’s time to come in and get a fresh airbrush tan.

I hope you find a favorite in this list of best lotions to keep your sunless tan glowing!


As a small business owner, I can’t stock all the amazing products that are available in the world of sunless tanning but I can give you my professional opinion.

Ready To Start Your Own Spray Tan Business:

Mobile, home-based, or salon if you need help getting started then check out my FREE resources for easy steps to setting up your own sunless tanning business.

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