3 things come to mind when the topic of spray tans and underarms come up. Green armpits, the after spray tan funk, and white armpits after a spray tan.

avoid green armpits after spray tan with this deodorant

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Yes, green armpits are a thing in my crazy spray tan world.

NOT cool but completely FIXABLE.

(am I allowed to say cool??? I have children that say I’m NOT)

Why Armpits Turn Green After A Spray Tan.

Before you get your spray tan I ask that you get showered up and wash off all the “beauty products” that we tend to get into on the daily.

  • Lotion
  • Perfume
  • Makeup
  • Body Spray
  • Deodorant

To learn more about how to perfectly prep for your spray tan head over to my post on what to do before a spray tan to get you started.

Can You Wear Deodorant Before A Spray Tan

The short answer to this is, No. For two reasons.

Green Armpits From Spray Tan

Often when I am going through the spray tan instructions and get to the part where I say “please don’t wear any deodorant”, I get stopped by a new client and asked, “Do I really have to NOT wear my deodorant?” and then I have to explain that antiperspirant/deodorants turn green when I spray over them and that it’s a really lovely shade of Kermit the frog green and that we probably don’t want to go down that path.

This is a reaction between the aluminum in the antiperspirant/deodorant and the DHA bronzer in the spray tan solution.  A temporary color change that will wash off during your first shower after your spray tan, but no one wants to walk around with green armpits for the day.

I LOVE Kermit just maybe not on my skin.

amazon link to recommended deodorant

Related Articles:

Why Armpits Stay White After A Spray Tan

White armpits after your spray tan are simply caused by the deodorant acting as a barrier to the spray tan solution soaking into your skin.

Sometimes you even think that you got all the deodorant off and there is still a residue left behind.

Using a bit of baking soda mixed into your shower wash to scrub, helps to remove this residue if white armpits are something that you are experiencing.

I understand it is with great reluctance that you skip your deodorant before your spray tan appointment. But I think that I have a fix for you….. all-natural, aluminum-free deodorant that doesn’t turn shades of neon green when I spray over it.

Leslie (my massage therapist friend at Bodyworks Wellness Studio) and I have been experimenting for you. The all-natural deodorants do not contain aluminum, so no weird color change. This is just deodorant NOT an antiperspirant, but it will hold you over the 10 hours till you can shower after your fresh spray tan and put your favorite underarm smell nice back on.

Deodorant Before Spray Tan

Piper Wai.

amazon link to piper wai natural deodorant

Shop this all-natural deodorant on Amazon

Since it does come in a jar and not in a twist-up tube I recommend the mini cosmetic scoops so you don’t have to put your fingers in the jar.

Shop these Mini Cosmetic Scoops on Amazon

UPDATE: they now have a Piper Wai deodorant stick

Lume Deodorant for Underarms & Private Parts

Shop This Deodorant On Amazon

Stinkbug Naturals Deodorant Stick

Shop This Deodorant On Amazon

Best Deodorant After Your Spray Tan.

Getting Rid Of Body Oder After Spray Tan

Some people (not everyone) seem to develop more of a “spray tan smell” with sunless tanning products.  Normally this washes away with the first shower, but sometimes this smell hangs out in the underarms even after you wash.

That sounds great, right? Ya, not so much.

I hear you! We like to be fresh and lovely.

I had not had this issue myself and thought it was just how my body was…..but after a conversation with one of my sweet clients, I think I was just using the solution to the problem the whole time and didn’t realize it.

Shop this deodorant on Amazon

As I was chatting with my client she told me that she and her girlfriends were talking about spray tanning and how they prep for it and someone mentioned the stinky armpit phenomenon and that a few of them had discovered that the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant was the solution to this issue for them!!!! And it all made sense that I wasn’t experiencing the stinky spray tan armpit because I was already using the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant.

Then she says, “I wish we could share this tip with other girls who spray tan.”

And I said, “WE CAN!

Cuz, I have a spray tan blog!”

I was first introduced to this product years ago when I worked in the fragrance department at Macy’s.  Hi, Macy’s Toledo, Ohio co-worker friends!!!! Women would come in and purchase Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorants SIX at a time.  They were constantly sold out of it and there was a waiting list to call customers when more came in.  I wondered what was so special about it and decided I was going to buy one to try it out.

It was $25.00

For.Deodorant.In 2005.


I sold my firstborn child and bought the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant because lovely fresh armpits are VERY important.

(Just kidding, I did NOT sell the man-cub)

Let’s just say I was hooked on this stuff instantly and have been using it ever since.

  • It’s very softly scented (I don’t like heavy smells)
  • works like a dream
  • keeps me dry and not stinky
  • lasts a full day (even with 20+ spray tans in the humid midwest summers)
  • doesn’t make me itch<–I have super sensitive allergy-prone skin.

Definitely worth the $25 and then I understood why our Macys at Franklin Park Mall was constantly sold out of it.  Sorry Secret!

Now we have Amazon so Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant is easy to get, just click here and it comes to your house.  You’re Welcome!

Events To Spray Tan For:

But what if you didn’t know NOT to wear your deodorant to your spray tanning appointment and you already have the green armpits?

How To Get Rid Of Green Armpits After A Spray Tan

If you have ended up with green armpits please DON’T panic!  What has happened is that the temporary bronzer in the spray tan solution has reacted with the aluminum in your antiperspirant causing a color change to the bronzer=green.  Luckily the bronzer is the part that washes away after your sunless tan has fully developed.  And that means that your green armpits with wash away as well.

Easy Peasy!

Removing Deodorant Before Spray Tan

Sometimes there are areas of our bodies that we don’t think about exfoliating. Underarms, neck, between our breasts and inside elbows/back of knees are commonly forgotten spots.  These areas can also hang onto product residues like your deodorant, lotion, or sweat. So even if you think you washed everything off of your skin there may be still some product residue hanging out on your skin.

Baking soda mixed with your unscented mild body wash is a great way to make sure that you get all the beauty products like your deodorant off your skin before your next spray tan.  After exfoliating make sure to rinse well and then remember NOT to put anything back on your skin after you hop out of the shower.

So, if you are struggling with deodorant options for before and after your spray tan give these two options a try and see how they work for you.

Need to BOOK A SPRAY TAN? Head over to the contact page for all the info.

Wondering what the best self-tanning mousse is? My favorite is Rose Gold check it out here

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.


Are you looking for information on HOW TO start or GROW your spray tan business? Check out my tools of the trade for business-related content to set up your own airbrush spray tanning business.

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