Should I get my nails done before or after my spray tan?

Shiny, matte, glittery, bedazzled nails; in sexy red, innocent pink and classic french tip.
When we are getting ready for a special event we are often having our nails professionally done. The mani pedi relaxing girl moment before we slip into the bridal gown, our bridesmaid frock or prom dress. It’s a girls mini vacation before her BIG performance.

We LOVE to get our nails done!

Kathryn at SunSpray answers questions about getting your nails done before or after your spray tan so that your nails don't get stained
Make sure a pale nail color is clean of spray tan before you leave the studio.


Within this post there may be affiliate links to products I am referring to. If you purchase a product through one of my links it will NOT cost you anything but I will receive compensation.

Should I schedule my manicure before or after my spray tan so I don’t mess up my nails or my spray tan?

I have what I call the “Beauty Timeline” for getting all of your beauty routines organized and in the right order so that you aren’t going to have anything ruined… can read more about that here.

When it comes to your nails I prefer that you get your nails done BEFORE your tan.


Yes, before.

The quick answer is I don’t like anyone messing up my work. But the long answer is that all of the soaking, scrubbing, steaming, exfoliating, nail polish remover, drying agents and finally the lotion and oils that you can come into contact with at the nail salon will wreak havoc with your airbrush tan.

Simply stated getting your nails done after your tan pretty much guarantees that your tan is going to stripped, faded and removed in areas that probably wont make you a very happy girl.

Messed up tan=Sad girl

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Will my spray tan stain my acrylic or gel nails?

Sunless tanning solutions only work with the amino acids in your SKIN. Since your nail polish or gel nails do not contain amino acids and are not alive then the sunless tanning product won’t be able to work on the painted on coating on your nails.

But the bronzers in the spray tan solution can leave an off color if its left on the nails.

If you are wondering how to protect your gel or acrylic nails from the bronzer in the spray tan gently wiping the nails off after your tan is all that you need to do. A fresh manicure or a light color might make you worried about staining.

No worries, just bring it to my attention and we can make sure that your nails are clean and bronzer free before you leave the shop.

Can my spray tan stain my natural nails?

The bronzers in the spray tan if left to sit on your nails can over time can leave a slight tint to your natural nails.  A clear coat of polish or simply wiping your nails after the tan is applied will remove the bronzer so that it doesn’t stain.

Dry damaged nails seem to have more of a problem with this so if you have this problem please apply a clear coat of nail polish prior to your appointment to protect you natural nails.

Can I get my nails done the same day as my spray tan?

Schedule your nails in the morning and your spray tan in the afternoon!

Ask your nail tech to:

Enjoy your mani/pedi I will see you AFTER your nails are done.

Click here to learn how to book your spray tan appointment.

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.


Sunless Tanning Pros:

Do you have a mobile spray tanning business, home based business, or are you looking to start one? Then check out my tools of the trade area of this website for help in setting up your own sunless tanning business.

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Hi, I’m Kathryn! I’m here to help you have the best spray tanning experience possible. When I’m not creating beautiful sunless tans, I am working with my students or writing for my blog sharing everything I know about how to get the perfect spray tan, how to give the perfect spray tan, and how to build a boutique spray tan business.

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