35 Quick Tips For Getting Your First Spray Tan

Are you considering getting a spray tan, but you are a little nervous to actually go through with it? You have heard ALL sorts of crazy stories from your friends.Within this post there may be affiliate links to the products I am referring to. If you purchase a product through one of my links it will NOT cost you anything. Read my full disclosure here.

Spray tans are ORANGE, STREAKY, and BLOTCHY…..

……they smell bad and they are messy.

Or are they?

A few people have told you how WONDERFUL spray tans are. Do they know something the rest of the world doesn’t?

Just possibly!!!!

Getting Your First Spray Tan

Getting a professionally applied spray tan is amazing! Instant color, blended tan lines, pretty glow, tan legs, feeling slimmer, no skin cancer risks!

Let me walk you through the do’s and don’ts of getting your first spray tan so you have all the important details before you call to make your appointment.

Check Out Reviews

Before you decide where to make your spray tan appointment at make sure your check out the reviews on FB or Google. And ask who the go to person in your area is for spray tans.

Make Your Appointment 1-2 Days Before An Event Or Trip

Never get your spray tan the day of your event or trip. You want to give your tan 8-10 hours to develop and have time for a shower, so plan ahead and book your appointment 1-2 days before.

Book Your Spray Tan Appointment After All Other Beauty Treatments

Get your nails, waxing, facials, and massages done BEFORE your spray tan appointment so that nothing messes up your tan after it is applied.

Spray Tans Last About A Week

I tell new clients to plan on their spray tan lasting approximately a week. Some people will keep their color longer with proper care and body product use. Some less time if they work out, get sweaty, take several showers a day or are in a pool or hot tub frequently.

Airbrush Tans Look Better Than A Booth Spray

A hand applied airbrush spray tan is going to look more natural and real than a booth spray.  I explain the difference like this….the booth spray is like an automated car wash. The airbrush spray tan is like having your car detailed.

Shower/Shave/Exfoliate Before Your Appointment

I need clean dry skin to apply your tan and have it be smooth and even. So hop in the shower and scrub all the dry skin and product residue off.  Use a mild soap or shower wash. Sulfate Free and unscented.

NO Oil Based Exfoliators

The salt and oil or sugar scrubs leave a residue on your skin blocking the tan from soaking in. Grab your dry brush, loofa or exfoliating mitt or towel to exfoliate with.

NO Lotion

Skip the lotion after your shower. Again the lotion will leave a coating on your skin blocking your tan from soaking in and developing.

NO Deodorant

You are gonna have to go all natural before your tan.  Deodorant can turn some really strange shades of green when your spray tan is applied.  And it can also block the tan from developing creating the dreaded “white armpit”

NO Makeup

We need a nice clean face before your spray tan.  If you have a Clairsonic facial brush this is the perfect makeup remover and gentle exfoliator.

Arrive On Time

Spray days are busy at the shop.  So do your best to get there on time so I can spend your full appointment time pampering you and creating your perfect bronze color.  Also, I love you and want to be able to spend a little time hanging out and catching up.

Get Undressed

How naked you get is up to you.

Wear An Older Bra/Panty Set

Some wear only a thong and go topless and others wear a tank and shorts. We can always tuck straps. This is up to your comfort level.

Different Spray Tan Formulas

I always say time of year and event appropriate for choosing how deep to make your tan.  Attending a formal event in winter? Then a moisturizing formula with a pretty glow.  Headed to the beach for spring break? Then we can have a little fun and go for the vacation tan.

How We Spray

All spray tan artists have a different routine when it comes to the order they apply your spray tan in.  My routine is arms and chest first, then front and legs. We then go to the back of the body and work down. Finishing with all the little details and face is last.

Watch Those Hands

I ask to position your body the way I do to keep your hands out of the way and smooth out skin folds and creases. When we spray your hands really bend your fingers and spread out your fingers so the spray tan can mist in between each finger.

Play Simon Says With Your Spray Tan Artist

Your spray tan artist will tell you what to do and when to do it. I just need you to hold still until I get bossy and tell you to move to the next position.

Blending And Contour

After your base tan is applied some spray tan artists will go back in and blend and contour for a perfect finish. A little sunkissed highlight on the face brings out those cheekbones!

Solution Doesn’t Stain Hair Or Nail Polish

But if you just got your hair colored or a fresh blow out then we can pop a hair cover on to protect it.  Have your nails done? We will wipe your nails down so there is no spray tan on your polish.

Get Dry

I will make sure your spray tan is dry before you check your tan out and get dressed.

Get Dressed

Loose soft dark clothes are the best thing to put on after your tan to protect it while it is developing.

Your Spray Tan Gets Darker Over Time

As your spray tan is developing it is going to get darker.  There is a bronzer which you can see initially (think makeup) and the sunless solution takes some time to develop in your skin.  As this process is happing you eventually end up with a fully developed spray tan with the bronzer sitting on top. It’s a little too much, but won’t stay that way.

Don’t Touch Your Tan

Everyone wants to rub their hands over their tan after I put it on.  I get it. It looks amazing and you can’t believe you are tan in just a few minutes BUT if you keep touching it you are going to get spray tan solution on the palms of your hands and possibly mess up your tan on your skin.  So hands off while its processing.

Plan To Go Home After Your Tan

I recommend you get all of your running around done for the day and THEN get your spray tan and head home.  We never know what the weather is going to do and I wouldn’t want you to need to make 6 more stops in the rain.

Stay Dry

Your challenge for the evening! Don’t get sweaty, don’t get wet, no puppy kisses, keep your small kiddos off your skin and keep your hands out of the sink.

Careful With The Sheets

Wear long sleeve t-shirt and long pajama pants to protect your tan and your bed.

Spray Tan Smell

Not everyone smells like spray tan it depends on your body chemistry. Most high quality spray tan solutions have an odor inhibitor in them. If you do smell a little like “spray tan” it will wash off when you shower.

Shower In 8-10 Hours

Your spray tan artist will tell you how long to keep the solution on until you can shower. Normal processing time is 8-10 hours unless you used an express formula.

How Long Will It Keep Getting Darker

With a regular spray tan solution after the 8-10 hours it will stop processing and just sit on your skin until you shower.  It’s NOT going to keep getting darker forever.  So if you are sleeping no worries just take your shower when you get up!

The Bronzer Washes Off

When you hop in the shower you will see the bronzer get streaky and uneven when the water hits your skin.  Don’t panic this is completely normal and you are not messing up your tan. Your sunless tan is underneath the temporary bronzer and will last approximately a week. Once the bronzer is off you can wear normal clothes again.

Choose Your Body Care Products Carefully

Heavily scented body washes, deodorant soaps and scented lotions can break down your tan. Look for products that say unscented, gentle, for sensitive skin or sulfate free.

Pat Dry Don’t Rub

After your shower be gentle with  your fresh spray tan and pat dry.  We want it to stay on as long as possible.

Sweat Will Fade A Spray Tan

Getting sweaty and taking several showers a day will fade your spray tan faster.  To help I recommend a little baby powder in areas you know you sweat more.

Hands & Face Fade Faster

We wash our hands throughout the day and if we wear makeup then there is makeup remover and face washes that are also washing the tan away in these areas faster.

A Gradual Tanner Will Extend Your Spray Tan

A good quality glow cream or gradual tanner will help to extend the life of your spray tan by adding a small amount of sunless tan back daily when you moisturize.

Related Articles:

Choosing The Best Spray Tan Artist

Here are three things to look for when you are searching for an amazing spray tan artist
1. How long have they been spraying
2. Are they certified
3. Can you see their work

Spray Tan Artist Experience

How long a spray tan artist has been spraying is VERY important.

Experience and artistic talent don’t happen overnight.  Practicing your craft and continuing to educate yourself on technique only comes with TIME.  I’ve been spraying for 18 amazing years, and I have learned a whole bunch about what to do and NOT to do in that period of time.

I have also experienced special skin conditions, scars from cancer, and spent thousands of hours dealing with women’s body images.  I GET it!

Spray Tan Artist Certificate

Yes I am certified!!  My spray tan certificate is on the wall in my studio.

I have also invested in additional training over the years to continue to educate myself and learn the latest techniques as well as stay up to date with the newest products on the market.

Mostly because it’s FUN and I love learning new skills.

Events To Spray Tan For:

Spray Tan Pictures

AND you can see my work here on this website….all the photos used on this site are my amazing and beautiful clients, wearing their beautiful tans! Click here to view the gallery for more photos of my beautiful spray tans.

If you don’t live in Northwest Ohio and can’t make it in for a visit then I hope this post helps you when you are deciding on a sunless tanning artist in your area.

Decided to give airbrush tanning a try? Then hop over here to learn what to do before your spray tan and get the scoops on the do’s and don’ts.

Love and Sunshine Kathryn Signature

Spray Tan Business Pros:

Do you have a mobile spray tanning business, home based spray tan 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 airbrush spray tanning business.

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