Best Self Tanner to Extend Your Spray Tan

You just got an amazing spray tan and you are obsessed with how the color makes your eyes pop and your teeth pearly white.  But after a few days, your spray starts to FADE and you are left wondering HOW do I extend the life of my spray tan????

Two things come into play to effectively extend the life of your sunless tan: your BEFORE spray tan prep and your AFTER spray tan care.

best products to use to extend your spray tan

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BEFORE Spray Tan Prep To Extend Your Tan:

To extend the life of your spray tan you need to be sure that your skin is prepped properly to allow the spray tan solution to soak in and develop evenly.  If you don’t prepare properly then the tan is going to be sitting in the dry patchy layer of your skin that is ready to slough off in the next couple of days taking your tan with it and shortening the life of your tan.

You also need to be sure that you are exfoliating and washing away all of the beauty product residue that is hanging out on your skin! Leftover lotion or a film of soap or perfume creates a barrier blocking your sunless tan or making is uneven.

Related Articles:

What beauty products can ruin your spray tan?

  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Makeup
  • Body spray
  • Exfoliating scrubs
  • Extra moisturizing body wash
  • Leftover massage oil
  • Waxing residue

Oh boy, that is a lot of stuff that us girls get into!

To be sure that you have removed all of the excess beauty products and dry/patchy skin and prepared your skin properly, try the following steps:

  • In the shower gently remove dry patchy skin with an exfoliating towel or loofah.
  • Use a mild soap or shower gel so you are removing the old lotion and perfume and not re-coating your skin.
  • Shave using a fresh razor–make sure that you remove ALL of the residue from the razor’s moisturizing strip that is left on your skin with soap.
  • Have any waxing done 48 hours before you plan on getting your spray tan.

This starts off the process with a fresh even canvas to have your skin airbrush tanned into golden brown perfection.

Check out my spray tan safe beauty product shopping guide for safe choices.

Events To Spray Tan For:

Have Your Spray Tan Applied By A Professional:

The best way to ensure that your sunless tan will be even is with a professional application.

  • Let the spray tan dry and soak into your skin before getting dressed, then leave it alone for the recommended time.  For my girls at my shop, that time is 8-10 hours.
  • If you are self-tanning at home apply your sunless tanning product after your shower while your skin is still hydrated, use a mitt to protect your hands.  This helps to ensure that any areas of your skin that tend to be dryer are not grabbing and absorbing too much self-tanning lotion or mousse (speaking of self-tanning mousse this one is my favorite!)
  • Don’t get sweaty or wet or spray perfume or go get a pedicure or go to hot yoga or get rained on or…….well you get the idea, leave that tan alone!!
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.  No jeans, tight leggings or tight tops.  Soft, loose, and cotton will make sure that you are not rubbing lines or marks into your tan as it is developing.

AFTER Spray Tan Maintenence To Extend Your Sunless Tan:

How you care for your spray tan AFTER you get it is just as important (if not more) to extend the life of your sunless tan.

The beauty products that you are rubbing into your skin and your tan, spraying and spritzing all over your body can fade your tan prematurely.  We want to keep your pretty tan as long as possible so try these tips for extending your sunless tan after you get it:

These beauty products will ruin your spray tan:

  • Bath/Body or Victoria Secret shower wash. I know they smell good but they just are super harsh and drying to your tan <–read stripping your color and we don’t want that happening
  • Exfoliating scrubs or exfoliating shower washes
  • Loofas or exfoliating mitts
  • Anti-acne products. Facial washes, lotions, masks and spot treatments. Salicylic acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are the active ingredients in many anti-acne products and they will take your tan off in a very unceremonious way (read NOT cute).
  • Anti-aging products. Facial washes, lotions, serums, and Retin-A or glycolic. These products contain ingredients designed to hurry your body’s natural exfoliation to address the symptoms of aging skin.  This also hurries the exfoliation of your tan
  • Clarisonic facial brush (or others similar) I LOVE my Clarisonic but it does tend to take my tan off my face quicker than I would like.
  • Fragranced soaps and bath gels. These contain heavy detergents and sulfates that can strip your color right OFF
  • Perfumed lotions can contain mineral oil and dyes that will make your sunless tan fade off blotchy and patchy.
  • Swimming pools and hot tubs contain chlorine which is bleach and will shorten the life of your tan.
  • Waxing after your sunless tan will create blotchy areas and pull your tan off. Always wax 48 hours BEFORE your sunless tan.
  • Shaving cream is heavy with detergents that can strip your tan as you shave so skip the shaving cream.

I know this sounds like a lot of products to watch out for when maintaining your sunless tan. Actually, you can work this into a nice routine of pre-tan beauty treatments, a lovely spa exfoliation, and prep session and then head on over to get your sunless tan and then relax and enjoy your color.  In a week or two do it all over again.  This creates healthy skin and a beautiful tan!

Beauty Products That Are Safe For Spray Tan

  • Warm NOT hot water in the shower.  This will keep your skin from drying out and keep your tan alive longer.
  • Sensitive skin soap or shower wash.  Products that are labeled for sensitive skin usually have fewer chemicals, dyes, and fragrances in them that can mess with your sunless tan.
  • Organic products. If you want to take your skincare routine to the next level and extend the life of your spray tan then look into organic soaps, shower washes, and lotions.  The more natural you are keeping your product line the longer your spray tan will last.
  • Coconut Oil.  This is my all-time favorite!!!!  Coconut oil is the perfect moisturizer to pair with your spray tan.  All-natural and nourishing to your skin, will not harm your sunless tan and keeps you glowing.

Spray Tan Extender

Can you use a self-tanner over a spray tan?


There are many GREAT self-tanning products on the market that can help to extend the life of your spray tan.  From sunless glow cremes to self-tanner lotions, mousses, aerosol sprays, and sunless tanning milk to keep your bronze color going!

My all-time favorite is the Rose Gold Sunless Tanning Mousse. It is a great option for a buildable color. Fair, medium and darker skin tones.  It’s easy to work with, blends nicely, the smell is light and it drys well.

It’s perfect to maintain a spray tan and extend your color.

before after rose gold self tanning mousse

Grab a bottle over on the Blue Layne Website or if you are a local stop in to see me to get one.  But don’t wait they sell out constantly!!!

I hope this article was helpful to you learning how to extend your spray tan and keep that color going.

As always if you are loving the outfit on the model in the picture head over to Blue Layne for all the adorable choices!!

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. 

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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