A complete guide to getting a vacation spray tan.
Here are some great reasons to get a spray tan before you leave on your vacation:
- You won’t feel like you want to sit in the sun because you are already tan
- You will feel great when you arrive! Bronzed and beautiful when you hit the beach day 1.
- If your diet wasn’t dialed in before you left no worries, I always say everything feels better brown. If you can’t tone it tan it.
- Spend your vacation time actually seeing the sites instead of just sitting at the beach laying out
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Spray Tan Q & A
Here I will answer the most popular questions that people ask me when they call to book a spray tan before their tropical vacation
Can you go swimming with a spray tan?
Yes, you can go swimming with a spray tan! As long as you keep a few rules in mind.
First, if you go swimming with a spray tan it is NOT all going to wash off in one dip. It may not last as many days but there are things you can do to keep your color and extend your spray tan. I do tons of airbrush tans for people going on vacation and it works out just fine.
Follow the next 3 vacation tips to help your color last:
- Short dips in the water to cool off work great.
- Hanging out in the water all day will fade your color.
- A heavy layer of sunscreen helps to keep the water off your skin and your spray tan helping to protect your color.
Do spray tans come off in the pool?
Most pools have chlorine in them to keep the pool water fresh and germ free. We love germ free but keep in mind that chlorine is bleach and can be harsh in fading your spray tan.
Swimming in a pool for extended periods of time will fade your spray tan.
I recommend that if you do want to go swimming, keep it short and rinse off with fresh water when you get out of the pool. Many pools have an outside shower area for rinsing off.
Do spray tans come off in salt water?
Salt water is better than the chlorine in pool water but it will still fade a sunless tan if you are in the water for extended periods of time.
If you are heading to Mexico and you know that you want to scuba dive or snorkel I would plan for those activities to happen later into your vacation and not the first days that you are there. This way your spray tan has faded a bit and your real tan has taken over so that the water isn’t going to affect it as much.
I do recommend that you rinse off when you get out of the ocean with fresh water.
Can you go in a hot tub with a spray tan?
A hot tub is like the kiss of death to a spray tan. Hot bubbling chlorinated water? No thanks, not on your tan please. This is one of the ways that spray tan artists recommend for helping to soak off a tan before exfoliating it off. Not what you want for your vacation.
Hot tubs will fade and remove a spray tan please stay out of them to keep your sunless tan on.
Is a spray tan a base tan?
Such a common question. The answer is absolutely NOT. A spray tan makes you look like you are tan but your skin is NOT TAN.
That means that if you have been in hibernation here in the great MidWest during the dark days of winter and you finally run away on a cruise vacation to the Caribbean, your skin (even though it looks a bronzed and beautiful with your spray tan) is going to react to the sun like it hasn’t seen it in a looooooong time.
Caution and a good sunscreen are your friends here.
Can you tan in the sun with a spray tan?
Yes, you will tan or burn right through a spray tan.
So if your skin would normally pick up some color in the sun it will still do that with your spray tan.
If you would normally burn in the sun, you are going to do that right through your spray tan also.
The problem is that you cannot see that you are getting color because you are already brown. Be careful, reapply your sunscreen, wear your floppy hat and big sunglasses and hang out under an umbrella.
I mean you are too sexy for a sunburn!
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Can you put on sunscreen with a spray tan?
- Choose a lotion formula
- Stay away from scented sunblocks
- NO aerosols–they are hard to apply evenly, often times ineffective and drying to your spray tan.
I suggest checking out the Top 5 Best Sunscreens Safe For Your Spray Tan to take on your vacation.
How long does a spray tan last?
A spray tan lasts about a week with proper care. If you are hanging out in the pool/lake/ocean while on vacation you may get fewer days out of your color.
Using the recommended soap, lotion, sunscreen and extending products can help to keep your color going instead of stripping it away more quickly using the wrong products.
- What to Wash with Before & After Your Spray Tan
- 5 Best Lotions to Use After Your Spray Tan
- When to schedule your manicure so you don’t ruin your spray tan.
- Top 5 Best Sunscreens Safe For Your Spray Tan
How to take care of your spray tan on vacation
Before you go:
Start with a fresh canvas: don’t layer new sunless tanner over old spray tan. Letting your old spray tan completely fade away before your vacation and getting a brand new fresh tan before you leave on your trip, makes sure that you are swimsuit ready to hit the beach with no unsightly dark patches.
Take care of your skin: First spend some time gently exfoliating for a few days before your vacation spray tan appointment. I am not talking about stripping 6 layers off of your skin but gently spending some time on your dry trouble spots and getting your skin polished up and ready for a fresh spray tan.
Second moisturize!!! In between exfoliating sessions MOISTURIZE with a high quality chemical free lotion. Choose something as natural as possible and stay away from perfumed lotions. This is going to get your skin looking amazing before your tan is even applied giving me or whoever your spray tan artist is a great canvas to work with.
Schedule your appointment: the day before you leave for your vacation. We want to get you sprayed the day before you leave so you can enjoy your tan on your trip. If you tan earlier in the week you are wasting your bronzy goodness at home.
After you go:
Take a sulfate free soap or shower gel, good moisturizer, sunless glow creme and sunscreen with you. This is going to help you to keep your spray tan as long as possible and extend your sunless glow for your trip.
If you are going to be gone for an extended vacation and are interested in having your color refreshed while you are gone check out the local spray tan scene online before you leave. Do a Google search for “spray tan + your vacation location” to see what pops up.
Have a great trip and I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back!!!
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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.